Dry-Brushing Glazing Techniques

Tinted glaze is a not-so-secret material utilized for faux finishing that can help add a sense of depth and dimension to your project. Dry-brush techniques use a dry or mainly dry brush to either remove or apply glaze into the piece, letting you create unique visual textures over an otherwise smooth surface. The end result depends upon the way you handle the brush; everything from a warm, light wood appear to your synthetic fabric is potential, based on your own technique and the colors selected.

Basic Dry-Brush Technique

Whichever kind of dry-brush technique you choose, the glaze goes on after the base coat is completely dry. Typically, the base coat is paint, though it could be a coat of varnish over unpainted timber. Dip a paintbrush at a tinted glaze to get a basic dry-brush technique, wiping off nearly all of the glaze on a wash rag. Apply the glaze to a project piece with the brush, brushing it right up and down right and left, to get a uniform appearance. The glaze can also be implemented in random strokes for consequences like a weathered, aged appearance using white, gray or brownish glaze over plain or weathered timber, for example.

Dragging Dry Through Wet

Another dry-brush technique requires 2 brushes — one to employ the glaze, one to remove it. Brush the glaze, any shade you like, generously above a painted project. Drag a completely dry brush during the wet glaze, wiping off the glaze it gathers onto a rag. Continue wiping and drawing, using slightly overlapping strokes, until you want the way the piece appears. Go above the piece more than once, if you want, to provide the finished piece subtle glazed lines reminiscent of wood grain, especially if the base color and glaze color are in timber tones.

Feathering for Warmth

A unique feathering brush, or even some other brush with very soft bristles, comes in handy for colour textures and faux-finishing effects like marble, blending wet glaze subtly with the background colors for visual warmth. In a color wash, for example, you use a regular paintbrush to employ colored glaze above the base-coated piece using daring sweeping strokes, then rub most of the glaze off with a rag. Lightly whisk the feathering brush at random directions above the wet glaze to soften and mix colors. To get a synthetic stone or marble appear, use the feathering brush after sponging on secondary stone colors to mix the colors with each other, or to soften the appearance of painted veins implemented with an artist’s brush or even a real feather.

Faux Fabrics

Brushes other than a simple paintbrush produce dry-brush effects like a synthetic linen or fabric effect. A faux-finishing tool referred to as a linen brush is used to get a linen-style appearance, or use any paintbrush which has somewhat stiff bristles. Apply the glaze with any paintbrush; then brush the linen brush or stiff brush during the glaze vertically, removing excess glaze in the brush with a rag after each pass. Leave the project as-is, or drag the brush during the glaze horizontally to make a woven effect. To produce wider irregular stripes or variations, push a spoon through the brush bristles close to the handle; then drag the brush during the wet glaze. Experiment with various brushes, or position a comb in various ways in the brush on scrap cardboard to picture the look before attempting it on your real project piece.

See related