Make crackle paint picture frames to add a unique touch to your home decor. You can use a crackle finish with a plastic, metal or ceramic picture frame, but only if the frame won't be handled much as the paint will easily chip and flake. To prevent flaking or chipping you can apply a thin coat of polyurethane after the top coat of paint dries.
Step 1-Prepare Your Picture Frame
Whether you're using wood, plastic or metal frames, you still have to prepare the frame for the paint. With all frames, lightly sand the entire surface with a fine grit sandpaper to give the paint a surface to adhere to. Clean the frame with a damp cloth to remove the dust and residue from the sanding. Allow frame to dry.
Step 2-Apply the Base Coat of Paint
Put down your newspapers or paint cloth to protect the surface or table where you are doing your painting. Your base coat of paint should be darker than your top coat. Apply at least two thin coats of paint and allow to dry. If you are painting bare wood, you can use either oil or water based paint. If you are painting plastic or metal be sure the paint you choose is formulated specifically for plastic or metal so it will adhere better. Allow your base paint to dry thoroughly.
Step 3-Apply the Crackle Medium
Apply your crackle medium. You can buy crackle medium in any craft, hardware, home supply or paint store. If you don't want to buy crackle medium you can add about 10-percent water to ordinary white craft glue and use it as a medium. Allow the medium or glue to dry. Use a thin coat of medium for crackle with fine lines, or heavier coats of medium for heavier lines in your crackle. Don't overspread the crackle medium.
Step 4-Apply the Top Coat of Paint
Once your crackle medium has dried you can paint your top coat of paint. Remember, your paint will crackle in the direction the paint is brushed on in. Once you paint the top layer, let the paint dry. As the top coat of paint dries it will begin to crackle.
Step 5-Apply Stain or Protection
If you want more of an antique or aged look to your frame, dilute a stain (use water based stain only if you use water based paint) and apply it to the dried top coat of pain. If you want to protect your finish, apply a thin coat of polyurethane over the top coat of paint, or over the dried stain. You don't need to apply stain or polyurethane, but if the frame will be handled frequently, it's a good idea to apply polyurethane.