DIY Network

How To Give Furniture A Crackle Finish

Specialized crackle mediums, in combination with acrylic paint, can create a striking finish.

More in Decorating

Watch Video
  • Time

    Weekend

  • Price Range

    $50 - $100

  • Difficulty

    Easy

Highlights:

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.

base coat is applied to unfinished furniture

Courtesy of James Calloway

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.

crackle medium goes over base coat

Courtesy of James Calloway

Step 3: Apply the Top Coat

After the crackle medium dries, paint over it with a top coat of a different color 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.

top coat on after crackle medium dries

Courtesy of James Calloway

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.

antiquing solution is used on hardware to distress

Courtesy of James Calloway

Was this project helpful?

Don't forget: Read comments and leave your own

Advertisement

COMMENT ON THIS PROJECT

    

Sign in

All fields are required.

E-mail Address:

Password:

Remember me on this computer

Signing in

Please enter your email address and we will send your password

E-mail Address

Your password has been sent and should arrive in your mailbox very soon.

Not a member?

Sign up with DIY Network to share tips with other do-it-yourselfers and comment and ask questions on projects.

It's free and easy.