Hi guys, so happy you dropped by today! I have two exciting pieces of news I’ll share at the end of this post, but first, I’ll dive right into this makeover by saying I have mixed feelings about crackle finishes. It can look great. It can look not so great. We all know Milk Painted Furniture is the queen of crackle, but the thing is, you don’t have a whole lot of control. Your distressed finish is pretty much left up to the painting gods.
I saw my inspiration piece at HomeSense last week. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t take a pic for you. The crackle finish was stunning and the dresser was all decked out for spring. Sisal Easter bunnies, floral and pastel throws, Easter lilies and spring wreaths – gorgeous styling – but the crackle dresser still stole the show! It made me think, I HAVE to give this a try. Which brings us to this Modern Farmhouse Dresser Makeover. 🙂
And can I just say, this milk paint did its ‘thing’ because this crackle finish is large-and-in-charge and magnificent! Here’s a peek at the before and after…
THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS TO PRODUCTS I USE. YOU CAN SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE HERE.
- Vintage Dresser (Salvaged – Estate Sale)
- Sand Paper & Tack Cloth & Shop Towel
- Paint Brush and Mixing Container for Milk Paint
- B.I.N Shellac Primer
- MMS Dried Lavender Milk Paint
- Minwax Tung Oil Finish
- Varathane Gray Weathered Wood Stain
- Dixie Belle Hurricane Gray Chalk Mineral Paint
- AS Old White Chalk Paint
MILK PAINTED FURNITURE CRACKLE FINISH
For all of you who love the modern farmhouse and naturally distressed look, here’s how to achieve an authentic large crackle finish.
I started by giving the entire piece a light sanding to create some tooth. The dresser top was in bad shape with big gouges, burns, and stains, so it was completely sanded down with my orbital sander (80 grit), slowly moving up in grit for a flawless finish ready for stain.
The top is a farmhouse finish using Varathane Gray Weathered Wood Stain. Once the stain was 100% dry, I dry brushed a little Hurricane Gray over it and then dry brushed again with AS Old White. You could use any variation of these paint colors. Whatever gray and white you have on hand would work.
The body was primed with B.I.N Shellac and then painted with MMS Dried Lavender Milk Paint.
The reason for using the B.I.N Shellac Primer under the milk paint is three-fold.
- To stop the bleedthrough.
- To give an undercoat of white to contrast with the dried lavender – light and springy – like my inspiration at HomeSense.
- When using shellac or shellac based primer underneath milk paint, more times than not, it will cause the milk paint to shrink and crack.
One fairly thick coat of milk paint was applied over the shellac based primer and once it started drying it immediately formed this large crackle finish. While the milk paint was semi-dry, I took a shop towel and gently rubbed some areas to expose some of the white primer to create the distressing. After the piece was 100% dry, I sanded to get a super smooth finish and top-coated with Minwax Tung Oil. I got right into the process and didn’t take too many progress pics, but here are some close-ups of the finish.
And now for some exciting and fun news.
First, Anuj Agarwal, the Founder of Feedspot emailed me to say Salvaged Inspirations was selected as one of the Top 25 DIY Furniture Blogs on the web. I didn’t submit the SI Blog for consideration, but if any of you did – a BIG THANK YOU! I’m excited to be included with some amazing DIY’ers like Anna White, Young House Love and Shanty to Chic amongst others. You can click the badge below to see the full list!
Also, this Wednesday I’m heading to my very first bloggers’ conference in Austin Texas!!! I’m hoping to learn more strategies and gather more ideas to keep this blog the best it can be for YOU!
Just between you-me-and-the-lamp-post, I’m VERY excited but also very nervous! Although most people describe me as an extrovert, I’m not comfortable in large groups. Depending on the atmosphere and surrounding, they can cause me some anxiety and totally deplete my energy.
Having said that, I’m excited to step out of my comfort zone and have the opportunity to learn and grow. And as a bonus, Texas has always been on my list of places to visit. I’m there for business and not to site-see, but hopefully, I can find a little time to see parts of this eclectic city. I’ve heard great things! So if you’ve been to Austin and have some traveling tips, I’m all ears and open to any suggestions …and a big thanks in advance! 🙂
I’D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS MAKEOVER AND MILK PAINT CRACKLE FINISHES. IF YOU HAVE ANY TIPS YOU’D LIKE SHARE OR HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, FEEL FREE TO CHIME IN… I ALWAYS LOVE HEARING FROM YOU!
Happy painting have an inspiring day my friends!
You deserve the nomination every thing u do is more bueatiful than the last!!! I love this dresser it looks blue on my screen…….which is fine with me I love blue , I recently bought some milk paint at hobby lobby it smells nasty I was wondering if that is normal??? Good luck in Texas don’t be nervous you are just as good if not better than the other 24 nominees. I have been redoing furniture for about 2 years so still learning a lot you are my go to “steal her idea” blogger keep blogging I need you!!
You just put a HUGE smile on my face Colleen… thank YOU!!! And yes, it does look bluer than the rest of my pieces I’ve painted in this color. Now that I’m thinking of it, it could be because the milk paint powder had settled at the bottom of the bag and I didn’t mix the powder before adding water. Not sure. Anyway, yes, milk paint can have a weird smell. I don’t think there’s an expiry in powder form tho.. only once it’s mixed with water.
Ann Phillips says
where did you get the BIN Shellac primer??
Ann, you can get it at any Home Depot, Lowes, or even online on Amazon.
Beautiful piece Denise! Love the large crackling you achieved <3 it so suits this dresser.
Have fun in Austin.
Thanks Annie and Austin was great! 🙂 xo
Barbara Altman says
Love the Piece. Came out beautiful. Good luck on your extended adventure.
Thanks so much Barbara! xo
Marie-The Interior Frugalista says
Congratulations, Denise, well deserved my friend! Love the crackle finish and the dried lavender paint color. Adding those hits of old white add even more wow factor to this piece. Wishing you loads of fun, new connections, and many ah ha moments at the conference.
Thanks so much Marie! I arrived in Austin yesterday and today was the first day of the conference. Loving it! 🙂
Linda Gliedt says
Congrats Denise, you so deserve that nomination! Your blog is 1st class in every way! This piece is just stunning and the crackle is perfect. You sprayed the milk paint on, I would bet for the crackle to develop so evenly. All of your work is inspiring and your color choices are wonderful. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks so much Linda! I brushed on the milk paint and I think it was the BIN that played its part creating those beautiful large cracks. I have heard of people spraying with milk paint – but I’ve never tried!
Jackie Cooley says
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS! I Love your blog. And the crackle dresser finish is beautiful; I will have to try it – Is MM Modern Masters? Didn’t know they sold milk paint. Thanks
Thanks so much Jackie! And I hope I didn’t use a wrong abbreviation. It is suppose to be MMS = Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint. 🙂
Hi Denise i lov this piece and well done in being nominated … i live in cyprus but im from the uk i love updating furniture too keep up the good work your a great inspiration have a fab day 😊
Cyprus! Now that’s somewhere I’d love to visit! Thanks so much Georgina and you have a fab day too! 🙂
Laura Werley says
Oh.My.Goodness. That dresser is pure gorgeousness. I have used the BIN shellac and hated the way it paints, so sticky. But if it gives you that amazing crackle I will certainly try it again. Congratulations on the award, definitely you deserve it. And living in Texas, I’d say this is the best time of the year to visit. Warm but not hellish warm like it is in the summer. Hopefully you will be able to get to the countryside and see the bluebonnets blooming, they are amazing with the Indian paintbrush as the perfect accompaniment. I love all of Austin’s quirkiness, try to get to a real honkeytonk, not the bars on 6th street. And there’s probably some good antique stores but I don’t know any specific ones, I have not stayed in Austin more than one night. I live in the Dallas area and would visit my sister in the ‘hill country’ so most of my experience has been short trips. The park by the river is outstanding. Enjoy!
Thanks, glad you like this dresser! And ya, BIN rolls on nicely but doesn’t brush on as easily. It does take getting used to because of the shellac base – but that’s also the reason it works so well. Catch 22, right!? 🙂 And I love all your tips, Laura, thanks!!! 🙂 When I get there I’ll ask about a real honkeytonk (maybe I should google what that is first…lol) and I’d definitely LOVE to find a few antique stores and see the park!
Congratulations! So exciting and well deserved! Your blog has been one of my main inspirations (so I guess a “thank you” is in order as well !). THANK YOU! Looking forward to more inspiring blogs
That’s so sweet and kind Deborah… thank you! XO
If anyone deserves to be top blogger, it’s you D. Congrats, you’ve more than earned it. This piece is beautiful.
Tracy, you touch my heart… thank you!!! Sending a BIG hug your way my friend. XO
It is STUNNING. Great job.
Thanks so much Patricia! XO 🙂
Diane Bennett says
Thank you for the inspiration! I have some old dressers that are waiting for this technique. One question, it sure looks bright blue to me instead of lavender on my computer. Whats up with that?
Hi Diane! I’ve used dried lavender before and I agree, to me, it’s more blueish than purple/lavender. You can see another example on this piece here where a good few coats were used on these side tables.
Love the crackle look!…. This piece turned out gorgeous!! Love your transformations. Thanks for inspiring us in our furniture makeovers.
Hi Louise! So glad you like it! Hugs
Lorin Small says
AMAZING🎼🎶🎶. That cracrackling is huge! Such a beautiful piece, how do you give them up?
Thanks Lorin! XO … And it’s hard sometimes 😉 … I’m sure you feel the same! 🙂
Wo makes the flower drawer pulls? Where can they be purchased?
Hi C! I’m not sure who makes them but I purchased them at Hobby Lobby. 🙂
Carole Atkins says
GASP!!! I absolutely adore this transformation. Denise you just get better and better and better …. Congratulations of being nominated as one of the top 25 DIY’ers. It is well deserved. As far as I am concerned you are NUMBER ONE!
Have fun in Texas!
Carole my friend, you are always so supportive and I adore YOU! I’ll let you know how Texas goes. 🙂
Jill Ballantyne says
Hi Denise I feel the same way in crowds, but you will have fun! I have a question–I have some really nice (lots of it actually) salvaged pieces –how do I sell it all? There are too many online used stuff options and stores have a waiting list of NO traffic.. Please tell me how you do it?? I am in Tampa if that makes a dif. Thank you 🙂
Hi Jill!!! It’s the anticipation that’s usually the worst, isn’t it!? But I’m sure you’re right. Once I get there I will have fun and hopefully, learn a lot. 🙂 As for selling pieces, I’m really fortunate in that when I post my furniture on the blog and/or social media, I often get contacted asking if it’s for sale. I also still post pieces on Kijiji and Craigslist which works well for me also. I wrote a post on pricing and selling furniture which you may find helpful.
Angel Taraila says
I’m in love with this! Thanks so much for sharing. I’ve been wanting to try milk paint and this blog post came at just the right time. Your prices are amazing. Congrats on your recognition and have fun in Texas!
Milk painted furniture is fun and it has it’s own characteristics for sure! If you’ve ever had the urge – you should try! Maybe on your teacart! 😀
Stunning! Did you dry brush white on the dresser front/sides after the crackle effect was completed as well? I see white and I also see the dark wood from the dresser peeking through. Thanks!
Hi Regina! No dry brushing but I’m glad you asked this question because I just realized I left a step out! The dresser top was stained and then dry brushed. The body was primed with the BIN Shellac Primer, then painted with a good coat of milk paint, and I did use a paper towel to rub a little of the milk paint off to create the distressing effect. Thanks for reminding me… I’ll go edit the post!!!
W.D. Forbes says
Great piece, nice work. I have a question about what I’m seeing under the lavender milk paint. You have used the BIN shellac and then the milk paint over it for the crackle effect. Is the BIN shellac clear or tinted?Not familiar with the product. Is the dark color between the cracked paint the wood tones or a dark tinted shellac? If it’s the wood, that is a great touch with the different tones showing through. The pictures show the details but, don’t know exactly what I’m seeing. Sorry, coming into the conversation a little late…. Thanks in advance.
Hi, it’s a continuous conversation so never too late. 😉 BIN shellac primer is white so the dark you are seeing is actually cracks in the milk paint + primer down to the wood. If you didn’t want to use a white primer, applying a thick coat of clear shellac (under the milk paint) would do the same thing.
Mary Vitullo says
Congratulations on the award, Denise. So cool.
Thank you Mary!!! XO
Julie McDowell says
wow! Many congratulations Denise, so deserved. Yours is the only blog I look forward to and read every word! Enjoy Texas.
That’s such a HUGE compliment Julie – thank you! XO
Congratulations Denise. You are my #1 DIY furniture blogger. I love the way you share your furniture tips and secrets…so THANK YOU!!!!! Your crackle finish is gorgeous, and the flower knobs top off another amazing re-do. Have fun in Texas. I was there a few years back and the people there are great. You’ll love it:)
Aw, thanks Monique! You always put a big smile on face and I’m sending you a huge hug my friend. XO Glad you like the crackle finish and I’ll let you know how Austin goes. 🙂