How to do a crackle finish

Authentically recreate that wonderful antique look of aged paint with our easy-to-use Crackle Medium!

In this tutorial company co-founder, Rosanne will show you her tips on how to get the best results with our Crackle Medium. Please note that this product is suitable for indoor projects only, so don’t use it on projects that you’d like to place outdoors.

Click here to find a local retailer where you can purchase Crackle Medium, or order it from our online shop!

Spanish and French translations are available towards the bottom of this page.

Step 1) Pre-paint your piece

Simply start by applying a base coat of Country Chic Paint to your project. If you’re unsure of how to prepare your surface before painting, click here to see our surface preparation tutorial. It’s best to wait at least 12 hours before you move on to the next step.

If you would prefer the cracks in your finish to reveal the natural wood color underneath, you can skip the base coat and move straight on to step 2!

Step 2) Apply the Crackle Medium

Using a synthetic-bristle brush, apply an even coat of Crackle Medium making sure that you do not over-brush. Allow this coat to fully dry (~12 hours). Letting the Crackle Medium dry completely is critical as without sufficient dry times no cracking will occur.

Apply at room temperature and avoid using when the relative humidity is over 85%. Please note that this product is water-based and should therefore not be applied over top of oil-based paints or stains.

Step 3) Apply your top coat

Apply your top coat of Country Chic Paint. If you chose to use a base coat of paint, make sure this coat is in a contrasting color. Do not over-brush. As the paint begins to dry, you’ll see cracks start to appear in the finish.

Tips: To produce larger, more prominent cracks apply the top coat in a thicker layer. (Keep in mind that thicker coats of paint will increase dry times.) For finer cracks, apply your top paint coat more thinly. For random and sporadic crackling, vary your brushstrokes and randomly brush the paint on.

You can use a blow dryer set at a moderate temperature to reduce the wait time between each step. If you over-brush your crackle or top coat, it can create either very fine cracks or no cracks at all, so just apply and then leave it alone.


Here’s how the finished product turned out. Isn’t it fantastic? The possibilities are endless, so go get creative!

To clean up, wash your brushes right away with warm, soapy water. Make sure you wipe down the rim of the jar with a paper towel before re-sealing it so it’s easy to open next time.

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