Design Tips & Trends

Crackle Finishing

Aging or antiquing techniques such as crackle finishing have become very popular over the past several years. This is partly due to design aesthetics and partly due to the introduction of products that have made it easier to achieve the effect. If you can’t find that perfect “antique” piece for your design scheme, you can recreate it. Or maybe you have an item such as an old picture frame or a piece of furniture that just isn’t worth stripping. Whatever the reasons, crackle finishing is a creative way to get the effect of aged, weathered paint and add a distinctive look to your home.


Basic Rag-Off Rolling Technique:


1. Prepare surface by patching and cracks or dents with spackle and lightly sanding.

2. Apply base coat of paint, typically a darker color, and let dry completely.

3. Apply crackle medium, and let dry until slightly tacky. Thin coats result in finer cracks, thick coats result in larger cracks. Experiment on a sample board using long, smooth strokes or short, cross-hatching strokes to get the effect you want. Do not overbrush.

4. Apply top coat and let dry. 




For items such as picture frames, you can use a damp sponge instead of a brush in order to get into carved areas.

You can achieve an aged/antiqued look by applying a thinned mix of acrylic stain or stain and wiping off excess with a lint-free cloth until desired effect is achieved.

For items that will be handled frequently or receive heavy use, you can seal the paint with a satin-finish polyurethane.