Choosing a Crackle Medium for Your Paint Project

Artisan Enhancements offers two fantastic, user-friendly crackle mediums.  Both crackles are versatile, incredibly easy to use and offer a variety of beautiful finishes!

They contain no hazardous chemicals or harsh odors and clean-up easily with dish soap and water!

When attempting a faux finish effect, it is always advantageous to choose the appropriate crackle product for the job!

Let’s discuss how Crackle Tex and Easy Crackle differ from one another, and why you would choose one product over the other for a specific paint finish!

Easy Crackle has a much thinner consistency than Crackle Tex.  For this reason, it applies more evenly and dries faster. If you are working on a vertical surface, like walls, we always recommend Easy Crackle because the thinner consistency allows the product to be easily rolled and is less likely to drip.

We always recommend Easy Crackle for use over our metallic foils.  Here we have brushed Easy Crackle over a gold foil application.

As soon as the Easy Crackle was dry we brushed on a quick coat of white paint, being careful not to overwork the paint application.

Easy Crackle produces a more delicate crackle with fine lines.  Notice the soft gold foil finish showing through in the cracks of the white paint application.  This is a great, sophisticated aged look for large mirror frames, vanities, dressers and more.  Seal with Clear Finish to enhance the sheen of the metallic foil.

The thinner consistency of Easy Crackle makes it ideal for projects where crackle may be desired in some areas but not all over.  This allows for seamless blending into an otherwise flat paint finish.  Areas of fine crackle appear to be naturally occurring for a more subtle effect.  We especially like this look on vintage furniture to recreate the look of random crackling that often occurs naturally on older painted pieces.

The “Tex” in Crackle Tex is short for “texture”.  Crackle Tex is a thicker crackle medium and works great for adding heavier texture and crackle to a paint finish.

Crackle Tex can be applied in the same manner as we have demonstrated Easy Crackle, but will result in more dramatic, larger cracks. Since Crackle Tex is a thicker medium, we prefer to use Crackle Tex to create dimensional plaster crackled finishes using VP Antico and Fine Stone.

Another popular use for Crackle Tex is to create a “chippy” rustic paint finish effect by lifting off sections of paint as the final layer is drying.  This finish is great on flat surfaces such as doors and drawer fronts, but we also love the look on carvings, sculptural pieces and anything that calls for an old world patina!

Here we have stippled a thick layer of Crackle Tex directly onto a detailed architectural piece.

Once the Crackle Tex application had dried completely, we quickly brushed on a coat of Paris Grey.  As the paint began to dry and cracks started to appear, we used a damp sea sponge to “lift off” sections of paint.  The Crackle Tex works to create additional rustic texture as the top layer of paint is moved and manipulated with this technique.

The end result is a crusty, chippy paint finish with great texture and an aged patina effect.

This example shows Crackle Tex on a flat surface where it was allowed to crackle in some sections, and pushed back in others.  Notice the larger, more dramatic cracks as opposed to the more intricate crackle produced with Easy Crackle.

Which crackle medium is right for your project?  Are you looking to achieve a fine, intricate crackle?  Do you want an all-over crackle or are you after a subtle crackle in specific areas?  Does your project call for a more rustic finish with dramatic texture and patina?  These are all things you’ll want to consider when you set out to choose a crackle medium for your next paint finish.

All of Artisan Enhancements’ art finishing products have low-no VOCs, are biobased and hypoallergenic which means they are safe to use in the comfort of your own home!

Ready to add some crackle to your next paint project?  Be sure to hashtag #artisanenhancements when you share your paint finish photos on social media!  We can’t wait to see your creations!

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