Crackle paint for a small craft project without a costly kit, special craft supplies, or hours devoted to the task. Add a touch of antique to any wooden gift tags, keepsake boxes, even carved figures using the simple steps below.
Paint the wood surface the color you want to show in the cracks (ie, a contrasting color from the one you want “peeling” on your wood surface). Let the paint dry. It’s best to use a contrast, such as a dark base coat if your primary color will be light and vice versa. Black or white are the most traditional choices.
After your base coat is dry, cover the surface of the wood with a thick layer of Elmer’s white glue (basic white craft glue or wood glue will also work). Let sit for a few minutes, five or more, so it partly dries on the surface but is still damp or sticky to the touch.
Paint the primary or “peeling” colors over the glue; if the glue smears slightly, don’t worry, just daub the paint instead of using brush strokes.
Let your paint dry. As the glue and final coat of paint finish drying, the glue should pull apart the final coat of paint, creating “cracks” that reveal the base coat beneath. After the piece is completely dry, you can add artistic touches such as stain, glitter, or protective sealants to your piece.
Always remember, the temperature and type of glue can affect the results, so it’s a good idea to experiment on a “disposable” piece of wood first before crackling your craft piece.