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crackle paint box

Crackle Paint Lesson

"aged" painted box

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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.


Acrylic or latex paint in two colors
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.

Optional: depending on the wood you might want to sand your box and add a coat of primer paint before you begin the project.


1.  Assemble supplies. We used a pen to hold our box open.

1.  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, paint your base color onto the box (we used gold). Paint all outside surfaces as well as the inside. Use your stick to hold the lid open. Paint in the direction of the wood grain.

paint base layer
2. Use 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.
paint around hinge

3. 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.

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

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