Guest room and crackle finish

For a while I have been working on making the guest room more cosy. So far all my guests had settled for just a bed (according to my husband it is actually a Danish design sofa-bed, but since it is all covered by bed linen, no one really get to see it that way).   Since most of our guests come from far away places, I thought I should do something to make them feel more welcome! So I got a pair of twin beds from Lars’s mom (no surprise), they used to be the beds where Lars and his brother would sleep while visiting grandma.

The pieces: two beds (here the beds are already painted) and a small table.

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So this is how you transform a boring plain bed into a warm, charming, romantic looking resting place?  Here is what you need:

Your choice of textile, bonded Dacron (batting), carton, buttons, matching cord, fabric spray glue, and as for the tools, an air staple gun and a silicon gun.

The original beds had a shellac finish and they were all very dark, so I decided to paint them off-white and didn’t really give to many thoughts to the painting part of it. Instead I focused on the headboard. I first thought about doing a free-hand-painting but since I still need to improve my free-hand technique,  I chose to upholster the headboards. Here is how I did it:

1. Cut the carton into the shape of your choice. I wanted to leave a visible frame from the headboard. (do not fix the carton onto the headboard yet)

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2. Spray glue the carton’s front side and place the batting, one layer of batting was good for me. More layers are also an option, it’s is up to you and the look you want to achieve.

3. Spray glue the batting and place the fabric, watch out aligning the pattern! specially if has straight lines.

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4. Place the buttons. Choosing the buttons was a lot of fun for me, I had all these jars to choose from. At first I wanted to use a mix of different shapes, colours and styles, but ended up finding a dozen identical buttons I could not let go. I sewed the buttons as I would do on a shirt. The thread has to go through the batting and the carton. The thicker the thread the better.

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Camas (1)

5 Glue the carton onto the headboard. Staple the fabric to headboard, stretching it nicely to keep the pattern in place. Cut off the excess fabric.

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6. Place the cord using a silicon gun.

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Moving on to the crackle finish. To fill the gap between the two beds I painted a side table in a combination of  Louis Blue and Old White Annie Sloan’s chalk paint. Then I used the crackle finish on the table top. I did not crackle all the top, just some areas. This way the crackles look more natural.

1.Choose the area you want to crackle and gently apply the paint in thick layers in different directions. If the paint is too thin, it won’t work out. Allow the paint to thicken before using it (just remove the lid for a while).

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2. Immediately, and I mean Immediately! blow dry the area, go as close as you can with the dryer and slowly go around the area to crackle. Blow dry until you see the crackles, it will take about 5 minutes.

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3. Apply clear wax, followed by dark wax. Make sure the dark wax reaches the crackles. Let dry for a while before removing the excess of dark wax. At last polish the top and you are done!


So this is one side of the guest room now! It has changed so much!

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Today we are receiving one of our frequent guests, our friend John, from South Africa. I look forward to his review! but I am also aware he is a man. So probably he won’t even notice. Do you want to hear something funny. The beds are exactly in the same place where they used to be about 20 years ago!!! and yes we happen to live in the same house Lars’s grandparents built for themselves over 40 years ago. Kind of weird!! By the way the mattresses and bed linen are all new!! 😉

Just before I go, I want to share a post from Centsational Girl about Windows Live Writer. This is a software to write posts. I have used it today and it is just brilliant. A lot easier than writing from the wordpress dashboard. Thanks Kate!!!

Hasta la vista amigos!!



6 thoughts on “Guest room and crackle finish

  1. Adriana, that is brilliant and you have made it look do-able which is even better. I love the table too although I have yet to try the crackle finish. You are right that, as a man, he may not even notice. However, that is not allways the case.

  2. Hi Adriana,
    I am brand new to your blog. Love it! Going through the posts, I saw this beautiful bedside table you made for your guest room. I would love to know how you achieved the hazy colors that seem to just run into one another on the body of the piece? I will be seeking out a stockist for the Annie Sloan paints soon and hope to be able to recreate this look on one of my own pieces!

    • Welcome dear Leigh Ann! You can achieve that look with the use of clear and dark wax. First a coat of clear, and then a coat of dark wax. If you apply way too much dark wax and you don’t like it, you can remove some of it by applying clear wax on top of it. Good luck as a stockist, your customers will love it! Warm regards.

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