At Last A Predictable Crackle Glaze!

A crackle glaze is a simple idea, they attempt to re-create the effect of old varnish that cracks and crazes over time.


A crackle glaze generally consists of a base coat and a top coat. The way they work is simple the water-based varnish dries quicker than the oil-based one, and the movement from the underlying layer, which is still drying, causes the top layer to leaf with crackle glaze 


gold leaf

I have used many of the available crackle glazes in my time, oil based varnishes with a water based top coat, made from animal glue or an acrylic varnish, the oil based crackle glazes were often difficult to control owing to the temperature range they worked under, also it was difficult to control the size of the cracks.


I now use a purely acrylic crackle glaze that I have found to be dependable and consistent.


To some extent you can gauge how large or small you want the crackle to be by making the top coat thicker or thinner depending on what you want to achieve, if you apply an even top and bottom coat the cracks will be on the small side.


crackle glazeOn this page are some example of crackle glazes, some of these have had added an ageing glaze to give an older appearance to the metal leaf. Please note in all these examples and others that follow we use only imitation gold leaf, of course if you do want to spend money on real gold leaf you can do so, you will get very much the same effects.


You can apply this crackle glaze to almost any surface, here you can see the effect on a paper surface.


You can also apply a crackle glaze to a painted surface or onto wood, stone, porcelain, glass or metal, it would be wise to seal the piece with shellac.


It is normal after applying the crackle glaze, to apply an antique glaze over it in order to highlight the cracks, lets see how the antique glaze is applied.










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