How to Crackle Paint


Before you start to do a crackle paint task, you need to know what crackle painting is all about. Basically, it is a faux painting technique that you do to create a finished look similar to an old cracked paint with older layers of paint showing through. As long as you have a smooth surface, you would be able to paint them with latex paint that is suitable for crackle painting. You will normally find the crackle paint technique being used on furniture, cabinetry as well as on accent trim and molding. Some of the example of crackle paint that you can create includes the heavy alligator crackle paint look, an antique crackle glass look of an old antique Windsor chair or even on your country corner cupboard.

To crackle paint, you need:

  • Interior latex paint in two colors, flat or eggshell finish
  • Synthetic paintbrush
  • Paint Roller (optional)
  • Crackle medium
  • Sandpaper
  • Rags
  • Masking tape
  • Drop cloth

Crackling paint

How to Crackle Paint

  • The room that you want to create the crackle paint needs to be emptied to enable you to work without having any constraint and reducing any of your furniture to be damaged during the process of painting.
  • First thing to do is to purchase your preferred paint of either crackling medium or other related materials, which can support the crackle painting technique.
    • You also need to choose two different paint colors where one of it will be used for the undercoat, which in the end will be shown through the crackling while the top coat color will used as the crackled paint.
  • Before you start to do any painting work, you have to prepare the surfaces that you want to paint.
    • You need to sand the surface until it becomes smooth
    • Then, wipe the surface by using a damp cloth. This is to remove off the dust resulted from the sanding and also any oily residue.
    • After that, you need to allow the surface to dry thoroughly.

You can create a dramatic effect when choosing under coat and top coat colors. Try to use or play around with contrasting colors between the under coat and top coat. However, if the surface is too large, do not over do with the color. In order to create subtle effect, your under and top coat can be the same colors, but with different tone or shade.

  • For surfaces that you do not want to paint, you need to cover them up with masking tape or painters tape in order to mask surfaces them immediately before you start painting. This will also prevent your crackling paint and glaze from ending up on the surface that you do not want to paint.

Always remember to use a drop cloth below the area that you want to paint so that your floor will be covered and not stained by paint drops.

  • Next, you can apply the undercoat color to the surface and try to follow any instructions recommended by the paint’s manufacturer.
    • Before applying the paint onto the surface, make sure you stir it thoroughly.
    • Remember that after you have finished painting the undercoat, you have to allow the surface to dry for at least 4 hours.
  • Once your undercoat has dried, you need to apply your crackling medium by using paintbrush or a roller
    • Paintbrush is used for giving directional effect on the crackling. If you want to create more uniform kind of crackling, you can use roller.
    • Then, you should leave the surface to dry for at least one hour.
  • The next step is to apply your top coat and in order to create more crackling; you should apply the paint thickly. If you like to have subtle kind of crackling, you only need to apply your paint thinly.
  • Finally, you need to allow your crackle painted area to dry thoroughly.

The masking tape needs to be removed right after a few minutes and you do not have to wait until your painted are has completely dried. If the surface is already dried, it may cause some parts of the paint to lift off whenever you start removing the masking tape.

Always remember that when you do the crackle painting technique

  • Do not be carried away when you are doing crackling paint task because too many surfaces within a room is too much. Just a little crackle paint will be sufficient enough.
  • Remember not to apply the top coat after you finished doing the crackling medium. It is recommended that you apply the top coat paint after a minimum of five days after you applied the crackling medium.

There you have it! That’s how you crackle paint at any needed spot in your home. Just remember to be careful and safe while doing this task.

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