I was able to do some painting on my chair project today, and I thought I’d walk you through my process of dry brush painting while I was at it!
I knew I wanted to paint it with the dry brush technique. I first learned of dry brush painting from Shaunna over at Perfectly Imperfect. She painted a beautiful French-styled chest of drawers with dry brushing, and it turned out amazing. Painting with a dry brush is an easy way to get that Wisteria or Restoration Hardware Look. It creates thin layers of paint that give an aged, washed look to a piece.
It’s not a hard technique to master, let me walk you through my process.
1. Grab your paint, a brush, and some paper towels.
I was using Annie Sloan French Linen chalk paint as my base color.
2. Dab a bit of paint onto your brush
It’s best to tap it onto your paint lid.
3. Dab the brush onto your paper towels.
The goal is to blot off almost all of the paint on your brush. You can always add more paint if it’s not enough, but you can’t take extra paint off once it’s on your piece.
4. Paint in short strokes
…repeating the process with your brush as the color gets too light.There’s no real magic to it, in fact I think dry brush painting is easier than regular painting. You don’t have to worry about evenness or getting full coverage, the point is to have it uneven and streaked.
5. Push the brush into trim or carved details
This will help to get a little bit of paint into the recesses.
Here is a shot of my paper towel when I was done with the whole chair. Gives you an idea of just how much paint I dabbed off through the process.
6. When the first coat is finished, layer on another color.
You can go for high contrast or something more subtle. I chose ASCP Old White for my second color, and repeated the process with dabbing the paint off the brush.
I didn’t worry about washing out the brush because there wasn’t much of the French Linen on there anyway, and again, the whole goal of dry brushing is to be imperfect.
With the second color, focus on highlighting.
The difference in color with the Old White painted on is very subtle.
The right side of the wood has been painted in the white, the left side has not. You can see how it has added another layer of depth and age to the paint though.
That’s a peek at the finished product. Sorry for the super bright yellow of the padding . . . I had some really bad lighting in my kitchen, so the colors are kinda weird. The whole chair was done in under 20 minutes. That’s another great thing about dry brush painting…the paint dries so quickly! It’s also a good way to make your expensive chalk paint go farther, or to use up that last bit of paint hanging around in the can.
With the fabric I picked, a little bit of blue layered into the paint might be nice, so I’m thinking about adding some hints of Duck Egg. We’ll see. I’ll sleep on it.
I hope that was a helpful walk-through. If you haven’t given dry-brushing a try, now’s time time!
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