How to Paint With India Ink on Denim

Written by lucy clarke
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to Paint With India Ink on Denim
Denim can be decorated to suit your personality using India ink. (denim background image by Adam Borkowski from

Decorating your denim jacket or jeans can be a fun craft for people of all ages. You can create your own designs, applying them in the colours and style of your choice for an individual touch. India ink allows for flexibility and control when painting. Although traditionally used for writing and print work, India ink can be used to paint on denim with a bit of simple preparation.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • India inks
  • Silver fabric paint
  • Washing powder
  • Rubber cement
  • Wide brush
  • Round artist's brush
  • Nylon bristle brush
  • Damp paper towel or sponge

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Wash your denim item with only a teaspoon of detergent and no fabric softener. Allow it to air dry.

  2. 2

    Using a wide brush, apply a thin coat of rubber cement to the area of denim that you will be painting. Allow the denim to dry, and apply one more thin coat to the area. This will provide a good base for the ink, much like a primed canvas.

  3. 3

    Using a round artist's brush, apply a thin coat of silver paint to any areas where you plan to use bright colours like yellow and red. This will make them pop and prevent them from sinking into the denim canvas.

  4. 4

    Once all base coats are dry, use a nylon bristle brush to apply the inks to the denim. Nylon brushes are stiff and help the ink to adhere to irregular surfaces like denim. They may be purchased at any craft or art supply store.

  5. 5

    If you make a mistake in the application process, wipe it away using a damp paper towel or sponge as soon as possible. This, along with the base applications, will prevent the inks from setting quickly.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.