Create an Abandoned Chateau Finish with Crackle Tex!

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  The many images that have been circulating on Pinterest of forgotten castles and chateaus crumbling away from the inside out, continue to intrigue us and capture our imaginations.  Once majestic, ornate faux finished walls and doors that have been abandoned and left to age naturally overtime serve as great inspiration for paint finishes that cross the line between sophistication and decay.  If you are attracted to the juxtaposition of rustic meets refined, follow along as we show you how easy it is to get what we like to call, “The Abandoned Chateau Finish” with Crackle Tex!

We started with a pretty plain, skinny dark wood door, painting it in a stone grey.

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We then used our Venetian Damask stencil and new multi-purpose brush to add an elegant wallpaper-like design in a dusty blue and bright white.  Perfection wasn’t necessary for this step and we didn’t cover the entire door with the design, keeping in mind that we would be painting over most of it later on.


Crackle Tex is a clear medium that will create a chippy, crackled effect on water based paint or plaster.  What makes it unique is that you can create additional texture by pulling back the top layer of paint as it dries.

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Crackle Tex should be applied fairly thick in order to get a dramatic textured crackle.  You can see here where the medium was brushed on in a hap-hazard fashion and thickly but not so much so that it’s dripping down the surface.  The product should be allowed to dry completely before proceeding.

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Once the Crackle Tex application had dried, we quickly brushed on a cream-colored paint, taking care not to overwork or move back and forth too much with the brush which would reactivate the product.  A paintbrush well loaded with paint passed across the surface two times should give sufficient coverage without overworking the Crackle Tex underneath.  The photo above shows a good point for proceeding with a pull-off or wipe down method for added texture.  Some crackles have begun to appear but the paint is still fairly wet.  A damp sponge or lint-free cloth works well for this technique.  Be prepared to rinse out or re-wet your sponge or cloth several times as you go.  For this piece we dragged our damp sponge across the surface, pulling the cream paint away in areas, revealing the stenciled finish underneath and creating more texture.  You can remove as much or as little of the top layer of paint as you like.

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On a piece this size, it is best to work in sections, applying the top layer of paint and wiping back as much as desired in a manageable surface area.  As you can see, in some areas we distressed all the way down to original wood finish to create another layer of depth.  This was achieved simply by applying a little more pressure as we wiped the finish with our damp sponge.

Once you are satisfied with your finish, you will want to apply a protective sealer.  We chose Clear Topcoat Sealer for this piece as it provides a nice, durable matte finish that is applied quickly and easily with a topcoat brush.  Unlike other sealers, there is no need to sand in between coats.  We recommend simply allowing the first coat of sealer to cure for about 24 hours before applying a second coat.

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If you love this Abandoned Chateau finish as much as we do, we hope you will give it a try!

Be sure to hashtag #artisanenhancements in your social media posts so that we can admire your creations and share the inspiration!

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