How to Dry Brush Paint

Here is a recent thrift store flip I did:

A tan and brown medium sized planter sitting on the ground

I started by painting the base color white, and I knew I wanted a more vintage look, but distressing this pot was only going to bring through an ugly brown color; so in this situation, I had to add another color on top of the white.

A medium sized planter with leaf designs on the edges and a French decorative piece in the center, painted white

I retrieved an old chippy brush that was soaking in a cup of water, and began “dry brushing ” yeah, I didn’t let the brush dry all the way, so here’s how that section turned out:

An up close view of a decorative planter in white with wet streaks of gray painted on it

That may be a cool look if your going for a “singing in the rain” look, but not what I was going for.

Then, I started offloading more of the paint on to a paper towel, and continued on to the next panel:

A white planter with gray highlights and too much gray in some areas.

Still, too much gray. I changed my technique; barely dipping my brush in the paint, rubbing all of the newly applied paint all the way off on a nearby paper towel, and then used the brush to go back and forth about 7 times on a smaller section of the planter:

An up close view of a white planter with gray highlights

This was it! That’s the look I was going for. Dry brushing really brings out the edges of a raised piece, so keep that in mind when you are contemplating what technique to use.

A white painted planter with gray dry brushed highlights sitting on an oak bench

So- lesson is, that you literally try to wipe off most of the paint you load on your brush before continuing. You can always add more paint to the piece, but if you load too much on, you may have to repaint your base color like I did. AND; make sure your brush is 100% dry. Uhhhh… I guess it’s called dry brushing for a reason? Haha.

With Love, Erika Nora


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