DIY Cracked-Glass Coffee Table

Updated November 21, 2016

Glass workers create cracked-glass vases, beads, windows and more by plunging partially cooled glass into cool water. The rapid temperature change creates a crazed maze of cracks all over the work. However, inexperienced glass workers can shatter their work this way. If you want to make your own cracked-glass coffee table, you can do it with paint instead of heat and cold. The results are just as chic and much simpler.

Carefully remove the glass top from your coffee table and flip it over so you can see the underside. Wipe down the glass with a soft cloth to remove dust and grime that might prevent the paint from sticking.

Apply a thin, even layer of crackling medium to the glass with long, smooth brushstrokes. Allow the medium to dry for about two hours. The medium is clear; you won’t be able to see it once it dries.

Paint a thin layer of sheer, satin finish acrylic paint over your crackling medium. Paint quickly and evenly, using long brushstrokes. As the paint dries, it will stretch and break in a series of fine cracks all over the glass. Allow the paint to dry fully overnight.

Apply two coats of clear varnish to the crackled glass to keep it from chipping; let each coat dry overnight. Flip the glass top back over, set it back on your coffee table and enjoy.


If your glass top doesn’t come off, flip the entire table over carefully and paint around the places where the legs attach to the glass. You can also paint the top of the table, finishing it with polyurethane to protect it from extra wear and tear.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass-top coffee table
  • Clean cloth
  • Crackling medium
  • Sheer satin acrylic paint
  • Varnish
  • Paintbrushes
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