How to Achieve the Porcelain Crackle Paint Technique

What You'll Need
Base coat in desired color
Porcelain crackle paint
Water-base polyurethane finish
Nylon paintbrush
Foam brush
Painters tape
Drop cloth
Old newspapers
Practice board
2-inch paint brush or paint roller
Paint tray

Crackle Paint techniques add style, character and a feel of “vintage” look to your furniture or home accessory. These faux painting techniques can be used on paper mache, porcelain, wood and cardboards. It looks like paint but it cracks as it dries giving the surface a distressed, worn-out and antique look. The paint’s crackling compound mimics the natural aging effects and if applied correctly, no one would notice that it it’s done artificially. Similar to normal paint, you can choose from a wide variety of crackle paint colors. If you have plans of giving your room a little bit of style, you can use crackle paint on a piece of furniture or give the worn-out cupboard a makeover. There are 3 popular technique of crackle painting; porcelain, glue method and weathered crackle glaze. Tried and tested color combinations are:

  • Dark pink and white
  • Beige and brown
  • White and green
  • Cream and red

Porcelain crackling will give your porcelain a convincing aged look. It is ideal for accent pieces such as mirror frames, vases and porcelain table tops. Below is a step-by-step guide porcelain crackle paint technique.

Step 1 – Applying the Base Coat

Use painter’s tape or masking tape to protect surrounding areas that you don’t want painted. Afterward, you can now apply your base coat using your paint roller directly to the surface. Different products may have different effects; make sure to follow paint label directions. Allow the base coat to dry for 4 to 5 hours. You can also leave it overnight but remove the tape before leaving it on. The tape left may lift off and remove the base coat you applied earlier.

Step 2 – Applying the Porcelain Crackle Paint

After leaving the base coat overnight, reapply tape. Apply evenly the contrasting crackle paint using a foam brush. Apply paint using overlapping, small X’s strokes. The thicker crackle paint you apply; the more well-defined your cracks will be. On the other hand, a thinner coat will give you smaller and finer cracks. Allow it to dry for 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 3 – Smoothing out the Surface

To smooth out the paint, run your foam brush lightly to the surface in a horizontal or vertical motion. Allow the final coat to dry for a day.

Step 4 – Applying the Polyurethane Finish

After 24 hours, apply evenly a coat of clear polyurethane finish to protect your newly-applied paint. Remove the tape while the paint is still fresh to avoid paint from lifting off with the tape.

Layering different colors of paint is a good idea once you have already tried combining 2 basic colors. A darker base coat with a lighter finish is a popular choice but doing it the other way around is now a growing trend.