Step 1: Prime, Then Paint the Base Coat

applying a base coat of green paint to a kitchen island before applying faux crackle
Photo: Wendell T. Webber
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No need for a lot of prep work here—surface imperfections are at the heart of this finish's charm. Just wipe it down with a wet sponge to remove surface dirt, and once it's dry, brush on a coat of primer. When the primed piece is dry, use a paintbrush to apply the color you want to show through in the crackle finish, brushing in the direction of the grain. Be sure to dab paint in the cracks and crevices of the furniture.

Once you have an even coat, let it dry overnight.
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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.