Metallic paint T-Shirt

Both Zara and H & M had sweaters and jeans with a metallic wash in their stores this season. Love, love, love. I thought, why not try my hand at a metallic effect? I never wear anything busy or fussy on my hips as I am a classic pear shape. So, it would have to be a top that got a metallic makeover.

I bought a 25ml jar of Dylon silver fabric paint. I do wish Dylon had more information on their website about their products. Some of my DIY’s with Dylon products have been a bit trial and error and it would help if the manufacturers gave hints and tips. I’ve shared what I’ve learned in older blog posts so hopefully you won’t have to learn the hard way.

The plan was to go for a colour block effect by painting the front of this T-Shirt silver and leaving the back and the sleeves as they were. Good thing I started with a small section and planned to build on it.

No way in a million years would that pot of paint have done the front of my T-Shirt. The entire container only produced a rectangular area of about 40 centimeters by 20 centimeters. Metallic paint needs a thick layer and the cotton T-Shirt was soaking it up.

Stuff T-Shirt with garbage bags and paint with pastry brush

With hindsight I would have been better off trying to make a shape on the front of the T-Shirt, such as a heart or a cross, maybe a large single letter or a lucky number. Maybe even a batman motif?

I could have used my pastry brush making random strokes with a light touch all over the front of the top? Or maybe I should have used a foam roller and zig zagged colour over the T-Shirt? I’m not sure if you can dilute metallic fabric paint and I wasn’t going to try.

Anyway to fix this job, I had to go back and buy another pot of metallic paint.I managed to complete the top front of the T-Shirt and then using making tape I made stripes which took up less paint.  Here’s how to go about using metallic paint on a top.

You need: –

an old top
metallic fabric paint
a pastry brush
a few large garbage bags

You do: –

Using masking tape to make stripes

Make sure your top is clean, ironed and dry. T-Shirts often twist and if it is not ironed perfectly flat you could end up with a design that is skew. I pinned the T-Shirt where I could, to keep it from twisting.

Lie your top on a flat surface and insert one or more plastic bags between the area you intend to paint and the rest of the T-Shirt. Why do that? The paint could seep through the top and dye areas you didn’t intend to.

Make sure you shake the paint pot really well. Using a brush – I used a pastry brush – apply the paint to your top. Leave the drop to dry thoroughly and then iron with a piece of fabric between the iron and your newly painted area. Simple as that.

A tip to help you paint in an area is to use a needle and contrasting colour thread. Make running stitches to create a border that you can paint within. When the fabric paint is dry, remove the stitches.

I’m also thinking of painting the collar of a plain white shirt to make a contrast collar shirt for the cooler weather. Love the way – this guy – turned a pair of Cheap Monday jeans into glam gold shorts. And I wish I had seen – this – idea before I went ahead with mine. Love it!

There are plenty more ideas to revamp old clothing in the Greenie Galleries which you can find at the top of this page. And you can share your projects on the Greenie Dresses for Less facebook page.

See you next week.


P.S. I washed this top on a gentle wash at 40’C and I have to report that about 60% of the silver fabric paint washed off. The rest of the clothing in the wash was affected. All the other items now have ‘glitter’ on them. I followed the instructions so not sure what went wrong.