Bleach painting – giving new life to stained turtleneck

While doing laundry a few weekends ago, I leaned into a bleach spill and stained a black turtleneck. Several red patches appeared on the top – on the chest, on the side, and on a sleeve. This was a really comfy turtleneck and it pained me to have to push it to the back of the closet after it was laundered.


Black turtlenecks, simple and classic.

I spent some time thinking of ways to refashion or upcycle the top into something else that could incorporate the stain. In the end, i decided that bleach painting was the way to go. I poured some bleach and a wee bit of water into a little pail, grabbed a brush, eyeballed the top to make a note of where the stains were, then started painting on top of the biggest stain.


This pail used to be a bday party goody bag

Freehand painting takes courage, especially when it’s irreversible bleach painting on fabric. With several deep breaths and shaky strokes, I painted round shapes, lines, and curls. After a while, I stepped back to review what I had done.


Can you tell where the stain was?

It looked decent but disproportionate in terms of black space and print. So I kept on painting swirls… Extended it up one shoulder and the other side to the side seam.


Almost like a lace sash!

To make this more interesting, and less sash-like, I kept adding swirls. I think this should be enough swirls.

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The color looks a wee bit faded so I pulled out my handy Glitter DecoFabric markers and started coloring. I’ve had this for a few years now and had almost forgotten about them.


Heat set is recommended

Here is the top, a work-in-progress. Can you see the glitter paint on the turtleneck? It’s darker than the areas without paint.

What do you think? Silver/Gold accents on the lines? Purple for shading? Good as is?

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This is my first foray into bleach painting and i look forward to reading your comments!


2 thoughts on “Bleach painting – giving new life to stained turtleneck

    • Thank you! There are lots of awesome bleach painted designs on pinterest. Mine’s a little clumsy in comparison but I’m happy with it. Thank you for commenting!

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