How to Create an Easy Crackle Finish

by Nichola Battilana

Create a crackle finish easily with just white school glue and acrylic paint.


  • white school glue
  • acrylic base colour
  • acrylic top colour
  • heat gun (optional)
  • something to paint!
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Paint your object with your base colour and allow to dry. This is the colour that will show through the cracks. I used VERY cheap acrylic craft paint from the $store.

    Step 2

    Apply a liberal layer of white school glue. Note: I used Elmers School Glue purchased for $1 BUT I also tried with other types and had the same results. Allow to PARTIALLY dry for about 30 seconds.

    Step 3

    BEFORE the glue layer dries, slap on your top coat of paint. Again, cheap acrylic craft paint. IMPORTANT: The direction the paint is applied determines the direction of the cracks.

    Step 4

    I applied my paint with vertical strokes, so my lines are vertical.

    Step 5

    Thicker areas of paint will have yield larger cracks. You can dilute your paint with a small amount of water for finer, less obvious cracking.

    Step 6

    Finally, you can speed up the drying process with a heat gun but be careful that your glue doesn't bubble... if you mind that sort of thing.