An Artist’s Paintbrush

Want to know an easy way to paint the skinny, fluted style of legs often found on antique furniture? An artist’s paintbrush is the key!

a pair or set of three?

Today in my workshop I was working on a pair of small tables. Actually, they belong to a full set of nesting tables that usually come with three in a set. The middle-sized table is missing, so I am calling this a pair 🙂

fluted leg table before being painted with an artist's paintbrush

slender and decorative legs

The legs on these tables are slender and decorative. The fluting is gorgeous and really adds to the delicate nature of these tables.

First, the tables got a thorough vacuuming and cleaning. I knew I wanted to paint the base of the tables so I mixed up a small amount of Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Grainsack.

Grainsack is a soft gray and it can change color depending on the room it is in and the other colors around it. I knew it would be perfect on this pair of tables!

The paint goes far so I didn’t have to mix up too much. The paint has a thinner consistency than most paints – more the consistency of milk than of standard paint.

Like I said earlier, the legs on the tables are very thin. The fluting can be a problem with thicker paints and a large brush.

the easiest way to paint thin legs!

The easiest way I have found to paint this type of leg is with an artist’s paintbrush. You’ve probably seen packs of these brushes in the craft section of Wal-mart. The packs come with several sizes and several types of brushes from wide, to angled, to round tip, to pointed tip.

fluted table leg being painted with an artist's paintbrush

I had a pack of these generic brushes after hosting a painted sign workshop. One day I was mixing up some milk paint and used one of the small, short bristled brushes to mix the paint. (BTW, this is a great method to mix milk paint. I will be sure to post about how to mix milk paint soon!)

O Goodness, I am getting off topic! I start to talk about milk paint and I can’t stop myself! I really love this paint!

Anyway, while mixing up that lovely batch of milk paint, I also grabbed one of the larger brushes. When I say larger I do not mean a 2″ wide brush like you might be thinking. I mean a larger artist’s paintbrush that is only about 3/4″-1″ wide and very short bristles – about 1″ long. This is a larger size for an artist’s paintbrush but definitely small in comparison to paintbrushes typically used for furniture painting!

matching sizes

Anyway, you can see the size of the brush matches the size of the legs on this table. If you use a standard paintbrush like I used when I painted this gorgeous green kitchen hutch, then you run into the problem of too much of a good thing! The standard size paintbrushes hold a lot of paint which is necessary when painting larger pieces of furniture.

But it is almost overkill with skinny little legs like these!

fluted table leg being painted with an artist's paintbrush

The smaller artist’s paintbrushes hold less paint and cover a smaller area. Both of these aspects help to control the paint. I even used the artist’s paintbrush to paint the apron of the tables. There just wasn’t any sense in dirtying up another paintbrush!

fluted table leg being painted with an artist's paintbrush

artist’s paintbrush = better control

Can you see how the smaller brush helps to control the paint? Too much paint on a larger brush would mean paint running down the legs and me trying to catch up to it!

Plain and simple, the smaller brush works better on small areas like these fluted table legs. The artist’s brushes also work on spindles that you see on chairs.

fluted table leg being painted with an artist's paintbrush

thanks for stopping by!

I hope you find this tip helpful with your next painting project! Have you used this type of brush for any of your painting projects? I would love to hear the details – share them in the comments!

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