How To Get the Crackled Look on Your Chalk Painted Furniture

So here we go... let's talk about aging.  While, we struggle to defy the aging process when it comes to our own personal beauty, why do we love, love, love aged crackly furniture?  BECAUSE IT HAS MORE CHARACTER!!!!  Funny, huh?  Guess what?  I do believe that when I look into an aged smiling face of a beautiful older woman, I see stories, I see character, and I see lot's of interest.  So let's face it ladies... Aging is rad!!  I know I am a heck of a lot more interesting now than I was 20 years ago!

So let's talk furniture.  Sometimes we are super lucky to find that piece of furniture with the perfect chippy, aged, crackled look.  But what I love most is finding a free piece of furniture.  My neighbors give me furniture often, but I dumpster dive for sport!  I have found, the best places to dumpster dive are apartment buildings (when people move they just stick unwanted pieces in the trash) and industrial parks.  See below for some of my dumpster dive finds!  

This amazing chest was found in an apartment dumpster... it looked gray when I found it... I put some CeCe Caldwell's Endurance on it and the dusty gray paint turned red!!!!  Wow!

This amazing chest was found in an apartment dumpster... it looked gray when I found it... I put some CeCe Caldwell's Endurance on it and the dusty gray paint turned red!!!!  Wow!

So, now that we are clear... old is good, old is great, old is in!!!!  How do you get that look?  Well there are several ways!  Everyone can distress by sanding and pounding on painted pieces to make it look old.  With CeCe Caldwell's Chalk + Clay paint you can sand using sand paper (play with different grits to get different effects), or you can wet distress with a kitchen scrubbing sponge.  Simply dampen the sponge and use the rough side to rub off paint from pieces (before waxing or clearcoating) and then wipe dry with the sponge side!  Easy peasy!  The piece below looks natural, but it was actually distressed using this method... Gorgeous! 

CeCe Caldwell's Duck Blue with wet distressing

CeCe Caldwell's Duck Blue with wet distressing

Another method, and my personal favorite, is crackling.  Furniture will sometimes crackle itself when exposed to the sun, heat, and lot's of cheap furniture wax.  I personally am over-joyed when a student in class paints a piece and the paint naturally starts to crackle.  But sometimes, only in the painting world, we want to speed up the aging process.  Creating your own crackle is easy!  Now you can go to your craft store and buy Crackle Medium for about $15, or a specialty paint store and pay $20- $30 for it.  Or you can do what I do and buy a big jug of generic school glue for $5, pour a little in a container... add a little water and wallah!  You have crackle medium.  How did I figure this out?  I smelled the medium that I bought for $30 and it smelled like kindergarten.... really!  Below are a few pictures of pieces that I have applied crackle, and one with a natural occurring crackle that happened in class!  

This piece was painted in CeCe Caldwell's Windsor Blue.  I used sand distressing, wet distressing and my magic crackle potion, and then added some aging cream.... yes, aging cream!!!  LOL

This piece was painted in CeCe Caldwell's Windsor Blue.  I used sand distressing, wet distressing and my magic crackle potion, and then added some aging cream.... yes, aging cream!!!  LOL

When using your crackle potion, simply put it on liberally in some spots and more generous in others.... this is key, because crackle usually doesn't happen all over a piece in the same pattern.  While the crackle is still wet, just lay the paint thickly over the crackle, resisting the urge to brush back and forth.  Step back, and watch the magic happens as the paint dries!

These wood samples where all completed with CeCe Caldwell's Paints and my crackle potion.  On the white board, I added a little crumbled up canning wax along with the crackly, do give it even more character.  After the paint dried, I scraped the wax lumps off and then added a dose of waxing cream.  This is Beauty to me!

These wood samples where all completed with CeCe Caldwell's Paints and my crackle potion.  On the white board, I added a little crumbled up canning wax along with the crackly, do give it even more character.  After the paint dried, I scraped the wax lumps off and then added a dose of waxing cream.  This is Beauty to me!

This most beautiful crackle appeared naturally during a paint your own piece class.  We just added a little aging cream to highlight those beautiful wrinkles!!!  :-)  

This most beautiful crackle appeared naturally during a paint your own piece class.  We just added a little aging cream to highlight those beautiful wrinkles!!!  :-)  

Kim and I found this beautifully aged table in a dumpster... we use it today at Studio Vintage...It was just perfectly aged!  This is not trash!!

Kim and I found this beautifully aged table in a dumpster... we use it today at Studio Vintage...It was just perfectly aged!  This is not trash!!

I hope you enjoyed this post!  I know I did... and I am starting to feel pretty good about the last year I am about to enjoy in my 40's.  If you have any questions please email me and I would be glad to talk with you!  

Cara