How to Dry Brush Paint in 11 Easy Steps

Texture Rough Stained Painted Dry Brush Cracks

Dry brush painting is a painting technique typically used to give wooden furniture a worn, textured look. Finished pieces that have been dry brush painted often look like they took hours to be completed. In reality, dry brush painting is a relatively simple and straightforward technique that almost anyone can learn how to do.

  1. Clean and dust your furniture before painting. You’ll want to make sure there’s no dust or debris on your furniture that might prevent your paint from adhering to it. Use a feather or lamb’s wool duster to remove any dust and debris from the surface of your furniture.
  2. Detach any hinges, knobs, or pieces of hardware you don’t want to paint. Use a screwdriver to remove anything attached to your furniture that you wouldn’t want to accidentally get paint on.
  3. Cover any areas that you don’t want to paint with painter’s tape. There may be some parts of your furniture that you don’t want to paint for aesthetic reasons or that you don’t want to paint but also can’t easily remove (e.g., glass panes on a door). Use painter’s tape to cover these areas and avoid accidentally painting on them.
  4. Apply a base coat of paint to your furniture if it hasn’t been painted. The dry brush technique works best on furniture that has already been painted, so give your piece a base coat of paint in a solid color if it’s unvarnished. Be sure to allow the piece to dry overnight after painting it.
  5. Pour 2 to 3 fluid ounces (59 to 89 mL) of mixed paint onto a paper plate. Mix the paint in the can, then slowly pour 2 to 3 fluid ounces (59 to 89 mL) onto a separate paper plate for you to use to dip your brush in.
  6. Dip your paintbrush into the paint so that just the tips are covered. The success of the dry brush technique partially depends on you using only a small amount of paint.
  7. Blot your brush on a cloth or paper towel to remove excess paint. Remember, the success of the dry brush technique also depends on making your brush as dry as possible.
  8. Use light pressure to quickly apply the paint with small strokes. Your strokes should be light-handed and should be in a back-and-forth motion. Make sure your strokes are quick, as moving too slowly will result in heavy spots of paint on the piece.
  9. Continue brushing with small, light strokes until the piece is covered. Work from the top of your piece downward until you’ve painted all the areas you wanted to paint.
  10. Remove or blend heavy spots with a rag or sponge. Once the piece is completely covered, look over it to see if there are any paint clumps that need to be removed or blended into the rest of the paint.
  11. Allow the furniture to dry overnight. Once you’re satisfied with the amount of paint on your piece of furniture, let it dry overnight before moving it or applying any finish to it.

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