How to Get the Dry Brush Paint Effect

3 Materials
2 Hours

I had seen this effect paint effect on a few projects lately on Pinterest but I could not find a tutorial on how to do it. So I experimented a bit and this is how I did mine.

Dry Brush Paint Effect
Dry Brush Paint Effect

I wanted to try a small project first as a test run so this wood served my purpose. At the time of doing this project I am not 100% sure what this project will be this is showing the paint effect. I was thinking candlesticks, Stand for solar lights so if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them.

Dry Brush Paint Effect
Dry Brush Paint Effect

The stand was to big so I cut it in half so I would have two smaller pieces.

Dry Brush Paint Effect
Dry Brush Paint Effect

I started by using Annie Sloan Black chalk paint. You do not need to use a primer or do any prep work when using this paint. I painted 2 coats using a paint brush going in all directions. This method seems to have a better look at the end. I tried to add the next layer of white paint over the black but I ended up with a dirty white colour which did not look good.

Dry Brush Paint Effect
Dry Brush Paint Effect

So I started again with the black but this time I sealed the black with a water based Polyurethane. I still had some areas where the polyurethane seems to wipe the chalk paint off and you could see the wood colour coming through. I was hoping the white would cover all those areas.

Dry Brush Paint Effect
Dry Brush Paint Effect

Once the clear polyurethane was dry I use Annie Sloan White chalk paint to paint the bottom section about half way up. For the second coat I used very little paint and dragged the brush very lightly up over the black area. I give the effect that you are running out of paint.

Dry Brush Paint Effect
Dry Brush Paint Effect

I sealed it all in with a final coat of clear water based polyurethane so it would be able to be handled without damaging the paint.

Dry Brush Paint Effect
Dry Brush Paint Effect

I cut some circles out of scrap wood to make a stand for the candles, but I did not like them. I really loved the dry brush effect looks and I am not even sure if it has a name so I welcome any info. And if you can think of a use for these I would love to hear your ideas.

All my materials were recycled and the paint I had at home, so your cost will depend on what materials you have.

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Recycled wood
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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Karen Puckett
    on Jul 18, 2018

    the posts look a good size. how about using them as plant stands? if needed add some old cake pans to the top to give pots more space to sit on. paint the cake pans any color but I think copper would look good on those posts.

    • Tcs
      on Jul 20, 2018

      I don't think you need anything in top. If you'd like to embellish them consider decorating the bottom with small seasonal wreaths. Artificial flowers look so real these days. Maybe place some battery operated candles among the foliage

Join the conversation

2 of 23 comments
  • Justjenifr
    on Jul 14, 2018

    They will hold candles if you flip them upside down...with the black at the bottom.

  • Penny D
    on Aug 6, 2018

    on dry brushing, what I do is paint 2 coats of your base paint. Then to get the dry brush effect, after dipping your brush in your lighter color choice, you dab it on paper towels so when you apply the paint, your brush is almost dry. It’s a wonderful painting technique. I restore outdoor statuaries and this has served very well.

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