How to Create a Crackle Finish on Your Artwork

crackle texture with paint colours


Crackle finish can add an interesting effect to your art and can be used to create either a bold or subtle texture depending on your preference. Golden Crackle Paste is a whitish paste that can be applied in a thick or thin application.  When applied in a thicker application the cracks will appear larger and when applied in a thinner application they will be finer. 


Golden Crackle Paste 

1. Golden Crackle Paste is white and so you create your painting on top of the dried layer. In other words, if you paint this medium over a base colour it will obscure it because it dries white. IT DOESN"T DRY CLEAR!

2. You can tint the layer of crackle paste but since it is white you will get a pastel colour. Don't add too much paint if you want to tint it because it will reduce the crackle properties of this medium. When tinting Golden recommends that you use 20% or less paint to crackle medium.


3. Remember that a thick application will create large crevices and a thin application will create finer "veins" of crackling. Don't thin the medium with water.


4. Crackle Paste is recommended for rigid supports like wooden panel and shouldn't be used on paper and canvas or flexible supports because it may cause them to warp.


5. Thick applications may take up to 2-3 days to dry and thinner applications can be dry in 24 hrs.


6. Since this medium is prone to yellowing as it ages I think it's better to paint over it so those effects won't alter your painting over time. Then, once you have a base colour down, you can go back in with another colour to highlight the cracks. In the past I have painted into the cracks and then quickly wiped the surface areas clean so that there is still a good contrast between the base colour and the colour used to highlight the crackle.


Golden Crackle Paste is a bit of a fragile substance once dry so it is recommended that you use acrylic paint and medium over top of it so that it is strengthened. Without this step little pieces are prone to chipping off. On the other hand some artists add up to 10% gel medium into the crackle paste before applying - the more you add the less the crackle effect will occur but the addition of medium can create a stronger film that is less likely to chip away. Testing and experimentation is recommended and result can vary. Find more information about this product at


golden crackle paste.


Image source [1]

Image source [2]



Written by: rebecca chaperon
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