What is Crackle Painting?

Crackle painting, sometimes also called “popcorn painting,” is a textured style of surface painting that provides a distressed look. Some painters refer to crackle painting as a kind of uneven surface style, where some others use crackle painting as a term for specific surface applications that allow for older layers of paint to show through, giving a space an aged appearance.

Most latex-paint-ready surfaces can be treated with a crackle painting technique. It is often used in cabinets and furniture, as well as molding or trim.

In crackle painting, painters commonly apply 2 different layers of paint, a top layer and a bottom layer, before applying a “crackling agent” that wears the paint chemically and produces the cracked appearance. Designers choose various dual color patterns to help accent an interior space or a piece of furniture. Painters use various means to apply the crackling agent to the paint, for specific kinds of even or uneven results.

A good painting contractor should be able to provide an accurate estimate for a crackle painting job. The best contractors will be able to fit limited crackle painting into an overall job, to provide just the right level of style for any interior space.