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2.5l craquelure step 1 large crack

                 step 1  +  step 2  =  craquelure
           remember to order both step1 and step 2


  •  5 sizes:  100mls, 250mls, 500mls, 2.5litres, 5litres
  •  coverage:    500ml  -  approx. 8 sq metres
  •                       250ml  -  approx. 4 sq metres
  •                       100ml  -  approx. 1.8 sq.metres
  •   batches may vary in colour and consistency
  •   the size of the crack will also be influenced by the thickness of the application of both coats. 
  •   if your technique is very neat, it may be necessary to apply 2 coats of step 1.
  •   always practise on a scrap piece to see what type of antique effect you would like to achieve before starting on the project
  •   click on the faq's tab above for more information


note:  craquelure is a water based decorative paint effect that creates an antique look.  using it is not an exact science and no two pieces will be the same.  the cracks will vary depending on how thick it is applied, and the temperature and humidity of the workroom.   only use oil paints, furniture wax or gilt creams and not acrylics to colour the cracks.  craquelure is not suitable to use in areas exposed to moisture or extreme heat


                      download craquelure instructions only   


                      download our decorative effects leaflet                       





if you do not find the answer that you might be looking for, please do not hesitate to email [email protected] or telephone 01932 872572. 

q.  why do I need to have step 1 and step 2?

a.  this is a 2 part process.  the 2 parts work together to create the crack.. 

q.  what is the difference between crackleglaze and craquelure?

a.  both are water based emulsions

  • crackleglaze is a weathered look like you might see on a piece of wood or bench that has been left outside in the weather.  the glaze is sandwiched between 2 colours of water based paint.
  • craquelure is an emulsion that creates fine hairline cracks like those seen on an old piece of porcelain or an old painting.  it needs step 1 plus step 2 craquelure and one colour of emulsion. 

q.   why is there a small, medium and large crack 

a.   generally choose the size that suits your project., or the look that you wish to achieve. 

  •    small crack is usually used for smaller pieces like small pictures, frames, boxes, paper mache animals, dollshouse furniture etc. 
  •    medium crack is used for most smaller pieces of furniture, like a side table, mdf's, lampshades, cachepots, mirror frames 
  •    large crack tends to be used for larger pieces of furniture

q.   what are the sizes of the small, medium and large sized cracks

a.   it is difficult to generalise on the size (width) of the cracks because they will vary so much depending on the application which is why we recommend that you do a test piece.  we have tester pots available to help you with your decision.  the medium crack is about an irregular centimetre, the small crack, smaller than that, and the large crack somewhat bigger than that.   however if you lay two coats of step one down you will get a larger size in all cases, and if you feather/overwork the step 2 the crack is likely to be smaller.  an example of medium crack can be seen If you look at the photograph on the product page of the pig on the pink cachepot.  the photograph of the 2 pots of product on a green board shows what size large crack might be.

q.    I can't see any cracks!?

a.   have you used both step 1 and step 2?  if you have, the hairline cracks will be there.  these can hardly be seen at times, particularly if you have painted on a very thin coat of the step 1.  rub the artist's oil colour,  furniture wax or gilt wax into the crack and after a short while rub off the access.  the cracks will appear miraculously.

q.   what artist's oil colour should I use in the cracks?

a.   if you wish to achieve an antique look, use burnt siena or raw umber.  if on the other hand you are wishing to make a statement piece your emulsion could be duck egg blue and the oil colour burgundy or grey or navy.  any combination of colours that appeals can be used.  your imagination is the limit.

q.   why shouldn't I use an artist's acrylic medium to rub into the cracks?

a.   because it's water based, it will simply rub away instead of remaining in the cracks.

q.   do I always have to use an oil based varnish for protection? 

a.   a coloured furniture wax is an excellent protection instead of a varnish

q.   does it have to be an oil based varnish?

a.   because an oil based product is used to fill the cracks, you have to finish off with and oil based varnish if not using a wax, there will be a reaction if a water based product is put over an oil base.  however, if you seal your project with shellac(button polish), you will be able to use a water based varnish.

q.  can I use craquelure in a damp environment eg. bathroom, kitchen?

a.  it is not adviseable.  the damp causes the crack to reactivate and the paintwork can become milky.  where professionals use hard lacquers over the craquelure, this problem may be eliminated.  try not to work on a  piece that has been stored in a damp environment and not dried out sufficiently.  we would also recommend that you don't hang your painting on a damp wall.  if you are creating a professional piece, we recommend that you test your technique thoroughly before selling your concept.

q.  the step 2 has become thick and toffee-ish in texture and is difficult to use.  is the product OK?

a.  the product is fine.  stand the container of step 2 in a pot of boiled water where the warmth will thin it out.  OR place it in the airing cupboard a while before you are ready to work with it.  OR place it on the radiator to warm it up.  make sure you take it off to work with it, or you may drip craquelure all over the radiator!  you may dip the tip of the paint brush into boiled water, wipe it off so that the tip is moist, but not wet to make it easier to paint.  a warning though - too damp and the cracks will not appear.

q.  I have stored my pots of product in a shed with no heating over the winter.  will it affect the condition of the product?

a.  the product should not be stored below 5 degrees or in a very hot spot next to a radiator or on a window sill with the sun shining on to it for instance.  the more constant the temperature the better.  the emptier the container, the more likely it is to deteriorate.

q.   I have had my product for ages.  will it still work?  what is the shelf life?

a.  craquelure is no different from an emulsion or paint.  it has a shelf life of about a year but it is most important that it is stored correctly and that there is no painting directly from the pot, as contamination can occur.

q.  can I paint directly from the pot?

a.  painting from the pot will cause contamination.  always decant as much as is required.  never pour any product that yu have been working with back into the pot.

q.  will the craquelure work on my ceiling cornice which I have painted with a water based acrylic paint?

a.  it should work.  do a test piece.  if it hasn't, it is probably because the painted surface is still too porous.  you may have to seal the surface before applying step 1.  the same thing would apply to any other surface which is porous.

q.  can I use a hair dryer if I'm in a big hurry?

a.  a hair dryer can be used although not adviseable.  it will change the size of the crack, or if you are too close to the piece, the cracks could disappear altogether.  practice to perfect the technique if it gives you the effect that you like.

 q.  after I have put in the artist's oil colour in the cracks, leave it and wipe it off again, I don't seem to be able to get a nice clean look

a.  put a blob of artist's oil colour in a saucer, then dip your cloth into white spirits and then into the artist's oil colour.  wipe the colour over the cracks.  it should go on smoothly.  if you want a clean look, wipe off the residue soon after putting it on (about 15 minutes or so depending on the warmth in the room).  if you want a darker effect, leave it on for longer.  experiment on a test piece in advance wiping off the residue in stripes at half hour or hour intervals to see what effect you get and which effect you like most.  then move on to the project.  If it has got too dark, use a clean cloth and white spirits.  if you do this many hours or in the next couple of days, it may be too late to change the effect.  do not use a cloth dipped in water.  the water will react with the craquelure.

q.  I am painting on a curved surface - a polystyrene egg - and the craquelure is running off?

a.  it is probably better to paint 2 thinner coats of step 1 rather than one thick coat.  there will be less chance of it running off then.  with the step  2, rather than load the brush, put on just enough to paint a small area.  then dip the brush and move on to another small area.  when you work with polystyrene, make sure that you seal it before starting to use the craquelure.  if you use an oil based varnish, either sand it lightly before using step 1 or cover with a coat of shellac (button polish)

q.  can I craquelure a wall, and if so, can I use a roller?

a.  yes, you can paint a wall, but make sure that you have sealed it such that the step 1 doesn't soak into it or no crack will appear.  i believe that customers have used rollers (not the sponge rollers) successfully, although I have not tried it myself.  one of our customers painted and craquelured a terracotta wall and placed one magnificent painting on it.  it looked very beautiful.




here are a few ideas for you.  let your imagination fly and you'll come up with many more.  Have fun.

  • renovate an old or found piece of furniture like a side table, chest of drawers and even a chair.  add craquelure to all or a small part of it.
  • using a photocopy of a family member or pet create your own antique masterpiece on canvas
  • shops like IKEA, DIY stores and garden centres have wonderfully cheap MDF blanks which you can turn into a designer piece with some left over tester pots or emulsion and furniture wax, gilt cream, or artist's oil colour
  • a mirror can be given an make over that will look expensive by simply antiquing the frame
  • take a series of postcards and give them an antique finish.  pop them into cheap picture frames which you give a coat of paint or wax.  kids poster paints and a bit of varnish are perfectly acceptable
  • we all have a terracotta pot lying around in the garden.  clean it up and bring it inside to ensure that it is perfectly dry before you start working on it.  seal it.  paint it.  if you wish, add some decoration  by painting a design on it or sticking pictures around it.  then craquelure it.  it will look perfect with a plant in it.  just make sure that you don't plant directly into it but place another pot into it so that the craquelure and pot doesn't get damp.
  • an old vase can be given an antique look
  • paint and antique a mask for a party. add a couple of feathers and some rhinestones.  magnificent.
  • the effect that can be created is only limited by your imagination.  try duck egg blue artist's oil colour with off white.  create a contemporary look with white and grey.  try burgundy and gold or lime green with turquoise.  there are any amount of variations to explore.
Price: £85.00