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Reader Question: Ideas for Crackle Painting?

3 April 2011 4,771 views 6 Comments

by rhonda

We get a lot of questions here at DSC, and we do our darnedest to provide answers to every single one of them. While we sometimes have an answer off the top of our heads, we've found that often the best thing we can do is in turn ask YOU, our awesome readers. It's time again to put on your thinking caps and help your fellow crafters! Reader Larry sent us this message:


I am referring to a tutorial by Ann On May 9,2010 on how to “Crackle Paint with Elmer’s Glue”. I need help badly. Can anyone tell me how to OR what to use to crackle a clear top coat? I am trying to crackle my paintings, but if I use a colored top coat to crackle the glue, the paint covers up the painting, therefore I need some type of amber (old, old, look) tinted CLEAR coat that will Crackle.

Thank you very much,

You can see the post Larry is referring to here, with a link to the tutorial by Ann from Make the Best of Things along with some tips and that Heather previously suggested: [make your own crackle finish]

What do you think, guys? What else could you use to make an aged-looking, amber crackle finish?

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  • rhonda (author) said:

    I used to have some acrylic glaze, which was like a translucent acrylic paint. Something like that might be a viable option. Or perhaps you could tint acrylic matte medium with something, maybe yellow food coloring?

  • Michelle L. said:

    This is an interesting post, I like the idea of what Larry is trying to do – sounds really pretty! I don’t have any ideas, but I hope someone has the answer. The acrylic glaze definitely sounds like it might work!

  • J. Hill said:

    I had the same question. I bought some cheapo artwork and would like to do a crackle finish over it to make it look a little more “authentic.” Can you just tint a clear acrylic top coat with a tiny bit of amber paint? That’s what I was planning on doing, but have been too scared to try!

  • Mod Podge Amy said:

    Mod Podge works great too, actually! Here’s a good example: http://techniquespeak.blogspot.com/2008/06/mod-podge-crackle.html

  • rhonda (author) said:

    On the DSC Facebook page, Joyce offers this suggestion:

    “Tim Holtz (Ranger Products) has a clear top coat crackle “paint”, then you could rub (after it dries and crackles) a yellowish tanish antiquing mix over it to give the “old” look and show up the cracks. Hope that helps.”

  • Ann said:

    Rhonda, thanks for the linky love! Larry, the amber crackle finish sounds cool. One suggestion to try is adding food coloring to the glue which dries transparently. I’ve seen jars coated with glue and food coloring which lets candlelight shine through. I think paint added to the glue might be too opaque. I suggest setting up some experiment boards and trying different mixes. When I try this I’ll do a blog post. Good luck!