Dry Brushing is a technique where you off load most of the paint from your paint brush so there is minimal left. So minimal, that after you apply the paint- it is almost dry already. You are applying the paint very sparingly. Often, I use a dry brush technique to achieve a specific look.
When I say “off load” basically it means you are wiping a lot of the paint off your brush…or taking your brush and painting on another surface with the goal to remove as much paint as possible off your bristles.
Here is an example of dry brushing Old White Chalk Paint® over a wood cabinet.
If you have come into our Macedon, NY location on a weekend, you have probably met Courtney. She is part of the team at THE PURPLE PAINTED LADY™ and is super talented! (Courtney is on the left in the photo below)
And if you have needed help with a project, she is extremely knowledgeable about the products we sell! Also in the photo on the right, is Britni. Britni is also part of our team and is also extremely helpful, caring and product savvy! I think of these two as “peas and carrots” as when you see one of them, the other is not far behind! Sometimes I call them “Fric & Frac.” They often work together and like to think of themselves as “The Purple Painted Lady Dream Team.”
Well, on December 26th, 2015, Courtney did a dry brush demo on an old cabinet at our Macedon store using Old White Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan.
Courtney was experimenting with this technique for the first time and I asked her to do a write up regarding some of the most important lessons she learned as to help others who are interested in trying this.
But first, here is the piece she completed with Britni modeling next to it.
Courtney’s “How to Dry Brush” Tips:
1.) Use a brush with a flat edge or bristles cut in a straight line versus a round, domed top brush.
2. Have enough paint on your brush but not enough to paint a full solid line.
3.) Hold your brush more at an angle to get a better drag.
4.) Starting at the edge is good, but that will also be the area that receives the most paint…so, make sure to alternate the sides you start from! (For example- when doing the top of a cabinet or dresser- brush once starting from the left side, then next starting from the right side.)
5.) Work in linear sections so that your strokes look fluid.
6.) It’s a good idea to have a damp cloth near you, that way you can blot your brush on the cloth, pick up some water and feather out the paint a bit easier.
7.) If the piece has architecture, alternate the sides you brush it from as so to have the paint laid from different directions.
8.) Paint inset panels first before painting the borders.
9.) For large surfaces, remember dry brush in the middle also to even out the appearance, versus just painting inward from the edges.
10.) Don’t be afraid to use sandpaper to soften strokes that may have been applied a little too heavy once paint is dry.
11.) Take drawers out before painting.
12.) Do not dip your brush into a cup of water to feather out the paint. Your brush will pick up too much water and create a wash which is a totally different look.
13.) Use a paper plate to pour some paint onto. This is more important if using an older brush that may shed, since it is best that the stray bristles go into a plate or paper towel versus the quart of paint.
14.) Use a smaller Artisan brush to paint smaller ledges or hard to reach corners versus attempting to use a large paint brush.
15.) Dry brush WITH the grain of the wood.
16.) As you drag the paint, lift up on the brush so it looks fluid and the stroke doesn’t stop abruptly. Think of this as feathering out the end of the brush stroke.
17. Lastly- always remember to take a photo of your piece “BEFORE” you start you painting project (unlike us, who forgot) and then share your photos on The Purple Painted Lady’s Facebook page HERE.
First- if you have a local stockist- go visit them and build a relationship with them. Go to them with your questions and project issues. BUT- if you do not have a local stockist- we invite you to try our customer service!
The Purple Painted Lady™ ~ the serial no. is 86/641,416 with the US Trademark Office
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our MAIN STORE at 77 West Main Street in Macedon, NY 14502
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