Crackle medium creates a sun-worn, aged appearance.

How to Crackle Glaze a Painted Door

by Michelle Ullman

If you want the casual, aged and well-loved appearance of Country, Colonial, shabby chic or Mediterranean decorating, you don't have to wait decades for your decor to develop that timeworn, distressed look. With crackle medium, you can make even new wood look like a weathered antique. It's not a lengthy project, and a crackled door adds instant impact in your rustic room. Choose two colors of paint from your decorating palette, remembering that only the base coat will show through the cracks on your finished door.

Prepare a protected workspace away from wind, dust and potential interruptions. Lay out a drop cloth larger than your door. Use bricks, blocks of wood or buckets to keep the door lifted off the ground. Lifting the door makes it easier to paint the sides.

Remove the door from its frame and unscrew any hinges, knobs or pulls. Position the door on your painting stand.

Sand the entire door to remove any scuffs, worn or rough areas. Use a tack cloth to remove grit.

Paint the front and sides of the door with your base color. Let dry for several hours or overnight.

Brush on a coat of crackle medium, covering the front and sides of the door. For larger cracks, apply a thicker coat of crackle medium.

Let the crackle medium dry according to manufacturer's directions. Typically, the medium should dry at least one hour, but no longer than four hours.

Paint the topcoat. Apply paint in even strokes, and do not go back over a painted area. Rebrushing over wet paint will disrupt or prevent the crackling effect.

Let the door dry overnight, then turn it over and repeat the process on the back. Let the paint dry for several hours.

Spray the crackled door with water-based acrylic sealer. Seal the back of the door, let it dry, then turn it over and seal the front and the sides. Let the door dry overnight.

Rehang the door, replacing hinges and knobs.

Items you will need

  • Drop cloth
  • Bricks or other items to lift door
  • Screwdriver
  • Medium-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Two colors of latex paint
  • Crackle medium
  • Paintbrushes
  • Acrylic sealer


  • Use a small paint roller to apply paint, if you prefer. A roller creates smaller cracks.


  • Use flat latex paint -- not gloss -- for the best crackle effect.

About the Author

Living in California, Michelle Ullman is a professional writer with particular expertise in home, garden and pet/nature topics. Her work is published on many websites. She loves crafts and has a deep interest in design and DIY projects.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images