Have you ever had a great idea for a project, but once you finished, it looked and felt WRONG? That’s exactly what happened with this tallboy dresser. Here’s a look at the before and my first attempt. In my opinion, the before looks better!
My original plan was to paint it with MMS Grain Sack. Then distress it to a chippy finish with the original stain showing through. As shown here, there was NO chipping. Instead, the entire dresser took on an old crackle finish.
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To get this ‘surprise’ effect, I cleaned with TSP, then used Zinsser Bulls Eye Shellac instead of my usual BIN Primer . I think where I went wrong was I mixed in a small amount of Bonding Agent to the paint. Milk Paint being the unpredictable medium it is ~voila~ the entire dresser ended up crackled. Really crackled!
Old crackle paint finishes can look amazing on some pieces, but it wasn’t the look I was after for this particular dresser. It could have been the color, but something wasn’t doing it for me.
So, back to the drawing board.
I lightly sanded the last coat of milk paint using a 220 grit then mixed a custom Dark Grey using General Finishes Milk Paint. Approximately 5 parts Driftwood to 1 Part Lamp Black. I painted two coats over the original crackle finish (lightly sanding between coats) and ended up with a new twist on the old crackle finish!
I’m liking this! What do you think?
The crackle paint finish is subtle – yet adds SO much interest!
This dresser is silky smooth to the touch. But it has this gorgeous textured look when up close and personal, or when the light hits it just right. It looks similar to leather or an alligator finish!
If you’re interested in trying a finish similar to this, there are a lot of products on the market that will guarantee a crackle finish. Folk Art, Modern Masters, Martha Stewart and DecoArt all sell crackle mediums – just to name a few. A cheap and cheerful way to get a a textured finish is to apply Elmer’s Glue, and before it totally dries, apply your paint. Or, using an hairdryer to add heat while your paint is drying will also cause crackling to occur.
Sometimes, it’s these unexpected ‘accidents’ that turn out the most interesting pieces.