Thursday, June 24, 2010

A New Tutorial...Learning (or Perfecting) How to Crackle!

I have been sorely neglecting my blog..... no excuses, other than life in general.  But,  I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and decided to start out with a tutorial on how to make any painted surface look like a time worn antique that has been sitting out in the elements for 100 years.  So take anything new (or old) you might have, and age it by decades in just minutes!  I've tried many methods, several products and have learned what I like and what I don't, what works and what doesn't (at least for me).  SO Linda and Pat, this is for you!!

What you will need :
    A project with a surface that is paintable
    Sponge Paintbrush
    2-3 shades of acrylic paint for the undercoat (colors that contrast with the topcoat, as these will be the crackles that show through)
    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!

Allow to dry. Some crackles will appear within seconds,  and others take several minutes.  Within the hour, your project should look aged, weathered and distressed.  Good Luck!


Anonymous said...

Ahhhhh, I've never tried this, but your step-by-step instructions seem foolproof! Love your Wee Witch! :)

whyte said...

I'm the "Pat" and I can't thank you enough, especially for the tip on your favorite crackle medium. I thinks that's why I gave up, I tried mediums that just didn't work...and I tend to overwork the paint, but a foam brush would help lay more down on the first stroke I think. Thanks soooooooooo much Carol!! {{{hugs}}} {{{hugs}}}


Gayle Page-Robak said...

Hi Carol! This is totally awesome! what a terrific art piece and I am so enjoying being back to see what you have been up to. Thanks for checking in with me as well. And, yes...another challenge would be a fantastic idea...just let me know--if and when! (smiles).
Have been busy with 2 eye implant surgeries, one May 27 and one just a week ago. Will be so relieved when the post op meds are finished in two more weeks. Had to be done but will be better for it. How is all going with you? Be well, big hugs, Gayle.

Barb said...

Hi Carol,
So enjoyed your tutorial. Thanks for "visiting" my blog and happy week-end to ya. Ü

Midwestie Lady - Linda said...

Hi Carol,
Thanks for this great tutorial! It's clear and consise, and I'm glad you shared on the products too.

Julie Magers Soulen said...

That's a great tutorial and I love the way your project turned out. It's great! Thanks for sharing.

Julie Magers Soulen Photography

Kris Dickinson said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial and for visiting my Halloween blog. I really love your Wee Witch. Cheers! - Kris

artistamyjo said...

Thanks for the great lesson. I will try this method, haven't had much luck with others I've used.
Hugs, Amy

Griselda said...

Marvelous....I looove your work!

Terri said...

This is a fabulous tutorial. Thank you so much for explaining it all. I have never used the products you used, and I think I will give them a go.