It's Crackled Up to Be!
Spaccature cuts a few decades off the aging
or alligatoring, of painted and varnished surfaces is as old
as, well, paint! This process happens naturally over centuries.
Substrates like wood, canvas, or plaster will expand and contract
at slightly different rates than their coatings. Since oils,
alkyds, shellacs, and lacquers tend to be harder and more brittle
than their water-based equivalents, over time they will start
to show cracking.
(spack-ah-TOUR-ay), Italian for "cracks in plaster"
is everything it's cracked up to be, ranging from old to new looks.
This high-end designer finish is ideal for flat walls and suitable
for furniture and wide moldings. You can create numerous color
combinations, including metallic grounds, with tinted spatula
coats, and you can overglaze for added depth and protection.
To speed the
alligatoring process by decades, a water-based "glue,"
or crackle medium, is used as a barrier between the crack color
(basecoat) and the topcoat. Topcoat application tools have the
greatest effect on the final crack pattern. Sponges, rollers,
and sprayers tend to produce a concentric crack pattern. By contrast,
brushes cause an elongation of the platelets (the sections between
the cracks), yielding a "weathered wood: appearance. Thicker
topcoat application will produce larger platelets, regardless
of the tool.
Spaccature may look like other typical crackle finishes, but it's
unique in several ways. Unlike ordinary paint crackles, it has
a uniformly granulated surface texture which is both dimensional
and, most importantly to the painting contractor, controllable.
biggest downfall of most crackle techniques is the craftsman's
inability to get consistent results. Even for the professional
decorative artist, these finishes are usually so unpredictable
that most crackle projects are approached with cautious skepticism.
Traditional water-based crackle mediums are quick to "wet
out" as soon as a latex topcoat is applied. While watching
the topcoat magically crackle within seconds may be immediately
gratifying, it can also be frustrating when working on larger
vertical wall and furniture surfaces. As the newly formed platelets
begin to slide downward, they can bunch up, causing unwanted folds
and unsightly gaps in the basecoat color. Repairs are possible,
but are time-consuming and generally cut into the job profits.
Medium is unique in its slow wetting, giving the decorative artist
plenty of time to apply flat latex paint or ProFaux's Sandstone
and Pro-Venetian Plaster products by brush, roller, or blue steel
ProFaux Sandstone gives added texture and dimension, since these
products are sandier and thicker than ordinary latex paint. They
are also also tintable with latex paint or universal colorants,
ranging from pastel to midtone hues.
even richer finishes, Spaccature can be embellished with tinted
glazes or metallic waxes, producing ancient to modern looks.