July 11, 2017
Sooo, I’m in the middle of my 30 day challenge and am here to report, I’ve not done a lot of anything! What???? Where’s all that get up and go? All those little projects waiting to be completed? Photos to be filed? Furbaby to be trained? Books to be read? My get up and go…..went somewhere. It left me curiously un-inspired this last week. Each morning I get up and greet the day with…….”geez, I’m still tired.” “Think I’ll take a nap.” I did finish a couple of small projects, but truth be told, I’ve spent the majority of my time just hanging out with my Granddaughter, watching senseless TV, reading, listening to music, eating junk food and being lazy. It’s been pretty darn good, my friends. I treasure these last few days with her, she’ll be returning to Ohio soon. Projects can wait. I needed to recharge my creative brain cells.
There is no sanctuary for me without family, friends, and critters.
I’m not all twitchy to go shopping, in fact I don’t miss it! OH! my stars! I can’t believe I just said that….in print…..on-line…..where it will live forever.
I have been reading quite a bit. I’ve finished 4 books and am working on a fifth. I read every night before turning out the lights and almost every day poolside. I can feel the fat collecting on my body as I write. I see lots of walking in my future and maybe cutting back on the Barqs. Catching up on my reading was on my list and as I write this, I realize I’ve accomplished at least one of my 30 day goals.
I did finish a project and played with paint as I hinted in my last update. I tried Amy Howard One Step paint for the first time and followed her tutorial for getting an authentic looking crackle finish.
It seems a bit strange to be doing a faux finish that needs to look authentic…….but who wants their fauxs to look fake? Right???
So here’s my opinion on Amy Howard’s paint. I’m unsure. Ha! How’s that for a ringing endorsement? The paint itself is smooth and creamy but it isn’t a one step, or one coat product. I’ll have to try it on another piece of furniture and I’ll know more.
Crackle finish is almost instant gratification. I took a throw-away-clock I’ve had forever and didn’t much care for and gave it a makeover. All I did for prep was to clean it with my trusty 50/50 water and vinegar solution and remove twenty years worth of dust. It was hanging high on a wall and I don’t climb ladders to dust, I’m almost ashamed to admit that if something in my house is hung high on a wall or placed on top of a cabinet, it probably doesn’t get touched more than once a year, when I clean to add Christmas decor. Truth is harsh. I’m suspicious of folks who climb to clean. It’s unnatural. That clock was pretty grimy. Um…..Maybe I should take another look at my cleaning habits. I taped off around the glass after it dried and it was good to go.
I slapped a coat of paint on it with an old chip brush, (don’t use a good brush for this project), and let it dry, then I applied a layer of crackle medium. I used some old Lowes crackle medium that I had on hand. When it was dry to the touch, ( about 15 minutes) I applied another coat of paint, using smooth strokes. Don’t go over your second layer in a back and forth motion, it will remove the crackle. Lay the paint on in one direction, it doesn’t have to be precise.
The magic appears within a few minutes. For best results use flat or chalk type paint. You want to make a paint and crackle medium “sandwich.” A base of flat/chalk paint, followed by crackle medium, followed by another coat of flat/chalk paint. When the second coat of paint is about half dry, use your fingers, or a brush and push your paint here and there to lift it and cause it to lump.
This causes those bumpy, lumpy spots that appear on old finishes where paint dripped or wasn’t applied smoothly and was painted over with new paint over time. Repeat your layers as often as you wish to replicate years of paint. Use contrasting colors for a dramatic look or various shades of the same color for a more subtle finish. When your project is almost dry, use a scraper to remove some paint from the edges, but don’t go along an entire edge. Think about how old pieces get dinged and bumped and scratched over the years. That’s what you are aiming for. I used 3 different colors of paint, besides the Amy Howard, I used Waverly Chalky Paint from Walmart as the final layer.
When you are satisfied with the amount of crackling and the number of layers and the amount of distressing, let the project dry completely. Top coat with matte sealer or wax if desired and buff to a soft luster. You can highlight with dark wax to bring out the crackled areas or leave it plain. I opted to leave mine without a top coat for a more tired, old look and kept it to the white and ivory paints, I didn’t want a lot of contrast. I finished this update by using a single edge razor blade to remove some of the painted gold accent from the glass to make it look worn. And I aged the clock face with some burnt umber acrylic craft paint. I dabbed some paint around the edge of the face, then immediately wiped most of it off with a damp rag. The final steps were to remove the tape, clean the glass and reinstall the knob. A project completed! I might keep this clock now…. Or not…. What do you think?
It’s a fun and easy project and gives a much older crazed look than the crackling kits of the 80’s and 90’s.
Supplies I used:
Amy Howard One Step Paint in Bauhaus and Linen
Waverly Chalk paint in Cashew
Burnt Umber acrylic craft paint (optional)
Lowes Crackle medium
Old paint scraper for distressing the edges
Single Edge Razor Blade
Have fun with paint and don’t be afraid to experiment.
As always, I recommend that you watch on-line tutorials, read blog posts and use scrap wood or “throw-away” pieces until you are sure you have mastered a technique. And always read the directions for your product. Different brands of paint, crackle medium and waxes all have different drying and working times. Follow the directions for your chosen brand.
Create the home you see in your heart. Create your sanctuary no matter where you live.