Nowadays, we are experiencing a painting trend. It’s all about being trendy or keeping with the latest fashions, but the trend has been around for a while which is crackle paint.

The problem is it often becomes a disaster when you try to coat your walls with it – not to mention that your home could look like it has had an earthquake there!

Crackle paint mistakes are a big problem when it comes to home decor. So what can you do if you’re trying to restore that chic distressed look but have some crackling? Here’s how to repair cracked paint in your home!

How To Repair A Bad Crackle Paint Job?

A crackle paint job technically has no faults unless there are no crackles to start with.

Every result is distinct and fascinating. Despite this, it probably is if your crackling paint job seems insufficient to you.

Steps Required Estimated Time
Examine The Surface 10-15 minutes
Remove The Top Coating 1-2 hours
Choose Your Crackle Finish 20-60 minutes
Apply The Base Coat 1-2 hours
Apply The Crackle Medium 1-2 hours
Dry The Crackle Medium 3-4 hours
Apply The Top Coat 1-2 hours
Finish Your Crackle Paint 1-2 hours
How To Fix Crackle Paint Mistakes In 8 Steps

Step 1: Examine The Surface

Required Tools

  • Safety gloves.
  • Safety goggles.
  • Sandpaper.
  • Crackle glaze.


  • After your crackle paint has properly dried, usually over the course of an overnight, step back and examine the result. Write down your problems regarding the crackle paint finish.
  • To achieve a more even-aged effect, you may occasionally need to touch up a few spots with sandpaper.
  • You may also sand more aggressively at the edges where it is vulnerable to wear for a more genuine rugged appeal.
  • Apply a new coat of crackle glaze to the places where the crackle paint was applied too thinly and did not crackle sufficiently. This will increase the depth of the cracks and increase the crackling look.
  • You must completely remove the paint in step 2 if the paint did not crackle completely or is already too thick and can’t be fixed by sanding or applying another layer of crackle paint.

Step 2: Remove The Top Coating

Required Tools

  • Safety gloves.
  • Safety goggles.
  • Medium-grit sandpaper or electronic sanding tool.
  • Clean cloth.
  • Chemical remover.
  • Old newspaper or paint thinner.
  • Steel wool pad or wire brush.


  • To remove all of the crackle paint, try medium-grit sandpaper or an electronic sanding tool, depending on the job’s size.
  • Remove only the textured top coat. Sand only until the base coat is smooth.
  • With a damp cloth, wipe the surface and then clean it. Wear a dust mask, and be sure to do this in a room or area with plenty of airflow.
  • Alternatively, you can use a chemical remover to remove the terrible crackling paint job. Make sure your floors are covered with multiple layers of old newspaper sheets because the process is simpler and messier.
  • Before throwing away the dirty paper with the remainder of the trash, give it enough time to dry.
  • A paint thinner can also be used to remove the crackle paint that has been applied on top.
  • Start by liberally applying paint thinner and waiting for a few minutes.
  • Scrub the surface to remove the paint with a steel wool pad or a wire brush.
  • Finish by cleaning the item.

Step 3: Choose Your Crackle Finish

Required Tools

  • Safety gloves.
  • Safety goggles.
  • Paintbrush.
  • Paint.
  • Primer.


  • Once the top coat is removed, you must choose your next course of action.
  • After failing to achieve the desired crackle effect, if you want an equal, flat coat of paint, continue painting your item as usual.
  • With enough time for drying in between, start with a coat of primer and then paint.
  • If not, proceed to step 4 to repeat the crackle finish, hopefully correctly this time.

Step 4: Apply The Base Coat

Required Tools

  • Safety gloves.
  • Safety goggles.
  • Paintbrush.


  • Although your base coat is still intact, you might wish to reapply a thin coat that you accidentally sanded through.
  • Dry it out.

Step 5: Apply The Crackle Medium

Required Tools

  • Safety gloves.
  • Safety goggles.
  • Elmer’s glue or crackle medium.
  • Paintbrush.


  • Elmer’s glue or crackle medium should be evenly applied.
  • The medium layer’s thickness also influences the size of the cracks.
  • Try making the coating of the crackle medium thicker than it was before by applying large amounts if you were expecting deeper, larger cracks at first but were unsuccessful in getting them.
  • If not, use lightly to produce finer cracks.

Step 6: Dry The Crackle Medium

Required Tools

  • Safety gloves.
  • Safety goggles.


  • Wait a little while for the medium to dry, but not too long.
  • Even though it will usually take an hour or two to dry before applying the top coat, it is recommended that you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. When it’s still sticky, it’s ready.
  • The initial one might not have crackles because the crackling medium had over-dried, which might also cause it to lose its effectiveness.
  • If you decide to use glue, don’t let it fully dry out first.

Step 7: Apply The Top Coat

Required Tools

  • Safety gloves.
  • Safety goggles.
  • Paintbrush or roller.
  • Paint spray or sponge.


  • Apply the top coat of paint next with a brush. The final result will depend on the advice given in this step. So, pay close attention to how you apply.
  • One mistake that will prevent you from getting the desired crackle is returning to the same location again.
  • Ensure enough paint is in the can for one pass before dipping your brush or roller into it.
  • Longer cracks develop from long brushstrokes, while tiny cracks develop from brief passes.
  • Sweep in various directions for a more realistic, random pattern.
  • Alternatively, you might choose a clearly defined regular pattern.
  • Use a sponge or paint spray to smear paint all over to cover small gaps resembling spider veins.
  • The crackling ought to become apparent immediately.
  • But before you feel happy or sad, hold off. Hours will pass while the reaction continues, and there may be a significant variation in how it appears within the first few minutes and several hours later.

Step 8: Finish Your Crackle Paint

Required Tools

  • Safety gloves.
  • Safety goggles.
  • Paintbrush.
  • Acrylic polyurethane.


  • Use acrylic polyurethane to coat the crackle paint and provide a defense barrier.
  • Even inside, raw crackle painted surface is more prone to deterioration from natural wear.
How To Fix Crackle Paint Mistakes In 8 Steps

4 Reasons Why Your Crackle Paint Isn’t Working

Although the crackle medium is extremely unpredictable, the material’s moodiness and failure are frequently the painters’ faults. Here are a few causes of your crackle paint’s poor performance.

Reason 1: Fail To Apply Top Coat In Time

A difficulty arises when the top coat is applied over the crackling medium too late. Waiting until this stage to paint your final coat is useless since if the crackling medium is left unattended for too long, it dries out and loses its effectiveness.

Adding the top coat too soon due to impatience is also harmful. It takes some time for the medium to set.

The top coat should be applied while the medium is still sticky. Always follow the timing advice provided by the manufacturer.

Reason 2: Choosing The Wrong Finish Top Coat

If you are completely in love with shine, it’s bad news. For any reaction to occur and to produce results, the top coat must be matte.

Reason 3: Overbrushing Top Coat

The cracking effect, which typically occurs practically instantly when the paint contacts the medium, is disturbed when the top coat is applied repeatedly.

Ensure that you have enough paint for the quantity of area you want to cover, and aim for one brush pass.

Reason 4: Wrong Formula

The most popular method for creating this crackling look is latex paint. With the right medium and primer, other paint kinds, like oil, enamel, and others, can also be cracked.

The compatibility of the crackling medium, primer and paint must also be verified. If your primer or the crackling medium you purchased won’t work with latex paint, it won’t be useful to you.

To establish if the medium should be put at the foundation or in the midst of two paint layers, read the label and directions.

How To Crackle Paint Like A Professional: DIY Steps

To provide painted surfaces with a weathered and aged appearance, use the crackle painting process that I have provided below.

You can give practically any surface a faux finish by adding a coat of glue or crackling medium in between two layers of latex or acrylic paint.

  • Purchase 150-grit or finer sandpaper from a hardware or construction store if you decide to paint a wooden object.
  • To make the object’s surface smoother for painting, rub it with sandpaper.
  • After briefly soaking a clean cloth in warm water, rinse it out. Clean your item’s whole surface using a damp cloth.
  • Get paint primer and a paintbrush out when the object has totally dried to the touch. Apply a single coat of priming with a brush, and then wait for it to dry completely.
  • To prevent harm to your work surface and any nearby items, lay down sheets of newspaper before bringing the paint out.
  • A semi-gloss acrylic base coat should be applied and left to dry overnight.
  • Apply school glue or crackle medium to the item’s surface with a brush.
  • Put thick dollops of glue or crackle medium on your paintbrush before painting your object’s surface if you want to make large cracks.
  • If you desire hairline cracks, cautiously dip your paintbrush into the adhesive or crackle medium before applying it to the surface of your object.
  • To acquire the finest visual results, use a color that combines nicely with the color of your base coat. To ensure that the cracks are preserved, let the paint dry fully.
  • Over the crackling medium or glue, apply a single coat of flat latex or acrylic paint only.
  • Allow the paint to dry for at least 2 hours. If unsure, use your fingers to touch an area of the thing lightly.
  • To make the base coat more visible, sand the edges of the wooden objects.
  • If your item still appears to be too “fresh,” you can add some fading dust with a paintbrush to create the appearance of age.
  • When you’ve finished customizing your item, seal the finish by applying a clear coat of sealant.

Bottom Line

A crackling paint finish can be fixed by retouching a spot to smooth it out or by applying a second layer of crackle glaze to intensify and improve the crackle appearance.

If you don’t want to add additional crackle and still don’t like the current paint finish, let it cure and then sand everything off.

Only the crackle’s texture needs to be removed; the paint underneath can stay in place.


Is PVA glue suitable for use as crackling glue?

Yes. A more subdued crackle finish is produced with a crackle medium. Never allow PVA or Elmer’s glue to dry completely. You’ll need to add another coat if you do.

Can Crackle Paint Be Painted Over?

Yes, paint can be applied over crackle paint. You’ll need to spend money on a spackling paste-like DAP for a finely textured surface. This gypsum plaster-based construction paste can be used as a sealer or repairing material.

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