Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dry Brush Painting

A great way to turn Junk into Jewels is to dry brush them. Dry brushing is a technique where you paint with a brush that has minimal paint in it, so that only the slightest amount of paint is left on your project.  This allows you to highlight raised areas of an ornate object, creating interest and showing off the details of the piece.

Once upon a time, this old frame was one of those ostentatious,  gold-foiled, heavily antiqued things.  It was quite dated, and I was able to purchase it from my friend's garage sale for a song.  I wish I had a before picture, but can't even find something on the web that resembles it.  

I couldn't resist it, though.  The detail on the inset is just gorgeous.  With a little dry brushed paint, I was sure she would look like she'd found the fountain of youth!

Dry brushing allowed the original antiquing  on the inset to still show through.  If I had completely painted the frame and then glazed it, much of this antiquing would have been lost.  I did not like the dry brushing on the rest of the frame, as it gave the appearance of particle board.  So, it was just painted.

For this technique, dip your brush into paint until it is halfway up the brush.  Wipe the excess paint off on the edge of the can, then crisscross your brush back and forth on a piece of heavy paper until the brush is not painting anymore. If you are using small bottles of acrylic paint, just load your brush from paint on a styrofoam plate, then crisscross.

With a light touch, begin brushing the raised areas of your piece with the loaded, but dry, brush.  You can add more pressure, but it is best to start light.  You will want to brush across the direction of the lines of the design instead of with them.

When you're finished dry brushing, clean up any over-highlighting with alcohol on a q-tip, or by lightly sanding.  You may also want to spray a protective sealant on your piece to protect your work, but for pieces that are more decorative than functional, this is not necessary. 

Here is another piece I gave a new look using this technique.

 This is the before

This is a really fun craft with instant gratification and easy clean-up.  Ooooh, the possibilities are endless!  Frames, grapevine wreaths, chairs, baskets, candlesticks, iron pieces, statues, your hair......well, let's leave some things to the professionals, shall we!  

Thanks for stopping by, 


Linking to Savvy Southern Style here

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