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Dry Brush/Whitewash Tutorial

Dry Brush/Whitewash Tutorial

Recently I had a few of you ask specifics of how I painted

this piece.

Slipcovered Grey

This was actually my second project ever with Annie Sloan paint. 

I remember I loved the end result so much, it broke my heart to sell it. 

Thanks to the readers who brought to my attention that a tutorial was in need.

After sifting through photographs I found a project that was never shared with you.

The same process was used on this china cabinet,

and the perfect way to offer a tutorial.

Dry Brush/Whitewash Technique

Yep, you guessed it, another Craigslist find.

China Cabinet

(You know how much I use Craigslist and love it).

Not only did it need a lot of TLC and updating, it was screaming Annie Sloan Paris Gray.

I have always loved the look of Paris Gray with a nice white dry brush technique.


Slipcovered Grey Dry Brush/Whitewash Tutorial

It is a neutral color that really could be used in any décor.

Paris Gray is gorgeous on large pieces like armoires, cabinets, and dressers.

If you are nervous to try out painting furniture, seriously, have no fear.

If I can do this, so can you!

This is the easiest paint, in my opinion, to use.

It is definitely worth the investment.

Plus there are so many of us that want to help.


So ask, and I will answer.


Okay, let’s go!

1. Wipe down the furniture so it is sparkling clean. 

(Dirt, grime, fingerprints – gone).

2. Once it is clean, apply the first coat of Paris Gray.

(I am a texture girl, so I just brush it on. I try to stay with the wood grain, but hey, if I see a brush stroke – no biggie.

I have big plans to utilize the texture those brush strokes create).

3.  Once the paint is dry, apply a second coat. 

(I always like to apply a second coat, especially in areas where

the coverage is a little weak).

4.  Annie Sloan recommends distressing after waxing, but I like to do it now, before whitewashing.

Sanding areas that would naturally wear with time is my goal here.

Trust your instincts.

Are you ready for the fun part?

5. Now on to the fun, creative part – the dry brush technique.

Use a dry brush and dab it in pure white.

If there is too much paint on the brush, take a paper towel and dab the brush to remove some of the paint.

Then it’s time to apply to the surface.

Slipcovered Grey Dry Brush/Whitewash Tutorial

This is where the texture comes to life, but you have to work fast.

China Cabinet

I brush a section and then wipe it off right away,

Whitewash Slipcovered Grey

here I used a fancy paper towel.

Dry Brush/Whitewash Tutorial

It actually works  great.

Dry brushing evenly is important to create a uniform look.

If an area doesn’t blend well, fine sand paper will remove the top layer and blend in with the bottom layer of paint.

Slipcovered Grey Dry Brush/Whitewash Tutorial

Go with your gut here – let your eye tell you if it looks right.

If it doesn’t, keep working, but don’t get overwhelmed.

It’s just furniture.

This is the part that creates texture

Slipcovered Grey Dry Brush/Whitewash Tutorial

and dimension.

Whitewash/Drybrush Tutorial

Notice how the dry-brushing is applied directionally with the grain.

Slipcovered Grey Dry Brush Tutorial

Dry brushing also creates a layered look creating a time-worn look.

Slipcovered Grey Dry Brush/Whitewash Tutorial

Again, let your eye tell you which direction to take it.

6.  Step back and take a good look at what you created.  Do you need to distress more in an area? Go for it.  Does the whitewash need to be toned down?  Use a fine sand paper and lightly tone it down.  It’s as easy as that.

7.  Apply Clear Wax.  I use Annie Sloan and love it.  A little goes a long way.  Using the round brush (also Annie Sloan) makes it quick and easy to apply.  Waxing protects furniture and makes the color come to life. 

Annie Sloan Wax

After applying wax it needs to be buffed completely to avoid sticky residue.


There you go!

Slipcovered Grey Dry Brush Tutorial

I hope this tutorial will get you to grab that paintbrush and give it a try.

As always,

if you have questions,

feel free to ask me.

There are many different techniques out there.

This worked for me and my wish is that it works for you too.



Every. Single. Moment.



If you enjoy what you read today and find it helpful, share it with your friends.

It’s easy, and I am extremely thankful for you and your referrals.

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****This is not a paid or sponsored post by Annie Sloan.  I truly love this paint. As you know, if it’s easy and works great for me, I am going to share it with you.****