How do you use crackle finish?


Quick Answer

To use crackle finish, apply a base coat to the surface and allow it to dry, then add a layer of crackle medium and once it dries apply the top color to form cracks on the surface. A crackle finish makes a base color coat visible through cracks on a top coat. Ensure the effectiveness of this finish by selecting contrasting paint colors.

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Full Answer

The materials you need to achieve a crackle finish are satin or semigloss finish paints and crackle medium. The tools you need to apply this finish are masking tape, a sponge, a paintbrush for latex paint, a roller and a roller cover with a 1/4 inch nap.

To start, choose the base paint and apply a coat to the surface. Let it dry overnight. Next, use the masking tape to protect the areas not intended to show cracks. Apply a thick layer of the crackle medium with the brush or the roller, depending on the size of the project, and let it dry. Drying times depend on the crackle medium's manufacturer specifications. Alternatively, use a sponge to apply the crackle medium, which results in hairline cracks. Paintbrushes and rollers create larger cracks, but brushes are inefficient for large projects. The brushstroke direction determines the flow of the cracks.

Remove the masking tape, and apply the top coat starting in a corner. Crackling begins as soon as the crackle medium comes in contact with the paint, so do this process quickly. Reapplying paint erases already formed cracks. Also, don't over blend brushstrokes to prevent the complete removal of the crackle medium from the surface.

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