How to Crackle Paint Over a Wood Finish

What You'll Need
Dish liquid
Small bowl or box
Fine grit sandpaper
Wood putty
Putty knife
2 drop cloths
Tack cloth
Primer spray
Base paint (dark color)
Crackle paint spray (light color)
Clear coat spray

If you have finished wood furniture that has bumps and dings, you can spruce it up with crackle paint. Its easy to do and not at all expensive. You need a few supplies, and you’ll have a new looking piece of furniture in no time! Start with getting your supplies together.

    Step 1 – Take Apart and Remove Hardware

    To begin, take out drawers or remove doors so you can take the hardware off. You will not want to get paint on your hardware. Let your hardware soak in warm water and mild soap, such as dish liquid for an hour or so. Gently wipe away any debris that has loosened from the soak, then rinse and dry. Be sure to put the hardware and screws in a bowl or small box so you don’t lose any of the parts. You’ll then be ready for sanding.

    Step 2 – Sand and Fill

    Lay a drop cloth under the piece of furniture and lay the drawers and doors on another one. Start with sanding the smaller pieces. Using fine grit sandpaper, rub in circles to rough up the surface of the finish of the wood. You will not need to completely remove the finish. You are just getting a rough surface on the piece so the primer will adhere well. Use the same method to sand the entire piece making sure you give attention to any design that may be in the wood.

    Use a tack cloth to remove and sand and dust. If you see that you have some large dents or dings, fill in with wood putty and allow it to dry completely. Sand these areas again to smooth them down and wipe off again with the tack cloth. Your furniture will then be ready for primer.

    Step 3 – Prime

    Priming the piece will even out any small scratches in your piece and give the paint a smooth surface to stick to. Apply evenly. Try to gently dab any grooves that may get too much primer in them so your design will not get full of primer. After priming all exposed surfaces, allow the primer to dry for 24 hours, and you will be ready to apply the base coat.

    Step 4 – Base Coat

    Your base coat will be a dark color so it will show through well after applying the light colored crackle paint. You can use any color you choose. Apply with a paintbrush. You don’t have to be real careful with this coat because it will be covered with crackle paint. Just be sure that you have an even coat and get it on all areas of the piece that will be crackled. Allow this to dry and you will be ready to apply the crackle paint.

    Step 5 – Apply Crackle Paint

    Spray crackle paint is easier to apply for getting an even coating. Follow the instructions on the can. Don’t get too close to the piece when spraying so you don’t get drips and runs. As the piece dries, you will see the crackle paint start cracking and the base coat beneath being expose in the cracks. If your piece is in a high traffic area, or is used a lot, consider spraying on a coat of clear coat on it for protection.

    Step 6 – Clear Coat

    Spraying with clear coat will add strength to your new crackle finish if it will be in an area where it may get bumped or dinged. It is an optional step, but will make sure that all of your hard work will last for years. Be sure to let it completely dry before using.