January 10, 2011

Painting Technique: Dry Brushing

A while back I promised a quick tutorial on how I use the dry brushing technique.
I apologize for the delay. 

Dry brushing is so easy to do, I'm surprised it's not used more often.

I'm sure most of you know of, or have tried it yourself.  Basically all you do is brush a very small amount of a contrasting color on top of your project, working it into the corners and crevices to achieve a worn or aged look.

Supplies you'll need are . . .

a paint brush 
paper plate for holding the paint
a paper towel, or rag.

For small projects I like to use my favorite small flat brush like the one below. . .

For larger projects I'll use a brush like this one. . .

To start pour a tiny amount of paint onto your paper plate.

Dip your paint brush in, making sure to pick up only a little paint at a time.

Next, using your paper towel, rag or in this case a scrap piece of paper,
swipe your paintbrush back and forth in a windshield wiper motion until the paint begins to thin.

Below you can see how dark the color is at the top, and how light it is on the bottom.

Once your happy with the paint amount, you'll start brushing the paint unto your project.
Using the same type of windshield wiper motion, trying to keep the strokes very light.

For the edges and crevices,
I run the brush right along the surface, making it very dark since that is the way I like it.

Here's a look at my finished project.

Here's an example of using dry brushing to give a project a small amount of texture. . .

I sure hope this has been helpful

Have a great day,



  1. Great tutorial Robin! I love to dry brush things to. Sometimes you just can't sand an item and dry brushing gives things such great texture.

  2. Thanks for sharing Robin. It has been so long since I've actually done this! It's a good refresher.

  3. I love this, Robin! Thanks for sharing and for the step by step~some of us girls really need that! I love the first finished project especially, it is so cute! And I always love signs of any sorts but this one is especially adorable.

  4. You always have the easiest to understand tutorials. Great job. The corbels (or bookends?) are very cute. Great idea to put them above the artwork.

  5. What a great tutorial! This is such a great technique for distressing! Thanks for sharing!

    - Lauren

  6. Great tutorial. Love the artwork- corbels. Such great ideas.

  7. Thanks for the tutorial! I'm loving your "Give Thanks" sign.

  8. Boy, what a great technique. Thanks for the tutorial! :)

  9. This sounds really fun! I'm going to have to try it soon. I have so many painting projects I want to do right now but it is soooo cold right now. I just can't bare the thought of being outside or in the garage painting with frozen fingers. Looking forward to spring and getting my hands dirty with paint again!


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