Monday, October 18, 2010

Sharon Briss: Cracking on with Crackle Paint

I have to admit that I am hooked on Ranger's line of Distress products - the ink, the embossing powder and now the Crackle Paint!

I watched Tim Holtz' demo of this cool product and learned lots of neat things about Crackle Paint including:

~ it can be thinned with water to give you the consistency that works for you
~ it comes with its own built-in applicator!
~ no worries about show-through as it only cracks to reveal itself
~ the paint is wonderfully flexible when dry

And the best part - it's one step! Perfect for the impatient person - me!

So, that's all great, but what should I do with it now? As it is Halloween, I picked a project that might fit the season - a mask. Last year, I created a collage mask, so this year I wanted to do something different.

I picked up these two wooden masquerade masks at Michael's. I loved the way they looked apart but putting them together really made a difference to the look.

Onto each mask, I painted a base layer with Lumiere paints, giving the cat a calico look and putting a base of gold on the crown. While Distress Crackle Paint does not reveal the undercoat, I didn't want to crackle the whole mask, just sections.

I used Burnt Orange Lumiere paint with highlights of Russett and Metallic Rust Lumiere paints for the cat base. I wanted to give a bit of dimension so I used the Russett primarily around the edges.

For the crown base, I used Gold and a tiny bit of Brass Lumiere paint around the edges. I also took some time to add Burnt Orange around the eyes in case of show through.

As Distress Crackle Paint is a bit thick for someone like me who works with acrylics all the time, I added six squirts from my mini-mister and stirred it up before applying.

As I mentioned, Ranger Distress Crackle Paint comes with its own brush! No more working out which brushes I am going to ruin...I mean reserve...for special finishes!

I added some Crackle Paint to my mask bases randomly to give a worn look using Spiced Marmalade on the ears and nose and Brushed Corduroy around the whiskers area.

To the crown mask, I added Mustard Seed Distress Crackle Paint. Did I mention that the Crackle Paints come in the Distress ink colors? Plus, there are a couple of metallics and a white called Picket Fence too!

I let the Crackle Paint dry naturally, although Tim Holtz mentions in his demo that you can speed the process with a heat tool as long as the Crackle Paint has started to crack on its own. He also mentions that if the paint feels cold or looks wet, it's probably not dry yet.

Make sure to secure the top well after you have finished using them as these paints can dry out.

I worked Walnut Stain Distress Ink into the cracks with a foam applicator and onto select areas of the painted surface. Trying to be good and follow direction, I lightly brushed the tool on my scrap paper after each re-inking before using it on my project to avoid to heavy a concentration of ink.

The picture on the left is pre-Walnut Stain and the picture on the right is after I blended in the Walnut Stain. The difference is admittedly subtle but definitely worth the extra effort.

Then, using Black Archival Ink, I added some spooky images to the cat face and crown from two plates from Oxford Impressions - Wicked and Trick or Treat.

After working with positioning of the two masks together, I ended up moving the handle over a wee bit. Here's the finished piece:

Hope you enjoyed this project! I had a lot of fun with my Crackle Paints and am planning ways to use them on all sorts of projects from tags to cards to canvases!


  1. Shar these are great! I love to crackle. I might have to go to M store and pick up a couple of these to play with too. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Really gorgeous mask Shar, those colours are just stunning. Wish we had Michaels in the UK, nothing really quite compares.

  3. wow they look great, great tutorial

  4. WOW these are great, I have reluctantly just had to throw my empty Rock Candy crackle in the bin. I have some of the others and thought they were a bit thick too, so thanks for the reminder about watering them down x

  5. Wow - how cool are these! Just fantastic.

  6. I am in awe of your fabulous masks! Thank you for sharing your techniques. Happy Haunting...

  7. i'm in love with this! fabulous work. xo

  8. How fabulous is this the masks put together )

  9. wow! you make it look so easy!

  10. Love love love the masks...I saw those at Mike's but did not have the vision you did. Yours are wonderful. I ended up getting one of the black plastic full face masks and using some alcohol inks on it. Will post it when I am finished...wish me luck!

  11. WOW, those look great!!! I love and own many Lumiere's but totally forget about them... think I will have to get them out and play with them and my distress crackle paints as well!!! Thanks for the great Halloween treat!!!

  12. Awesome projects! Love these masks!


Thanks for your wonderful words!

Other Articles Which May Interest You:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin