If you want a unique finish to your paint work, then brush painting is a good place to start. A lot of people think that brush paint is a variation of paint, but it isn’t. Instead, it is a type of brushing technique that you can use to get a better finish when the paint dries completely.
You don’t need to use a specific type of paint to brush paint. In fact, you can use latex, chalk, and oil based paints, and all of them will produce excellent finishes. But dry brush painting is not easy, and if you don’t do it correctly then the finished results can be very disappointing.
To avoid that disappointment, we’ve put together this complete guide to how to dry brush paint. In this we’ve included absolutely everything that you need to know about dry brush painting, and how to do this in just 5 easy steps. So let’s get started.
Things you Need to Know
First things first, let’s take a look at the things that you need to know about dry brush painting before you get started.
Read this to ensure you know everything that you need to know about dry brush painting to ensure you get it done right the first time.
Supplies You Will Need
To get you started, we’ve put together this quick little list of things that you will need to gather before you even pick up a brush.
As any painter will know, the biggest part of painting lies in the preparation phase, so it is best to get everything you need for the task together before you get started.
You will need:
- Cleaning solution for the paint that you are using (water for any paint other than oil-based paint which will require paint thinner)
- A flat, stiff bristle paint brush or chip brush
- Sanding sponge
The primary reason why you might want to dry brush paint is to get a faux vintage look on a new piece of furniture. This is why you will need the extra pieces of equipment as they will be hugely helpful in achieving the depth that older furniture has (but newer furniture lacks).
Why Would You Dry Brush Paint?
We’ve mentioned this briefly, but let’s take a deeper look at why you might use this type of paint technique. After all, if you just want to change the appearance of a piece of furniture, you could simply just paint it a different color. The simple fact is that you will probably only dry brush paint if you have a specific look that you are trying to achieve.
Dry brush painting is an excellent option if you want to create a feature in your home. It is also great if you want to give a painted surface an extra pop of style and depth. It also allows you to add character to furniture in places that you want it to be. This style of painting gives you a lot of freedom and also control when it comes to making the piece exactly how you want it.
So you might choose to dry brush paint if you want to add character to something in your home or if you want to make a newer piece of furniture look more rustic or vintage.
Things to Paint Around
If you have only just heard of dry brush painting, you might be eager to add this to your home. Dry brush painting isn’t a technique that you should add to all aspects of your home because if you did the effect would be quickly lost.
Instead, you should aim to add small bits of dry brush painting to your home if you want the best results.
One great way to add extra detail to your home is by dry brush painting the wood trim in your home. This style of painting works excellently on wood because it can help bring out all the different grains in the wood, adding lots of character to the finished effect.
Another excellent way to add extra character to your home is to use dry brush painting on furniture, such as coffee tables and side tables. Using this technique can really draw the eye to this piece of furniture and make that the focal point of your room.
So if you want to change up your home then dry brush painting is a great way to do this.
How to Dry Brush Paint
So now that we’ve covered that, let’s take a look at the best way to dry brush paint. This method only requires 5 simple steps and will leave your home filled with character.
So let’s have a look at what you need to do.
Step One – Prepare the Surface
First things first, you will need to prepare the surface that you are going to do this effect on.
The first part of preparation that you will need to do is applying the paint color that you want to use onto the surface. Once this color has dried, you will then need to clean the surface up and sand it down so that the surface is completely smooth.
When you are doing this, remember that some surfaces will soak up the paint better than others. So this step of the process really does require patience. It can be easy to think “I can’t be bothered to sand it down” and it might seem like it will have no effect on the finished product at this point, but it really will.
If you don’t prepare the surface properly then this will have a huge effect on the finished product, so it is best to put in the hard work at this stage, even if it can seem pointless.
Step Two – Add Some Paint
Once the surface is ready you can then add a small amount of paint onto your paintbrush. Again, it can be tempting to overload your brush, as this is what you would do for normal painting, but it is very important that you only add a little to the brush.
If you put too much paint onto the brush then you will not be able to achieve the fine brush strokes that are associated with dry brush painting.
So it is very important that you show restraint when adding paint onto your brush. It is always best to only add a small amount of paint and build upon this than to overload it with color and lose the pattern almost immediately.
But as tempting as it might be, it is important that you don’t just jump in and start applying the paint to the surface. Read the next step first.
Step Three – Wipe the Paint Off the Brush
Okay, so this definitely seems counterproductive, but bear with us. In normal painting, you would definitely apply the paint that you have just added to your brush directly onto the surface. But this is dry brush painting, and as the name suggests, it requires the brush to be almost dry when it is pressed onto the surface that you are painting.
The best way to wipe the paint off of your brush is to take a piece of cardboard or a plastic/paper plate that you are not using. With the paint fresh on your brush, you can use the cardboard or the plate to swirl the bristles of your brush around on it. This will wipe all the excess paint off of your brush, and also ensure that the paint has completely soaked into the bristles.
After you have done this your brush will almost appear dry because there will be hardly any paint on the outside of the bristles. Instead, it will have all soaked into the inside of the brush, ready for the next step.
Step Four – Apply the Paint
You are now ready to start dry brushing. The best way to achieve great results using this method is to use light brush strokes so that you don’t end up with large amounts of paint in certain areas.
As well as this, you should also try to follow the contours of the wood if you are working with wooden furniture or trim. The great thing about dry brush painting is that it brings out the natural character of the wood and can draw attention to the knots and grain that was always there. So ensure that you are working with this character, rather than painting against it.
Step Five – Apply a Clear Top Coat
This isn’t compulsory, but if you want to protect your hard work then it is best to apply a clear coat on top. This step is simple as all you need to do is apply a very thin coat of your favorite clear top coat. But despite this a lot of people seem to skip this step.
As we have said, a clear top coat is not needed. However, it is often a good idea to do one. Even more so if you have applied the brush paint technique to a coffee table, or something similar to this, as the heat could damage the finished effect of the dry brush painting. But if you have applied this technique to wooden trim in your home then a clear top coat isn’t as necessary.
Bonus Step: Cleaning Up
A lot of people are put off of painting because the cleanup process can be a real chore. This is another huge benefit of dry brush painting as the cleanup process isn’t as messy.
Dry brush painting only requires you to use a very small amount of paint, so it is a lot easier to clean up after. So if you are someone who is put off of painting because of having to clean up after, don’t let this stop you from dry brush painting.
So even though dry brush painting can seem very daunting, it really isn’t as difficult as it might seem at first. All it takes is 5 simple steps, and you will have added a whole load of character to your home.
It definitely takes practice, but dry brush painting is a skill that you can easily develop, and one that will definitely come in handy in the future.