DIY Waxed jeans

Waxed/black coated jeans have been around for awhile, for example Acne and Dior Homme have made their own version of these jeans. I never owned a pair due to the fact that the price was ridiculously high and none of the waxed jeans fit me. My boyfriend on the other hand has had two pairs of Acne Hex Cash black coated jeans, and even though he hasn’t ever washed them in a washing machine, the top coat has already totally worn out. I have always wondered how on earth they do that cool wax/black coat surface, so I really wanted to get into the bottom of this mystery. My boyfriend and I figured out that the paint Acne may use is acrylic paint, so we walked into the artist shop that was around the corner and did some shopping. What we found was black acrylic paint and some gloss to mix in with the paint. So, we took the stuff home and started painting the jeans with the mix and were pretty pleased with the outcome.
Here are detailed instructions on how to make your own waxed jeans, how much it costs, and what you will need. I will also reveal the results of this denim makeover (see the pictures). I chose to give the makeover to some old Cheap Mondays and my boyfriend did it to his worn out Acne’s.

1. The jeans – Since the paint dries out really hard you should use jeans that have lost their form or are a size or two bigger than usual. Otherwise you may not fit in your jeans after the makeover.

2. The Paint – Get black (or whatever color) acrylic paint, a brush that’s made for acrylic paint and if you want to add more shine to the look, get some soft gel gloss to mix in. You will also need a cup where you mix the paint and probably some cardboard to protect your floor. Art stores sell these supplies and are willing to help, just ask them. There are cheap and expensive paint options, depends how much you’re willing to spend on your project. The black paint we purchased is called Wilson & Newton: Galleria Acrylic paint, 13€. The gloss was by Golden and it is called Gel Medium Soft Gel (Gloss), 10.70€. These were huge bottles, so we could do this operation about 10 times if we wanted to.

3. Mixing the paint – Mix about 80% acrylic paint and 20% of the gloss. If you want more shiny look, add more gloss. If you want to thin then paint, add water.

4. The Paint job – Place your jeans on the floor on top the protective cardboard (or plastic). Start painting the jeans with the paint brush. Use mild strokes along the lines of the denim. You can do as many layers as you want, if you feel that the jeans didn’t get the result you wanted. My boyfriend did two layers, I did just one because I wanted a bit more rougher look. Acrylic paint dries really quickly, so you can do both sides in about one hour. After finishing both sides, let the jeans dry a few hours before trying them on, just to be sure.

My boyfriend working on his jeans.
5. Ta dah! – Now you got yourself some waxed jeans. Pullinging them on is like putting on jeans made out of paper, so be patient and careful. With heavy use the jeans will soften up and get more comfortable, trust me on this one.

6. Washing instructions – I don’t recommend that you wash your jeans but if you absolutely must, do it in cold water without any soap. I’m warning you though, the color will bleed! If you can, take the jeans to a dry cleaner.

7. Wear your jeans – There you got yourself a cool new pair of waxed jeans. Go on and wear them!

Top: Poco Loco
Hooded vest: Two Percent 2%
Jeans: Cheap Monday, DYI wax coat
Shoes: Bullboxer

101 thoughts on “DIY Waxed jeans

  1. Hey thank you very much for this tutorial! Ever since I saw my fave photographer ryan McGinley sporting those Dior Homme jeans in Vice Magazine i’ve been wondering how to Do It Myself!

  2. Noi on kyllä mielettömän hienot :0 vouu! Vitsit kun itsellä olis tarpeeksi uskallusta kokeilla, mutta pitänee katsoa. En kyllä tiedä uskaltaisinko uhrata farkkuja 🙂

  3. Mä en olis ikinä keksinyt että tommosia saisi ihan kotioloissakin aikaan! Täytyykin katsella jos alelaarista löytyisi jotkut sikahalvat farkut mitkä voisi sitten maalailla 😉

  4. this is really nice! By the way: we have some new pics on our blog. Will you add our blog to your bloglist? We just added yours!Lucy Fashion

  5. uuuu cooool! Onneksi mulla on kaupan versiot tuollaisista kiiltävistä farkuista niin voi heittää surutta pesukoneeseen 😀

  6. tuli mieleen, että kuvataidekouluaikoina ei kyllä akryylimaali kuivuttuaan lähteny pesussakaan housuista (eikä muistakaan vaatteista) pois, että sen perusteella kyllä tuommoisia vois pestä ihan koneessakin.Hieno toi huppuliivi! 🙂

  7. Pirskatti sentään! Mie oon ostanu jostain alennusmyynnistä tuollaset “vahatut” farkut ja oon miettiny mitä niille pitää tehhä ku se kiilto on hävinny olemattomiin ja tässä tää nyt on, tänks! Pienetyykö pökät oikeesti niin paljon, kun nuo miun housut istuu tällä hetkellä ihan grande buenosti ni jos ne sit kutistuu ni en lähe turhaan maalailemaan:)

  8. Sugar kane: NP. Yeah those DH ones are deffo amazing, its good that the secret is out finally. :)Hanna: Kiitti. Kannattaa kokeilla sellaisilla farkuilla, joilla ei ole väliä meneekö pilalle vai ei.Aina: Kiitti!Eve: Onnea matkaan!Lucy fashion: Sure I can and thanks. :)Nelliina: Niistä vaan lopulta lähtee ne vahat pois, mutta tuossa on keino restauroida ne kuntoon.Heidi: Kiitti, jahas täytyykin kokeilla pesemistä. :)Suhkur: Ne ei tavallaan pienene, mutta tulevat niin kovaksi, että jalkaan laittaminen on vaikeaa. Eli ne tavallaan pienenee yhden koon. Kyllä ne sitten käytössä venyy takasin. :)I: Me neither hehehe. :)Tres lola: Thanks!

  9. lupaathan raportoida sitten miten farkut toimii käytössä, lohkeileeko maali yms. vai pysyykö siistinä? itsekkin uskallan kokeilla kun saan vähän tietoa toimiiko hieman kovemmassakin käytössä (=

  10. Hei!Tuli mieleen, että irtoaako farkuista maalia käytössä? voiko huoletta istua vaalealle penkille?

  11. Annsku: Pitää testata vaikka baarikäytössä. Eivät kyllä tunnu lohkeavan tai kuluvan. :)Wendy-May: Thanks!Anonymous: Ei kyllä tähän asti ole irronut mitään, mutta en ole vielä testannut että miten ovat esim. kosteana sateen jälkeen jne. Raportoin sitten lisää, kun tiedän. 🙂

  12. this is brilliant! i may have to give it a try. do you have to start with black jeans though?

  13. Wendyb: Its not that much effort actually. It may look so but its not. :)Pter: Credits to you, babe.Iris&Amp Pieter: Thanks! :)Nadia: Thank you. :)Head in the clouds: If you want them pitch black, then black jeans are probably the best way to go. I'm sure that you could use other colors too but you might have to put more layers of paint. Blue jeans might look pretty nice, if the blue shows through a bit. 🙂

  14. fantastic idea! I have seen a girl with waxed jeans by Urban Outfitters and was wondering how much they are but since you’re showing us a cheaper way to produce our own waxed jeans I might go for this alternative. But I’m hopeless talentless 😉

  15. AWESOME! I would’ve done the same thing to a pair of cheapmondays if I hadn’t gotten South Korean wannabe diors off ebay for like 60$ shipped! =D

  16. Fruchtzwerg: I’m sure you can manage the waxed jeans, it doesn’t require any talent. 🙂 Good luck!Babaloom ceo: Those wannabes sound good. 🙂 if they start losing their color, you know now what to do. 🙂

  17. this is very cool. by the way, i am more into the transparent wax coating by dior homme few seasons ago. do you have idea about what material to use? i have no idea yet.

  18. Hamlet a.: I do know what you are talking about but I am not so sure how they did it. I could imagine that by just using the gloss (it’s white but dries transparent, shiny) it would work. Good luck with your project! 🙂

  19. Thanks for posting this – I have a pair of the Urban Outfitters black wax jeans and oops washed them in the machine and now they are just boring black pants with no special finish. I’m going to try this – yours look great.

  20. finally done my clear waxed version using only acrylic medium, use “regular gel” as the base layer, because it is less watery than tar gel or clear gel, then you can add layer or tar gel or clear gel for smoothness and glossiness. check ouot the photo on my blog, MOCK DIARY.

  21. i tried the above tutorial, on a pair of gray jeans, the end product came out rather patchy though, any idea wat could hav casued this? Keav

  22. Fluent of haute label society: NP. Tell me how the project went. :)Anonymous: Yeah the wax coat of the jeans that they sell at the stores comes off quite easily in the wash. This way you can always coat them again and again. :)Hamlet A: Yours looked great! Thanks for the tip!Anonymous: You should add a bit water in the mix to tnin out the paint. Also just put more layers of paint to cover the patchy areas until you got shiny unpatchy finish. 🙂

  23. is it possible for me to show u guys wat i meant? and perhaps get some advice on how to cover the patches?P.S i did coat quite a number of times.. but i just couldnt get the shiny/glossy look .. but the jeans does feel stiff.. ironically jus like my other waxed jeans!

  24. hey,cool stuff(: just want to know,ever since you waxed that jeans and wore it,has the coating of the acrylic paint dropped off?cos the last picture seems to have cracks on it already.just wanna ask before i trash my jeans(:

  25. Keav: Please do, you can email me some pics if you want at fluxorist@hotmail.comFusedlights: It’s just because I didnt want to do so many layers on my jeans. My bf did 2 or 3 times the layer and his have a very smooth finish. I wanted mine to look a bit unfinished and cracking and those pictures were actually taken right after I finished them. The paint does not crack or fall off when you move in your jeans but if you wash them, it might wear out a little. I haven’t washed mine yet, so I don’t know. Usually you should not wash your waxed jeans, even if they are store bought. Good luck with the project!

  26. Thanks for this guide! I just finished waxing my old cheap mondays and Im really pleased with the result. I also went with just one layer for a rougher look. Looks even better than my 700$ Dior Strip waxed jeans. Anyone used any other color than black? I wonder how it would be to use like silver acrylic on black or to was a pair of blue jeans

  27. Anonymous: That’s great to hear!:) I’m glad you are pleased with the result. Better than your Dior Strips? Oh lala, I take that as a compliment for this tutorial!;) Hamlet here just used the gloss and his pants came out great. I’m sure it will work with different colors as well. Just gotta try it out!:)

  28. Anonymous: Good to hear that you like the tutorial!;) It looks like those were made by adding just the clear gloss into the desired spots. If you have a pair of black jeans, you could just add the gloss (see my tutorial for the gloss I used) and achieve this look. If your jeans have lost the blackness, the other way is to first do the black waxing like in my tutorial, let the jeans dry, and then add just the gloss on top to the spots you want to be glossy. Just like the Dior Hommes. 🙂 Hope this was helpful!:)

  29. Hi:) stumbled upon your tutorial and I love the idea! I had just bought the same gel as I already have acrylic paint, and now I’m ready to start my project! Only problem is, I’m not sure if It will work on a particualr pair of jeans I have in mind… They are blue to begin with, so I’m wondering how many coats of paint I’ll need and if I’ll be succesful in making them pitch black. Second, these jeans are not exactly one size up, however, they were once skin tight but now I find myself yanking them up a lot (the waistband has stretched) and the fit overall feels “stretched” because of a lot of wear. Do you thnk the stretched out feeling of the jeans will be enough for them to fit after the paint? (I’m just worried they’ll crumble when I put them on, LOL.) lastly, I’m wondering what kind of brush you used…was it a brush just for acrylics? Or does it matter what brush you use? Do you also think I could use a foam/sponge brush as an alternative?Thanks again for the tutorial, and sorry for the long comment:)Raez

  30. ps. you never answered my question, but its okay. i've done the DIY already, and you can check out the outcome at my blog. ive linked you for instructions, hope thats okay!xxRaez

  31. congratulations for that post!!!!!It's always cool to learn new stuff! and better if its in fashion!!!A**

  32. Love the idea! and would def. try it when I get a chance. Great posting. I just found ur blog and loved it!Please check ours out.Muaahhh from NYCMaurenie

  33. You have a slight typo on number 5: You are pulling the jeans on, not pullinging. Just wanted to point it out! :)I want to try this ASAP. Are the jeans hot in the summertime?

  34. Vau, totahan voisi kokeilla johonkin takkiin :DIte oon pentuna painanut isoja kirjaimia farkkujen reiteen ihan perus akryylimaalilla ja ne farkut kävi useamman kerran pesukoneessa ihan tavallisilla pesuohjelmilla, eikä tekstille käyny mitään. Kuivuttuaanhan akryylimaali on teknisesti ottaen muovia. Ohuella kankaalla pinta saattais halkeilla, mutta ei se kyllä lähde millään pesuaineella.

  35. Raez: I typed an answer but I think it dissapeared somewhere in the blogosphere, sorry. Your jeans turned out great and I'm glad you liked the tutorial!:)A: Thanks! I'm happy this was useful. :)Slanelle: Thank you so much!:)Michellehendra: Thank you and good luck with the project! :)Maurenice: I'm glad you liked it and nice to hear that you like my blog. 🙂 I'll check into yours for sure!:)Anonymous: Thanks for noticing it! Now it's fixed. :)Seanysea415: I take that as a compliment since I discovered the secrets of the waxed look. 😉

  36. Thanks so much for posting! I made a pair of shorts with fabric paint, a foam brush and your instructions and they look just fabulous!

  37. These are fantastic looking!! Most probs will be DIY-ing one pair pretty soon. I have query though, does it stain or transfer over to furniture or other fabrics? Keep rocking! \m/

  38. Adrienne: No problem! I'm glad you like the end result and that the tutorial was helpful. :)Anonymous: Thanks!:) It shouldn't transfer to funiture, as the paint dries really well (at least mine haven't). Also someone here commented that acrylic paint should be also water proof. 🙂 Good luck with your DIY project, let me know how it went!:)

  39. if i coat the jeans from indigo to a black waxed a few months. can i reverse the effects and bring it back to its original indigo colour?? someone help me. i coated mine black.

  40. Anonymous: I highly doubt it.. perhaps you can find out if there is any chemical that washes off acrylic paint (if that's what you used)? Other than that, I doubt it's reversible because the paint does not come off in normal wash, I heard.

  41. yes i used acrylic paint gels. coated it and used them for a bout 4 months. washing it now helps?? or do i need to use something else??

  42. OMFG. You are an absolute heaven sent! Stuff paying hundreds on a pair of Dior Homme jeans. I'll just wax coat my worn out Nudie Jeans! Well done. I'd give you a big kiss if I could. HAHA!

  43. Platee: No problem, I'm glad I could be of help. :)Anonymous: Awws, that's so sweet! I'm so happy to hear that you like the tutorial. 😉 Hopefully your waxing project went well!

  44. OMG I LOV LOVE LOVE THIS…Just hit upthe art store and got my supplies, cant wait to see how my jacket turns out!!!

    1. I hope it turns out nice!:) The trick is to not put too much coating, if you don’t want the jacket to be too stiff. But it’s up to you. Good luck!:)

  45. Hi I am from Singapore. I couldn’t get that brand of gel golden here. Will Daler rowney varnish gloss gel do the job? I don’t know what to get man. Can someone help?

    1. I think any type of glossy gel that is used for acrylic paint works. You can ask from your local art supply store what would work the best from their selection. 🙂

    2. Hi Clay, I’m from Singapore too. Any nice job done? I’m interested to get mine painted. Would you able to share where can I get the right paint n gloss gel? Thanks in advance 🙂

  46. I have a couple pairs of Notify waxed jeans and I love them so much, the gloss is about gone. Anyone tried restoring the gloss using Anna Maria’s technique with success? Anyone tried it and want to talk me out of it?

  47. Wow! This is an amazing idea. It is a good way to make your old pants to make it look new. It is a very creative thinking. I am sure my friends are going to love this post.

  48. Great idea! I just did this to an old pair of jeans the other day and they turned out awesome, they are now my favorite pair of jeans lol. I couldn’t find any gloss for acrylics at the place I went too so I used this clear gloss glaze for ceramics and stuff and that seemed to work out alright. Tho I do admit that walking around in them for a while gets a bit itchy sometimes LOL

    1. I’m happy to hear that you had a successful project!:) You can find the acrylic paint from those artist shops that sell paint etc. for painters (not house paint but artist paint heh), maybe it won’t be as itchy. It could be that you’re allergic to some incredient if they behave like that when in contact with skin. Hard to say…

    1. They are not waterproof but they are water resistant hope this helps. You need waxed oilskin to get waterproof. Waxed oilskin is dull and not shinny and and is Beeswax, paraffin wax and boiled linseed oil all melted together and applied.

  49. aww..this is so nice.. I try to use clear gloss paint before..but it doesn’t work..perhaps its because the jeans absorb the liquid paint..really thanks for the acrylic paint will help the gloss stay..anyway, can I use other color acrylic paint? like making a burgundy waxed jeans?..haha..

    1. Yeah, that might have been the problem. Acrylic paint won’t do that… If you put just the acrylic paint (ie. black one) it will stay anyways, the gloss will just add more glossiness (shine) to the paint. So basically yeah, if you had a pair of white jeans for example, you could make them burgundy by using a burgundy acrylic paint, if that’s what you want haha. 🙂 If the color on your jeans is fine, you only need to add the gloss, as it just gives a clear glossy surface on the jeans. If they lack of color, then add the desired color paint to the mix.

      1. yeah, I made one already..but it seems that I somehow didnt managed to put the correct amount of acrylic on become a bit rough on the surface. but after I sandpaper some of it, it feels fine :)..
        haha, I think I haven’t brave enough to wear burgundy coated I go with blue-ish grey. and It turns out good..thanks !

        1. Cool! Good that it worked. They can feel a bit rough and stiff at first but it will wear off in heavy use, not to worry. Burgundy would be kind of wild haha.. I’m sure your blueish grey ones look good though! 🙂

          1. should try to be a burgundy gothic ninja one day :p..
            well, after three days of usage, just like you said, it become softer :)..which is good..but the glossy surface start to seems messy.:( bad painting skill perhaps..cant get the perfect waxed like dior homme one..
            btw, just out of my curiosity, you know nudie jeans has something called dry black coated, and interestingly it gets more and more glossy after usage..which I found it surprising.well I never found one which is glossy enough to be like mirror though, so I guess it will stop become more glossy at certain point :p.. any idea how they do that?
            and nudie jeans has another dry coated variant, which is grey coated and ultra indigo coated..however, different from the black one, this two sibling will fades in color as well, where people said the black one will not unless you wash it..
            is it just the wrong information I got?
            haha, coz its quite interesting 🙂

  50. I think I put too much gloss into the mix and my jeans turned out waaay too glossy…how can I remove the paint or make it less shiny??

  51. This is absolutely jeanius. I just painted my old Dr Denims (%30 gloss %70 paint), the wax had long gone and they have come up fantastically. Thanks alot for that, you saved me $200.

    Jack Auburn,

    Melbourne Australia.

  52. How Are they holding up? do you have any new pictures? How long do they take to loosen up? Thanks so much

  53. Hi, I’d really love to try this diy because the effect looks so great on the pants…Do you have any idea how much paint you need for one pair of jeans? Would 200ml be enough? Thanxx

    1. I bought mine from a local art supply store. Also some bigger department stores might have the latex based furniture paint, which is also great!

  54. Hello there, I’m new into this and interested to DIY this on my current jeans. I love the leather glossy looks. I wonder which particular type of acrylic paint to use? As there are many choices out there 🙂
    Kindly advice me, thanks a lot in advance.

    Have a nice day,

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