I have been wanting to make some bleach painted shirts for the kids' for a few weeks so I picked up a few dark shirts the last time I was thrifting to test out some ideas. I tried bleaching polka-dots on a pair of jeggings, chevron on a green shirt, and this swiss cross on a dark grey shirt. The polka-dots on the jeggings stayed pink, the bleach on the green shirt wasn't left alone long enough and hardly made a mark, but this one ended up a happy accident.
I taped off my design for sharp corners after putting cardboard inside the shirt to keep the bleach from going through. I was going to use a paintbrush but then thought it might look too gradient so I switched my plan to spraying bleach straight on the shirt. To do this I needed to cover the rest of the shirt. I suggest using freezer paper to do this kind of thing instead of my version. I cut out the negative a little larger and then taped it to the first layer of tape so that it didn't get in the way of my design but covered the rest.
Then I sprayed bleach onto the fabric and used a paintbrush to spread it out. The brush technique didn't do much so I kept spraying. Then when it was pink enough, I decided to pull the tape off and rinse it. That's when I realized I'd sprayed so much it had bled under the tape. There is still enough of a sharp line from before the bleed that it looks like an image of the sun (in a swiss cross version) to me. I kind of love it. Sebastian does, too. His cheerful face is merely a result of having to go to school this morning.
Here are two more great bleach paint posts from friends. There are so many fun projects out there so just be sure to read up on the trials and errors from THOSE WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE YOU (hehe) and maybe experiment with something you thrifted or are planning to donate anyway so you don't ruin something precious.
I wanted to try a bleached elbow patch effect on an old cardigan but ran out of time. Consider this someone else's mission to execute. I want to see photos when you're done.
Have you ever intentionally bleached clothing? How'd it turn out?