Thursday, January 23, 2014

Get the look: Dry Brush French Style Coffee Table

I have just finished a sweet little French style coffee table and had several people ask how to get the look.

So here goes:

For this particular piece, because it's mahogany, I initially gave it two coats of a Zinsser primer to ensure there was no bleed through and a stable sub-surface for painting. You can skip this step if you are painting different wood and using a chalk paint. I then gave the table two coats of ASCP Paris Grey. I used random brush strokes and made sure they were a dimension to the paint. This will help add visual interest to the finished product.

Once the grey paint was dry, I put about a tablespoon of ASCP Pure White on the lid of the paint can (on the inside of the lid). I then used a dry paint brush (dry is very important for this process) and dipped the very end of the dry paint brush into the paint. I only dip it in about 1 mm. I then swoosh the brush over a piece of paper (okay - I have a white painted lounge room floor so I just swooshed my paint brush over the floor but I recommend that you use paper or cardboard!) Once you have done this, brush the paint lightly onto the grey paint in long strokes. Once you do this a few times you will see how the paint is going on and if you need more or less paint on your paint brush. You can be quite random about this as you are trying to mimic old weathered layered paint so you don't want anything to be too perfect.

Once you have finished the dry brushing and the table looks how you want it to, you can sand and distress if you wish. This table had such a fantastic shape that I wanted to further draw attention to, so I lightly sanded the edges to show the dark wood.

I then applied ASCP Clear wax over the whole table and buffed with super, super fine sand paper. This gives the whole table a lovely sheen.

I hope that helps

(the table is for sale, email me of you are interested)

Fiona xx


  1. Thank you, Fiona, for this post. Dry brushing does not come easily for me since I tend to paint with a heavy hand! :) But your simple and concise tutorial should help me lighten up my touch a bit! And as always, the table is lovely..

    1. hi Robin, thanks so much for reading and commenting. I know what you mean about the heavy hand - it can be very hard to change your natural style I think. I can also do with much more practice for this technique.
      cheers Fiona

  2. Thanks Fiona, it looks very beautiful now. great instructions.

  3. The detail on the legs is very lovely. I've wanted to do this for a while. Thank you Fiona, this tutorial is much appreciated

  4. Stunning! I always love your painting tips :)

  5. Beautiful! I'm going to try this on a french piece I just painted in Paris Grey. :)


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