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How to Accent Furniture Details with a Dry Brushing Technique

Kelly Jenkins

Some furniture pieces scream for a fancy paint job... this was definitely one that demanded a little extra attention! Here I used a technique called Dry Brushing to highlight the incredible carvings. Then added some glaze to settle into the low, shadowy areas, learn more about glazing here.

Dry brushing is a furniture painting technique that is used to accent details, add dimension or introduce another color to the piece (while using very little paint!). I find it best to use this technique on areas with a lot of detail and high spots, but it could also be used to layer colors across a large, flat area for a totally different look!

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First, I painted a solid coat of General Finishes Milk Paint in Basil as the base coat.

Next I grabbed a dry brush (used a Purdy for this project) and dipped just the tips into the paint, then dragged most of the paint off to leave a hint of color. You could also blot off on a rag if you have too much paint on your brush. 

Light, feathery layers are KEY to this technique. 

Hold the brush nearly parallel to the details and lightly drag the tips over just the high spots. Build layers as you go. It's much easier to keep adding more paint than  to remove a heavy, solid brush stroke. Keep moving around the piece and building layers until you are satisfied with the result! 


Want to see it in action?

Watch this video for a quick demonstration on dry brushing.


Follow me on Instagram @captivahome for more furniture makeovers!! I'd love to know which colors and styles fit into your world!!

- Kelly

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