Faux or decorative finishing techniques such as crackling, distressing, graining and sponging should be viewed as an art rather than a science. Remember that the fun of this type of finishing is that there is no right way or wrong way,Â only a variety of methods to obtain different results! We strongly recommend however, testing each step of your project on a scrap piece or inconspicuous area to ensure satisfactory results.
Follow mixing instructions (or use equal amounts of powder and water as a starting point) and apply base coat of Milk Paint. to a clean dry surface. Keep in mind the base color you are applying will appear through the crackleâ€š â€œwindowsâ€š in the final coat of paint. Let the base coat dry thoroughly (usually several hours is adequate) before starting the crackling process.
Apply Antique Crackle in a generous even coating using a stiff bristled brush. Many decorators prefer an inexpensive disposable brush with the bristles cut short. If crackling agent is difficult to spread try warming the container in a bowl of warm water. Let crackle dry at least 2 hours or until thoroughly dry to the touch.
Utilizing full brush strokes, flow the final coat of paint over the Antique Crackle. Be sure to load your brush with enough paint to avoid going over the same area twice. The crackling effect should appear almost immediately. If crackles on your test strip are too large, add water to the paint or apply a thinner coat. If crackles are too small use a more viscous paint or heavier coat. Experiment until you get the crackle effect you desire.
Finishing The Finish:
If your finished surface feels rough to the touch after it has dried, it may require light sanding. Start with a piece of 320 grit paper and lightly scuff the area until it is smooth to the touch. Using progressively finer grits of sandpaper will give an even smoother effect.
While Milk Paint provides a very durable finish, it is often best to seal the surface since it is susceptible to soiling and water spotting. Nearly any sealer will work over Milk Paint, but it is important to test it over a painted scrap to ensure you like the end result. Following are some different sealer options and descriptions:
Clear Coat is a non-toxic, water borne, clear satin acrylic that may be sprayed, brushed or rolled. It provides a hard non-yellowing finish that is fast drying and alters the Milk Paint's finish the least of the sealers listed here
Although it doesn't offer quite the finish protection of Clear Coat, wax does have the advantage of being available in a variety of colors. These can be used to subtlety age or alter your projects appearance. Once again its highly recommended to practice on a scrap piece.
Penetrating Oils & Gel Finishes:
Penetrating oils like Linseed and Tung Oil will deepen the Milk Paint's color considerably but are especially beautiful on furniture pieces. Simply follow the manufacturers instructions. Clear gel finishes are easy to work and will also darken the Milk Paint's color.