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Paint Technique: Aged Crackle Finish

Give an unfinished piece of furniture a crackle finish to tie in with existing furnishings or stand out on its own.

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Materials and Tools:

unfinished piece
paint: base coat (Tricorn Black SW2126) (Sherwin-Williams)
paint: top coat (Tile Red #115-2y32) (Valspar, available at Lowe's)
220-grit sandpaper
tack cloth (or rags)
crackle medium
polyurethane (satin)


1. Start by sanding the entire piece and remove the dust with a tack cloth or damp rag.
2. Prime the entire piece (tint it if necessary) and let dry. Paint the entire piece black and let dry.
3. Brush patches of red here and there over the surface and let dry.
4. Apply the crackle medium over the entire piece as directed. The thicker the application, the larger the cracks and vice versa.
5. Once the crackle coat has dried (about 1-1/2 hours), apply the black top coat. Work fast using a large brush to cover a lot of surface area quickly. Wait for the crackle effect to appear.
6. Once it's dry, seal the piece with a couple coats of polyurethane.

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