Crackled Paint Product Review: Valspar Crackle Glaze

Chippy and crackled paint finishes are very popular right now – especially when the finish comes from natural age and wear, but sometimes you’ve just gotta fake it, if you want to make something that looks old.

How to create a crackled paint finish -


Since I was impressed with Valspar’s chalky paint (read my review here), I decided I would test and review Valspar Weathered Crackle Glaze and share my findings with you, along with some comparisons to other products that give a crackled paint finish.

I was not paid to review this product, and was not provided with any free product to write this review.

I was simply curious how well it worked.

valspar Weathered Crackle Glaze product review -

I cut 3 pieces of pallet wood to use as my test boards.

pallet wood for valspar weathered crackle glaze review -

I painted one board red and one white with Chalky Paint.

I stained the third board with Minwax, Early American Stain

painted and stained wood boards for Valspar crackled glaze review -

I applied a smooth coat of Valspar crackle glaze over each one.

valspar weathered crackle glaze review -

To achieve the crackled paint look, you have to add another layer of paint over the crackle glaze, so I added a layer of white paint over the red, and a layer of red paint over the white.  I painted the stained board with white paint.

Here’s how the three boards turned out.

Red board with white top coat

create a crackled paint finish tutorial -

White board with red top coat

How to create a crackled paint finish -

Stained board with white top coat

create an aged paint finish tutorial -

Close up shot of crackles

white crackled paint finish -

I repeated the paint over stained wood process on a larger board also, and the effect was the same.

crackled paint finish

Here’s a close up shot of it.

crackled paint finish close up


~ Be sure to allow each layer to fully dry before adding the next layer.  I did speed up the process with a hair dryer for the first coat, but don’t recommend using it for the final coat with white paint – the heat can discolor white paint.

~ This is really important! – When applying the top coat of paint, don’t paint in straight lines.  You’ll get a much more authentically aged look if you randomly apply the paint in different directions until you have full coverage, because the crackles will be more random and natural looking.

~  Apply the top coat quickly.  The crackled look starts happening fast.

~DON’T, and I repeat DON’T, overwork the paint with the brush.  If you brush back and forth too much, the crackles will smear, which you can see happened a bit with the red top coat board.

Comparison to other crackled paint mediums

This post contains affiliate links to the products I’m comparing below.

I’ll start by comparing Valspar’s crackle glaze to two other products I’ve used, and two I have not used.  I’m just comparing the price, how each is applied, and giving my thoughts about them based on those comparisons.

$$$ Valspar Crackle Glaze

Cost per ounce – about .88 cents  (I purchased it locally at Lowes)

How to use – 3 step process ( glaze applied between paint coats, or between stain and paint coats)

My Thoughts – The process was very easy, as long as you follow the steps above, and I’m quite happy with how all three boards turned out.  The crackled appearance was very uniform.

Of the 3 boards, my favorite finish was the white paint layered over the stained wood, because I’ like to see wood between the cracks when I make signs, not another layer of paint.  The red board with white cracks is my least favorite of the three boards, but I think other colors of paint would look good.

Valspar Crackled Paint Glaze is one of the less expensive faux crackle mediums of those that I compared.

$$$$ Deco Art Crackle Medium (read my review here)

Cost per ounce – $1.67

How to use – 2 or 3-step process (2 steps if you like the glossy finish; 3 steps if you don’t).

My thoughts – leaves a glossy finish, which may be undesirable, but I did like it when I figured out how to get rid of the glossy look.

$$Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint (read my review here)

Cost per ounce – about 69 cents (sold in powder form and makes 1 quart)

How to use – mix with water and apply

My thoughts – I love milk paint, but the results can be very unpredictable.  You may not get any of the chippy look, or the paint may chip away like crazy.  You have to keep an open mind that the results may not be what you expected.

Modern Masters Crackle for Latex Paint

Cost per ounce – .67 cents

How to use – 3 step process (application between coats of latex paint).

My thoughts – I’m not a big fan of latex paint, but this would allow you to use any color paint, and the price is reasonable.

$$$$$Tim Holz Distress Crackle Paint

Cost per ounce – $2.00

How to use – 1 step process (paint crackles as it dries)

My thoughts – While I love the idea of getting crackled paint with only 1 step, you have to purchase each color separately, so the color selection is limited.  Of the 5 products compared above, this one is the most expensive.


  1. Gilmer Gal says

    Thanks for this info! I love crackle paint and that you took the time and effort to school us on it!

  2. Thank you! I so appreciate the review and the additional review of the other options available.

  3. Marlene Stephenson says

    Thanks Angie, that was a very informative demonstration, very helpful and sweet of you.

  4. Interesting review Angie … white paint layered over the stained wood is my favorite also. It looks a lot like the crackle you get with using white glue, but Valspar looks easier. Thanks.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  5. I love crackle look I did one time on something small,came out good haven’t done right since,look’s good what you did,…

  6. Thanks for the comparisons, Angie. I find it also depends on how thick you put the crackle medium on.

  7. Stephanie Ferguson says

    How do you fix the smear parts?

  8. Can you paint the crackle over a high gloss finish or do you have to sand it first?

  9. Valerie Dornich says

    Do you wait for the crackle layer to dry, or do you put the top layer on while the crackle is still wet? We did this and it didn’t turn out so well.

  10. My only complaint with the Valdosta product: on the container it does not say you must use flat paint for the top coat. It says use any color latex paint. Eggshell, semi gloss and glossy will NOT crackle

  11. Shelley Morris says

    Will the valspar weathered crackle work with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint? Thank you for all of the great information!

  12. Thank you for such a wonderful place to learn and see your projects. I want to crackle paint my dark kitchen cabinets with chalk paint. I have Valspar crackle medium, Valspar chalk paint in Her Dainties. I would like the dark wood to crackle thru the white. Do I have to sand my cabinet before I apply the crackle glaze? I know I have to clean them well first and I’m hoping I don’t have to sand. I am assuming not because your stained wood block was not sanded or was it?

  13. Can this be done on paper picture or printed paper?

  14. Very informative. I know the glaze says interior, but if I use exterior latex for the base and top coat and then also seal with a clear coat (polyurethane or varnish) could I use on a piece of exterior furniture?

  15. Samantha says

    What finish of paint did u use as a top coat? I bought Valdosta latex in a satin finish and I didn’t see any crackle? Does the top coat have to be a flat top coat?

  16. Shay Wilson says

    Hi Angie!
    I see most comments are about a year ago. I hope you still respond (or anyone) to this. I am SO GLAD I read this before I started, or I’d have a smeared mess. Lol
    With the top coat being a flat/ should a clear ‘topcoat’ be applied after the whole crackle process? Like to seal it?
    Just a random thought. I know the point is to look aged, but I don’t want it to chip away as time goes on & during dusting.

  17. Hi. I have a quirky piece that I’m experimenting with. I painted it with chalk paint first but didn’t like that for this project. I sanded and repainted with a standard latex paint in a light mossy color.
    I want to put a crackled or pickled finish over it but don’t know how to accomplish this. I like the moss color but it’s flat with no character.
    Any ideas? I’d like to attach a photo but don’t see how to do this!
    Thanks so much!

  18. Jennifer Barfield says

    Thank you for this! It was right on time and very helpful.

  19. I went to Lowe’s and picked out colors I wanted and the glaze. I tested the colors by reversing them on test board. One was perfect but the other was not showing much crackle. I called Valspar up on a Sunday and they explained what went wrong. I was given the wrong paint I chose flat for both and bottom coat was not right. They offered to return it but I loved the one method that worked best. Point is great service and very helpful. I’m doing another piece today same colors

  20. Did you use latex paints?

  21. Can I use the Valspar product with chalk paint? This review is very helpful. Thanks!

  22. Lyne Netterville says

    I recently tried to crackle some wood four rabbits Ann snowmen. I don’t know if my crackle was too old or what, but I couldn’t get it to work. What I just read has helped me tremendously. I thank you.

  23. Can you use can you use acrylic paint?

  24. Maybe I missed it but how did you figure out how to get rid of the glossy look?

  25. This was incredibly helpful. Thank you!

  26. Consuelo Smith says

    so flat paint on bottom? or will any paint do?

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