To artificially age the kitchen island shown here, decorative painter Ingrid Leess started by priming it, then brushing on a coat of flat lime green. The following day, she applied a thick layer of crackle medium, using a clean brush and taking care not to overwork it and dry it out. She let it dry for an hour (the medium must cure for 1 to 4 hours to work), then used a clean, dry brush to add a coat of purple. Soon after, it began to shrink, revealing bits of green—and faux history—beneath. A protective clear coat is an option, but here an unvarnished finish reinforces the worn look.
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    Tools List

    • sponge
      Damp sponge to clean off dirt
    • 3-inch wide paint brush
      3-inch nylon-polyester paintbrushes Get two 
so that you'll have a clean one ready for the top coat.
    • bucket with liner
      Cut bucket and liners

    Shopping List

    1. Latex primer-sealer to create a good surface for the base coat

    2. Crackle medium. We used Sherwin-Williams' Faux Impressions Crackle.3. Latex paint in two colors. Choose high-contrast colors for the most dramatic effect. For best results, be sure to use a flat or matte finish for the bottom coat. Eggshell will work for the top coat, but nothing shinier.

    4. Water-based polyurethane (optional) to clear-coat and protect the crackle finish. Satin will look the best.