How to Prepare for a Crackle Paint Project

Lead Image
What You'll Need
2 large cloths or covers
Removable tape
Small plastic bag
Small washing cloth
Warm water
Epoxy or sealant filler
Flathead screwdriver

Crackle paint will imbue a room with a beautiful, aged look. However, it is a messy painting job that requires you prep the room properly before you start working. This will allow you to use the heavy-duty substances needed for crackle painting without damaging your much-loved antiques or furniture.

Step 1 - Protect Furniture

a room with plastic on the floor and ladders set up to paint

Move furniture away from the area you will be crackle painting. Either remove it from the room or place it where it will not be damaged. Cover any furniture still in the room with a large cloth. Place another cloth on the floor or use layers of newspaper to soak up excess paint and glue that might spill while painting. Use removable tape to protect any bare areas. The smallest specks of paint on furniture can cause significant damage.

Step 2 - Appliances

Turn off all appliances in the room. Cover any electrical appliances that cannot be removed from the room with a small plastic bag. Make sure that any air conditioning or heating is also switched off. Paint and glue are liquid substances that conduct electricity. This is vital to your safety. Place small strips of the tape over the front of sockets to ensure that no paint can get inside them.

Step 3 - Clean

Use a damp warm cloth to clean all areas that will have a crackle paint effect. This will soften and loosen any flaky paint or woodwork, making them easier to clean and prepare. You will then be able to sand the surfaces prior to painting so they are smooth. This will create the perfect painting canvas.

Step 4 - Repair Damage

Repair any woodwork damage on items you will be painting. Crackle painting is about producing a crack effect so leave any small cracks as they are. If there is a huge crack in the woodwork, fill it using some epoxy filler or sealant filler. This will stop a great deal of paint and glue from seeping into cracks in the woodwork. If you allow this to happen, it can greatly damage the structural integrity of a wall or cabinet.

Step 5 - Ventilate the Room

an air register in a wood floor

Remove any vent covers in the room you are working in. These can be quickly removed with a flathead screwdriver. This should allow any fumes from the paint or glue to leave the room a lot quicker. You will need to do this as the power to any extractor fans will be cut off. This step can be avoided if your crackle painting project is a small one, but ventilation will still be needed to stop you from getting overwhelmed by fumes while you work. Open windows and doors in the area to encourage airflow.

Step 6 - Rinse

Rinse all surfaces with warm water to remove any dirt and debris created during the preparation process. Allow this to dry and your room is ready for a crackle painting project.