One of the most popular paint finish is the crackle affect. there are numerous projects this effect can be applied to from furniture and door frames to entire walls or rooms. It’s a good idea to attempt this project on a test piece of wood first or a small project before attempting an entire room. It’s a tough look to create but with a few tips and advice it can be done. In this project I’ll explain how to use a grey color to create the crackle effect, but you can use any color you wish when doing your own projects.
You need a few materials first before you begin. For brushes you will need a few 4-inch bristle brushes that are new. Light brown, flat black, and grey latex water based paints are needed, although you can use any colors you wish. You also need a dark brown medium and glaze for finishing the project. A brown tinted furniture wax is needed for protecting the final project. You need a few clean cloths and some cheesecloth for wiping the glaze clean. The crackle finish can be bought at any home improvement store or hardware store.
To begin, pour the brown and black latex paints into a paint tray. Don’t mix the colors. Use a 4 inch bristle brush and load each color onto the brush. Randomly paint all over the project in a rough pattern. Don’t worry about excellent coverage or even strokes. Just let the paint mix on the project unevenly. Let the paint dry for 24 hours before beginning the next step.
Pour some crackle finish into a paint tray. Use a new clean brush and apply the crackle medium evenly over the entire project. Allow the crackle medium to dry for about an hour or so or until it feels completely dry to the touch. Don’t let any medium drip and don’t leave any bare spots on your project.
Thin grey latex with water in a paint tray until it is very fluid and has a light consistency to work with. This is for easy application on the crackle finish. You will need to work fast as possible because the crackle effect will begin immediately and once is crackles, you can’t paint over it. With a clean brush apply the paint in crisscross strokes over the project. It won’t look quite even but that’s ok as long as the coverage is uniform.
Once the coat dries and has begun to crackle, you can begin the next step. This usually takes an hour or so. The paint will look blotchy and uneven but you will fix it with this step. Mix grey paint and water in a paint tray to a 1:1 ratio. This is called a wash. Paint the entire project evenly with the wash. This will even out the blotchy and uneven look the crackle finish has taken on in the previous step. Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours.
Mix a glazing medium and dark brown tint in a paint tray to a 1:1 ratio. With a clean brush apply the glaze over the entire project. Wipe clean with folded cheesecloth. You can leave streaks or splotches to accent the antique effect. Once the glaze has dried for a few hours, apply a tinted furniture wax to help protect the surface. Buff clean with soft clean cloths. You can also apply a coat of polyurethane instead of furniture wax.