DIY: Crackle Paper Finish Surface

Written by jessica frame
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DIY: Crackle Paper Finish Surface
Use glue to create a crackled effect on paper. (glue bottle image by Bruce MacQueen from

A crackled finish is a way to decorate a number of different items, creating an antique chipped-paint look. You can also make the same crackled finish on paper to decorate scrapbooks, altered books, or greeting cards. You can easily create a crackled paper surface with a few items from your local craft store. This technique may take a few attempts to get it right, but the finished product is well worth it.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Card Stock
  • 2 Foam Paint Brushes
  • Acrylic Paint (any colour)
  • Glue
  • Shellac

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  1. 1

    Prepare a work surface. Place newspaper on top of any countertop you may be working on, as this project can get messy.

  2. 2

    Place the items needed on your work surface.

  3. 3

    Brush the acrylic craft paint over the entire surface of the card stock using a foam paint brush. Let the acrylic paint dry completely before moving on to Step 4.

  4. 4

    Apply a thin coat of glue with a foam paint brush on top of the dried base coat of acrylic paint that was just applied. Allow the glue to dry for five minutes or until it becomes tacky and proceed to Step 5.

  5. 5

    Brush another coat of acrylic paint on top of the tacky glue. Within five minutes you should begin to see the crackling effect coming across the paper.

  6. 6

    Allow the top coat of acrylic paint to dry. Spray shellac over the card stock so the paint doesn't peel off the paper.

Tips and warnings

  • These steps show you how to get a crackle finish on paper. If you wish to add the crackle finish to another object such as wood, you can use découpage glue, adhere regular card stock on top of it, then begin the crackle finish technique after the découpage is completely dry.
  • Never do a crackle finish to paper, then cut the design out to glue somewhere else. It's more natural and antique-looking if you follow the tip above.

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