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How to give furniture a crackled look

Crackled furniture

This technique is similar to the one mentioned in the previous post,https://ladulcelavie.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/improve-the-look-of-your-vases/ ,https://ladulcelavie.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/give-your-furniture-an-antiqued-or-distressed-look/and https://ladulcelavie.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/collage-table/.I have used it on trays and table tops to plates and bowls. The beauty of it is that you can add pictures to it.

Step 1: Apply the Base Coat

Crackling occurs naturally when the wood beneath an old, brittle finish expands and contracts because of fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Begin by applying a base coat of acrylic paint to an unfinished piece. Let dry. This stage is where you will add your pictures before you apply the base coat; you will use modge podge or glue to stick the picture on the furniture piece. Please remember that your pictures need to be transferred on to an 80gsm paper or less.  

Painted Crackled Furniture

Step 2: Apply the Crackle Medium

Apply crackle medium over the base coat with a brush. To create small cracks, use a thin coat. For larger cracks, apply a thicker coat and remember when you buy this to specify which size cracks you want as you get variable size cracks.

Step 3: Apply the Top Coat

After the crackle medium dries, paint over it with a top coat of different colour paint, using long, sweeping strokes. The process works best if the top coat is applied 2 to 4 hours after applying the crackle medium. When applying the top coat, avoid overlapping or re-stroking.

There are also filler paints available that will fill the cracks with a colour of your choice, like gold and brown depending on the item I’m cracking of course. To apply this put a small amount on a cloth and wipe gently over the piece, working in minor portions.

crackle paint has sizes

Step 4: Darken the Hardware

Hardware is often overlooked in the process of giving a reproduction an antique look. To darken shiny new brass or bronze hardware, brush on a commercial antiquing solution. As it dries, the chemical solution will darken the metal. Once the metal has darkened, use a pad of extra-fine steel wool to distress any areas.

Step 5: Seal the furniture.

After the crackle medium dries you will need to seal the cracks with a sealant that is not water based to prevent the cracks from dissolving when they come in contact with water.

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