Dry Brush Paint Technique on Vintage Headboard
Hi friends! Today I’m sharing an easy dry brush painting technique I recently did on an old vintage headboard. If you don’t know what dry brushing is, or you’ve never done it before, this quick tutorial will show you just how simple it is. And it’s a great technique to use when you want to get that faded and worn antique finish, without losing the true character of the piece you’re painting.
Here’s the vintage headboard piece before I started painting:
We actually found this at an auction, it’s part of a headboad from an old bed. This piece was kind of brittle and falling apart, you can see a couple cracks if you look closely, but I did a few repairs and it’s good to go.
So in order to dry brush, there’s only 4 things you need to do:
- Start by putting a bit of paint in the can’s lid or on a paper plate.
- Get an old paint brush, one that has been used many times and is nearing the end of its life. I’ve found that using an older brush, instead of a new one, will make it easier to get that textured/worn look.
- Gently tap the bristles of the brush into the paint, just picking up a small amount. If you get too much, just dab it off on a paper towel. Basically you want the brush to have paint, but be almost dry to the touch.
- Then simply use light strokes to brush the paint onto the piece. It’s obviously going to be dry, so you won’t see a lot of coverage, but that’s the look you’re going for with this technique.
Usually when I dry brush I’m painting in all different directions, applying more to some areas and less to others. My goal is to give it that worn, faded look that you’d see on an old door or barn that’s been in the sun for years. It’s not perfect and that’s the beauty of it. And I think this technique works best on a piece that you simply want to enhance, rather than completely cover in paint.
To distress it even further I sanded down the edges a bit.
And that’s it! Dry brushing is probably my favorite way to paint, it’s just so darn fast and easy. And there’s really no way to mess it up. If you get too much paint in one area, just wipe it down with a wet paper towel. Or you can sand it down later if any spots are too heavy for your liking. Personally, I prefer it to be heavier in some areas and lighter in others–I just think it looks more realistic and truly vintage that way.
Here she is all purdy in our bedroom. I wasn’t sure where to hang this, but after moving it around to a few different spots this was the winner.
I love all the curves and detailing on this piece. It’s so beautiful, I just wish I knew more about it.
I’m so happy I decided to dry brush this piece instead of painting it normally. I just love the way it accentuated all the curves and details, but you can still see the natural wood peeking through. I used chalk paint, it was Annie Sloan in Paris Gray, but this technique would work with any paint you have on hand. And it was super fast, this whole piece took about 15 minutes to paint. Easy peasy!
Let me know if you’ve tried this technique before or if you have any tips of your own to share! I always love hearing from you!