Crackle Painting Moldings: Everything You Need to Know

Crackle paint is an interesting finish that can turn any room into an interesting conversation piece. It is not for everyone but those who love the whole “shabby chic” look will likely enjoy it. There are people out there who will crackle an entire wall, personally it’s not my scene and I think it’s a bit too much but crackle painting moldings and window frames adds just enough of rustic comfort to a room in my opinion.

What is Crackle?

Crackle is a finish that can be given to just about anything from pictures frames to entire walls. It involves using two paint colors and a crackle medium which when placed between two layers of paint will create cracks so both paint colors are visible.

What Do I need?

Paint Brushes

Two paint colors

Crackle Medium

Painters Tape

How Do I Do it?

In order to crackle paint the first thing that needs to be done is the base coat. Tape up the walls surrounding the molding first to ensure you don’t get anything where you don’t want it and then paint the base color. Let it dry completely before moving on. Once it has completely dried apply the crackle paint in small sections and allow it to dry. Applying crackle paint is pretty straight forward just use a paint brush and paint it on as you would paint. Make sure the coat is an even one as an uneven coat may effect the final product.

For moldings applying the crackle medium to one molding at a time is fine, you want to ensure that you have enough time to add your top coat while the medium is still effective. Once you’ve brushed on your medium let it dry. It should only take 30 minutes to 1 hour to dry, but follow the manufacturers instructions. You need to stick around while the medium dries because it is necessary to put on the top coat as soon as the medium dries.

Once the medium has dried paint on the top coat in a light even coat. The crackling effect will begin immediately but the full result will not be apparent until the entire surface has dried. Do not paint more than one top coat. Painting over it again will minimize the crackling effect and may create an uneven crackle.

Move onto the next section and follow the same steps. Once everything has dried remove the tape and enjoy the new look.

What Will It Look Like?

Once you’ve completed all the molding you can step back and take a look. The effect will look something like old weather-worn paint. It will appear as though the top coat has shrunken and cracked and the bottom coat will seep through so both colors are visible at the same time. Exactly what it will look like depends almost entirely on the colors you have picked. Some go with a dark top coat and light bottom coat for a dramatic look, others go for a darker bottom coat with a white top coat to mimic a more rustic appearance.

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