Thursday, November 17, 2011

Crackle away…

After being under the weather I had some digging out to do.  Cleaning, laundry, finish painting on custom orders and hauling my sewing “computer” to the shop to be set to rights.  (I had knocked it out of time), then picking it back up.   It desperately needed a good cleaning and oiling anyways so this just forced me to get it done.   So you now know where I have been since Sunday.

I did do a comparison for you.  Many customers who place special orders for signs want the crackled, distressed background.  There are a few options as to how to accomplish this. 

You can buy crackle medium or you can use white glue.  The already formulated crackle medium is pricier than the glue, Elmer's works the best for me.  I have tried other glues and they did not seem to work.


You can water down the glue but I have not found the correct ratio to get a decent effect.  Straight out of the bottle the white glue is thicker than the crackle medium.

For this demo I used a roller to apply both.  Nothing fancy, just a well used paint roller with a new cover.  Later I will show you why I prefer using a roller for this. 


With both the glue and medium I eyeballed it and poured out a puddle and quickly rolled it out as evenly as I could.


I worked on several boards.


 I let the crackle and glue dry thoroughly, then I roll on a coat of white paint, working quickly so as not to pick up and remove the crackle as it returns to a liquid state when the paint soaks into it.

The crackle medium was easier to spread being less thick than the glue.  The medium crackle effect on this board is finer but you can get the larger crackle if you leave the layer of medium thicker.  If you look closely you note how the crackles are going all directions.  


Since I can’t seem to figure out an effective way to thin the glue I get spots that are crackled rather than an overall crackle. 


Here is the crackle effect using a brush to apply the medium and paint. The cracks go mostly in the direction of the strokes from right to left.  I prefer using the roller but I do use a brush in a rush. 


So truthfully I prefer the crackle medium over the glue even if the medium is more expensive.  I have used the glue in a pinch and it will give you a crackle effect but the medium is easier for me to control.  

So I hope this helps anyone wanting to use a crackle finish for anything. 

Now on to more mundane things.  I have nearly finished all my special order signs and I will most likely not take any new orders after Thanksgiving for signs wanted for Christmas presents.  Orders after that date just put too much pressure on me. 
We are expecting some cold weather again.  Only a wee bit of snow to come but I have once again been spoiled by mild temps this entire week and am not really looking forward to freezing cold weather.  My husband and I even enjoyed lunch on the patio of one of our favorite restaurants this past Monday, the sunshine was so warm.  

Ta ta all, until we meet again.

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  1. Hi Pamela
    I like all your signs, especially the crackled ones! I have been using crackle medium but I wonder if there is any way, or product that will crackle the painting you do on top of the base? By that I mean, for example, your cute chicken (in the last photo above) is not crackled but the background is. Just wondered if you knew of any product you can put on after that crackles the whole thing?

  2. Thanks for the great info on crackle. I have used both too and I prefer the crackle medium too. I figure if Im going to put that much work into a piece, I may as well do it right to my liking.

  3. I actually really like the directional crackle that you got by using a brush. Now I have the urge to go out and try this on something asap.

  4. I tried crackle once and it was a disaster! Thanks for sharing! I will try it again! Shay :)

  5. Wow, I never even knew you could make that with glue. I like that you have offered a cheaper option. Thanks for sharing! I am a new follower visiting from Todays Creative Blog. Vicky from Mess For Less

  6. thank you for showing us how to do this. I had wondered about the glue.


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