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How do I make a faux peeling paint wall for Halloween? Answered

I want to use rigid styrofoam insulation panels to create walls for my haunted house. I want the walls to look like they are old and the paint has peeled. I tried a sample by painting several layers of latex paint and heating with a strong blow dryer and that blistered the paint a little but not enough to peel. Would that process with a heat gun work?


Prime the surface with acrylic or a water based paint. Coat with varying thicknesses of clear/ PVA glue then draw a different coloured acrylic paint over the top of the glue when still wet. Leave to dry or to speed up the process, heat with a heat gun.

You'll find that the thinner the glue is spread, the longer and thinner the cracks form and vice versa.

Cheap, quick and easy!

JFF that's perfect. Just the right level of time, energy and materials. Thanks.

Painting a water based paint over an oil based undercoat has funny effect as they don't like each other - especially if the undercoat is fresh.

If what you mean is that the latex won't stick very well to the glue/paint coat then actually wouldn't it work better for the effect? Being able to peel the latex layer away? I have some scrap to try it on.

thanks for writing back.

That's right it actually spontaneously peels off (when I did my bathroom door!)

There are several commercial crackle-finish paints available for faux-vintage look projects. Here's one from Behr: http://www.engineerdir.com/product/catalog/8187/

As far as getting that look using household materials, I don't know.