How To Crackle Paint Walls

Construction & Contractors Blog

If you want to update your interior walls, consider crackle painting. Crackle painting makes the surface look cracked, giving it an antiquated look. Crackle painting is also a good way to apply your creativity. A novice can crackle paint walls. Here are tips to complete this project yourself.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • step-ladder
  • hair dryer (optional)
  • breathing apparatus
  • drop cloths
  • tarp or plastic bucket
  • sponge or cloths
  • mild dish detergent
  • crackle glaze
  • stain-blocking primer
  • two contrasting color of latex
  • acrylic varnish (optional
  • paint paint brush

Use a step-ladder, if needed, to reach high points. Remove pictures and other items from the walls. Cover non-removable items with drop cloths and plastic.

Cover the floors with plastic or a tarp, and place painter's tape around outlets areas you don't want to paint. Unplug and remove electronics and appliances. Open windows to ventilate.

Two contrasting paint colors produce a better crackle effect. For dark walls, opt for a light glaze. The primary color will show through the cracks.

For a weathered look, opt for weathered glaze and use a short-napped roller. Practice the technique on cardboard or poster board, experimenting with various thicknesses..

Prime and Add Glaze

Wash the walls down with warm water, a clean rag or sponge, and a mild dish detergent, and then let them dry. Cleaning will help loosen flaked paint or woodwork.

Brush on two thin layers of primer, and let each coat dry separately. You may use a roller brush to apply primer.

Brush on a layer of glaze with the brush. Large roller brushes aren't effective for crackle glaze. Add the glaze moving in one direction. Thick paint layers make thick cracks, and vice versa. Let the glaze dry for about an hour.

Add the Top Coat

Brush on the top paint color, moving in the same direction as you applied the crackle glaze and taking care not to overlap strokes. Apply the paint in three-inch section.

One top coat will be enough. Ensure enough paint is on the brush, so you won't have to go back over the wall, as this will ruin the crackle. The paint will need between 12 and 24 hours to dry.

The walls should start to crackle, followed by more cracks. Let the paint dry. Speed up drying with a hair dryer, if desired. Though optional, two coats of acrylic varnish will protect the wall finish.

Once the paint dries, move everything back in place. Your walls should have a new look. If you don't trust your skill, or you need the exterior of the house painted, contact a painter like those represented at


27 December 2016

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