Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Creating A Crackled and Distressed Finish Using Glue

Creating a crackled & distressed finish using school glue | www.onthecreekblog.com

How to create a crackle/distressed finish using school glue!

One of my favorite things to do is make something new look like something old.

In the past, I've used a weathered crackle glaze to give an aged/distressed look.  Then, when I was browsing on Pinterest one day, I saw that school glue could be used to make a distressed/crackle look.

I tried the technique over the summer & had great results.  Recently, I wanted to make a name sign for our foster kiddo's room.  I decided to use the glue distressing technique on the letters for his name.  Since he's in foster care, I can't share his full name, but I used one of the letters to show you the distressing technique.


















Creating a crackled & distressed finish using school glue | www.onthecreekblog.com

Creating a crackled & distressed finish using school glue | www.onthecreekblog.com


What You Need

  • Paint (2 different colors)
  • School Glue
  • Item You Want To Distress

Instructions

Creating a crackled & distressed finish using school glue | www.onthecreekblog.com
  • Paint your item with your base layer of paint. 
For my letters, I painted them brown to mimic a dark stain color.

Creating a crackled & distressed finish using school glue | www.onthecreekblog.com
  • Apply glue.
There are a ton of techniques out there with how to apply the glue.  For the letters, I just kind of  pressed my brush randomly to create thick globs of glue.  I covered the entire letter with glue.
  • Wait until the glue is tacky.
Again, there are different opinions as to what is tacky.  Because I was working in my cold basement, I waited about 45 minutes.  In that time, some of my glue was fairly dry while other parts were still wet.  In a warmer environment, I think you can work fairly quickly.  When I tried this technique before in the summer, as soon as I was finished with the glue, I started painting.

Creating a crackled & distressed finish using school glue | www.onthecreekblog.com
  • Apply top paint color.
The uneven drying actually worked to my advantage when applying the top layer of paint.  I was able to use some of the wet glue to kind of drag throughout my letter.  This gave my letter a distressed look.  I applied the top layer of paint in the same way as I applied the glue--by pressing my brush randomly to cover most of the letter.    I worked in small areas to achieve the distressed look.  The glue gave my letter a dimensional coating to work with for distressing.  When everything was dry, some parts of the letter had a crackle effect while others were simply distressed.

Creating a crackled & distressed finish using school glue | www.onthecreekblog.com

Final Thoughts

I love the look school glue gave to the lettering.  I like that it's totally imperfect.  If I wanted everything to look crackled & uniform, I definitely need to work on my technique! 

I also love that I don't have to distress anything with a sanding sponge.  I can distress in real time by just applying the paint.

Lastly, I love dimensional look.  Normal painting & distressing leaves the pieces kind of flat.  I'm finding that I prefer a more dimensional look.

I will definitely keep using this technique in the future!
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