Friends Don’t Let Friends Do Crackle

by | Oct 1, 2009 | Before and Afters, Furniture Makeovers, Hand Painted Furniture | 34 comments

Ok, all of you crackle lovers out there can relax. I actually like and have used crackle. But, I hope we can all agree that crackle in the wrong hands, on the wrong piece of furniture, with the wrong colors can be terrible. I found this vanity at a thrift store sitting outside with a $15 sticker on it. It was in very sturdy condition, had dovetailed drawers, and the cabinets doors worked great. It was just ugly. Someone had done a white and dark blue crackle finish with cheap brass hardware. Now, I recognize that someone put some time into this piece, but it DID end up at a thrift store, so they couldn’t have loved it that much! Anyway, it turned out the vanity was a yard sale leftover and had just been dropped off. It had not been priced by the thrift store (thank goodness), so I got it for $15.
I sanded the piece, primed and painted it one of my new favorite colors – Creme from Sherwin Williams. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, the texture from the crackle still shows through. As a happy coincidence, I think the texture looks really cool and, more importantly, my clients are happy with it. I filled in the old holes and drilled new ones for simple glass knobs. It is my opinion that glass knobs can make just about any piece of furniture look cute.

I normally add some kind of hand painted detail to my furniture, but my client liked this vanity as is. As much as I like taking an artist brush to things, I must agree. The pretty lines and details on this piece don’t need any embellishment.

I’m sharing this at…



  1. Kim @ Starshine Chic

    This looks 1000% better. You are right about crackle paint. Sometimes it looks fabulous, other times, not so much. I just wanted to stop over to say thanks for visiting my blog & becoming a follower. It means a alot to me. I have returned the favor.

  2. Debra @ Common Ground

    I really laughed over that title. The one and only time I tried it. It was a semi-disaster. It ended up OK, but I was pretty worried during the process. Love how the vanity turned out, and the knobs…perfect!

  3. gail

    great piece, great price! Lucky you!
    You did a great job, it looks beautiful.
    I too, laughed out loud over the title… had to click out of my reader to come leave you a comment!

  4. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions

    Great title! You should do a PSA. It looks good in the pictures and I was wondering how you deal with painting over something that's been crackled without going through a whole big deal.

  5. Lisa

    What an improvement! This desk is a real beauty. So fresh looking!

  6. L.Duncan

    this turned out great!

  7. Embellished Bayou

    Much improved! I've enjoyed perusing your blog and looking at your beautiful makeovers.

  8. The Little Red Shop

    That's so funny, my handyman was just saying that he loves crackle. He just built a "Secret Garden" style gate for my breezeway and said he thought that we should crackle it. : ) I'm not sure about that…but I do love the natural crackle of the windows on my front porch and those of the house we moved.

    : )

    Julie M.

    ps The vanity is very sweet!

  9. Dresser Girl

    YOU did and AMAZING JOB!! (You always do.)

    I confess, I did a HORRIBLE and UGLY re-do of a dresser years ago – red base with black crackle. Sigh… I was so embarrassed… BUT it was the first thing that sold at a yard sale and the folks loved it. I'm still embarrassed by it!

  10. Courtney Price

    Oh my gosh I LOVE YOU. For hating crackle 🙂 I've been surfing around blogs of people who comment on blogs I comment on today 🙂 Happy to find yours! Come visit any time– no crackle on my blog 🙂

  11. Cindy (Applestone Cottage)

    My husband who is a building construction and woodworking teacher crackled the armoire he built for us and it turned out gorgeous! It was featured on the DIY blog the other day and he also did a door for us. He did say it was a very difficult process to get right and he has a ton of experience. You can see the armoire on my blog it's listed under the labels. Thanks for sharing your beautiful piece! Cindy

  12. pk

    I have to agree on the whole crackle thing. I love this desk! Such great little details that make it so cute. Definitely looks better with it's new paint job. Great makeover!
    pk @ room remix

  13. Really Rainey

    Yeah, just say no to the crackle! However I do like the look under your paint job… And of course the knobs are the bling this piece needed! Great post.
    Have Fun~Happy Fall…

    ~Really Rainey

  14. Glenda/MidSouth

    I never tried to do a crackle finish, and it is probably a good thing. I tried an antique finish one time and was never happy with the results. Of course it would have helped if I knew what I was doing. Great deal on the desk.

  15. ~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~

    Nice work. Looks like you are quite and artist. Pretty furniture.

  16. Shanty 2 Chic

    So much better! I am not a huge crackle fan either, although I do think it can be done tastefully! You did a great job with the makeover and what a great deal! ~ Ashley

  17. Kimm at Reinvented

    Adorable vanity. I like the texture too. Please remember to link back to REINVENTED in your posts. 🙂

  18. cindy@cottage instincts

    Love your post title! And great job on the vanity…you are so talented with the paint brush :o)

  19. Mandy

    crackle is usually one of those "less is more" things – and meant for small spaces only!
    Your version is much prettier. Great job!

  20. erin

    This is lovely! I just bought a desk on Craigslist for $10 and I am looking for crystal knobs like that! Where did you find them?

  21. Sue

    Crackling finishes done correctly can be quite appealing. This one, however, was not: so your new paint job was a big improvement. Glad your clients liked it, even with the residual crackle showing through. Saved you the extra effort of re-doing it!
    I went back into your blog archives and liked so much of what I saw. You're a talented crafter and furniture painter! I'll be back to visit often.
    🙂 Sue

  22. Sherri

    Better and now Beautiful! I love it.

  23. santamaker

    Too funny! You did a great job on it, it looks so fresh and clean. I do love me some crackled, I liked it both ways.

  24. Leanne

    That's beautiful. It's amazing it doesn't even looks like the same piece of furniture. Great job!

  25. niartist

    Oh now, these pictures are lovely, and this is such a wonderful piece! Great, great, great! Thanks for sharing – tons of inspiration on your blog! I love it!

  26. Linda Q

    So so much better, great job! I can agree with the bad crackle thing, I have a sofa table I want to redo next that has horrible crackle on it, also a thrift store find.
    Love the glass knobs too. I did that with our bedroom furniture painted white and they do make a difference on a piece.
    Linda Q

  27. carolyn

    Oh, crackle finish – yup, been there, done that! Your desk is fantiastic and it doesn't even look like the same piece of furniture. The magic of paint.

  28. Cottage on the Hill

    You lucky duck! I have been looking for a piece like that but all I can find is wibble wobbles that cost an arm and a leg! You did a great job and I have to agree…love the texture.


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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