Wednesday, January 27, 2016

It Must Be... Wednesday!

"Snap!" "Crackle" Pop!"

Let's talk: "Crackle"

I am asked time-and-again... "How do you achieve such
consistent crackling, in your dolls?"

The truth is... It's not about me!  It's all about
the crackle medium I have been applying to 
my dolls for years:

I use DecoArt One Step Crackle.

I have found that this medium consistently produces a desirable 
crackle finish on both paper clay 
(my primary doll sculpting medium) and wood.

I brush it on thick and am often guilty of over-brushing it; 
a big taboo with other crackle mediums. 
And yet, it consistently produces nice, even crackling. 

It is truly a "one-step" application:
Step #1. 
I apply the crackle medium to the doll/surface 
after the doll is painted and completely dry. 
Then, I allow the crackle medium to dry overnight. 
The product label suggests a 2-4 hour dry time; 
but I always allow it to dry overnight, 
even though you see “crackling” almost immediately.

Step #2.
Next, I brush contrasting acrylic paint over the entire surface
(that has the dried crackle medium applied to it). 
I choose a color that I want to fill all of the little cracks 
that have appeared.
Two of my favorite contrasting colors are: 
raw umber and raw sienna. 

Step #3.
Then... I immediately begin to wipe off the acrylic
paint that was just applied, using a soft cloth... to reveal 
the crackled finish.  I often leave some of the acrylic paint 
in cracks and crevices to give the finish a time-worn look.

Step #4. 
(Optional... only if you want a matte/dull finish)
The only thing that I do not like about DecoArt is 
it leaves a very high sheen/gloss finish, when dry.  
To remedy this... as an additional step, I use 
Plaid FolkArt Outdoor Matte Sealer as a top-coat (last step). 
Apply the Matte Sealer only after after Step #3 is dry.

My suggestion is:  You try this product on your lovely doll,
only AFTER you have first applied it to a "sample piece"...
to make sure you are satisfied with your results.

(Ben Franklin said it first: "Only two things are certain in life...")
Have fun! Daryle


  1. So just to be clear: DecoArt crackle first, then matte medium, then stain? I would have thought the medium filled up the crackle cracks...hmmm.

    1. Oh my... I was as clear as mud...huh? Here are the steps:
      1. doll ready to crackle (painted as you like).
      2. Apply crackle medium (allow to dry overnight).
      3. Apply contrasting acrylic paint to fill cracks...immediately wipe off excess paint with a soft cloth.
      4. Then... apply a matte sealer if you want a dull/matte finish.

      Hope this clarifies!

  2. Gosh - what great directions (and hints). Thank you. I'll be printing these off perhaps for a future project.

    1. If you've never "crackled" before Penny... I think you like it! You know... I go a little overboard with it at times. Ha!

  3. Wonderful tips Daryle, thank you! I've used the Deco Art Weathered Wood in the past but will have to hunt for their One step Crackle and give it a test drive! Deb xo