Thursday, January 24, 2013

Antique finish dry brushing

I just finished this project and ran to the computer because I couldn’t wait to share it with everyone. I wasn’t really sure how it would turn out, but I think it looks great!
I found this item in the basement of my friend’s apartment building and immediately my mind starting racing. I had no idea what the previous owner had used it for or why they threw it away, but I knew that it was a nice wrought iron piece and that I could make something great out of it. I decided to make it into a jewelry stand, but first I had to “pretty it up” by spray painting it and using a technique called dry brushing to give it an old antique look. This paint technique can be used in a variety of ways from sprucing up an old piece of furniture or dressing up an ordinary picture frame.

Items that I used include flat spray paint in “Antique”, a 1” paint brush and craft paint in “Bronze” from the Martha Stewart Living metallic paint line. I also purchased a little heart shaped glass jewelry holder from the dollar store. Total purchases came to about $15.00.

Here are some tips to help you along on your journey of antique brushing.

Before starting, ensure your item is clean and dust free by wiping it down with a cloth and if the surface is rough or rusting like mine was, give it a quick sanding down to make the surface is as smooth as possible.
Next you can start spray painting your item, following the directions on the back of the spray can. Because my wrought iron stand was black to begin with and I was covering it with a lighter color, it took about 3 coats of the paint. You should wait a few minutes in between coats for the paint to become tacky, the recommended time should be in the directions, but I waited 5-10 minutes between coats.

For the final coat, I waited for it to dry overnight so I could pick it up and see if there were any spots that needed to be touched up. Conveniently, my dad has a ventilated paint booth in the basement, but if you do not have this luxury, I recommend spray painting outside or in a well ventilated area and protect the surroundings with newspaper or old cloths.

When your item is completely painted and dry, you can start with the dry brushing. As the name states, you want your paint brush to be almost dry, dabbing most of the paint off after dipping the brush. This will create dark streaks over the surface to give it the antique look. Use quick brush strokes along with longer ones, whatever works best and gives you your desired texture. Start off with a light layer and slowly increase the amount of paint until you find your happy medium. It is super easy to do and creates something super unique and beautiful.

Have you used this technique before? Comment below describing your dry brushing experience.


  1. Very helpful suggestions that help in the optimizing topic,Thanks for your sharing.


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