Want to make a cute crackle finish like this....
To revamp an ugly piece of furniture like this....?
Primer (depending on your color choice)
High Gloss Base color/ crackle paint (mine's red)
FLAT (No gloss!) Top color paint (mine's blue)
Crackle glaze OR Elmer's glue* OR Hyde's glue
Optional: Protective Finish to add shine and protect from scuffs
(*You can purchase a gallon of Elmer's at an art supply store for $11.)
Remember: I don't give paint drying times, because you need to refer to your paint can and follow the recommended drying times between coats, as every brand is different.
Important TIP: You'll want to practice this technique on a scrap of some sort before doing it to your actual furniture, so follow these instructions for the practice round, then go back through and do it again to your actual furniture. Mine was a dresser, so I used the entire back (which faces the wall) as my scrap space to practice on. It allowed me to see how different color combinations looked, as well as get a feel for my technique for applying the crackle evenly. Play with how thick or thin your crackle glaze is, how quickly you swipe the brush, etc., as these variations will each affect the final look.
Give a light scuff sanding to your old piece of furniture to help the paint adhere better.
Optional step: Paint a base layer or two of primer. I used primer because I was covering a light piece of furniture with red paint, and red paint is highly recommended for using a primer anyway.
Paint your base color.
This is the color that will only be seen inside the
crackles (mine's red). Be sure you get a good, even
coat. Of course since I chose red mine took.. eh.. quite
a few coats. Be sure this layer is dried COMPLETELY!
(I'm talking overnight, not just an hour...)
Paint the crackle or
glue glaze. The thicker the crackle is applied, the
bigger your cracks will be. Be sure you apply it as
smoothly and evenly as possible, and get full coverage.
Also, don't doddle, because you'll want to start
painting your final top coat soon.
Tip: If you bought a can of crackle, follow the instructions on the can, including recommended drying times to a T!
Tip: If you are using glue, you can water it down a little to make for easier spreading. Don't let it dry completely or else your paint won't crackle... paint your top coat while the glue is still tacky.
Paint your top coat color, in long, full, even strokes going in one direction only (not back and forth)... using as few strokes as possible. Avoid overlapping strokes, as this can funkify your crackle. You only get one chance to paint this layer as best as you can. Keep your brush strokes all going in the same direction, because that's how the crackles will appear. As the paint dries, it will begin to crackle.
Optional Step: Since the crackle finish requires a flat top coat, the result will be... well... flat. If you desire a glossy finish instead, and/or you want to protect it from scuffs and scratches, then I recommend reading THIS, then using a protective, glossy finish. Elmer's website says you can use the glue as your top coat as well, though I haven't tried that.
After your piece is completely dry, if you have any knobs that you plan to paint, put them on loosely, over a plastic baggie, then paint them as desired. After painting, I used polyurethane on the knobs since I also used it on the dresser. Remove the baggies after the paint is dry and finish screwing in the knobs. If you're using pre-finished knobs then just stick 'em on and you're done!
Now stand back and
admire your handiwork!!!
Last, if you decided to do this project yourself, please send me a photo of it with your name and what state you're from! I've recently decided to start featuring my readers' finished results.