Easy Shabby Chic Crackle Paint Technique

We all love that warm, comfy feeling we get when we enter a shabby chic room that has furniture with a crackle paint technique. The well-worn look is pleasing to the eye and it conveys the image of casually stylish living where furniture can take a beating but still look good.

Achieving that look is almost as easy as living with it. You can start with almost any piece of furniture that you were thinking of tossing, and turn it into something that resembles a family heirloom!

The process of transforming a piece of furniture using a crackle paint technique is not complicated at all. If you like the color of a piece but want to spruce up or freshen up the look, all you have to do is simply paint on the special crackle medium (that you can buy in most paint stores) right over the existing paint, wait for it to set (according to the manufacturer’s directions – check the can), then paint on the top coat and wait for the magic to happen!

Depending on how you brush or roll on the crackle medium will determine the size of the crackle. For example, if you brush or roll on a thick coat, you will have long, large cracks. But if you use a lighter hand and apply a thinner coat, it will produce a subtle, finely crackled finish as a result. The large cracks are usually seen on more rustic items, such as furniture labeled “primitive”, while the smaller, finely crackled finish is used on more formal, French Country style pieces. Keep in mind that because of fast drying time, you can’t use this painting technique on large surfaces such as walls, but it will be perfect for small accent piece such as lamps, chairs or picture frames. Try using a weathered shade of top-coat paint to give your piece an aged patina.

The crackle paint technique can also be used on new, unfinished furniture. There is just additional work here since you will have to prime and paint the base coat first before you add the crackle medium and the topcoat.

Remember that the base coat will “peek” out from the crackles. You can use two colors that are just shades apart or you can have a more dramatic look by using complete opposites, like a red base with a black topcoat. Have fun with your color choices!

To learn how to pick interior paint colors and coordinate room color schemes, visit the author’s website.

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