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How to Crackle Paint

how-to-crackle-paintGiving your furniture and walls a textured and interesting look can be done instantly by employing the crackle painting method. Below is an easy guide for creating the crackle finish look that you can do on your own. The example provides for a natural crackle finish. To achieve other types of crackle finishes, adjust the amount of water used in your crackle mixture.

What You Will Need:

  • 220-grit Sandpaper
  • Damp Cloth
  • Paint for Base Color
  • Paint


  1. Prepare your surface by sanding it down with 220-grit sandpaper and wiping a slightly wet cloth over it afterwards to clear it from the dust and dirt that will be dislodged. Making sure that the surface is smooth before starting to paint will ensure the success of your crackle painting project.However, the technique will work on any smooth surface. To create this technique, paint the surface your chosen base coat color. It must dry completely. Then apply a crackle-type glaze paint, using a brush or roller. Allow the crackle layer to dry for no more than 4 hours, and then apply a topcoat of a different color, painting in one direction. This topcoat will begin to crack within minutes.
  2. Paint over your wall or furniture surface using the color that you would like to use as your base color. Cover the surface until it is opaque.
  3. Let this layer dry completely for the next four hours.
  4. Mix a clear crackle glaze, sometimes called “natural crackle” by most paint brands, with the amount of water you desire.Tip: Pour more water to the mixture to achieve thinner cracks, and less water for larger cracks.
  5. Apply the crackle mixture using a brush and let it dry for approximately two hours. It may take longer depending on the surface you are painting.
  6. Once the crackle paint glaze has dried, paint over the entire surface again, but this time using a color that contrasts the base color you initially painted. Make sure you paint over your entire surface quickly, in order to achieve good results. This can be achieved by using a larger paintbrush.


To give the surface a real antique look coat the surface with an oil-based glaze. You may use shellac, varnish, pure Tung oil, or polyurethane.



“Paint Technique: Aged Crackle Finish : Archive : Home & Garden Television.” HGTV – Decorating, Outdoor Rooms, Landscaping Ideas, Kitchen and Bathroom Design : Home & Garden Television. Home and Garden Television, n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2010.

Wesson, Seanna . “Painting Techniques for Remodeling a Home.” San Francisco Chronicle. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2010. <> .

“Crackle Paint How To .”Environmentally Friendly Paint – Real Milk Paint ®. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2010.

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