Custom, hand painted grooming brushes can cost $20 and up plus shipping from sites like Etsy and Ebay. Don’t get me wrong, the commercially available brushes are gorgeous, just Google them and you will see. This is, however, ABSOLUTELY something you can do at home for just a few dollars. In fact, it could wind up costing you next to nothing if you have the paints on hand. Don’t worry about your artistic skills, this project is simple and easy enough for equestrian enthusiasts of all ages. Total I spent on this project = $0.00. I had everything on hand.
- Used or New Wood Backed Brushes
- Sheet of Sandpaper
- Various Paint Brushes
- Polycrylic or Polyurethane for waterproofing
Step 1: Assemble supplies
Step 2: Lightly sand the area to be painted. Wipe off any sawdust with a damp rag. The damp rag will also serve to clean the back of the brush if it is not new so be sure to scrub. I did not use soap. You could if your brushes were dirty. Let the brushes dry thoroughly before starting to paint.
Step 3: Apply a base coat. I did two different brushes for illustration. The gradient is easy to do. I used three colors: yellow, orange, and red. I start with the lighter color, yellow, and apply with a semi wet brush. Having the paint wetter prevents it from drying as fast which is important for blending. Then I use the darker color on top. Lastly I use the medium color to blend the two together. Use what works for you. You could also do dark to light or light to dark. Clean your brush in between colors. I’ll do a more detailed tutorial on this soon. For the other brush I just used a solid blue. One thing to keep in mind is that on older brushes you may have to pounce with the paint brush to get the paint into all the nooks and crannies. Allow base coat to dry before proceeding.
Step 4: Once base coat has dried it is time to start embellishing the brush. I’ll continue with just one brush from here on out. This particular brush is being made to match a stall sign I had previously done. First I outline the horses name with pencil. Step 5: Next I begin filling in the name. I could use one color. For this name I chose to use two. I started with light blue at the top.
Step 7: Apply glitter to the letters in the name. Add shading / outline to the edges of the letters. I used white and blue. This part is kind of difficult for me because I am NOT artistically inclined. I just looked up some other hand painted signs to get an idea of where the shading should go. I wound up keeping all the white to the right of the letters and using blue everywhere else. This is where you have the opportunity to hide any remaining pencil marks.
Step 9: All done! The finished product! I think it matches her stall sign pretty well!
Note: Malibu is a 4 year old BLM Mustang I adopted in 2013 the same year this post was originally created. Visit her blog at http://www.familyhorses.net/portfolio/malibu to check out her progress as she is transformed from a wild mustang to a willing mount.