How to make new paint look old

Updated November 21, 2016

There are many techniques in use today to give new paint an aged look that involve scratching, sanding and damaging the paint surface. Applying a coat of crackle glaze in between layers of latex paint is one method to age paint without all that hard work. The crackle glaze causes cracks to form in the paint, giving your project the weathered, vintage look that you desire. Use this method on walls, doors, picture frames and small wood projects to instantly add years to the new paint.

Wipe the surface to be painted with a cloth to remove any dust and debris. You want to apply the paint to a clean, smooth surface.

Use a paintbrush to apply a base coat of brown latex paint with long, even stokes. Make sure that the surface is completely and evenly covered. Let it dry for 12 to 24 hours.

Brush on a layer of crackle glaze. Apply the glaze in single direction strokes. If small, thin cracks are desired, apply one thin layer of glaze. Increase the thickness for larger cracks. Allow your glaze to dry for one hour.

Cover the glaze with a layer of white latex paint. Brush on the paint in the opposite direction that you brushed on the glaze. As the top coat dries, cracks will form in the paint.

Use sandpaper to go over the edges of your project to remove the paint layers. This will further age your project and add a distressed look.


You can use any two colours on your project. For the best effect, one colour should be lighter than the other. If desired, lightly sponge over the crackled surface with a third matching colour to add more depth. You can purchase crackle glaze at a local craft or hardware store.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth
  • Brown latex paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Crackle glaze
  • White latex paint
  • Sandpaper
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