How to Dry Brush Paint Wood

Learn how to dry brush paint boards for making signs or any home and garden project. Great tip for workshops.

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How to Dry Brush Paint

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Dry brush painting is one of my favorite techniques because it’s easy to apply and you simply can’t mess it up.

I’ve used this painting style on smaller projects and sign making backgrounds before stenciling because it really makes the wording pop.

With this tutorial we’ll begin with the following supply list.


  • Any type of wood, we’re using a Cedar Fence board
  • Electric Sander
  • Dixie Belle Paint, Buttercream Get Here
  • Cheapo Paint Brush – I get mine at Home Depot
  • Paint Pallet/scrap piece of wood works perfectly

Sanding the Boards to Prep for Painting

Begin with Sanding Boards

Always sand each piece of wood prior to applying this technique.

If you don’t have an electric sander, sandpaper will work just fine; sand with the grain of the wood and dust any left behind particles.

Dry Brush Paint, loading the brush

Load the Brush

Next, we’re going to load the paint brush and then swipe off the excess paint on the scrap board. Once the brush is ready it’s time to apply to the boards.

If you haven’t tried Dixie Belle paint yet it’s a must and their color selection is the best.

We’re using this wonderful buttercream color, it has a soft appearance and blends with the wood so there isn’t a huge contrast.

Dry Brush Paint Application

Board Application

  • Applying the paint is a matter of taking light brisk strokes across the board and edges.
  • Go against the grain of the wood and implement as light or dark as you like; keep it simple and remember we’re not actually painting.
  • Reload the brush as needed and repeat until finished.
  • Let the boards dry, this shouldn’t take maybe 10 minutes with Dixie Belle Paint and then you’re done.

Planter Box with Dry Brush technique

A Finished Project

This planter box project is one of my favorites, get building instructions here.  

The dry brush technique was applied to the box prior to stenciling and assembly.

It’s just fun, simple and light which means when I finally get it planted it will look amazing.

Dry Brush Painted Boards Completed

Dry brushing still allows the wood to shine through which is a nice touch and once the boards are finished you’re ready to create.

I don’t bother with a protective coat to my projects;  this is a personal choice so if you think one is necessary for your climate then go for it.

Serving Tray Example

This is another fun project I made the other day using the dry brush technique. It will be a future Make and Take Workshop and look at how I used Dixie Belle paint three different ways.

  1. Dry brush painting with buttercream.
  2. Paint stained with Gravel road, stain technique here.
  3. Stenciled with Midnight Sky, how to stencil technique here.

These paint colors are fantastic and can be purchased hereThe final step is to take this dry brush technique and create some magic where you live.

How to Dry Brush Paint



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  1. What’s up everyone, it’s my first visit at this website, and
    paragraph is actually fruitful in favor of me, keep up posting such

  2. Robin says:

    I love your projects! <3

    1. Carole says:

      Well when you come to Texas you’ll have to come out this way and create some fun.

      1. Robin says:

        I love that idea! 😉

        1. Carole says:

          It’s super fun and easy!

  3. I’m an avid DIYer and always try to be busy with new projects. Maximum time I face trouble to dry my paint brush. I have lost some of them for lack of an easy idea like yours. Hope it will stop from the next time as I have read your post! Great idea ever! Thanks for sharing!

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