How we used “Dry Brushing” to complete this Headboard!

Painted Furniture

Take a look at this Vintage, Regency style headboard we grabbed Free, yes Free! It was given by a friend that knows how much we love to up cycle furniture. We are thinking it is probably from the 1960’s-1970’s. Detail always grabs our attention. The more detail, all the more beautiful painted. In our humble opinion. Something about these pieces that make the transformation exciting. Anybody else feel that way?? Like the uglier the greater the challenge? This post contain’s some affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through the link.

The very first step and probably one of the most important steps is prepping this piece for painting. We started by washing the headboard really well. All this detail calls for lots of scrubbing with a cleaning brush or a toothbrush! We like to use L.A Totally awesome cleaner. The cleaner can be found at your local dollar store or dollar general. It looks like this! Spray it on to cover the whole piece. Then you are going to take your scrubby/toothbrush and start scrubbing in all the grooves and crevices. Once you feel you cleaned it well, you want to rinse with fresh, clean water! Paint will not stick to dirt or oils. Most oils come from our hands. So wearing gloves while cleaning is also a good idea! After it is washed and rinsed allow it to dry completely.

Even though it was cleaned well, you still want to prime it. Wise Owl primer comes in both clear and white. It is a “stain eliminating primer”. Use the primer to cover stains or it will also help with the adhesion of paint. Find the primer here!

We will be using a “dry brush” technique on this transformation. For this technique we like to use our ClingOn! S50 brush. These brushes are great for this technique because of the flat edge. A round brush would go in between the detail and the areas that we don’t want to hit. On a side note, ClingOn! brushes are great for many different reasons. They do not shed bristles, they leave a smooth and stroke free finish, and they are super easy to clean! You can take a look at the different style brushes we love to use here.

After we cleaned and primed our headboard we choose our base color. We decided to do it in Wise Owl Black. We applied one coat of black and allowed that to fully dry. Wise Owl has a lot of amazing colors. You can check them out here! The technique we are going to use called dry brushing, works best when using two contrasting colors. Something you want to keep in mind when choosing colors.

For the second color we wanted something that was really going to pop. We had some Wise Owl Mermaid Kiss and River Rock left. Combining left over cans is a great way to keep from wasting paint. Without any specific measurement we poured them together and we ended up with this gorgeous color! Nice and bold!

The detail throughout this headboard has a lot of high and low points. We always find dry brushing to be a good technique for this style and it’s a technique really for any level furniture artist. To start you want your brush, paint of choice, paper towels, and 2 paper plates. The brush you use should be completely dry. You are going to dip your brush into a little bit of paint. If you put too much on go ahead and off load some by wiping it against another paper plate or on a paper towel. The key is to hit the high points in a sideways motion and go against the detail. This will help to leave the low points black as pictured. A little bit of paint goes a long way when using this technique. We also did a video on this, which you can check out on our Facebook page!

After your paint has fully dried you will want to add some type of top coat.  You can add a varnish, salve, or wax. Wise Owl has some great top coats that can be found here.

If you found this helpful or tried this technique we would love to see your finished project! Post in the comments below!

Jamie and Debbie - Chalk It Up Fancy

About Us

Hi! We are Debbie and Jamie

We are the mother-daughter duo behind Chalk It Up Fancy. We hope that our story and journey inspires you! 


Join The List!

Subscribe to our emails for exclusive content, specials and announcements!

    Pin It on Pinterest