Monday, May 30, 2011

Dry Brushing My Columns for a Restoration Hardware Look

I've had these columns for several years in another room in the house.  I wanted to try them on the screened porch. Here's an image of the columns with their original dark stain.  I couldn't decide if I wanted them in the screened porch room or not.

  I decided I'd like them if I could give them a gray wash to match the mirror.  I selected a dark gray latex paint. There's a close up of the mirror below.  Very Restoration Hardware look, don't you think?

First, I decided I would practice on the back side of the column.   I lightly sanded the columns because I wanted the dark stain to show through.  I removed all the dust and debris and wiped the column down with a damp cloth.

Next, I went over the surface with a dry brush and followed with a damp cloth.  This didn't work.  Too much of the paint came off.

Back to the drawing board.  I selected a small section of the column and soaked the area with a wet cloth.   I then applied the paint again with a dry brush.  Success!  The dampened area was just enough to dilute the paint, the dry brush gave a light coating of paint, and the stain showed through.  Perfect.  I worked my way all over the column, dampening small sections at a time and making sure that I feathered in where one section began and the other ended.

On the left is the original stained column and on the right the dry brushed one.

Did you know that adding water raises the grain of  wood and lets it accept stain or paint easier?  Try it.  It worked for me on the columns.

Here they are in the screened porch room.  What do you think?

To see the original post, go here.  To see final result views of the screened porch, go here for view one, here for view two, and here for view three.



  1. i love that technique. what a difference! they look fabulous!

  2. Hi Kathy! The columns are gorgeous as is that mirror. I love hearing your technique and I wanted to let you know that we are going to be featuring your porch at our Inspiration Friday this week so be sure to come on by and grab a "Featured At" Button! :-)