Create Charming Patina in Just a Few Easy Steps!


This outdated oak hutch from the 1990’s had the shape and structure of the sought after primitive possum belly cabinets.  What it lacked was the charming patina that is often found on those older pieces, the ones pulled out of century old farmhouse kitchens.  Recreating that chippy, crackled paint finish couldn’t be easier with Artisan Enhancement’s Crackle Tex.  Here’s how…




Crackle Tex is a one step crackle process that not only creates a great crackle effect but can also be lifted off or chipped away to offer a truly authentic looking aged finish.


Remember that when applied, it will crackle to show the finish underneath, so you have the option of painting a base coat that will show through your cracks or apply it directly onto an original wood finish as was done on this cabinet.  After a simple cleaning with a damp, soapy rag, a generous coat of Crackle Tex was applied all over the entire piece.



Once the Crackle Tex medium was dry to the touch, one coat of Duck Egg Blue was applied.


The paint reactivates the Crackle Tex quickly, so it is important to brush it on swiftly and not overwork the surface.  If you need to go back and touch up an area, wait until your paint has completely dried before doing so.  If you want more crackle in an area, touch up that area with a bit of Crackle Tex first, allow it to dry and then paint just that section, using a light hand so that it blends in with the rest of the surface.


This finish is especially forgiving in that it is meant to look imperfect and rustic, but it’s also nice to have some control over where and when the imperfections occur.




Brushing your paint on in a direction perpendicular to the direction you brushed your Crackle Tex in will give you a more dramatic, all over crackle as opposed to the linear effect achieved by brushing both paint and Crackle Tex on in the same direction.




While your paint is drying and you are watching cracks begin to appear, take a damp sea sponge and pull the paint off in spots where you want to see heavier distressing.  You can also come back and distress with sandpaper later on, but the “pull off” crackle tex method could essentially save you that step altogether!




New, heavy iron hardware was purchased for this cabinet and painted in Old White, lightly distressed and then sealed with Clear Topcoat Sealer.




The glass panels were replaced with chicken wire to add to the primitive look of the piece and the interior was painted in Old White.


Clear Topcoat Sealer by Artisan Enhancements is a non-yellowing, natural soya based sealer that dries clear with a matte sheen.  It will occasionally take on a yellow or brown hue when applied over white paints.  If this happens, it is not the sealer, but a pigment in the wood grain or stain that lifts up through the paint and bleeds through.  There was no issue with bleed through or staining on this oak cabinet.  The Clear Topcoat Sealer did not change the pigment of the Old White paint here at all.  If you are working on an older piece, especially if you plan to paint it white and are concerned about bleed through, seal it with Clear Topcoat Sealer before you begin.  This will save you from having to deal with any staining or bleed through later on.




As soon as the paint had dried, the entire cabinet was sealed with 2 thin coats of Clear Topcoat Sealer.  Working in sections, at least 24 hours of dry time was allowed between coats.  The sealer provides a beautiful matte finish that will insure that the cabinet’s new chippy, crackled look will be water resistant and durable for many years to come.




Creating a new finish for a piece as large as this cabinet might seem overwhelming but with the right products, it isn’t as time consuming and difficult as you might think.  With just 1 coat of Crackle tex, 1 coat of paint and 2 coats of Clear Topcoat Sealer, this outdated oak cabinet was given a charming, aged patina reminiscent of an old country farmhouse kitchen!



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