Friday, April 29, 2011
In a Snap, Add Pop to Your Furniture Collection with Crackle Paint
If your home currently boasts some impressive barnwood furniture but you want to combine it with some of your favorite thrift store furniture finds, you may be at an impasse about how to successfully merge the two styles. Even though reclaimed barnwood furniture has a very rustic look and character, it is also quite distinguished and sleek. Thrift store furniture, on the other hand, can be very rough and tattered.
Even though your favorite furniture pieces may look very different from each other, there is a way to make them appear more complementary. By applying a faux crackle paint finish, you can change the color of your thrift store finds, hide any unsightly blemishes, and even out the appearance of the wood. After this application, barnwood and thrift store can coexist peacefully and successfully.
Start by sanding or stripping the existing finish off the thrift store piece. You can be as careful or careless with this step as you like. One of the beautiful things about working with weathered wood is its carefree look that I call “casually perfect”. Keep in mind the more thorough you are with removing the old finish, the better your new finish will take. If you are starting with bare wood, you only need to sand any bad or rough spots that you want to eliminate.
Thoroughly apply a base color to the entire piece. This is the color that will show through the crackling. It can be light or dark, depending on how you would like the finished piece to look. Once the base coat is thoroughly dry, evenly apply a coat of crackling medium (found at most hobby shops). For a more casual and uneven crackling, brush it on. For a more even look, apply the medium with a sponge brush or roller. Let the medium dry until tacky, approximately one hour.
You can apply the top coat thickly for more crackling or thinly for a more understated crackle finish. The top coat will begin to crackle just a few minutes after you apply it, and will continue to do so until it is completely dry. Wait a day to see how you like the finished look. Set it next to your barnwood pieces, like the Barnwood Designs Reclaimed Barnwood Dining Table. If you are finishing chairs to go with the table, push them under the table and pull them out, investigating them at all angles to be sure you are satisfied.
If you want an even more weathered look, you can lightly sand the corners with very fine grit sandpaper. Then apply a light coat of water-based walnut stain, wiping it back off immediately. The stain will settle into the cracks and sanded edges, giving a “tea-stained” weathered look to the piece. Finally, once you are completely satisfied with your artwork, invite some friends over for a dinner party and let them admire your handiwork.
The thing is, not all of your furniture needs to match these days. The goal is creating a unique home that is comfortable, relaxing and inviting. Barnwood furniture goes with lots of styles, you’ve just got to get the color combinations right, and special faux finishes can be your best decorating friend.