Sunday, October 24, 2010

Snap, CRACKLE, Pop

Well my weekend is officially coming to a close and I met my dead line for finishing the dresser I picked up in East Sandwich, MA. And can I just say for the record that I am in LOVE with it. I will admit that the project did have some mishaps, but I learned an immense amount. Most importantly......about PATIENCE.

I started the weekend off with a trip to Lowe's to pick up some supplies, namely Valspar Weathered Crackle Glaze. The large container of it runs at $14.98 and there is more than enough in there to do multiple projects. As a reminder, the object of my crackle dreams was a little vintage dresser I picked up in Cape Cod last weekend. The dresser was already a very cute shade of yellow so I decided to keep it as my secondary paint color (which would show through the crackle effect). To prep the dresser, I sanded the whole thing to provide a rough surface for the glaze to adhere to. Let's pause for a moment to relish in this pre-head ache phase of the project........OK moving on to the lessons learned moment of the post.

Although the directions on the container of glaze provide a basic outline for the application, they are not as thorough as needed to find success with this project. Lesson #1: Always do back research before starting a project. (I found a very nice tutorial on applying crackle after my first round disaster.) I applied the crackle in a fairly thick coat. I waited the recommended 1-4 hrs (more like an hour and 20 minutes) before applying the white semi-gloss paint as my top coat and immediately the white paint started to pool in areas and clump. I tried going over it again, only to make it worse....much worse. Lesson #2: The crackle medium has got to be dried completely before applying the top coat. The glaze was still a little tacky when I started the top coat application. In fact, you should really wait overnight for this to happen as temperature can effect drying time. Moving on to Lesson #3: You MUST use FLAT paint for the top coat. The crackle medium will not adhere to any other paint. Therefore you can see where this is going......because yours truly used semi-gloss.

Flash forward a few hours later when this disaster of clumpy white paint has dried and there I am sanding away like a mad woman. Enter one BRILLIANT husband who introduces me to my new best friend: the power sander. This nifty little device saved me hours of elbow grease and I had the dresser sanded down again in no time. The truth is.....I liked it in this state. It had a really distressed cool look to it, with the sanded down white paint and a little bit of the original cheery yellow popping through. I trudged on though, excited to see the final product. This time around I applied the crackle medium in a heavy coat and then went to bed! I waited until morning to let the glaze dry completely and that was no easy task. I woke up more than once and may have considered wandering down to the basement to see if it was dry.

The next morning I applied a white flat paint top coat with a roller in order to maintain even paint distribution. Side note, you can apply the top coat with a brush as well for a more random effect to the crackle. The crackle effect takes place almost immediately so it is imperative to not retouch an area after the paint has been applied. Again I would recommend waiting overnight to dry.

The next morning found me jumping up and down in my pj's, clutching my husband's arm in sheer delight. It looked exactly how I wanted it to....can you hear the "BUT" about to slip out of my mouth.......BUT there was a little bit of dripping and pooling on the sides off the dresser. Lesson #4: Apply the glaze in sections so that the side you are working on can lie flat. This will prevent the glaze from dripping (as well as the top coat) as it begins to crackle and separate.The dripping was very minor and only required spot sanding and touch up with the flat white paint.

Although I was extremely gung ho to hand paint owls on the pre-existing white knobs (ya I know....coocoocachoo crazy), my eye caught some very chic and VERY inexpensive satin nickel knobs at Lowe's. At $1.04 a knob, I splurged and bought 12.

All in all, I learned a lot from this project. And although it is tempting to crackle every single surface in our home, I am going to follow the directions from the Lowe's Paint Rep, "A little crackle goes a long way." It is exactly the look I wanted for Miles' nursery and I couldn't be happier!

Project Total:
$10 - dresser
$12.48 - knobs
$14.98 (but since I used less than half of the container, let's say $7.49) - Valspar Weathered Crackle Glaze
= $29.97


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