Have you heard that you can create a crackle effect using basic white glue?
Last year when I shared my Repurposed Tuscan Oil Bottles, I got a comment or two about this. I was intrigued, so decided to give it a try myself.
Here’s what I did and found out:
I started with two identical frosted bottles.
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I gave them each three coats of white chalk paint, allowing them to completely dry between each coat. White chalk paint is my favorite base coat for crackle projects because of its ultra matte finish, which I think looks great for the base layer. You can use most any color you want. Remember, this is what will show from underneath when the top coat of paint crackles.
Next, I applied the crackle medium to one bottle,
and white glue to the second bottle.
The crackle medium dried first, so I gave it a single coat of paint. Similar to a previous experience with crackle medium, it began to take effect even before I finished painting the whole thing.
It produced a light crackle effect over the entire bottle. Don’t you just love those little cracks that instantly age a piece?
When the glue bottle was dry, I gave it a single coat of the same paint. It didn’t begin to crackle as quickly, so I decided to give it some time to dry while I did something else.
This is what I ended up with when both bottles were dry: The crackle medium produced a fine-grained crackled effect and the white glue didn’t work at all.
When I looked into using white glue for crackle projects, I ran across some tutorials suggesting the top coat of paint should be applied before the glue dries.
So…I grabbed a third bottle, gave it three coats of white chalk paint and a coat of white glue, letting it sit just long enough for the glue to get tacky, but not totally dry.
Then I painted on a coat of blue paint as before and left it to dry completely.
This is what I found when I got back. The white glue had indeed produced a crackle effect, and it was more dramatic than what the crackle medium produced.
I even had a couple of areas that dripped during the time it was drying. This could probably be eliminated by using a thinner layer of glue. As with commercial crackle medium, I was plenty generous with the glue.
In the end, I had a trio of blue bottles to compare results with. The commercial crackle medium is on the left. The white glue that was allowed to dry completely is in the middle, and the white glue allowed to dry only to the tacky stage is on the right.
I found the crackle medium to be more consistent and easier to work with. However, for larger projects it can be expensive. The four-ounce bottle I purchased cost $3.99, and the same amount of white glue was a mere .50 over the summer during Back to School sales.
For small projects I’ll probably stick with the crackle medium, but for larger ones I think it’s worth my time to hone my skills with the glue method. I plan to give it a try on wood next. I’m thinking a few large crackled frames would look great.
What about you? Have you tried the white glue crackle method? Do you prefer one method over the other? Leave a comment below sharing your experience – or opinion!
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