Crackle Paint Furniture Finish Tutorial

For years we have had this ugly table kicking around the house. This table needed, no, begged, to be refinished. At one point, Mike decided to sand it down with the idea of refinishing it. Unfortunately, it stayed in this unfinished state for quite some time. I had actually thought of getting rid of it, but I decided to take a stab at refinishing it first. I figured if the refinish turned out to be a disaster then I could always throw it away then.

Look how gross this thing was!
Look how gross this thing was!

I have decorated my house in a rather country primitive way, so I decided to refinish the table using crackle paint. There are really two ways that you can use crackle paint. There is the version that you can buy at Joann Fabrics, but this type is really just a glaze that you can put on top of something that you painted and then the glaze will crackle. It really isn’t that dramatic of an effect though.

The kind that I ended up using is the Valspar Weather Crackle Glaze, and I must say that it was a great choice. Here’s how I did it.

Table After First Coat
This is the table after the first coat of paint and the glaze.

I painted the entire table using Valspar’s Antique White paint. I used a sponge brush but you can also use a larger brush if you are painting larger pieces of furniture or a roller if you are painting walls. Allow this coat to dry overnight.

After allowing the paint to dry overnight (or in my case for several days!), apply an even coat of weathered crackle glaze to the surface. Do not overwork the crackle glaze. After this coat has tried you can choose to apply a clear protective coat, but that part is optional.


Be sure not to wait more than 4 hours or the glaze effect might not work as well. One application in a single direction works best. Do not overwork the top coat as this may cause the paint to gum up. Within minutes the top coat will begin to crack, letting the base coat show through.


The great thing about choosing to refinish the table in a crackle finish is that it hides imperfections. There were some water marks on the table because I had used it as a nightstand. After the first coat of paint some of the water stains still showed through. Now that I have done the glaze and the second coat you would never know that there had been stains at all!

What do you think? Have you ever tried using crackle paint to refinish furniture before?

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  1. Oh, I love it! I have a few pieces of furniture I could totally do that with. But I am so not good at stuff like this. I have bunk bed cribs for my twins I’ve been needing to do something with for about 10 months now. :\

  2. I love this! I love all the shabby stuff that is out too. I haven’t done crackle in a while but I prefer the aged look in our ranch home.

  3. have a piece of furniture I would like to try this on. does anyone know if I skip the first layer of paint and go right to the cracklye then top coat, will this work? The piece I am doing is probably pressboard with a light finish. Thought this finish would look fine as the cracks in a black topcoat and save me the additional step

    1. I am honestly not sure. I know the top layer of paint has to be a matte in order for the crackle to work but I am not sure about the first layer. I know it says to use a satin but honestly, I don’t know if that would affect the outcome. Do you have a small spot that you could just test it on?

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