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What makes a good cheap crackling medium for painting?

What can I use to make my paint "crackle"? I just can't see spending 14.99 for a teeny tub of stuff that smells like hair bleach....and I tried some hair bleach I had lying around..and no dice. Tried Elmers and the cracks were weak....Thanks for any help.

Sodium silicate (aka "water glass") added to latex or acrylic paint is used to create a crackle effect for theatrical scene painting. We used to use gallons of the stuff.
You can find sodium silicate at chemical supply companies or pottery suppliers, and I'm told that it is also used to repair head gaskets and mufflers, so you may be able to find it at auto repair shops, although I haven't looked.
I don't recall the ratio of silicate solution to paint, so you may want to experiment a bit.
dozerstinks (author)  RavingMadStudios6 years ago
Thank you, it worked great!
scavanger6 years ago
I know this is an old question, but yes hide glue does work. you can buy the liquid version so you don't have to make it in a crock pot.

Thin it with water and brush it on and paint over it. Experiment on a scrap first. more water added give you finer cracks.
paganwonder7 years ago
I believe Hide Glue will give a crackle effect- not certain but I think you thin it down and coat the surface.