Crackle paste contains non-elastic additives that cause cracking patterns to form in the paste when it dries. The final surface after it has completely dried is opaque white-grey, matte and absorbent. This creamy paste can be coloured with acrylic paints, whereby the amount added should not exceed 10% of the total volume because any more would hinder the formation of the cracking patterns. The paste can be mixed with GOLDEN GELS (e.g. GOLDEN REGULAR GEL MATTE) in order to increase the durability and adherence of the Crackle coat but here too the 10% additive rule should also be observed.
Processing: Firm and rigid materials like wood, fibreboard, plaster board wall (sheetrock) or extremely stretched canvas are the best substrates for this paste. Paper or unstretched canvas will tend to warp too much because of the paste´s high degree of shrinkage which will thereby cause the paste to detach after it has dried. In order to obtain the ideal adhesion (too strong an adhesion will hinder the formation of cracking patterns) it is recommended that the substrate be primed in advance with 1 or 2 coats of GESSO - or, in the case of plaster board walls (sheetrock), with a house paint.
The best way to apply the Crackle paste is with a palette knife or - in the case of large areas - with a trowel. In the process, the size and extent of the cracking patterns will be determined by the thickness of the application as well as by environmental conditions during the drying process. Thin coats (under 2 mm) produce hardly any visible cracking patterns while coats that are too thick (over 20 mm) will produce only a few, incomplete cracking patterns. The best curing conditions are temperatures between 18 and 24 degrees and a relative humidity of maximum 75%. The cracking patterns will form within the first 24 hours but thicker applications may require many day for the fissures to develop.
In order to attain fresco-like effects, the paste can be painted over with acrylic paint while still wet so that the coat of paint will also show the cracking patterns. If you want to produce an area which is not completely covered in cracking patterns you can apply GOLDEN LIGHT MOLDING PASTE to the areas you want protected because it has the same consistency and appearance of the Crackle paste but will not form fissures.
In order to increase the longevity of the Crackle paste´s porous surface after it has dried, and in order to highlight the cracking patterns, a sealing topcoat of GOLDEN SOFT GEL (GLOSSY) should be applied (thinned with water at a 2:1 ratio, gel to water). Thereafter, for example, thinned acrylic paints can be used as glazes (applied with sponge or brush) whereby beautiful, antiquing effects are produced by the paint seeping into the fissures. Once done, a matte varnish can be applied to your work (e.g. GOLDEN POLYMER VARNISH (matte)) as a final protective coat.