I love layers of chippy paint and crackle however, recreating an authentic look can be challenging.
In the following lessons, I will share a variety of two part crackle techniques.
Many companies make two part crackle mediums…..DecoArt, Tim Holz, Golden and Martha Stewart.
The most common way to produce crackle finish is to:
1/ Apply a base coat of paint to the surface and let dry thoroughly. This is the colour that will eventually be the colour visible through the cracks.
2/ Once dry, paint on a layer of commercial crackle medium. The thicker you apply the crackle medium, the more pronounced the cracks.
Apply the crackle medium randomly in all directions for a more natural result.
Use either a roller or a brush. Sponge brushes do not work well.
3/ When this layer is almost dry, apply the second layer of paint in a contrasting colour.
Note: read the manufacturers procedure with this drying time.
As the top layer of paint dries, it will then split apart exposing your base coat layer of paint.
For a more dramatic look, two opposing colours can be used as this gives the contrast and helps to make the cracks stand out. For instance, black on white or red on yellow.
If you would like a more subtle and softer crackle finish then you would choose colours that are less opposing.
For example use watered down brown paint as the base and white as the topcoat. Or a cream and moss green blend.
The texture and size of the crackle many also be varied.
A thin layer of crackle medium will will result in finer cracks. Whereas, a thicker coat of crackle will give you a larger crackle effect.
There is an art to reproducing the finish of an old piece. Covering an entire project with crackle paint of two drastically opposing colours will not produce the much sought authentic looking crackle finish.
In the image below, I used DecoArt Crackle finish with two opposing colours.
This finish would not look natural if it covered an entire piece of furniture.
You can see how the cracks follow the paint lines horizontally.
If this crackle was to be randomly placed on the furniture and sanded off in areas with some sort of additional antiquing finish it would look fine. Just not all over as it is too uniform.