How to Crackle Paint

Snap, Crackle, Make Your Walls Pop!

Would you like to learn how to crackle paint?

If the answer is yes, then you are in the right place. This page will explain how - and no, this technique is not just for furniture! Walls, yes walls, can also be painted using the crackle method.

Crackle paint can be a great asset to any wall mural. This technique can be used to add texture to painted trees or to give a time-worn look to a modern room. The possibilities really are endless. And now, here are the instructions for how to crackle paint...

The Supply List

Crackle Painting

First things first - there are a couple of points I would like to make before delving into the supply list. One, when considering paint colors, select colors with some contrast. Why is contrast important? The crackling medium will cause the top coat to split, displaying the base color underneath.

Another point - every crackling medium is different. Make sure you read (and follow!) the manufacturer's instructions. It is a good idea to review the instructions prior to purchasing the crackle medium and select one that is most suited for your project.

Since I am on a roll, I would like to give one final word of warning - this project is not for the faint of heart. Crackle paint can take on a life of its own, and the results are not always predictable. Several factors can affect the finished product, including the amount of crackle medium used as well as the method used for applying the crackle medium.

Enough lecturing - here is what you will need for this project:

  • paint for base coat (flat or eggshell finish)
  • contrasting paint for top coat (flat or eggshell finish)
  • crackle medium
  • paint roller and other normal painting supplies (brushes, paint tray and liner, etc.)

Let's Get Started!

Before I go into details regarding how to crackle paint, I want to remind you to practice, practice, practice. Use a piece of plywood or wall board and make sure you are comfortable with the technique before using it on your walls. Also, this is a good time to make any changes to your paint color choices. Got it? Okay - here goes...

STEP ONE:

Apply the base coat and allow to thoroughly dry.

STEP TWO:

Following the manufacturer's instructions, apply the crackle medium to your walls. Make sure you allow the medium to cure for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer. If you are working on a large area, you may need the assistance of another person in order to apply the top coat in the recommended amount of time.

STEP THREE:

Apply the top coat of paint. This can be done with a paintbrush, roller or even a sea sponge. Varying the amount of pressure used to apply the top coat will have dramatically different effects. Heavier pressure will result in smaller cracks, whereas lighter pressure will produce wide, thick cracks.

That, in three simple steps, is how to crackle paint.

Show & Tell

Upload photos of your murals or check out the submissions from other visitors to our site in the Show & Tell section of this website.

The pictures above are just a small sample of the inspiration that awaits in our visitor submission gallery!