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Getting a Crackle Paint Finish with School Glue!

A crackle paint finish is a beautiful way to add texture and interest to your craft projects. And it’s easier to do than you’d think! See how to get a crackle finish with just a few supplies including the school glue you likely already have at home.

Halloween Cackle, or rather Crackle!

Crackling paint is just what the name implies – breaking, or cracking up, the surface of the paint to create a worn and weather effect.

I always thought that you need a special medium to create a crackle paint finish. But when I saw our friend Agnes’ tutorial on how to crackle paint with glue, I was intrigued. Agnes used white glue in her tutorial. I only had clear Elmer’s glue on hand (thank you to the kids’ slime-making phase) – would it still work?

I decided to test in out to make some simple decorative wood blocks for my Halloween tiered tray. I’ve been crafting up a storm of simple projects including miniature broomsticks with raffia, faux stacked spell books, burlap Ghostie and Frankie, and more.

I knew I wanted to put a lttle phrase on my decorative signs and out of the blue popped up some Macbeth:

Double double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

William Shakespeare

For the second one I found this list of Halloween quotes and this particular one seemed eerily perfect:

Darkness falls across the land,

the Midnight Hour is close at hand.

Rodney Lynn Temperton

I like that that gold lettering almost blends in with the crackle finish of the piece: they’re almost like little secret messages you have to discover!

Materials Needed for this Halloween Craft Idea

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  • scrap wood block
  • Decoart Dazzling Metallics Paint, Splendid Gold
  • Decoart Chalky Finish Paint, Carbon black
  • White or clear school glue such as Elmer’s
  • Gold metallic paint pen
  • 1/8″ gold ribbon

How to Make a Crackle Paint Finish

Paint your surface with the base color that will be showing through the crackle (gold metallic in this case). Let dry completely.

Paint a generous coat of school glue onto the surface. Brush it in one direction for best results. Let dry until TACKY (the glue needs to still be wet for the paint crackle finish to form).

While the glue is still tacky, brush the surface paint color over it.

Allow the paint to air dry, or use an air gun to speed up the drying.

As the paint dries, the crackle finish will form like magic!

Let the paint and glue dry completely. This may take several hours depending on the thickness of the glue.

Once dry, use the gold paint pen to add the Halloween quote or phrase.

Tie a gold ribbon about a third of the way down from the top edge.

So I’m pretty in love with how these spooky blocks turned out but am moreso obsessed with this crackle paint finish! Don’t be surprised if you see more of it in the coming months.

It’s interesting that the Macbeth quote came to mind before I started the project and in the end the crackle effect created a charred wood kind of result (fire burn!). So neat.

Additional Halloween Craft Ideas to Explore

We’ve been crafting up a storm for Halloween this year! Be sure to check out some of thes additional ideas to make:

Like it? Pin it for later!

Getting a Crackle Paint Finish with School Glue!

Jane and Sonja
See how to get a crackle finish with just a few supplies including the school glue you likely already have at home.
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Materials
  

  • Scrap wood block
  • Decoart Dazzling Metallics Paint Splendid Gold
  • Decoart Chalky Finish Paint Carbon black
  • White or clear school glue such as Elmer’s
  • Gold metallic paint pen
  • 1/8" Gold ribbon

Instructions
 

  • Paint your surface with the base color that will be showing through the crackle. Let dry completely.
  • Paint a generous coat of school glue onto the surface. Brush it in one direction for best results. Let dry until TACKY
  • While the glue is still tacky, brush the surface paint color over it.
  • Allow the paint to air dry, or use an air gun to speed up the drying.
  • As the paint dries, the crackle finish will form like magic!
  • Let the paint and glue dry completely. This may take several hours depending on the thickness of the glue.
  • Once dry, use the gold paint pen to add the Halloween quote or phrase.
  • Tie a gold ribbon about a third of the way down from the top edge.
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