s How to Get a Crackle Finish with School Glue (Boat Oars Makeover) - The Kim Six Fix
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How to Get a Crackle Finish with School Glue (Boat Oars Makeover)

 I posted earlier about my great find of a couple old oars I wanted to use in my nautical nursery.  The problem was that they were black, and the walls where I wanted to display them were navy:

I did love the patina on them though. All beat up and with cracking and peeling paint.   I knew I wanted to replicate the look in white.
You can buy "crackling medium" at craft and hardware stores which give you the look of an old crackled finish, but I am too cheap to spend $10 on a bottle of them.  I am, on the other hand, willing to spend $1 on a bottle of white school glue at the Dollar Store. 

So how does it work?
To get the crackled look, you need to a thin damp coat of glue between two contrasting colors of paint so the bottom color will show through to the top after the glue dries and shrinks up, bringing the top layer of paint with it.

I was lucky, the oars were already black, so I didn't need a base paint coat.  I just added a thick layer of white glue to the oars (I spread it with a foam brush):

Once the glue is tacky (not wet and runny, but not dry) I added a thick layer of white paint over the top of it:

As the glue, and the paint, dries.. the cracks magically appear.  

For thin hairline cracks you want to spread the glue thin and make sure you have your brush strokes running in the same direction:

For thick 'fractured" cracks, you want to spread the glue thicker and try not to get any brush marks.

Here they are hung on the wall (the nautical flag artwork is something else I made and will post about in the coming weeks.)  I think they are darling.  Especially for under $15!

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