Crackle Tex by Artisan Enhancements ® is bio-based, hypo-allergenic, low odor, NO VOC, and environmentally sustainable. Crackle Tex is a thick medium that allows water based paints or plasters to create “chunky”, chipped crackled effects. Crackle Tex reproduces the sophisticated, aged, antiqued look of weathered paint and/or plaster.
Recommended Use: Crackle Tex is formulated for application on cabinets, furniture, and walls. Ideal on previously painted or sealed surfaces. Crackle Tex is NOT intended to crack latex or oil paint. Crackle Tex is formulated to be used with water based flat paint, such as a Chalk Paint® or other clay/mineral paints.
Prepare the sealed base surface. The base surface or base coat is the layer that will be seen through the cracks of the topcoat layer of plaster or paint. If an undercoat or base coat of paint is desired, apply the paint and allow the paint to completely dry before applying the Crackle Tex layer. Crackle Tex can also be applied to stained or natural sealed wood surfaces. If working on a surface that will not be base coated with paint, make sure the surface has been previously sealed. If the surface is unsealed, seal the surface first with Clear Topcoat Sealer by Artisan Enhancements ®.
Brush or roll-on a liberal coat of Crackle Tex to the prepared/base coated surface. Use light pressure when brushing or rolling Crackle Tex to avoid over working the crackle medium as it begins to dry. Crackle Tex will go on “milky” but will dry clear, allow the Crackle Tex to dry thoroughly before proceeding.
Apply a topcoat of plaster or paint to the dry Crackle Tex layer. The topcoat is the layer where cracks will appear once dried. For easy plaster applications, use the Color Shaper by Artisan Enhancements ® or a trowel to apply plaster topcoats for thick and heavy crackled finishes. For paint applications, use a brush or roller to apply the paint topcoat. Cracks will appear as soon as the topcoat of plaster or paint starts to dry. To eliminate early appearing cracks accidently being plastered or painted over, avoid excessive pressure and don’t overwork the topcoat. Once top coat is dry seal the surface with Clear Finish by Artisan Enhancements ® (for additional sheen) or Clear Topcoat Sealer by Artisan Enhancements ® (for high use and exterior surfaces). Follow the recommended instructions for Clear Topcoat Sealer and Clear Finish cure times before using the surface.
- To achieve a natural irregular crackle finish: On a prepared surface apply Crackle Tex using a round brush (we recommend the Small Round Brush by Artisan Enhancements ®). Allow Crackle Tex to dry until clear, then using light pressure, stipple the topcoat of paint. Allow surface to fully dry then seal with Clear Finish by Artisan Enhancements ® (for additional sheen) or Clear Topcoat Sealer by Artisan Enhancements ® (for high use and exterior surfaces).
- To create a linear crackle effect: Apply base coat of paint using linear strokes and allow to fully dry. Using a chip brush and light pressure apply Crackle Tex to the painted surface using linear strokes. Once crackle medium is dry (Crackle Tex dries clear), apply a liberal coat of paint in linear strokes. Be sure to maintain light pressure. Allow the crackled surface to fully dry then seal with Clear Finish by Artisan Enhancements ® (for additional sheen) or Clear Topcoat Sealer by Artisan Enhancements ® (for high use and exterior surfaces).
- To create a “chipped” crackle finish: Apply a thick layer of Crackle Tex using a round brush (we recommend the Small Round Brush by Artisan Enhancements ®). Allow Crackle Tex to dry until clear, then using light pressure stipple the topcoat of paint. As the paint begins to dry, remove strategic areas with a damp Sea Wool sponge by Artisan Enhancements ®. Rotate the sponge as needed to find clean areas on the sponge and quickly wash it out as needed. Allow surface to fully dry then seal with Clear Finish by Artisan Enhancements ® (for additional sheen) or Clear Topcoat Sealer by Artisan Enhancements ® (for high use and exterior surfaces).
- For added texture, Crackle Tex can be used with Fine Stone by Artisan Enhancements ® or VP Antico by Artisan Enhancements®.
Helpful Hints – What to do if cracks do not appear?
If cracks do not appear after the topcoat of paint is completely dry, one of the following reasons could be the cause of the missing crackle effect:
– The Crackle Tex medium was overworked when being applied and therefore wiped back leaving not enough crackle medium on the surface.
– Not enough Crackle Tex medium was applied between the base surface/base coat and the topcoat.
– Not enough paint for the paint topcoat layer was used and therefore there wasn’t enough paint to crack.
– Topcoat layer was overworked and cracks were filled in by passing over cracks too many times.
If cracks do not appear after the first attempt reapply Crackle Tex with a heavier hand or use 2 coats of Crackle Tex if desired. Repeat the application of paint topcoat process based on desired finish.
For additional inspiration and techniques visit our online resource section.
Clean Up & Product Storage:
Easy clean up with soap and water. Seal the container tightly. Do not let freeze or expose to direct sunlight/extreme heat. Do not apply product when air and surface temperatures are below 50°F (10°C).