How to Create a Chippy and Crackled Look with Chalk-Based Paint

Chip and Crackle techniques

Chip and Crackle techniques

I’ve been painting for a few years now with chalk-based paint.  I’ve tried out various techniques for changing the look with different types of distressing, but hadn’t done anything with creating the look of old chipped paint or a crackle finish……until now.

Let me say that both of these techniques are easy to do and inexpensive.  You don’t have to buy extra expensive products to make this happen!  To create both these looks you only need, chalk-based paint (in my case because I love it so much I sell it, Missouri Limestone Chalk-based paint) a candle, some painter’s tape (or duct tape but I like the effect of the painter’s tape better) some good old Elmer’s school glue (yes – Elmer’s glue – any kind works I’m told), a hair dryer, and your topcoat of choice.

The steps to creating these looks are easy-peasy, but I like visual step-by-step tutorials and videos, too, and so I will not only give you the step by step directions I used, I will provide the links to the visuals I used also.  If you don’t follow the videos of Debi’s Design Dairy you should.  She is very informative, easy to follow, and is just plain silly!

First of all, here’s a closer look at my completed practice pieces.  I will explain below how you can get this look, too.

chip and crackle paint

The sample on the left shows the chippy look and the one on the right is the crackle.

So, how did I do this?

Chippy Look:

Here’s the link for the visual step-by-step tutorial I used for those who like visual directions, followed by my step-by-step.  That’s the teacher in me…don’t reinvent the wheel and address various learning styles to reach all students.  : )

  1.  I painted my sample board with Missouri Limestone Company’s chalk-based paint using “Trading Post”.
  2. I let that dry then rubbed it all over with a candle…yep….a regular old candle.  Cover the board really well.  I brushed off any loose pieces of wax.
  3. Then I painted over it with the color “January”.  I only used one coat on this, but I think for a thicker, chippy look, two or three coats will give it more depth.  I used a hair dryer to speed up the drying time.
  4. Are you ready for the final step before adding the topcoat?  This was my favorite part.  The directions said to use duct tape, but I didn’t know where that was at the moment, so I just used the blue painter’s tape.  I tore off a piece and placed it on the board (I went in only one direction each time I did this), pressed it down and then ripped it off!  Yep, that’s how to create that chippy look.  Isn’t that too cool.  They said to use a new piece of tape each time, but you con’t have to.  Also, I do think duct tape is the better choice, as it would have more pulling power and with thicker paint, would pull off more for more chippiness (I believe that might be my made-up word).  Ripping that tape off that board was so much fun for some reason.  : )
  5. Final step – be sure to seal your project with your favorite topcoat.  In this case, I waxed it.  I love this look!

Crackle Look:

Here’s Debi’s Design Diary video I used for this look, followed by my step-by-step.

  1.  In the video, she uses another brand of chalk-based paint, but I use Missouri Limestone Company’s chalk-based paint.  Why?  Because I love it and sell it.  : )
  2.  I painted my board with the color “Radio Flyer” and let it dry.  You can use the hair dryer here to speed things up.  I did….I can’t wait when trying something new.
  3.  Then, following Debi’s directions, I put a coat of Elmer’s glue all over (I used Elmer’s school glue, but she says any type of glue will work, even the Dollar Store brands).  I got it thicker in some areas and thinner in others, and maybe didn’t even cover some of it.  Just play around with it.  I let it sit for a few minutes to make it tacky, but not dry. Debi recommends working in small sections on bigger pieces and making sure you don’t drip glue all over the rest of your project.  Have a rag handy to wipe off drips.
  4. The I painted a coat of the color “Zinc” on top, going in one direction only and not going back over.  That is very important.  If you go over it again, it will not crackle and it will smudge.
  5. Using a blow dryer on it at this point will speed up the drying process and help it crack even more.  Plus, it is fun to watch the magic happening.
  6. Final step – use your topcoat of choice.  I waxed mine and love the look!

Now, my most pressing questions – what will I paint, what colors will I use, and which effect will I try?  I have the answer to one of those….I’m going to try the crackle look on my next project.  Wish me luck!


1 thought on “How to Create a Chippy and Crackled Look with Chalk-Based Paint

  1. Pingback: Ideas to Share at Jewelry Box University 2019 | SharSum Paint

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