A hub for all things to do with design, furniture painting, photography, style, event planning [and some foodie bits for good measure].  

Distressing Techniques: Crackle Finish on a White Dresser

I've finally got my energy back in full swing after being sick for weeks. WEEKS! I've still got allergies slowing me down a bit, but at least I'm in good enough shape to paint again. Yesterday, I tackled two dressers in one day!

 I finished this white one [Annie Sloan's Old White], and I'm just about done with a charcoal dresser of a similar size.  I love painting. It's actually very therapeutic. I also have fun testing out different techniques. 

This dresser didn't have much as far as details go, and since I've painted many a white dresser in my time, I thought I'd experiment with the technique of crackling.  Crackle finish is basically another way to make furniture appear vintage or bring out its inherent vintage qualities.  

It's something that happens over time to painted pieces that haven't been sealed, but sometimes you want to get that look instantly.  There are all sorts of products you can buy to create this look in a more extreme way, but since I just wanted a hint of crackling here and there, I opted to use a blow dryer as my tool of choice.  

Basically, all you need to do is run a blowdryer back and forth over the freshly painted surfaces.  It causes the paint to crackle naturally and subtly.  I mainly just focused on the top edges, to give the dresser a little interest.  

I then used a fine grit sandpaper [600 grit I think?] and smoothed over it.  Some of the crackle dissipated, but I like that the finish is still buttery smooth, even though it appears to be a little more distressed and rugged than usual. 

Of course, I took these photos pretty late in the day, so I didn't have ideal light to capture many shots of my crackling experiment, but I did manage to get one detailed photo showing the finish. 

 It's best seen in person, but I think it adds another layer of interest and another nod towards the vintage and rustic.

I opted to go with an electric sander along the edges and drawer fronts for some added distressing, since there wasn't a ton of detailing, and I thought it would add to the rustic, beachy flare I was going for.  Check it out in my shop or on Craigslist shortly!