DIY Faux Vintage Paint Brushes

10 Materials
4 Hours

Disclaimer - if you don't LOVE vintage decor, this tutorial is probably not for you! But if you do and you're still with me, then this is a dun and EASY DIY for you! Be sure to subscribe to my blog for loads more easy and fun DIY ideas! Most of the materials for this DIY you probably already have. If not, a quick virtual run to Amazon should get you there! I’ve always loved the look if vintage paint brushes but I’ve never loved the price. Just do a quick Etsy or Ebay search for vintage paint brushes and you’ll see how pricey they can be, especially when you add shipping! YIKES!So, I set out to make some of my own with inexpensive paint brushes and materials I already had around the house. This project cost less than $45 (cost of the brushes) since I had all of the other materials – you can spend that much on just ONE authentic vintage brush! All of my brushes are from Amazon and they all arrived within 4-5 days. If you have used brushes laying around you can use those too – the more used they are, the better!So let’s get started!

I love how they look styled with my vintage decor - and I didn't spend a fortune!

The Before

Here are the brushes before - brand new out of the amazon packages! Now to age them...

Step 1

Mix together 8oz hydrogen peroxide, 1oz white vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of salt in a small washable bowl. Using your extra paint brush, paint the mixture onto the metal portions of your brushes. If you have nice weather, doing this out in the sun will speed up the process. You’ll have to repeat this process several times until you get the rusted look you want.

NOTE: I have not and am not advising you to ingest, inhale, or apply this mixture to your skin. Use gloves if you feel it is safer. However, for those concerned about the "potential toxicity" of this mixture, please note that Bob Vila and several other DIYers and home improvement specialists recommend this same mixture to make metal rust faster. Yes, the mixture is caustic - that is the point - it makes metal rust on application, rather than over a lot of time. Use common safety sense when mixing these products together.

Step 2

Once your brushes are sufficiently rusted and dried, use your antiquing wax, paint, and glue and just go to town! There is no wrong way to do this.

The Options

WAX: I added wax to age the handles of the wood brushes; I ran it through the bristles of some of the brushes so “dirty” them up, and I globbed it on parts of the handles and metal portions to add some texturePAINT: I painted one handle completely – the red one, since I didn’t like the color. Then I just used dipped some of my brushes into the paint as you would if you were truly painting something. I would let it sit for awhile to semi dry so some paint would end up stuck in the bristles, and then I would wash it out and let them dry. I also sparingly added some paint to the handles of my wooden brushes.GLUE: I added glue to the bristles of some of my brushes so they would stick together and pick up more globby paint – can you tell I really wanted them to look used?  The glue isn’t really necessary though, so if you don’t have it you can skip this

Step 3

Allow to dry, and that’s it! Did this seem like the EASIEST tutorial ever? That’s because it IS! And it’s a fun and mindless activity you can do in between other things too, which makes it a great project for hashtag quarantinelife! You can always go back and add more “age” once you see how they dry as well. I likely will do that on the bottom one you see above, since I want the bristles to look a little more used and beat up!

I eventually plan to hang these, but for now I’m enjoying styling them around the house!

They make a perfect centerpiece in a vintage farmhouse style home! And how fun would they be to decorate an artist's studio or kids play or craft room? Happy (faux) vintage paint brush making, friends! I hope to see you over on my blog or Instagram!

Resources for this project:
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Ana Ochoa - Sunrise Valley Farm Co.
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  3 questions
  • Kat Kat on Apr 29, 2020

    I'm not into vintage but I am into painting, home decor artsy type stuff and these are SO "COOL!" I love it! Thanks for sharing this wild idea! btw... what is that decorating your walls? Books? I'm looking at this on my phone so the pics probably aren't as great but from what I can see that looks amazing! I KNOW its something that you did! You are a VERY talented & creative person!

  • Delynn Montgomery Delynn Montgomery on Apr 29, 2020

    Why not find them already looking like that at garage sales. My dad had at least 10 in the garage.

  • Sandra Luera Sandra Luera on May 06, 2020

    Great idea thnx

    Are those books on your wall

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