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Crackle Paint Box

"aged" painted wood

crackle paint box

Free Video:

palette wood painting video pumpkins Palette Wood Painting Video

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Watch my free video for full instruction on painting on wood. For this video, I used a rough palette board to create a holiday decoration.

Aged Paint

Create an "aged" look from a new box using crackle medium and paint. This box was created to hold mail - decorate a wood box for your special purpose. Choose a base color. Apply the crackle medium over the base color. When you apply the top coat, it will crack and look like "old" paint and your base coat will show through.

Also see: Box crafts


Acrylic or latex paint in two colors (water clean-up)
We used Folkart Napthol Crimson (red) for the top coat and Delta 14K Gold for the base coat 

Crackle Medium 

Pen or stick etc. to hold box open (if it has a hinged lid)

Three 1" - 2" flat edged brushes for painting on the three layers - (use the size that is appropriate for your project)

Two smaller brushes for detail areas (near hinges, handles etc.)

Wood Box

Container to hold paint (small plastic disposable container works well - do not use anything that will later be used for food.

Tack cloth for wiping down box

Soap and water for clean-up.

Newspaper to protect work area.

NOTE: Before painting, it is best to apply a primer to the wood. I use Gesso. It is optional; however it seals the wood. Without primer, more paint is usually needed because it soaks into the wood. If the wood is rough, I also recommend sanding before painting.


1. Assemble Supplies

crackle paint suppliesGather all of the supplies listed. We used a pen to hold our box open. 

2. Sand / Clean / Prime / Apply Base Coat

paint base layerIf needed, sand the wood. Wipe down the inside and outside of the box using a tack cloth to remove any loose dust or dirt. Using one of the larger brushes, apply primer or gesso. When primer coat has dried, rinse and dry the large brush (soap and water clean-up). Use the large brush to paint your base color onto the box (we used gold). Paint all outside surfaces as well as the inside. Use a stick (we used a pen) to hold the lid open. Paint in the direction of the wood grain. 

3. Paint Around Hinges

paint around hingeUse the small brush for small areas such as around hinges. 
Read the directions on your paint for drying times. Allow the base coat to dry completely. Wash out your brush with soap and water.

4. Apply Crackle Medium

Using your second set of brushes (large and small), apply a coat of crackle medium. Apply only one coat. Allow the medium to fully dry. Wash out brushes with soap and water.

5. Apply Top Coat

cracked paintUsing your last set of brushes, apply the top coat (we used red). This is the tricky part. You must apply only one coat. Do NOT go back over an area already painted because doing so will remove the top coat of paint. Apply the paint in one direction only. As the paint dries, it will begin to crack.

close up of crackle paint boxNOTE: We got a bit of red paint on the edges of the box but decided to leave it because we liked the "imperfect" look.

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