Tuesday, April 28, 2015

How I Dry Brush

Lately I've been experimenting with dry brushing on different pieces. 
 I chose to use the technique for different reasons, which I'll share, but my main motivation was that it's a fast process and the results charmingly update vintage finds.

My first attempt was on a metal ceiling tile.  The tile was a rusty brown and someone had used liquid nails to add a mirror in the center.  I chose to dry brush the tile because I wanted to add color without hiding the original patina.  Since the mirror was a bit raised up from the tile, I outlined it with some rope and used the same rope to create a hanger.

I used my glue gun to attach the rope to the tile.

Rope Outlining the Mirror

There already were holes where the tile had been nailed to the ceiling.   I put a link of chain through the holes in the top corners and then knotted the same rope through the link.

Rope Knotted Around Chain Link

The next piece I chose was a woven dresser. 
 I thought that the texture of the piece would work well with dry brushing.  Here's the before.


BEFORE:  Great Texture to Work With

If you're a regular reader of my blog you've already seen the dresser in place at Sweet Clover.
I think the dry brushing added a charming mottled look and updated the piece. 

A Closer Look at the Mottled Dry Brushed Result

Dresser Top
One last example. 
 I chose this bench for dry brushing because I knew its natural grain would work well  with this process.

Natural Grain Enhanced with Dry Brushing


AFTER:  Folding Bench

If you've never tried to dry brush a piece, it's pretty simple.


1.  Some pieces get better results.  I had success when what I chose had
 some patina, some texture, or some bold grain.

2.  Any latex paint will do.  
I was in a turquoise mood, but I'm thinking of using some creamy white on some
 plain brown folding camp stools next.

3.  After you've selected your piece and your color, find your oldest ugliest paint brush.  
You want to pick a brush that's having a very bad hair day.  Here's mine.

My Brush With a Bad Hair Day
4. Next, I dipped just the tip of the brush into the paint.  You don't want a lot of paint because----
da---you want a dry brush.  I tamped the brush onto a paper plate that I lined with a paper towel to get off most of the excess paint.  Tamping just means smashing the bristles into the paper towel until you have just a dusting of paint on the brush.

This is Where I Tamp

5.  Now apply the paint to your piece.  No prep necessary.  Love this.
I use a very light touch to apply the paint.  You might want to practice on a small piece.

6.  Have fun with it and send me pics of your experiments.  I'd love to see what you do.


No comments:

Post a Comment