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Martha Stewart's Crackle Paint

I used the primer and then the crackle paint.  So far, it does not show any sign of crackling and its almost dry.

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Posted 2011-11-17T17:38:53+0000  by yoflo yoflo

Hello Yoflo!


Sorry to learn of your problem with ML Crackle.


Martha Stewart Crackle Paint is designed to be used with her primer.

MLPrimer.jpg  This is the primer container.

Her instructions say:

"The Martha Stewart Living Specialty Finish 10 oz. Primer/Sealer is recommended for use as a base with Martha Steward Living Texture Crackle products. This primer/sealer features a water-based formula that offers a low odor and excellent adhesion. This product may be used on wood, metal, plaster, wall board and other interior surfaces. When done, simply clean with soap and water while wet."


A brush designed for "interior products" is recommended, and the primer is water clean-up.


Once the primer is dry (at least an hour), she advises to spread a thick layer of Crackle media to create wide cracks and a medium layer of Crackle media to create narrower cracks.


In Martha's Specialty Paint tool display at the store, you will see a set of art trowels. These tools make great applicators for spreading the Crackle media and allow you to create either thick or medium coatings.


When applied over the ML Primer, the media should begin to spread and should be completely dry within an hour.


I made this sample for my customers using a medium coat of ML Crackle on ceramic tile and the result looked very good.




I cannot explain why your project did not work.


However, if the crackle did not spread at all, you should be able to re-apply her primer and try again.


If your project has crackled at all, you will want to buff-sand the surface with 220-grit sandpaper before re-applying Martha's primer. Wait at least an hour and try applying a thicker coat of crackle than the original.


You know Yoflo, personally, I dislike learning that a product has not performed up to a customer's expectations.


But you can be ensured that The Home Depot owns the market when it comes to Customer Service!


And we (I and your local Paint Associates) will do everything we can to help you achieve the results you expect!


Please follow up and let us know if this helped!

Posted 2011-11-17T19:03:35+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

We also are having this problem.  We bought the base and paint just as the HD associate told us to and used a brush (she also said that we could apply with a putty knife, sponge or brush) we have NO results.  It has not been a full 24 hours, but It is dry.   We spent $21 on items to do this and painted 2 dressers.  I'm so dissapointed!  DId you ever get any results as I would love to know what else we could do.  Is there a possibility of a refund for a product that does not work???


Thanks for any imput!

Posted 2012-03-31T21:01:55+0000  by meamiaam

Hello Meamiaam!


Sorry to learn of the problem you experienced with ML Crackle.


I absolutely did get the expected results shown in the sample photo earlier in this thread.


MLPrimer.jpg  I also noted that ML Crackle is designed to be used with her primer ...

found next to the crackle product in her specialty display at The Store.


I've had several customers bypass this step and use primer they already had at home ... their topcoat did not crack at all.


In addition, I've had several use bristle or foam brushes to spread the topcoat ... their topcoat did not crack either.


ML Art Trowel.jpg  Her instructions, on the container, recommend using her art trowels.

The three-pack of art trowels can be found in her specialty display.


Her instructions recommend applying a thin coat for small cracks and a thicker coat for larger cracks.


My recommendation would be to sand off the existing product using 220-grit paper to sand in the direction of the wood grain. Wipe the sanding dust completely off with a dry terry towel and begin again.


Martha recommends a brush designed for "interior products" when applying her primer. Apply a generous coat.


Once the primer is dry (at least an hour) use her trowel to apply the topcoat ... apply a thick layer and you should get results similar to the earlier photo.


You might try this on a small separate piece before you restart the entire project.


NOTE: All paint products have a tendency to settle. Before trying your small demo, gently stir both containers to ensure that solids are brought up from the bottom and blended evenly.

Posted 2012-04-03T13:42:25+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

Quite frankly, I have been less than impressed with the Martha Stewart Crackle finish. If put on thinly, if fails to crackle at all. If put on heavily with the suggested palette knives, it crackled so much that it crackled right off the surface!

Posted 2012-04-04T22:11:56+0000  by ordjen

Sorry to learn of your problem Ordjen!


Craft projects are not intended to create perfectly uniform appearance. In fact, most art projects derive their beauty from their varied composition and irregular features. This project is no different.


Establishing a test sample will help you produce better results when it comes to the full project.


The demo in the photograph (in this thread) is actually done over glossy ceramic tile ... a surface to which many paints will not adhere. But after using Martha's specialty primer the sample produced the crackle effect as well as a very durable surface.


The demo piece was so well received at The Paint Pit that our customers asked to create their own (also on tile) during a Do It Herself workshop.


MLPrimer.jpg  Martha's primer did its job, creating a solid base.


The crackle media produced fine to medium cracks when spread medium thick.


And our Do It Herself crew walked away with more than twenty beautiful examples ... varied in appearance depending upon whose hand created the sample, but beautiful none the less!


NOTE: Several of our Do It Herself crew also purchased Polycrylic water-based polyurethane to apply a protective coating to their handy work.

Posted 2012-04-05T14:21:19+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL


Perhaps had I tried a glazed tile, I might have gotten different results. However, a clay pot and a primed piece of drywall both gave poor results. Both had been primed with the suggested MS primer. The tile is obviously quite slick, a clay pot quite porous. The crackle is developed as the paint dries and pulls apart. Perhaps the slicker surface facilitated different results. The concept is similar to the now discontinued Behr crackle finish which also used a clear medium ( primer) to allow the over layer of paint to separate and crackle.

Posted 2012-04-06T03:14:48+0000  by ordjen
Not a good product. Followed all the directions. Bought the tools. Read the how to and comments. Looks terrible. Did not crackle. Impossible to use a trowel tool. Painting doesn't work either. Used the primer too. Took a lovely well constructed cedar chest that would last a lifetime and now it looks terrible. Out money for the tools, primer, two jars of paint and one lovely cedar chest. Did get one eyesore in return. Do not waste your money or time on this product. Thanks Martha.
Posted 2012-09-16T15:42:27+0000  by bsm1215

Hi, I need some help with this crackle paint also. I partly painted an antique desk I sanded down. I bought the antique white color crackle paint. I asked 2 different Home Depot associates on how to proceed with my refurbishing project. Both told me I could just paint the crackle paint without using a primer first. I didn't use a metal tool to apply because it came out too uneven and I ended up using a sponge brush. I applied a fairly thick layer. Here I am a week later and the paint barely crackled and on some surfaces it didn't crackle at all. I don't want to continue with the rest of the unpainted parts of the desk because clearly I am doing something wrong? Please advise on how I should proceed. I put much work in sanding down this antique desk and it looks terrible now. Thank you

Posted 2012-09-16T22:21:25+0000  by anne31

Sorry to learn of your problem Anne!


Crackle is one of those products that combines, very specific, multiple steps to create a craft appearance.


As discussed earlier in the thread, Martha's specialty primer is required.




It is the reaction between the primer and crackle paint that create the gaps or crackle effect.


In addition, Martha's instructions call for application with the art trowels displayed in her Specialty Paint kiosk.


In my experience, the product works very well when applied according to instructions.


Unlike most ordinary wall paints, these products rely upon their combination ... and simply will not work well if applied separately.


NOTE: I have found that substituting other primer for ML Specialty Paint Primer/Sealer is not a good idea either.


FINALLY: As for "how to proceed?" You'll need to back up one giant step by removing the product and start again. Trying to "save" this project as it exists now, will most likely result in additional appearance flaws. Be certain to review the, very specific, application timeline before you begin.

Posted 2012-09-18T12:46:34+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL

I also just used this. Found the Crackle went on better by hand.  However, want to say I am sorry I bought it.  Ten years ago I bought a crackle paint stuff from Home Depot in Ft Colins.  It worked great!  It also too three coats. all by brush.  Looked real and was very happy with it.  Thought Martha's would work as well ( since it was Martha)  and while it is crackling, it doesn't look as good as the stuff ten years ago.  Judy Grillo

Posted 2012-09-25T20:38:30+0000  by JudyGrillo
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