Dry Brushing Raised Areas

To highlight carvings or turnings, strike the bristles across the high spots using the full width of the brush, just glancing off the surface.

For an antique white finish as on this fluted molding, prime the wood white, then dry-brush a "dirty" color using light, glancing strokes.

the more natural your results will look. It took mc less than 10 seconds to highlight all the eagle feathers in the photo.

An Antique White Finish

Antique white mimics white paint that's gotten dirty over time. (Sec bottom right photo.) High spots such as edges and corners pick up the most dirt over the years, so these are the spots to hit with your dry brush.

First, seal the wood with white primer. My favorite is Zinsser's BIN, a shellac-based primer that will seal in stain, wax, and even oil contamination. It's available at paint and hardware stores.

Now choose a typical "dir^'-colorcd Japan. Raw umber, burnt umber, or a mixture of the two will look the most realistic. Brush out most of the Japan color on a scrap first: Even if the brush is almost out of color, the contrast will be dramatic. Take light, glancing strokes using the full width of the brush, as you would on a turning or carving.

Since dry-brushed color is just a thin layer of pigment, it will be happy under virtually any topcoat you choose— shellac, lacquer, varnish, polyurcthanc, or water-based finish. Any sheen will look fine on a grain-enhanced or fake-grain surface. For antiqued pieces, stick to a matte or satin finish—I'm partial to dead-flat lacquer.

Cleaning Up

Japan color is very difficult to remove once it's dry, so clean your brushes immediately. If mineral spirits won't dislodge all the color, use lacquer thinner. Wash the brushes in solvent until you get all the color out, then wash them in lots of warm water and soap. Rinse the bristles, then wrap them in brown-bag paper. (For more on brush care, sec "Just Finishing," AW #61.)

Opened cans of Japan color tend to form a skin. To avoid that, lay a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the wet surface of the Japan before you replace the lid. A

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