Sunday, January 16, 2011

Helpful Hints (Updated)

Have you ever spent good money on something only to find out later there was a simpler or an inexpensive way to make it yourself.

I thought I would share a few tips I have found along the way after I spent the money for the real deal.

If you would like to share your favourite tips feel free, I will compile them and link them back to you.

  • Did you know that crackle medium is nothing but diluted (elmer's) white glue...even the cheap dollar store white glue will work... white glue is white glue.  This method will work with water based, matte finish paints for best results.
  • you may want to prime your piece if it hasn't already been painted... ( I never do this and it works fine)
  • Paint the colour you want to show beneath the cracks, the darker the paint the more dramatic the look
  • paint your glue mixture on with a brush, no need to use your good Purdy for this one... the cheaper the brush the better the effect
  • the more glue the bigger the cracks
  • apply the mixture in several different directions as it will crack in the direction of your stroke
  • this is the tricky part... DO NOT go over your last stroke, paint as close to it as possible... you will have to load your brush frequently... you can also do a random crackle for a more natural look
  • after the glue is dry (more than an hour, but not more than 4 - 5 hours, depending on your thickness) I use a hair dryer and dry it to the touch, past the sticky stage
  • paint on your main colour, again DO NOT paint over your last stroke
  • as the paint dries and begins to crack your base colour will be revealed... let this dry naturally overnight for best results
  • after your piece is completely dried use Artists Raw Umber or gel stain and rub gently into the cracks, work in small sections, wipe off with a DAMP rag or sponge, this will give your piece a nice dirty aged look
example of a few boards that I did not prime or use a base coat...I applied glue directly to the wood... applied my top colour... let dry - painted the squares... sanded and applied raw umber
    I did not apply the raw umber to this one
    (note the different directions of the crackle)
    sanded and applied raw umber

  • all the above boards were done with masking tape and paint applied with a makeup wedge
  • wet the sponge first and wring out until damp to make it easier to work with and it will not leave the dry spots on your paint
  • dab your sponge in your paint... less is more
  • dab your sponge on a folded papertowel and remove excess paint... dab on your piece
  • let first coat dry (use a hairdryer) rinse your sponge and apply another coat using the same method... if you are getting leakage behind your tape or stencil you have too much paint on your sponge (the new frog or blue tapes should eliminate this problem, I haven't tried them yet)
  • this method is much easier on your wrists and less expensive than buying stencil brushes... I don't use them at all anymore... sponges can be found at Walmart or the Dollar stores in the makeup section
make-up wedges

note the difference in sizes... the right one
has been rinsed

I found this handmade brick mold last week at the thrift store.. 5.00...
I didn't do a thing to it... I love the finish the way it was... perfect for those little treasures I found last week.

I hope you find these hints helpful... if you have any questions please pop me a line.



Gail at My Repurposed Life has been so kind to share another very helpful hint with us... I bought this long before Gail posted this... $24.00 a quart in Canada... I believe I paid $17.00 for it in the states.

It does go a long way however, but why pay that when you can again make your own and you are no longer limited to a few colours.

Thanks Gail for sharing this with us. 

If you don't know Gails' blog you might want to spend a little time checking out the projects that this super woman does... she is the Queen of recycling materials and there isn't a tool that she doesn't know how to use.  She is truly amazing.

Hope you are having a great Sunday...
Hugs, Deb

13 comments: said...

I almost always use glue for crackle. I've used crackle medium but you're right, it's not different.
Why didn't you do this tute a couple of weeks ago (makeup sponges) hehehehe
You are a fountain of information!
thanks deb!

Funky Junk Interiors said...

Wow, I didn't know any of this! How cool. I'm off to share it on my facebook. :)


Rose @ Confessions of a Curbshopaholic said...

Great tips Deb, thanks for taking the time to write it all out!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Deb. I'm a new "bloghopper" and can't pry myself away from all the great tips. I have some pieces to try this method on so better get "crackling!"

Anonymous said...

I really like your brick mold. It's so cute to hang on the wall or use as a center piece. I've never seen one before, I hope I can find one in Nashville!
Thanks again,
Mel's Cabin @

Starwood Country Creations said...

Deb, I'm so excited for you! Donna at Funky Junk shared your hints with her FB group ... very cool
I know about the glue but I had not been applying in different directions, I will do this next time. I will also try the makeup sponges.
I love the Brick mould, I've never seen one before.

Nana's Fun Stuff said...

I haven't tried the glue for crackle yet but had heard of that one. BUT I hadn't heard of different directions so now I have to just go try it. You always motivate me girlfriend :) Thanks for sharing these tips. I LOVE your new find....absolutely perfect :)

Vicky said...

Great info. Thanks!

Susan said...

Love the Elmers hint! Thanks for letting us in on this!

Coleen's Corner said...

Thanks heaps for the info! I've always wondered about that crackling stuff. One day I might try it because I love the look! Totally in love with that brick mold... will you be building a garden shed?

Firecracker Kid said...

Oh my Queen of re-do, I bow down before you:) These are awesome hints and you've saved us loads of cash. Thanks darlin'!

Denise said...

Thanks for sharing, one of these days I'm going to do some "fancy" painting and I will have two places that I can visit, well actually 3 since I know Rose is pretty creative too! I always love the way your finishes look and I've seen it in person, LOL, speaking of that I may have to hang it before I get my room done, after all I can move later when I redo the room.

Debbie Bert-Shirk said...

Gosh...Here I am a brand-new follower and I've already learned two new tricks! My stencil brushes have just about *had it* so I'm off to the dollar store. And thanks for following my new blog:)Hugs,