recent posts

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thrift-It Thursday: Crackle Finish Frame

Today I am going to show you how to create a crackle finish without buying an expensive kit.  I bought some wood picture frames at our local Habitat Restore for 50 cents and was originally going to spray paint them with a metallic paint.  But then I thought, why not find a thrifty way to crackle paint them.

Here is what I used:

wood picture frame
Elmer's Glue-All
acrylic paint, 2 colors
paint brush

First, you apply your base coat.  You generally want to apply a darker color as your base coat so that your lighter top coat has good contrast when it crackles.  Let it dry completely.

Next, working in sections, apply glue to frame.  Using your finger works best.  You want to work in small sections because you need to apply your top coat of paint while the glue is still tacky.

After applying the section of glue, using a brush, apply the top coat paint.  Use a light stroke going one way.  You don't want to use too heavy of a hand because you don't want the paint to mix too much with the glue.  After each short stroke, put more paint on the brush.

Let the paint dry completely and you should have a nice crackle finish. 

Here's the breakdown on what my frames cost to make:
     1.  frames - $1.00 (for 2)
     2.  glue -  $2.00
     3.  paint - $1.00 (for 2)
I got all my supplies at Hancock's Fabrics and K-Mart.  So my frames cost me $4.00, or $2.00 per frame.  Plus I have enough paint left over for another project and plenty of glue.

Last week, I posted the Elmer's Glue YouTube video where I got this idea.  Here it is again:

Thanks for stopping by,



  1. I have a wooden dresser that is painted a light neutral color (dark cream?) It has a square frame and slight inset drawers which curve. I like it the way it is, I painted it myself years ago but I am thinking of adding a bit of metallic paint or something subtle on the drawers only. I like the idea of crackle metallic. What do you think of this idea? Will spray paint work? It looked to me like your paint was metallic ,I know you used a brush, where did you get it? I am looking for input because I like my piece now and don't want to mess it up. Thank you.

    1. Hi Angie! I just used a foam craft brush. Have you thought about dry brushing some metallic paint on? That way it is subtle. I've never done something so large. I have an antique dresser that belonged to my grandmother that I will be painting soon. Whatever you choose, you should try a small area on the bottom and side or back that is out of the way and won't show if you decide you don't like it. I think I saw a crackle spray paint at either Wal-Mart or Lowes that might be better for such a large project. Sorry I'm not much help. Go over to YouTube and search metallic finish on furniture tutorials and see if you find anything. I would love to know what you find out. Good luck!