A project with a surface that is paintable
1-2 shades of acrylic paint for the overcoat ( These are the colors that will show overall when your project is finished)
DecoArt Weathered Wood brand crackling medium (This is by far my favorite brand out of all the ones I have experimented with. I don't even bother with the rest)
Delta Ceramcoat brand Gel Stain Medium (makes your paint flow much quicker and smoother)
Apply a coat of gesso over your surface. Let dry completely.
I am doing a Halloween project and want a variety of browns as the crackle colors and black to be my topcoat color. First I have very sloppily mixed shades of light and dark brown, mixed with a dab of the Gel Stain Medium. Don't mix the colors well , if you want varying shades of colors to show through which I am striving for. Let this paint dry completely.
Next, apply a thick coat of the Weathered Wood. Don't forget to include the sides of your project, or anywhere that will show if you want an overall distressed look. If you only want a portion of the item to be weathered and crackled, then you can scatter the crackling medium here and there. The thicker you put your Weathered Wood on, the heavier and more noticeable your crackles will be. As the Weathered Wood dries, you will notice how it kind of pools up in areas. That's ok :) . Allow to dry to just a slightly tacky feel , but I have found that you don't want it to sit for too long after it is tacky/dry. Usuallly an hour or so.
On a paper plate, mix equal parts of gel stain medium to your acrylic paint(s) of choice. I have chosen to use black, and add just a small amount of off white. Unless you want a uniform color, you do not want to mix the colors of paint completely, because again, you want a variety of shades. I very haphazardly mix the paint colors, then encorporate the gel stain medium slightly. Heavily dab your sponge brush to pick up the variety of colors/medium . You want your brush to be globbed with paint!
Working quickly, apply your paint mixture to your surface. Try not to overstroke your paint, but you can touch up missed areas if you do it QUICKLY. Work the paint around your surface, trying not to overstroke, but yet applying an even coat of uneven colors, if that makes sense!