Teaching Thursday: Tips and Hints for Crakle Projects

I used to be afraid of Crackle Medium, I’ll admit it.  It seemed so intimidating!  But practice makes perfect, and I’m here to tell you that it’s one of the easiest faux finishes around, and it makes your projects look beautiful, too!

Crackling is an effect that makes things look aged, antiqued, and without the years of wind and weather it takes to make it naturally, it makes it easy!  You can use Crackle Medium with just one color, or two, it’s really the user’s choice.  I love to use it with two colors, as I appreciate the contrast of the colors and usually take forever to make my color choices unless I’ve picked a palette beforehand.

After basecoating your project, you just brush Folk Art Crackle Medium on top of the dry surface.  And, here’s a little secret; you can stop here with the Crackle if you want to, but I like to make sure I let the Crackle coat dry completely and apply a second coat, a bit thicker than the first, on top!  I found that when I did this, my cracks were more defined.

You can apply the top coat to a surface using a number of different methods.  You can apply the paint very thick or just brush it on to get different types of cracks.  Generally, a thick topcoat creates bigger cracks, and a thin topcoat creates smaller cracks.  The style of brush you use will make the effect different, too.

Here, I used a thick top coat, applied with a sponge brush.  I brushed the paint on unevenly, crossing my strokes while keeping my brush loaded with paint between every stroke.  You don’t ever want to brush over a stroke as this will pull the top coat away from the Crackle Medium and make an ugly mark.

The results are large, beautiful cracks heading in different directions.

You can also apply the paint in the same way with a brush.  Here, I laid down a light coat of Wicker White over a Deep Ocean Blue base-coat to show you how beautiful a darker color is under a light one.

The results here are great, too.  As you can see, with the lighter top coat, you can see more of the darker base-coated color, which is just a different look from the one above.  It’s your choice which one to use.

Here is an example of using a brush for the top coat, with even strokes all heading in the same direction.

You can use Crackle Medium on just about any surface you choose, except glass and plastics.  Furniture is especially lovely when it’s aged, I think.  You can also be adventurous and try it out on a wall or two at home, if you’re so inclined!

But my biggest tip would be to play with it awhile before you commit to your project.  Try out the different methods shown here, or create your own, but definitely don’t pass by the Crackle Medium the next time you see it on your craft store shelf.  Pick it up and try it!  It’s a great way to add new dimension to your craft projects!

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