How to Crackle Paint
This is where you can learn how to Crackle Paint, the techniques of creating those faux crackle painted surfaces. You can create the heavy alligator look crackle paint or the fine antique crackle glass finish of an old antique windsor chair or country corner cupboard.
The crackle paint method is as easy as painting once you know the process, but first what is crackling?
Crackling is the process of laying a faster drying finish over a slower drying more flexible finish. In this crackle paint example, we will be using “Natural Crackle”. “Natural Crackle Paint ” is an all natural gelatin with less than 1% phenol added as a preservative.
We’ll begin with the crackle paint process. First paint the color of Real Milk Paint ® you want to show through the cracks. You may want two coats of this color to be sure it is totally opaque. Allow paint to dry (1 to 4 hours).
Next, pour some “Natural Crackle” into a container and add water until you reach a consistency that can be brushed or rolled. Tip: the thicker the “Natural Crackle”, the larger the cracks. The thinner the mixture is the smaller the cracks. You can adjust the mixture to achieve the crackle paint results you are looking for. Brush the “Natural Crackle” over the dry milk paint. Allow “Natural Crackle” to dry (30 minutes to 2 hr.) If you want more or better crackling in your crackle paint, apply a second coat of Natural Crackle over the previous dry coat. Allow to dry. You can wait as long as you want for the crackle paint to dry. There is no real window – 2 hours or 2 weeks – it does not matter.
The next step in creating a crackle paint finish is to paint the contrasting color of Real Milk Paint ® over the “Natural Crackle”. Allow to dry just enough to allow a second coat of milk paint to be applied. Brush on lightly so as not to pull the first coat of paint. If crackling starts before you get to the second coat, it’s too late. Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time unless it is a huge project, then you may need another person to assist you with the crackle paint process. You can achieve different crackle paint results depending on when you apply the final coat of milk paint – over dry “Natural Crackle” or wet “Natural Crackle”. Although if the “Natural Crackle” is too wet it will just be absorbed into the milk paint and crackle paint effect will not occur.
Always do a crackle paint experiment before full application to your project. As the milk paint dries it will shrink and crack to expose the layer underneath. We do recommend finishing crackle paint by top coating the milk paint with a non-water based finish. You can use Pure Tung Oil, shellac, varnish or spray acrylic. Almost any clear finish will work. A water based finish may ruin your crackle paint. The reason for doing this is to prevent moisture from attacking the exposed “Natural Crackle” in the cracks and ruining your work.
It’s been fun sharing with you,