How to Apply Crackle Paint to Your Interior Trim and Moldings

A crackle paint finish can add elegance to any room. In this article we will look at a step by step process for using crackle paint on interior trim and moldings. Crackle painting is a two step process. You will need a paint brush and roller, paint which you will use for a base coat, crackle paint, and also paint which you will use for a top coat. You can also use a top coat of polyurethane to protect and preserve the crackle finish after you have completed the painting process. As with all paint techniques, it is a good idea if you practice the technique on some scrap molding before you actually try to perform this work on your real wood molding.

To begin the surface that you are going to paint has to be clean and ready to accept paint. You will need to chose paint for a base coat. The paint can be either flat, eggshell or satin.

Using a brush, paint the base coat color on to the molding. Wait for the basecoat to dry completely.

Next open and mix the crackle paint. Paint the Crackle paint over the base coat utilizing a synthetic nap roller. You can paint the crackle paint utilizing a brush, however the crackle pattern will follow the brush stroke when dry. This does not look natural, so it is best to use the roller which provides a more even finish.
Allow the crackle paint to dry thoroughly.

Next paint the top coat over the crackle coat. It is important that the top coat is flat paint, to get the best crackle effect. The crackle effect can be controlled somewhat by how you apply the top coat. For large cracks you should apply a heavy top coat. For thinner, and smaller cracks, you should apply a thin topcoat.

The crackle effect will begin as soon as the paint begins to dry. It is important to note that once the crackle effect begins you can not go back and paint over areas which were previously painted. So basically it is a one shot process. You need to get the paint done right the first time.

Wait for all the layers of paint to dry thoroughly.

When finished it is best for durability and appearance to finish the whole job with a top coat of Polyurethane. This top coat will protect and preserve the crackle finish.

A great decorating idea with crackle finish is to select a top coat which is darker then the bottom coat color. By so doing you will create some contrast between the top layer and the bottom. This will make the crackle effect stand out more, and it will be more dramatic than by going with a color which is closer to the top coat.

Crackle finish paint is surprising durable if you go the extra step of doing the final coat with polyurethane. When working with polyurethane it is best not to rush it. Several thin coats of polyurethane are always better than one thick coat.

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