Crakle finish... with wood grain showing thru? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-18-2016, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Crakle finish... with wood grain showing thru?

After many many internet searches, pouring thru a few books, and a few search here - I have found ZERO ideas on creating a crackle finish where you can still the wood beneath. All project tips I have seen involve putting down opaque paint over wood, then crackle medium, then an over coat. I have been restoring antique pre-1920 traveling trunks, and adorning them with hand-drawn nautical illustrations - and I'm looking to get the same crackle aged effect you'd see in a 200 to 500 year old oil painting (for example: the Mona Lisa)...

Imagine hand-drawn 1800's style pen-and-ink illustrations drawn on top of the sealed wood with paint based pro pens, then hand-mixed TransFast water based stains applied in varying levels of of thickness to mimic 150+ years of age... I'd hate to cover all that with paint.

The only success I have had, and it's marginal, was wood-seal-ink-spray lacquer (thin), acrylic based crackle medium, then clear acrylic gel mixed with lacquer on a scale of 4-1. The crackle effect is just barely visible.

Hopefully someone else has tackled this. This effect is a hard balance of dark/light/cracked. I've tried quite a few variations, about to move to trying thinned stains on the stages after the second seal over the handdrawn artwork, but the first attempted smeared 10 hours of hand drawing. Baking is on my list too...

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-18-2016, 07:45 PM
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I've never actually done the finish however I do know the crackle medium does come in clear and that is what you need to look for. It's just the painted version is more dramatic and popular. You just need to get some clear crackle medium and try it out on some scrap. Probably a medium to dark color stain would show up the best.

It might also help to apply a dark glaze over the crackle finish and wipe off the excess so it would accent the cracks. Then use a clear finish over the top to seal it in.
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-19-2016, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Unless I misunderstand how the crackle effect mediums work, that's not possible. The crackle medium doesn't crack on it's own - it cracks the paint applied over it. Since I don't want to apply paint, I need to find a clear coating that is tintable to apply over the crackle medium (which is acrylic). I first tried shellac, but shellac and clear acrylic mixed together turned into a mixture that looks like scrambled eggs and smells like something really really bad. Poly clear mixed with clear acrylic medium mixed ok, but resisted the addition of tint required to make the cracks show up and dried too fast to apply properly. I was hoping someone else had discovered a mixture of X and X and X that would do this.

I'll just keep trying different materials applied in various ways. I'm now using wood paint mixing sticks as test strips, each done a different way. I know painting forgers have figured this out, just got to do it for wood and water based stains
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-19-2016, 10:18 AM
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The way I understand the crackle finish is you apply a painted base coat and then a different color crackle medium over the top and as the finish dries it shrinks causing cracks exposing the base coat in the cracks. The only difference in my suggestion is the crackle medium would not be tinted. When it dries it should crack exposing the sealed clear base which wouldn't show up very much. This is the reason I suggested going over it with a glaze to accent the cracks.
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-19-2016, 05:37 PM
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I agree with however general finishes make a additive to create a crackle finish. It may or may not do what you want, but perhaps you can play with it
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