You know how every household product you purchase has some sort of disclaimer saying test this product on a small corner before application? Ya, I am always the person who NEVER does this. I just jump head first without checking to see how deep it is. Once again, I find myself almost drowning in a project that went from neat and easy to disastrous.
So, after I spent a good hour applying the Martha Stewart Crackle paintto my coffee table, following only the simple directions of: apply with putty knife, the thicker the paint the larger the cracks.... I discovered there has to be a trick to this damn paint.
Searching online for a "fix" for the mess I just made, I came up with nothing useful. I know I am not the only person to be lured in with Martha Stewart's claim of an "easy" DIY project. Where were all my fellow crafters at 10 o' clock on a Saturday night as I was pulling my hair out from the project that had made a turn for the worse?
So, I had no choice but to run a few "simple" test to figure out this "easy" trick to the Martha Stewart Crackle Paint.
I started off with the Sealer/ Primer, which the instructions said must be used. Okay, so I can follow directions but what makes this Sealer/Primer so special?
Well, it is actually important. As far as using it as a Sealer goes, not sure that I find this product useful, but if you do not apply the product as a primer first, the paint will not crackle.
But how much does the primer effect the cracking? The answer: Not much
I applied the primer both thin and thick to see if the paint cracks more or less with different thickness of primer.
The only thing I learned for certain was that the ticker the primer, and the ticker the crackle paint, the longer the paint takes to dry.
Drying time is apparently key to all of this. (Many tests later showed that the only variable that made any difference was drying time.)
This sample showed what my table showed. The paint is fully dried after 6 hours but.... the cracking only happened on the outside edges (which is thinner than the middle)
This is how my table turned out. uneven cracking with more smooth areas than I care for. So what happened? Well, for starters I live next to the beach. It's safe to say that I do not have to driest climate, and the sun wasn't out much this weekend so that I had to be a factor.
Ron came up with the idea of using my blow drier to try and force the paint to crack. I was really hopeful that this would fix my less that amazing looking project.
The blow drier didn't appear to help my table. But I was determined to figure this out, so we tried yet ANOTHER round of tests and discovered that, if the paint dries quickly with the blow drier, you get uniform cracking throughout. YAY! But, what about my table?
Well, I then tried a sample to see what would happen if I put the crackle paint over the top of dried not very crackly paint. DO NOT TRY THIS!
Results: Even though I used the blow drier to dry the second layer of crackly paint, I found that it still doesn't crackle.
I even tried using more primer over the top of the less than perfect crackle finish and then apply more paint over the top. Nothing. I tried sanding and then reapplying.... even worse.
Moral of the story: Test your product before trying it out on your Crate and Barrel coffee table.
Steps for Best Results:
Step 1: Use a generous amount of Primer/Sealer
Allow to fully air dry
Step 2: Apply crackle paint
The thinner the application, the smaller the cracks
Step 3: Use a blow drier to dry your paint
Don't wait for the outside air to dry your project, you will only get disappointing results.
Step 4: Apply Sealer
The all in one Primer/Sealer does not add a gloss to your project. The paint is a flat, no gloss finish.
And remember..... do it right the first time because reapplication is not an option!
Now, I am not discouraging anyone from using the product, however.... do it right the first time. Now I am left with a project that I am less than happy with. I haven't decided what I am going to do to fix the mess I made..... but, I will share my finished results with you soon!