Instructions For Decorating Wood & Papier Mache

Materials Required:


  1. Prepare the Background Colour:

    • Mix your desired background colour. Start with white as your base and add small amounts of artist colours to achieve the desired effect.
    • Combine the paint with APS in approximately a 2:1 ratio and apply to the wood. APS improves coverage and prevents the paint from soaking into the wood too much. Apply using a sponge or brush as preferred. Let it dry.
  2. Apply Décor Crackle:

    • Once dry, apply a coat of Décor Crackle to the desired area. Load your brush well and allow the medium to flow off without overworking it, to ensure larger, more pronounced cracks.
  3. Add the Top Coat:

    • Apply a contrasting top coat of paint carefully without overworking to allow the cracking process to occur. Note: Metallic or iridescent/pearl paints will not work with the crackle effect.
    • Allow the base coat and crackle layer to dry. Speed up drying with a hairdryer if necessary. The top coat should ideally dry naturally. If using a hairdryer to speed drying, apply a coat of Crackle Medium for best results.
    • Recommended time between applying décor crackle and top coat is up to 6 hours, although leaving it up to a week can still be effective.
  4. Applying Napkins (Optional):

    • Separate the tissue layers and tear to desired patterns. Use the All Purpose Medium to apply the tissue to your project. Start from the centre and work outwards with soft strokes, ensuring ample medium is used. If the tissue tears, add more medium or soften your brushwork.
  5. Finishing:

    • If varnishing, wait at least two weeks before doing so to avoid reactivating the crackle medium, which could crack the varnish.


  • Experiment with different tools (sponge or brush) to achieve various crackle effects, such as a random or bark-like appearance.
  • Practice on scrap materials like mirror board or mountboard to see different effects.

This format is intended to make the process easy to follow and ensures all steps are clear and logically organized.