Quickie make-over that is!

P1180996Thrifted textured metal and wood wall shelf.

P1180995The original color wasn’t baaaaaad, but it just didn’t grab me, ya know?

P1190001My first instinct was to spray paint it white, but I just happened to have my aqua paint out at the time.  So I decided, why not do a ‘quickie aqua dry brush’ that LITERALLY takes 60 seconds per shelf.  Then if I don’t like them like that, go ahead with the white spray paint.

P1190068This is how I frequently ‘display’ wall mounted shelves.  I have so little wall space to hang shelves on, plus people don’t always like taking shelves off the wall to buy them at Stars.  Sales staff IS always willing and able to help with stuff like that, but for some reason people just don’t always ask.


You can see the color better in this picture.  The white ones in front of the aqua are shelves that I left ‘as found’.


I get that question often enough to warrant a post/tutorial (of sorts!  No pictures though)

You can see pictures of numerous previous posts where I used the dry brush technique here, if you need some visuals.

I use this technique as often as possible.  It’s super fast and easy, and works on surfaces that have a lot of TEXTURE, that would otherwise take a lot of work to FULLY cover with paint.  And you get about the same look as painting, then sanding to distress.

I remember learning to dry brush in the 5th grade.  We could only use primary colors and had to paint one of the zoo animals that the teacher had put up pictures of.  Back then I was NOT very artistic.  I painted a blue elephant!   Anyhoooooooooooooooo . . .  dry brush painting IS so easy a 5th grader can do it.  It’s actually easier to DO than it is to EXPLAIN!   I wish I could SHOW you how.  That would be the ideal way to learn.

Don’t dip your brush in any water and don’t load very much paint onto your brush.

Have a ‘blotter’ next to your paint container, dip JUST THE TIPS of your paint brush into your paint, then swoosh your brush around on your blotter to distribute that little bit of paint on your brush and make it nice and DRY.  LIGHTLY, ever so lightly brush your first stroke across the surface of the item you are painting.  You should get about 50% coverage; leaving 50% of the area it’s original color.

It’s easiest to do on TEXTURED surfaces, like woven baskets, wicker, rough cut wood with a lot of raised grain; because if you lightly apply your paint you will only hit the HIGH SPOTS.

Practice on a scrap piece of wood or the back or under side of a piece of furniture until you get the feel for it.  OR buy an old basket for 99 cents at a thrift store and practice on that.  Then you can use the basket as a gift basket later on.  The secret is to have as little paint as possible on your brush.  Remember, if you don’t get as much coverage as you’d hoped with the first stroke, you can always go back and add MORE.  But if you get TOO MUCH on the first time, you can’t take it away.

Go look at the posts/pictures and you’ll have a much better idea.    Happy painting!


Dry brush painting is a very simple technique.  You use a MINIMAL amount of paint on your brush, keeping the bristles very dry.  Brush VERY lightly using just the very tips of your brush bristles.  This gives you a nice sparsley painted surface, almost as if part of the paint has been sanded or worn off.

On this black and mustard jelly cupboard with a shutter door, I dry brushed the mustard paint over the black.  Why dry brush instead of fully paint, then sand to distress?  Sometimes it’s just a more time efficient way to get the job done.  In the case of this piece, the shutter slats would have just been too difficult to sand.  And since I dry brush painted the shutter door, I wanted the rest of the piece to match.

Another good time to use the dry brush technique is when you are adding NEW parts ot an old piece.  On this picket fence shelf, the picket fence was naturally weathered.  We wanted the shelves we added to match.  We used recycled fence boards (old and grey and nicely raised grain) and just dry brushed on the white paint.  Pretty good match eh?


For this little basket chest, first i spray painted it with flat blcak paint.  Once dry, I dry brushed on the mustard.

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