Once you’ve done all the ‘concrete work’ on the sweet little jeans it’s time to enhance the colour and form. I always enjoy this stage; paint finishing your DIY Concrete Jeans.
A Bit of Prep:
Make sure your little pants are nice and stiff… Curing can take some time depending on the weather and humidity, check for cracks. Before you put work into the concrete painting you want to make sure they are durable and will not crack. There is no aggregate so the fabric needs to well encased and no voids.
I always find that indoor and outdoor curing (chemical reaction) is different. After the work of dipping and reinforcing (if needed) it may have rough concrete surfaces. I’ll admit that I hate sanding; the concrete dust is hazardous to breathe (wear an appropriate dust mask) and also messy so I usually try to smooth the concrete by brushing/broom finish before curing.
Sanding blocks, emery cloth, wire brush or even the little ‘patties’ of leftover concrete can be used to sand the rough spots. I do not overdo it since I want it to look like concrete and if it’s rough there is more chance for some moss/patina to grow to age it in the future.
Once I got into making these DIY projects I had more ideas on shapes so I made some of little sitting pants by rolling up the long pants! They are so much fun – I can even imagine some sweaters or other garment! These had a bit of blue water-based acrylic paint mixed into the Portland Cement. Having put ‘spacers’ (no grease needed) in the pockets gives more planting spots too!
Adding the Base colour:
When I brush paint colour on concrete I prefer to keep it a thin mixture and not too obvious. I do not use a primer. I see that eventually the coatings and paint does wear off in the elements so if it not a solid coating then it does not show failure as much. Concrete is porous and will absorb and disperse moisture. A solid thick coat of paint (especially oil base) will generally be more likely to peel off and have discolouration. If the paint is thin it will absorb into the pores of the concrete more and not be able to peel. I make a ‘wash’ of thinned acrylic paint (blue + white + bit of black) and give a very quick runny coat. Wet concrete will also let the paint flow easier.
Any colour that is in direct sunlight will be prone to fading so after may years you may want to apply a fresh coat of paint. (I do wonder how long painted brick lasts?!)
You can wipe off excess of this first coat of acrylic latex paint to show the wear that jeans usually have. The darker parts will stay in the creases and crevices; good coverage not really needed. I hope to experiment with acid stain/masonry paint on concrete in the future…
Extra Painted Detail:
Why do we love our jeans so much? Jeans are pants with so much colour variation and strong details. It’s been a love affair with stitching and grommets for ages so add some here too! If you want more coverage a second coat or layer can be added.
Since there is a huge amount of stitching; adding it really helps this finish concrete, and wearing rubber gloves keeps you cleaner. Stitches added to the painted surface can be white or yellow but I find the white tends to be more opaque.
My Favourite – ‘Dry Brushing’
After the first coat of paint I love to add the enhancement with dry-brushing some light blue or white. Use undiluted paint and very little on the brush to only accent the ridges of the fabric, it should not coat the entire surface. Scrub the paintbrush over the surface to give dimension to the wrinkles.
After I am happy with the colours I can add a low-luster sealer like acrylic Matt Medium. The binders in it will help from excess dust coming off the concrete surface if using indoors. Outdoor sealers by various manufacturers are available, some made for use on garage floors and will make the piece more stain resistant and somewhat waterproof. I do however often skip that step…
What is the DIY best concrete paint?
Have I found a paint that is the best? – not really. I have used a lot of mid-grade and artist quality acrylic paints with quite good success, but I don’t cover with thick layers so I believe that is the trick.
Can concrete get much cuter?! These can sit or stand anywhere; on the patio, concrete porch, pool decks, driveways or walkways.
My Step Spook has sat outside for years in Canadian winters and lasted well. He does not hold water, so make sure that the soil/dirt is emptied so that freezing and expanding will not crack your pants planter.
They could definitely be used as interior concrete planters using a layer of plastic inside (as done with flower shop planters). You just can’t help but chuckle…
Back pockets full of little succulents and chubby little legs looks so endearing!
This concrete project is one of the easiest and cheapest I have designed. I see more things being dipped into Portland cement in my future…
Paint finishing Diy Concrete Jeans is pretty easy since the most of the work is done once you’ve made the form, I hope I’ve inspired you… 👖