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  • Writer's pictureAzie

The Tutorialist: Dry Brushing

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

If you’ve been using Annie Sloan paint or following along with our blog, you have probably heard us say the words “dry brushing” in reference to a technique we often employ.

Today, we thought we would provide an example of a piece that was SOLELY dry brushed so you can see what it looks like on its own:

We recently bought a little hotel in Woodstock, NY (to follow along with that project, click here.) Part of our redesign and renovation was to donate all of the existing beds (which was sad for me as I wanted to upcycle them but they were not the best quality) and purchase new contract-grade beds, mattresses, and luxury bedding.

We found this bed overseas but the finish was AWFUL!!! Luckily, furniture finishes are not a deal breaker for us. We opted to “Dry Brush” the finish because it had such ornate carvings and they would add a lot of depth and dimension to the piece once the high points were coated with paint.

“Dry brushing” is when you don’t overload your paint brush and you sweep the paint onto your surface, avoiding the low points. This technique works well on heavily carved ornate pieces like this bed because it allows for the original finish to peek through, giving an instant depth without recreating it.

For this project, we used a Small Annie Sloan Paintbrush and a small amount of Pure Chalk Paint. We loaded just the ends of our brush with Pure and swept our paint over the top of the piece of furniture, without allowing paint to drip into the carvings.

Benefits of this technique: uses very little paint, does not take much time, does not need to be perfect, and dries quickly!

This is one of the quick and easy ways to show depth (otherwise you are painting it and adding tinted wax or a color wash back into those low points.) Once it was dry, we used Clear Wax to seal. The entire bed took an hour and a half, start to finish! Hooray for beauty without pain. We’d love to see your dry brushed projects so tag us on Instagram!

Our Black + White Suite (#11) at Twin Gables in Woodstock

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