Today, I’m sharing this altered paintbrush. Originally ruined because I didn’t wash it out properly and the brush bristles had become one solid mass (irredeemably so).
But rather than throw brushes away that have become too worn, hard, or out of shape, I keep them to do a bit of altered art on them. The hole in the handle makes a handy hanging point and can accommodate a nice bit of ribbon or something.
There are two ways to start, and you should do whichever you find the most convenient or that helps you get the best result...
You can paint all the components with black gesso first before assembling and gluing. Or you can glue things in place first, then paint with gesso.
I have to say I fluctuate. It depends just how many layers and embellishments I’m using and how big the piece I’m working on is.
For this project, I glued all my components into place first using heavy body gel, then set it aside to dry for an hour or so. You can dry heavy body gel with a heatgun and that’s fine for most projects… but for brushes it’s not really ideal as it tends to melt and curl all the brush hairs so you have to be ever so careful. I find it easier just to let it dry naturally and get started on another project or go do something else while the gel dries.
After the gel is dry, everything will be glued well into place so I can paint over it all with the black gesso without any of the bits moving. Use a big brush for coverage then use a small brush to get into all the little nooks and crannies so there’s no white bits showing through.
Let the gesso dry and then you can paint your brush with any colours you like. I’ve listed my paint colour choices in the supply list.
Once all the colour was added, I used Finnabair’s metallique waxes to highlight the moon, the stars and some other raised areas.
So, no need to throw out old worn (or mistreated, neglected) paintbrushes.
You can always use it as a focal point on a canvas if you don’t want to leave it as a decorative wall hanging.