Friday, March 07, 2008

Product Review: Distress Crackle Paint

Crackle paint has finally arrived at our LSS, so I took the opportunity to buy a couple colors and try them. I've seen how cool Tim Holtz makes this stuff look on things and I couldn't wait to give it a whirl!

Crackle paint comes in all the great ranger distress colors and is sold in a 1.1 oz bottle with applicator brush right in the cap! Unlike other crackle paints, Tim Holtz's crackle paint is a one step process - paint it on, let it dry, and watch it crack. You can speed the process up by heat setting the paint with an embossing gun. It's a great way to add texture and a weathered look to your projects!

When you open the container, the paint seems thick and gloppy. All three of the colors I bought are like this, so I think that's the way it's supposed to be. All you have to do is paint in onto your surface and let it dry. If you're impatient like me, you heat set the paint to make it crackle faster. The paint really does dry quickly, but it seems to take a long time to crackle after it is dry to the touch. It crackles almost immediately if you heat set it.

One of the things I really like about this crackle paint is that you can rough it up with some sand paper and it will fleck off (like real paint does on wood) to reveal the paper underneath. You can paint a couple layers with different colors and distress each layer for a neat effect. It takes a little playing to get the right amount of paint and the right amount of sanding to achieve your desired look, but once you've figured out how the paint goes on and what it looks like crackled at different thicknesses, it's fun to work with.

Overall, I wasn't overwhelmingly impressed with the paint the first couple times I tried it. It didn't look like Tim's when I just painted it on. It didn't go on smoothly and then crackle like I thought it would. But once I started playing with it and familiarizing myself with how it responded in layers and thicknesses I really started to like what I could do with it. So I recommend it. Go ahead and buy it. But play with it first, before putting it on your perfect project, just to save you the heartache if it takes a couple tries to get it to respond exactly the way you want.

For a look at what you can do with these cool crackle paints, check out Tim's blog tutorial on how to make this tag:

Also, I compiled a list of Ideas and Tips based on my own playing:
  • Paint it on thicker for larger, deeper cracks
  • Paint it on thinner for a smaller, weather worn paint look.
  • Let it dry completely for the crackling to appear.
  • Heat set the paint to make it crackle quicker.
  • Distress crackle paint with sandpaper to remove paint flecks and reveal some of the paper underneath.
  • Paint it on the backside of acetate ghost shapes or journaling bits.
  • Paint several colors of crackle paint and distress between layers so the colors show through.
  • Sprinkle wet crackle paint with glitter for a shabby chic look.
  • Stamp on crackle painted surface with StazOn.
  • Crackle paint chipboard letters.
  • Crackle paint silk or paper flowers for a unique embellishment.

1 comment:

Susan G said...

Thanks for your opinion of the crackle product. I haven't convinced myself to try it yet. I found your blog via a link concerning unmounting and storing rubber stamps. I have a question and couldn't find another way to contact you to ask. I'm going to unmount my SU stamps and leave the cushion intact and apply Tack it Over and Over. Once they have dried, do I just put them in the CD case or should they be stuck to something else first? I've read something about not putting stamps on an acrylic sheet because they become almost permanently stuck to the acrylic sheet after a while. Just don't want to mess up and have to redo something.