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How to remove crackle finish without removing base coat...

When we purchased our house, one of the bathrooms has a wood framed mirror with a crackle finish.  The crackle finish is chipping off to the point that it now needs to be removed as it has become unsightly.  The problem with a standard paint stripping job is that is appears that the finish was done right on top of a latex base that I would like to keep.  Is there any technique or product that will remove the crackle finish without remove the base coat?


Thanks for listening....



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Posted 2011-11-06T22:26:12+0000  by vtyszko vtyszko

Hello V!   :smileyhappy:We want to welcome you to the community.


In regards to your question about the crackle finish on the mirror trim… I have good news and not so good news.


First the good news:  It is possible to remove the top layer of crackle.  I am assuming that the part that is chipping away is at the bottom of the mirror near a water source (like a sink).  If that’s the case, then it could mean that a seal coat was not applied over the finish.  Simply apply warm water to the frame and gently try scraping the top layer away.  You may have to apply small amounts to each edge of a cracked piece and work that way if the first method doesn’t work.




NOTE: the crackle technique is a three or four part process in that a “crackle medium” is applied over the top of a base color and under the top color.  The medium is usually a water based substance that re-activates itself when a latex paint (water based) paint is applied over it.  As a result the top coat slips, slides, and shrinks during the drying process – revealing the base color through the cracks.   Most of the time there is a final clear coat over everything to seal the finish to protect it from damage.


Now the not so good news:  the process of removing the top layer may prove to be too long and tedious to justify the work.  You could try coating everything with a primer/sealer, patching the low exposed crackled areas with spackling compound (apply with your finger), and sand smooth.  Then simply paint the whole frame the color you were originally wanting.


                                               painted mirror.jpg

Hope this helped.  Write back if you have any questions or concerns.



Posted 2011-11-07T14:55:45+0000  by Kevin_HD_ATL
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