Monday, August 15, 2011

Working With Crackle

After my last post, I received quite a few emails about the frame with the crackling. Crackling is something I've been doing for a very long time. I'm definitely not the first person to do it, but I do like to add my own spin to the process.

I've used a variety of crackle mediums. On this frame, I used a medium called Weathered Wood.

I started with a base coat of black gesso, leaving a little of the gold peeking through, and applied a generous layer of the crackle medium with a brush. After the medium was dry, I applied a layer of my custom gesso/paint mix. Now, some may like this look. If you do, you can stop here,

but I wanted the crackling to be a little more subtle, so I dry brushed over it.  Again, gesso just adds so much body and texture, giving you a richer look.

On the frame from my last post, I used good old fashioned white glue as my medium.

I started with the original gold finish. I just gave it a good cleaning, applied the glue with a brush, and let it dry.

I then applied another gesso/paint mixture. The crackling here has a different pattern. I still did a little dry brushing.

I used crackling on this stool from one of my earlier posts. I followed with stain and varnish to age it further.

My pair of stands in Twins and Inspiration had a factory crackle that I hated.

I used multiple layers of paint and other mediums to tone it down.

I sometimes vary the thickness of the crackle medium. The door to a recent redesign received a very heavy layer, and has a completely different look.

So, crackling, like paint, can be manipulated to achieve the look you want. No two finishes are exactly alike.

Sharing With:
Funky Junk Interiors: Saturday Nite Special
Coastal Charm: Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Hope Studios: Tutorial Tuesday


  1. really Rosemary, glue??
    I would never have thought of using that!! really know your paint finishes..I love the frames painted with the crackle finish as it adds so much more to the frame..
    very cool..

  2. You do such a beautiful job! every time I have tried to crackle it turned out horrible lol.

  3. Your pieces are beautiful! Thanks for sharing your tips.

  4. No kidding, I was pretty surprised about the glue as well. Who knew?

  5. I love the aged look it adds. These pieces look wonderful.

  6. You are a veritable treasure trove of painting ideas and inspiration! *winks* Vanna

  7. Hi Rosemary! I had heard crackling was "out" but I have always liked it to add character to a project. Sometimes I have better luck with it than other times...high humidity seems to decrease the crackling effect. When you use the glue, did you wait for the glue to dry completely, a little, or not at all before you put the gesso/paint on top of it?

  8. I was just thinking Rosemary, how about I bring my furniture to you and just chose the finish I want, right?
    No? Oh well, can't blame a girl for trying. LOL
    But seriously, I love the look of the crackle finish. You are amazing!

  9. Wow Rosemary! thanks for sharing this amazing tutorial.... the finish is absolutely gorgeous! Wonderful job~Poppy

  10. you are soooo talented!!! all are gorgeous!

  11. I've always wanted to try the crackling technique, but was afraid to try! Thanks for all of your wonderful tips! Now with your directions, I think I will be brave and give it a try:)

  12. I have not crackled (Is that a word) forever, I will put that on my list along with gesso, I get kind of in a rut and finish everything the same!


  13. I love the look your works, so beautiful:-)
    Hugs, Biljana

  14. I love that you soften the crackle effect with a top layer! So clever. Thank you for visiting my blog too - it is very exciting to get new followers when you are a beginner like me:)God bless x

  15. What's old without crackle? I use it all the time. How else can you get that old, used look. I love your frames. Thanks for sharing. 8^)

  16. Hi Rosemary,

    Love the crackle finish, the added texture it provides makes the items look so much older! Beautiful!

    All the Best,

  17. can I just say thank you! Rosemary you're so generous with sharing your techniques and I am simply amazed at the way you create wonderful painted finishes on furniture and other accessories. I would never in a million years consider using glue as a crackling medium. But I like your results A LOT! xo Diane

  18. These all look amazing, Rosemary. I love the unique finish on each one. Thank you so much for the tips and information. You are a pro!

  19. Thank you for sharing your secrets with us Rosemary! You are sooo talented! Somehow, I think if I tried it wouldn't quite turn out the same for me. I definitely want to try the Gesso thing and had never even heard of it before!

  20. Hi Rosemary
    I love your tutorials so much. THANK YOU!
    Enjoy your day!
    XXX Ido

  21. Good Morning:

    It has been awhile since I have stopped by and now I have joined your blogsite. You always seem to have a tutorial on something that interests me. I love what you do, what you experiment with and most of all the results and your treasures. Now I won't miss a post again!!

    Mary Anne xo

  22. Thanx for sharing all of your techniques Rosemary! I will need to try some of them!:)

  23. I love the crackle finish you achieved with plain old white glue! Beautiful.

  24. I just discovered crackle a few months ago and I absolutely love it and I always use glue, however, I never knew you could paint over it for a different look. Definitely going to give it a shot. Now if I can figure out what gesso paint is.... (smile)

  25. Where would we be without white glue? (That's PVA glue to us Brits) Cheap, relatively safe, washable while still wet and about 50 cents for a little bottle.

    Thank you for these hints and tips, dear Rosemary! I love those frames!


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