Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fireplace...New becomes Old.


New Becomes Old

I know I havent quite shown you what the old piano pieces will be used for on the fireplace, but I'm sure you've probably guessed. Anywho...the piano pieces I had weren't quite enough to do everything I needed on the fireplace so some new lumber came into the mix.

Remember that old, aged, crackled, dark finish I love? I wanted my "new" wood to look "old" too!! So, I started playing, and testing, and playing, and testing. It's like developing a recipe. Of course I googled and researched and that gave me a good starting point.

Basically to get your finish to "crackle" you need a coat of something that dries SLOW, with a coat of something that dried FAST on top of it. (And yes, I know you can buy Crackle Medium. What fun would THAT be?!) I know what you're thinking. "Oh, look at SweetMelissa, she's crafting up some crackle...that's nothing new!" Hmph. I thought that too, at first. But the more I played the more I loved the fact that I was manipulating the finish to suit my needs in replicating that aged finish.

Finding the perfect combo to match my project looked a bit like this. Many of the recipes found online just didn't work right for this project.

Now that looks more like it! Please excuse all the dirt on the board, oops, it fell off the table.

I painted an undertone of dark brown (remember my piano wood is very dark), and let the paint dry.

Then I painted on a coat of vinyl wallpaper adhesive. Yes, you read that right.

When the wallpaper adhesive is almost clear...(some areas can still be tacky, that will make larger cracks), then brush on a coat of polycrylic. TaaDaa!

It won't be an instant thing. You might have to walk away for a while for the cracks to show in the top coat. Walk away. Let it dry. Don't stress. Then you can wipe a coat or two of stain over the polycrylic. The cracks will show quite nicely.

I had to play around with stains until I had a match to my old wood. Trial and error...on scrap wood...is the key. Don't be afraid to experiment!!

Columns weren't an original part of my plan, but remember my new inspiration from the last post? When I came across these beauties at a super secret junk haven I couldn't resist!!

They got the new wood recipe I had been working on. Paint. Wallpaper adhesive. Polycrylic. Stain. I did end up coating the wood with a matte finish sealer. Even a satin was too shiny and took away from the "old" effect.

Some of the other trim boards "in progress". *This is not a brand endorsement!* (Unless of course one of these companies wants to send me some more of their product!)

The thicker the wallpaper adhesive goes on, the larger the cracks will be. Especially if you brush the poly on thick too while there are still tacky spots in the adhesive.

I tried to brush randomly so I wouldn't have distinct brush marks. See...pretty thick!

And...wait for it....aahhh, there are those silly cracks. They look kind of white and pasty but not to worry, the stain will hide that.

Here's another shot, before stain. What do you think? If you love the old wood look, are you going to give this a try? I've since "crackled" some ball feet for my kitchen table. Same treatment works for paint. Just make the base coat the color you want to see in the cracks, then wallpaper adhesive, then latex paint. And remember the thicker the coats, the larger the cracks.

Have fun!!


  1. Sweet Melissa, I will be calling you "cracklin Rose" from here on out! Your technique is fantastic!

  2. You are really a visionary. This is going to be an amazing transformation.

  3. It's looking good! Great job!

  4. Amazing Missy how you've researched this and the end results are so great to. You should be proud!


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