faded, weathered, chipped and crackled furniture painting tutorial

Thank you so much for the sweet comments on my lavender desk.

As promised, here’s the tutorial to achieve a
pretty, faded, weathered, and crackled finish on your furniture pieces
using crackle medium and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

While my desk is lavender, the techniques can be applied
to any color that YOU love!
freckled laundry faded, crackled, and weathered furniture painting tutorial using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® and Artisan Enhancements® Crackle Tex
Step 1
Paint your piece your base color.
(The base color is what you want to show through the crackle cracks.)
I chose Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® in Pure White.

Don’t fuss over complete coverage.
Only the tiniest bit will peek through the crackle.
I simply brushed on one quick coat and let it dry.

Step 2
Brush on your crackle medium.
This was my very first experience with an actual crackle medium.
(I vaguely remember using an Elmer’s glue & hair dryer technique
to crackle a painting when I was teenager.)

Patty at Classic Wall Finishes
sent me a couple of new mediums from Artisan Enhancements to try out.
Artisan Enhancements® Crackle Tex was one of them.

It’s a very thick consistency and you just brush on a thick layer and let dry.
(You can speed up the drying process with a hair dryer.)
I didn’t apply a thick layer all over, which is why my cracks are a bit more subtle.
Also, I didn’t bother to re-crackle when I decided to repaint the desk lavender instead of teal,
so the cracks were filled in a bit with the base coat and lavender coats.
Just expect your piece to more crackled than mine.
And the more crackle, the better, in my opinion.

I wanted to mention that Artisan Enhancements®
also makes a product called Easy Crackle,
which is more of a straight crackle and flake medium.
The Crackle Tex, however, is more of a “pull off” type product
that gives the piece more dimension in addition to the crackling effect.
I used my finger nail to dig at some spots and pull back little pieces.
It’s kind of rubbery and stretches after you let it dry for a little bit
and when you pull tiny pieces, they sort of snap back
to create a very cool texture, reminding me of flaking paint.
I’m not sure if that’s what you’re supposed to do with it
(again this was my first experience with this medium), but it worked!
freckled laundry faded, crackled, and weathered furniture painting tutorial using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® and Artisan Enhancements® Crackle Tex

Step 3
Top coat and watch it crackle before your little eyes.

I mixed up my grayish lavender using a combination of
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® in Emile, Pure White, and Paris Grey.
Those three colors (and Graphite) are freckled laundry staples.

For the grayish lavender,
I add nearly equal parts of Emile and Paris Grey
and lighten it up to where I want it with Pure White.

freckled laundry grayish lavender Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Mix

Here’s a peek at the crackle action as I applied the lavender topcoat…
freckled laundry faded, crackled, and weathered furniture painting tutorial using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® and Artisan Enhancements® Crackle Tex
The white cracks are clearly visible through the lavender paint.

Once again, no need to be too careful with chalk paint.
It took me a bit to break the habit of smooth brush strokes
until I watched Annie Sloan herself paint in one of her workshops.
She brushes on the paint thisaway and thataway,
thick in some spots, and thinner in others.
Let your little brush fly freely. ;)
It creates more texture for the next steps.
Here, you can see the blurry and tiny hands of my twins at work…
toddlers painting desk with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I love it when I do something that they can help with.

Step four
Add a little more depth.

Use a very dry brush and lightly sweep it over the piece
just enough to hit the high points of the brush strokes
(created from being painterly, not perfect) and edges.

Step 5
Patty lso sent along a matte Topcoat Sealer
to be used with the Artisan Enhancements® Crackle Tex.
I’ll experiment with it in a future project,
but I chose to use a graphite wax for my desk because I wanted it to sink into the crackle
and look even more weathered and timeworn.

To create graphite wax, mix a little Graphite Chalk Paint with Annie’s Clear Wax.

freckled laundry graphite wax

I use a wax brush to push the wax into the cracks and crevices.
freckled laundry graphite waxing

Then, buff with a lint-free cloth.

Step 6
Distress the edges if you’d like.
I only distressed the corners and edge of the desktop and saved this step for last.
Chalk Paint sands like a dream unwaxed and you’d usually sand before you wax,
so this can either be Step 4 1/2 or 6.
You can even sand and distress the entire piece to allow your base coat to rub through in certain spots.


Faded, crackled, chipped, and weathered loveliness.

Happy painting and crackling,

I purchase my Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® and supplies from Patty’s online shop.
She is a friend and from time to time,
she’ll include something new for me to try with my purchases.
I was given Artisan Enhancements® Crackle Tex to try
with the hope that I’d share it on my blog if I liked it, and I did.
As always, all opinions and thoughts are my own
and I won’t share anything that I don’t like or recommend.

More lavender posts for you…
lavender garland freckled laundry button lavender and white slipcovered chair French freckled laundry  faded lavender desk antique chalk paint finish freckled laundry button template for bottom of posts antique lavender French bottle why do bottles turn purple sun glass amethyst bottle freckled laundry


  1. lisa lee says:

    Hi there, found you via MMS. I’ve also found that sanding with 220 grit after a final coat of chalk paint gives the same look as dry brushing, as long as you have a coat of white underneath. And it leaves everything super smooth. Love your desk. I also love the idea of brushing this way and that and not being perfect with it. I will try it next time.

  2. A very good job. Thanks for sharing the ‘how’ and sequence. Very clear.

  3. From My Deck says:

    Yes – You did a great job helping mommy with her desk, and she did a great job painting it. Love the crackled look and the beautiful pictures.

  4. Hi Jami…love the lavender…definitely meant to be!

  5. Love the shade Jami! I’m glad you used crackle the right way (in my opinion) which is subtlety. Only rarely do I like the big contrast look I see at times….this is much more elegant and pretty!
    Lorraine@MissFlibbertigibbet recently posted..Bubble, Bubble, Who’s Got The Bubble?My Profile

  6. jami! thank you for this. you have made it impossible for us to resist trying this technique. if my results are 1/2 as good as this, i’d be thrilled. bravo, you genius.
    michele@hellolovelyinc recently posted..transparencyMy Profile

  7. laurie says:

    Thank you so much for your wonderful tutorial, Jami! I just love the way your sweet table turned out! It’s beautiful! I’m looking forward to trying some of that crackle medium on my next project – and now I feel more comfortable about using it! :)
    laurie recently posted..“Prairie Girl”My Profile

    • Jami says:

      Thank you, Laurie! BTW, I wrote the post at 11 p.m. and wasn’t thinking too clearly so I added a couple more pics and a little more info. on the Crackle Tex (vs. their Easy Crackle product) this afternoon if you want to circle back before you use it. Have a happy weekend, friend!

  8. Toni says:

    Good job Grey (and mom)!

  9. Excellent tutorial, Jami! I’m a mess with paint. I can take photos of birds, but painting is altogether another issue!

  10. Jill Flory says:

    Great Tutorial Jami! Your desk turned out so lovely :)

  11. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial.


  12. Meike says:

    Thanks for sharing, Jami, your desk turned out really stunning :-) I love it! I have yet to try any crackle medium, I’ve only done the hair dryer crackling so far. I think you’ve just convinced me. Oh, and Patty’s great :-)

  13. Mercedes says:

    amazing. thanks for the insight on your process.

  14. Patty says:

    Thank you and what a beautiful piece! Darling little boy, yes you did a wonderful job helping your mommy:) Ill give it a try on this tallboy dresser we are going to tackle very soon! Goodwill of course!

  15. barbara says:

    Hi there,
    Nice job!! Found you on Home Talk! I love other furniture painter’s blogs! It’s great to learn and share new tricks. I have some of the crackle finish for sale in my shop and sadly, I haven’t tried either of them. I need to get past my “I don’t like crackle” mindset, because your’s looks very authentic! I’ll keep this brand in mind!
    Your kids are adorable, too!

  16. Thanks so much for the easy to understand tutorial, Jami. I love how your desk turned out and I love that you shared the shop you purchase your Annie Sloan from ~ I wanted to buy some and wanted to get it from a source that someone recommended or knew. I hope to be painting up a storm this spring and summer.

    Have a great day!

    Hugs, Mary Beth
    Mary Beth @ Cupcakes and Crinoline recently posted..Chalkboard Paint, Lazy Susan, Succulents, Banana Bread and a BunnyMy Profile

  17. Randy says:

    wow Thanks for the wonderful tutorial.
    Randy recently posted..Cyberland Deluxe 25 Series Head Board Alfa 1My Profile

  18. The finish you achieved is gorgeous! And I think lavender is an under-used color ;-)
    Korrie@RedHenHome recently posted..Woven-back BenchMy Profile

  19. Danielle says:

    Came across your blog because I’m using crackle tex for the first time. It was great! About how long did you wait to apply your second color after applying the crackle? All of the websites I have found say let it dry then add an hour but I am not sure what that means. Is there a rough estimate on dry time you can give me?

  20. Thank-You very much!!
    Deborah Winger recently posted..Happy, Happy Friday ( homemade chalk painting and sewing)My Profile

  21. Josh says:

    I use a very similar technique on my furniture! I am big into creating ranch-style pieces, so this is definitely something I can relate to. Great post!
    Josh recently posted..Rustic Wood Decorating IdeasMy Profile

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