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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Crackle Finish Wall Art

The last two weeks have been filled with LOTS and LOTS of deep cleaning. I decided I needed a craft break thrown in there to keep the creative juices alive, and after I scored this board from the free bin at our local Re-Use Hawaii, my wheels started turning.

The board is 16"x24"x 1/2", and I found her just laying all sad-like in the free bin. She was saying, "Please take me home and make me beautiful."  So I did.

I had seen a spread in Better Homes and Gardens with some beautiful acorn fall decor and a blue and red theme. They had a great stretched canvas with red crackle showing through a blue painting and a big faux red oak leaf to finish it off. I can't find a link for the life of me, but the image was stuck in my head.

So I went to my neighborhood City Mill (teeny tiny Home Depot) and found this stuff in the paint section.

Special Effects Weathered Crackle Glaze. It was $14.99 for     , and I only ended up using about 1/3 cup. So I'm hoping to do some more of these projects for other seasons, and I might even attempt to sell a few on Craigslist. We'll see how ambitious I get...

So here's how the project went down.

Day 1:  Sand, and paint the base coat. Red in my case. I used a tiny bit from a pint can I found for $2.50 in the "Oops" bin. Flat finish. I'm thinking a simple acrylic craft paint may work, too, though. I think I'll attempt that next time since I have close to a hundred of those just laying around my house. A sample can would also work.  I painted mine with one of our beloved Purdy brushes.

The instructions say to let it sit at least 4 hours or overnight. I had plans, so I just left it overnight and picked up the next day.

Day 2:  Brushed on the Weathered Crackle finish with a sponge brush. Directions said to put it on thicker for deep, wide crackles and thin for all-over weathered crackles. I tried to do mine pretty thick because i really wanted to see the red popping through.

Then more waiting...This time instructions said to allow to dry at least 1 hour but not more than 4. I let it sit for about 1.5 hours and then brought out the Purdy brush again and a pint of blue paint also from the Oops bin (not on the same trip...I'm not THAT lucky...).  

Instructions say it will start to crackle within a few minutes, and man, I had to work fast. It truly started to crackle right away, and once you go over a section, it's very difficult to go back and "fix" spots or add more to make a section thicker. It ends up just taking more of the paint off and sticking to the brush. This is immediatel after I finished the last stroke.

Here's an example of where I tried to fix a spot, and it ended up just making a mess. The blue paint just kept wrinkling and peeling off more...

So I let it dry for about an hour and went back to touch it up. I peeled off the paint around it to make it more flush and to get rid of that excess "bunching" blue paint right around the blob. And then I used a tiny craft paint brush and painted more blue on right there. I tried to leave a tiny crackle of red paint showing through, and surprisingly, it still crackled some even though I had already painted and peeled in the same area! Not too bad.

Then I added the wall hanging attachment (actually, I wasn't very smart, and I added the leaves before this, but it would have been MUCH easier to do before adding the branch).

I was just going to leave it as is but felt like it was lacking luster. I had trimmed my front yard trees earlier in the week and had branches still laying on the side of my house, waiting for us to take them to the green waste dump. So I snagged on that fit and got out the red paint and my sponge brush and painted every single centimeter of it. Front and back. 

I thought about attaching it with staples, but I really didn't want the staples to show. And I thought about doing hot glue, but I needed something more sturdy, and I wanted it to have the appearance of lmost floating on the board. So I found some 3/8" nails and popped two of them in. One on each of the two main branches of the twig.

I wish I had a better pic, but mostly I'm lazy with the camera, and just use my iPhone to take pics. Here she is hanging in my dining room. The red/orange wall came with the house. Not a personal preference (read: I HATE it), but that room has vaulted ceilings, so it's gone to the bottom of my to-do list until my hubby has some time to help. 

Total project cost:

Board: Free
Paint: 2 cans 1/20th can of $2.50 oops paint = $.26 total
Crackle Finish:  About 1/25th can of $14.99 crackle finish = $.60
Wall hang kit:  $.50
Branch: Free

Total from scratch: $20.50
Total per project if more than one is done: $1.36

Not bad for original wall art!

Linking to:

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

The Girl Creative Party Blog


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