10 Nov 2021 | Projects, Tutorials

Dry brushing… one of the most useful techniques to master!

Have you ever looked at really high end painted furniture and wondered just how that aged, layered look was achieved?  Well read on!!!!

Dry brushing is one of the most useful techniques you can learn and it is one we use so frequently in  our studio.  From adding highlights to elaborate details, preparing a faux wood finish or adding age to a painted surface, dry brushing is our go-to technique. Sure, there may be a little learning curve but once you have it mastered you will love it! 

As the name suggests, the most important tip is to use a DRY brush.  I like to use an old fluffy brush, but any brush will do.  Dip the very TIPS of the bristles in your paint and then offload (or dab) most of the paint onto a paper towel or rag.  Your brush should look like it is dry, just stained with colour.  You can test if you have too much paint on the brush by wiping over the paper or back of your hand… you should transfer the merest trace of paint.  

One of the easiest ways to learn dry brushing is to start on carved or raised details.  With your very dry brush, lightly flick across the surface of the carved details.  The paint will transfer onto the raised details.  Start off with very light pressure and increase pressure as required to achieve the look you want.  This technique is fabulous for adding gilded detail to painted frames and mirrors!

You can also use this technique to drybrush around the edges of drawers, doors and mouldings to give an aged appearance to furniture, as well as give an instant makeover to décor items!

Dry brushing large flat surfaces is a little more challenging but easy once you have mastered the basics.  Dry brushing can give that aged chateaux appearance to furniture as well as be used to mimic whitewashing and faux timber surfaces.  To give a white washed look, simply use white paint sparingly over your timber then seal.  For a faux timber look (think Restoration Hardware ) try painting a base colour in a neutral such as Natural Linen then try dry brushing with Antique Glaze! 

We hope we have  inspired you to give dry brushing a try this weekend!