Alligator Skin Crackle Finishes

Alligator Skin Crackle Finishes

I don’t know the actual name, but I want to hand brush a finish on wood that looks like alligator skin. Can you help?

Michael Dresdner:┬áIt is called crackle, and several companies sell ready-to-use versions: you brush or spray them on, and they crackle. If you can’t find it in the store, here’s a simple homegrown version. Seal the wood, then paint on a coat of liquid hide glue. Wait until it is just dry enough to squeak when you run a knuckle over it, then paint with any waterbased paint. The paint will crackle in seconds as you watch it. A thicker layer of paint means larger crackles.

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