Texture and Layering | Painting Technique

I needed to make a new door, look old. Really old. The only dilemma was the underlying "new" door surface. I couldn't simply paint and distress. The look had to be achieved mostly with paint.
My steps to achieve this are as follows....
First, I stained the door. I didn't want bright new wood peeking through the paint I was about to put on.
The older the paint, the better the effect. (I mix a lot of it myself, and add in plaster of paris to give it some texture.
(This pic speaks for itself)
Thick, chalky paint.
Flexible scraper works great to spread it.
Clumps for texture. (It dries really hard.)
Layering. Lots of it. I chose to go with just two colors of paint, adding different amounts of POP. (Plaster of Paris)
And still more layers...
In random places, I scraped nearly dry paint with a cabinet scraper, and spread it right back on. This gave even more texture.
When I reached the point where I was satisfied with the amount of texture (or, age) build up, I spray painted some areas black and applied some Elmer's and dollar store white glue.
Painting over the glue before it was totally dry is key to this crackle science. (Thanks to different drying times of the glue, and paint.)
This is the "after" of the back side of the door. I will be posting about my distressing and glaze application soon.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Diana North
    Diana North
    on Jul 8, 2019

    This is terrific! Do you think I could do this on a wall?

    • Cathy Campen
      Cathy Campen
      on Jun 28, 2020

      Yes of course, just remember if you change your mind later on it will be a lot of work to remove it.

  • User
    on Jun 25, 2020

    Please what colors did you use? I really like this technique and I would like to use it, but I did not find any instructions in the Czech Republic. You will help me, thank you Alena

  • User
    on Jun 25, 2020

    Please, what colors did you use for the cracked decor door? I really like this technique and I would like to use it, but I did not find any instructions in the Czech Republic. You will help me, thank you Alena

Join the conversation

2 of 24 comments
  • Shelly Moore
    Shelly Moore
    on Oct 13, 2020

    In process of refinishing a hutch that I will be using in my entry for books, shoes and decor. I've been looking for a narrow table or something to put there as it's kind of narrow.😟 Was planning on painting it black then white on top xyf

    and then distressing it. But NOW I'm gonna do the crackle finish!!! It will be Perfect! I want it to look like it's an older piece,(it's probably from the 80's) or vintage at least. Great Look!

  • Tray
    on Oct 17, 2020

    Glad to see crackle coming back! Love it

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