to create

A Hand-Lettered Sign: Dry Brushing Tutorial

Over the summer, while we were still cooped up in the trailer, I got some serious cabin fever. And a desire to create something. 

Insert Colin talking me off the edge of trying to bring home a foldable rocking chair and refinishing it on top of the picnic table. #goodideabadidea 

So we came to a compromise.
Here is the end result, which I love! Over the next 2 posts I will show you two techniques to help you create one of your own.

 I already had the funky hand-carved boards from our garage sale finds, and I teamed them up with a blank board from Michael’s. A plan was coming together!
View of paint, brush and unpainted boards
On top of that, Country Chic Paint was having their fabulous Free Paint For Me giveaway, so I picked up a jar of Sunday Tea, and used it alongside the CCP colour Dune Grass.

Country Chic Furniture and Home Decor Paint is a chalk-based paint (they also carry a clay-based All-In-One Paint as well that I am dying to try!). It dries matte and has a great finish. I also love that it is a business that started on Vancouver Island! Check them out on YouTube for some excellent tutorials

groupng of paint, brush and boards

I tried out a few different techniques for this project. The first one was dry brushing, which is a great way to add depth and additional colour to a project. Since it was a new technique for me, I decided to try it on this small project, rather than try to tackle it on a furniture piece!

My first step was to decide which order I wanted to layer the colours. It is always good to do a test patch if you aren’t sure which way you want to go!

comparison of two colour options
In the end I chose Dune Grass as the base colour, with a light dry brushing of Sunday Tea on top, for a slight whitewashed look.

Dry brushing is pretty simple, it just takes a little practice!

Paint your base colour, and let it have a decent chunk of time to dry. Don’t try to dry brush on top of a tacky base coat.  

It is a great idea to pour a small amount of paint into the lid of your jar, or even onto a small plastic plate. This helps you control how much you will get on the brush.

Paint in lid of jar

Lightly touch the brush into the paint. 

brush with paint loaded on
This will still be WAY too much paint to dry brush. Tap the bristles onto a sheet of paper towel a few times.

brush with very little paint left on it
See – it almost looks like there isn’t even paint on the brush. Hence “dry brush.” 

Mind. Blown.

At this point you want to veeeery lightly brush back and forth across the surface. You can adjust the pressure as you use up what paint is on the brush.

hand carved board painted with dry brushing to bring out the details
Dry brushing really brings out the details in a piece!

It is also very forgiving for beginners, as you can easily paint over any errors with base colour and start again! Not that I ever had to do that… *cough cough*

Stay tuned for Friday – I have an awesome secret for pulling off a crisp, hand lettered look, without any calligraphy skills. Because I have zero calligraphy skills.

Also stay tuned to find out how I almost completed ruined this project when I was already done! 

Remember, sharing is caring! Please like, share and comment!

XOXO Aubrey

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3 thoughts on “A Hand-Lettered Sign: Dry Brushing Tutorial

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