To apply a crackle finish, paint the surface in the desired base color, allow the paint to dry, and apply the crackle medium. After one to four hours, apply the top coat of paint to the crackle medium. Allow the top coat of paint to dry to reveal the crackle finish. If necessary, remove the original finish and sand the piece to the surface to ensure the paint sticks to the item.
Allow the crackle medium to cure for the specific amount of time recommended on the product packaging before applying the top layer of paint. After applying the crackle medium, apply a single coat of paint to prevent ruining the crackle finish, and do not overwork the paint.
To create an authentic appearance, do not apply clear top coat. Glue is an alternative to crackle medium. To use glue to crackle the surface, apply primer to the piece, allow the primer to dry, and paint the piece with the desired base paint.
Then, apply a layer of wood glue to the surface. When the glue is tacky, paint the surface with the desired color. Use acrylic or latex paint, and work quickly to avoid damaging the glue layer. Do not overblend where the paint lines join. The crackle appears as the glue dries.