Do It! How to Give Furniture a Crackle Paint Finish

To give furniture an antique crackle decorative finish:

  1. Paint the furniture black and allow to dry to act as a base coat.
  2. Apply a coat of water based yellow or white wood glue (we use a cup of Titebond) to all surfaces.
  3. While the glue is still tacky, paint on a coat of lighter colored latex paint.
  4. Allow the paint and glue to dry thoroughly before using.

As the glue and paint dry, it will give the furniture a crazed antique look.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

The first step to creating a crackle finish is giving the piece of furniture an undercoat. This should be a flat paint, preferably dark in color, since it will show through the crackle to give the finish depth.

Once the base coat is completely dry, apply a thin coat of white glue or wood glue to the entire piece with a brush. It won’t flow like paint, but do your best to spread it as evenly as possible.

When the glue has dried to the point where it’s a little tacky but not completely dry, you can begin applying the top coat of paint which should be latex. Lighter colors will contrast well with the dark base coat. The paint will have to be applied slightly thick to cover the glue.

Once the entire piece is coated, you simply wait for the glue to work its magic. As it dries the topcoat will separate in a random pattern, revealing the base coat beneath—giving your furniture a cool new look.


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