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Rainbow in the Dark - an altered paintbrush by Riikka

Hi hi hi! How are you? The August weather is here, sun is shining lower with a golden glow and the nights are turning into velvet ones here in Finland. The summer full of light is almost gone and the darker winter time is lurking around the corner.

I'm a metal head, so when I started to think about the rainbow theme of this month, a song by Dio called "Rainbow in the Dark" started to play in my head. The idea fascinated me, how to do a dark rainbow in a project form. So I decided to rise to the challenge and do a project on black surface with an oil like rainbow glimmer on top. 

For the base I chose to use a paint brush, just like you could paint a rainbow with it. I painted the project black with gesso to create that dark background and then used Glintz and Metalline powders on top to add the colors in. These metallic, shimmering powders with translucent color were perfect to create that sheer shine of color. I'm so happy how the project turned out that you can really see the different colors on the brush!

If you want to see how I made the brush, please see the step by step tutorial below! 

Step 1. Choose a brush to be used as the base. I chose 2½" brush as it has a bit more space to make the composition. You can naturally craft on top of a used brush, too. Paint the brush first with black gesso as this makes things easier later on.

Step 2. While the gesso dries, make a couple of buttons using Melt It products and "Buttons" mould. You can add some color to the buttons if you want, but for this project they can be just the Melt It as they are colored otherwise. If you are new to moulding embellishments, you can see a tutorial on that here (link).

Step 3. Using a gel medium, like 3D Gel, adhere embellishments on top of the brush. You can use metal, chipboard, plastic any many more to make the composition. Layer the elements. Add the buttons you made, too. Let the brush dry a good amount of time so the composition sticks in place. 

Step 4. After the composition is dried enough that it doesn't move any more or better still, over night to come totally solid, paint the project black using black gesso. Try to cover all crevasses and look the project from sides also. Use more than one layer if needed - normally black gesso covers everything in one go. 

Step 5. Spray the project lightly with a water mister to give the powders somewhere to stick to. Sprinkle different Glintz powders on top and heat emboss. Sprinkle the powders in segments and take note which powder you use in which area. Repeat if you think too much powder blew away when you heated it. Use the same powder as in the first go. 

Step 6. Still using water as the "adhesive" medium for the powders, add more colorful layers to the brush. Use Metalline selection of the powders and use Lagoon and Apple Red as addition to heighten the blue and red hues. Rather do thin layers and little additions than go too boldly. You can always go back using black gesso, but then the surface has the embossing powder texture.

Step 7. Spray some water to the craft sheet or piece of plastic and add white powder in it. Use this mixture of powder and water to splash to the brush and then heat emboss. The white adds a salty, grainy texture to the brush.

Step 8. Finish the brush with metallic gold wax. Use your finger and go lightly over all the high points of the brush. The gold highlights the elements and shows their shape more prominent. 

This was such a fun project to do! I really loved the effect the Glintz and Metalline powders created on top of black. Black surface really showed the tones of the different Glintz powders and you could then heighten the color effect using the Metalline powders. Sprinkled powders added fun texture to the embellishments, too. Underneath and above are some detail photos of the brush to show the texture and color variations better. 

Thank you for stopping by today! Have a great, colorful day!

Xoxo Riikka

Wow Embossing Powder products used:


  1. This looks fantastic Riikka and love that the base is just a brush but so dimensional and pretty with with all the added bits stuck on. It reminds me of barnicles and other sea creatures which build up on a shipwreck. x

    1. Thank you Pat! Oh, that's a cool characterization! Barnacles are so cool and I've always considered them beautiful. Maybe because they remind me of the sea and I love the sea.

  2. This is gorgeous! I love mixed media projects, I've never seen anything done on a paint brush but you have inspired me to try it myself :)

    1. That's so great to hear Mindy! I'm so happy that I inspired you <3


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