Crackle Tex

Yes. Seal with Artisan Enhancements™ sealers or wax.

Note: If creating a multi layered finish - adding more layers of paint, plaster, glaze, or a color wash - once crackle layer of paint is dry, a thin layer of Artisan Enhancements™ Clear Topcoat may be needed to protect the crackle paint/plaster layer from reopening with moisture.
No. Crackle Tex is not a varnish product. Crackle Tex is a crackle medium that is sandwiched between a base layer and a topcoat layer of either plaster or paint. A topcoat of paint or plaster must be applied for cracks to appear.
If your paint becomes sticky, gluey or gummy during the chipped crackle technique, one of the following reasons could be the cause:

  • Crackle Tex was not completely dry before applying paint. Make sure Crackle Tex is completely dry before applying topcoat of paint.
  • Paint was too wet when the chipping technique was started. Do not start chipping effect until small cracks begin to appear. The paint should be damp and moist but not wet. 
  • Excessive water was introduced either from the sponge/rag tool being used to create the chip effect. Always start with a dry sea sponge or rags, only lightly spritz them if the paint is being stubborn.
For a basic application we do not recommend thinning Crackle Tex. However, for some applications (such as rolling on walls or over foil applications) a thinner medium may be desired. For thinning, we recommend no more than a 5% dilution of water. If using a diluted thinned concentration of Crackle Tex, additional coats of Crackle Tex most likely will be needed for full coverage. Allow each coat to dry before applying additional coats. We also recommend doing a sample piece using the diluted thinned concentration to know how many coats will be required to achieve the desired effect.
Crackle Tex is a thick bodied water-based crackle medium. Overtime, the resins in the crackle medium can settle to the bottom. When this occurs, liquid can rise to the top. Before beginning any project, it is important to always stir the product from the bottom up in the container. Making sure any potentially settled resins are reincorporated.

Note: After opening and exposure to air, Crackle Tex can become thicker over time due to some evaporation. Always make sure to close containers tightly after each use to maintain consistency.
If cracks do not appear after applying Crackle Tex, one of the following reasons could be the cause:

  • The surface below paint or Crackle Tex was not sealed or was raw. Porous surfaces like stone or raw wood are “thirsty”. These types of surfaces absorb too much of the crackle medium resulting in less pronounced or absent crackle effects. We recommend sealing thirsty surfaces with Clear Topcoat Sealer prior to painting or applying Crackle Tex.
  • A topcoat of paint or plaster has not been applied over the dried layer of Crackle Tex. Crackle Tex is a crackle medium that is sandwiched between a base layer and a topcoat layer of either plaster or paint. A topcoat of paint or plaster must be applied for cracks to appear.
  • When applying the topcoat layer, the paint or plaster was applied too thin, too thick, or overworked. The best results are achieved with a medium load of paint or plaster – not too much but not too little. Once the paint or plaster is applied avoid over brushing and too much pressure which can lead to the covering of early appearing cracks.
  • The type of paint or plaster formula used as the topcoat contains either too much acrylic, pigment, or matting agent. Crackle Tex works best with mineral and chalk style ultra-flat (matte) water-based paints. Light and medium colors produce the more defined and pronounced crackle patterns. Crackle Tex works best with VP Antico and Fine Stone. Both plasters are more porous and matte when dry making them ideal to layer with Crackle Tex.
Tools and application methods vary the type of cracks produced. Crackle Tex can be applied with a brush or roller.

For controlled crack patterns – Using a brush, apply Crackle Tex and paint layer in linear strokes. For irregular crack patterns- Using a brush, apply Crackle Tex and paint Layer in haphazard, cross hatching, strokes. For smaller irregular, “web-like”, crack patterns – Using a roller, apply Crackle Tex and paint using even linear strokes to avoid lap lines.
Artisan Enhancements™ Crackle Tex is a thick bodied crackle medium. Developed to create crackle techniques and textures when layered with most water-based paints and plasters.

Crackle Tex is a crackle medium that is sandwiched between a base layer and a topcoat layer of either plaster or paint.

Crackle Tex works best with mineral and chalk style ultra-flat (matte) water-based paints. However, some paints contain a higher concentration of matting agent or acrylic resin. Both can change the end result of the crackle pattern. Cracks may appear but may not be as pronounced. Light and medium colors produce more defined and pronounced crackle patterns. Darker more saturated colors can occasionally be more difficult to crack due to higher concentrations of pigments. Cracks may appear but may not be as pronounced.

Crackle Tex works best with VP Antico and Fine Stone. Both plasters are more porous and matte when dry making them ideal to layer with Crackle Tex.

Download Crackle Tex Tip Sheet
Crackle Tex can be used to achieve chunky and chipped effects. Great for a variety of interior applications and surfaces such as: furniture, cabinetry, decorative arts, and walls. 

Before any Crackle Tex application, surfaces should be free of cleaner residue, dust, dirt, and debris. Surfaces should be dry before Crackle Tex application.  If painting/staining/layering before Crackle Tex application, make sure the basecoat of paint/stain/layers are completely dry before application of Crackle Tex. For best results let surfaces dry overnight before Crackle Tex application.

Note: Raw, stone, or untreated surfaces may need to be sealed with Artisan Enhancements™ Clear Topcoat prior to Crackle Tex application – These types of surfaces absorb too much of the crackle medium resulting in less pronounced or absent crackle effects.