DIY – Paint Your Own Brushes

DIY – Paint Your Own Brushes

It’s been a long time since I’ve done any kind of equestrian DIY kind of post, so I figured y’all were overdue for some craft action. Now though I’ve written a lot of DIY, I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m pretty half ass when it comes to detailed pictures and instructions. Often I will include important steps like, “Sew it all together.” Well folks, it’s a new year and I’m trying to be a better blogger. This tutorial should be as in-depth as you need it to be.

How to Paint Your Own Fancy Horse Brushes

First, get approached by a board member of your local show organization asking for donations for this year’s silent auction at the year end award banquet. Don’t tell her that you were peer pressured into going to the banquet by your trainer even though you can’t buy a damn ribbon at the Expo Center you didn’t show enough for a year end award. Instead, agree to help pull together some kind of donation.

Post on your barn’s secret Facebook group saying that we need to pull together some kind of donation. Get a smattering of people offer to donate bottles of wine. Decide that a six bottles of wine ranging from $3 buck chuck to something you can’t pronounce might not be the most compelling silent auction item ever. Get an offer of a fancy grooming tote donated by a fellow crafty barn member, and decide to go for a grooming kit. Up the ante and offer to paint the brushes to make it a fancy grooming kit. Feel very accomplished.

Hide your screen from people at work while you buy every wood handled brush you can find on Amazon. Throw in a wine bottle opener hoofpick for good measure. Feel super accomplish.

Stack brushes, still in their boxes, on the kitchen table. Ignore them.

Tell self you’re going to buy craft supplies and paint the brushes on Saturday night. Get text from best friend. Go out drinking instead. Continue to ignore brushes.

On week of banquet, look at brushes and say, “Oh shit I have to do something about those brushes.” Find piece of sandpaper the previous homeowner’s left in the garage.

Sand glossy finish off brushes and scuff them up enough so primer will adhere to them.

Discover painter’s tape in your junk drawer in the kitchen. Wonder why you have painter’s tape, because after painting 3/4 of your house you didn’t use it once. Shrug. Apply painter’s tape all over brushes to cover the bristles and anywhere else you don’t want to get paint.

Dig the spray primer you used to use for model horses out of craft box. Spray brushes in thin coats so the primer applies evenly.

Get bored, and spray too quickly/thinly in some places. Regret this.

Let primer dry for 24 hours, and pat self on back for starting this project.

After primer is dry, dig through craft box and see if you have enough paint since you never made it to the craft store. Decide to use shades of blue, because you figure hunter/jumpers like blue and also you happen to have a lot of blue paint. Coat each brush with a slightly different shade of blue.

Try not to make the paint too thick, but fail. Decide all the brushstrokes in your work will make it appear rustic.

Let base coat dry for several hours. Begin to realize you vastly underestimated how long project would take.

Come back to brushes after two glasses of wine. Decide to paint preppy patterns on them in the 3 shades of blue.

Wonder what constitutes preppy, and decide it’s anything someone who wears pearls might like. Wear pearls. Pick patterns with abandon.

After first round of pattern is down, go over with a third color. Choose third color from one of your 3 base coats of blue, so brushes look cohesive.

Mix colors very carefully, because you realize the shades of blue might be the only thing cohesive about these brushes.

Curse at self for attempting plaid and straight lines are extremely hard to do when hand painting. Remind self, “it’s the thought that counts.” Drink second glass of wine.

Finish base details. Decide they look amazing after 3rd glass of wine. Pat self on back for getting this far.

Decide to paint horse motifs on brushes. Forget to print out stencils at work. Skip the wine, because you have to freehand everything. Friends watching you are drinking, and offering great feedback like…

“Are you sure you don’t need a stencil?”


“Well that’s… a thing…”

“Can you erase that part?”


Freehand paint silver details on brushes. Forget to take any pictures of this step.

Decide the only ones that look bad are the ribbon and one side of the horse shoe shed tool. Feel pretty good with that.

Place not-so-perfect brushes in the incredibly perfect grooming tote and bring them all to the silent auction coordinator!

See? Incredibly thorough DIY tutorial!

In all seriousness, these are going to be silent auctioned Saturday evening for the CenTX banquet. They really don’t look terrible, except for that ribbon one. Sorry about that… but hey – it’ll still make your horse shiney!

If you want to support the organization where I horse show and routinely lose at by bidding on these brushes, you can email/text/facebook me what you’d be willing to pay and I’ll handle the bidding/payment/shipping for you. They also come with a photography session with Heather N. Photography if you’re in the central Texas area. Not that you have to buy these brushes, but really – you should buy the brushes.

They’re pretty. Kind of. After a few glasses of wine.

33 thoughts on “DIY – Paint Your Own Brushes

  1. Hey, I give you major props for these. I thought about painting my own farm sign…so I found a rustic looking board at the barn, painted it creamy white for the background. I then proceeded to practice painting flowers on scraps of wood to practice. Holy hell I’m bad at painting. So now the creamy white board is leaning beside my saddle rack waiting on someone with talent. So, basically anyone but me.

  2. They came out so super cute! I really can’t believe how good they came out without stencils. I can’t even put my eyeliner on in a straight line, let alone actually paint stuff.

  3. Please post more DIY projects. 😛

    These look totally awesome, and what a good idea for a silent auction item! I feel like I could do the painting part, but definitely not the freehanding equestrian motifs. Maybe I’ll start now and have them done by June for the dressage club silent auction.

  4. Hahaha! My wine fueled crafts always turn out to be way more of a shitshow. Like, I’d have painted my couch or something. Once, I put together an entire IKEA dresser backwards. Thanks, wine.

  5. Ahh yes. Wine fueled crafting – a subject dear to my heart!! I think they turned out beautifully. the critical step of wearing pearls while executing those patterns made all the difference!!

  6. I think they look fantastic! I love the argyle and plaid one. And the polka dot one. I’d love a set of brushes with all my favorite, but all different, patterns on them. What a great auction item!

  7. They look good! I’m way too lazy and not artistic enough for something like this. Also it would kill my soul to strip or damage my awesome brushes from Toi.

  8. Those look 50x better than anything I could do!!

    Can’t say I have ever read a DIY that included the steps for how to get pressured into the project in the first place. Brilliant write up!

  9. Oh my god the commentary! I laughed the whole way through this. My take-aways are that blue is good in every situation and wine is required for any DIY project. Thanks for the tips!

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