How to make crackle art

Dining room inspiration
I found this dining room photo in Elle Decor while doing some research for a client, and the artwork immediately caught my eye. I loved the texture (whether the apparent cracked plaster was real or fake) and the colors.
While working on the Anthropologie display team, I discovered the incredible power of Elmer’s basic glue. We were prototyping a wall treatment for one of the San Diego locations and by accident found that Elmer’s basic white glue on top of paint creates a crackle effect.
For these faux crackle pieces, I used lightweight foam-core board and thrift-store frames that I painted–some silver and others gold. I cut the foam-core to fit the frames (glass removed) and brushed on a coat of acrylic metallic taupe paint.
Gold paint
When the paint was completely dry, I smothered on a generous coat of Elmer’s glue over the entire thing.
Glue over paint
When the glue got tacky, I painted on a layer of Martha Stewart’s satin acrylic paint in Wedding Cake.
White paint
As it dried, it crackled.
Crackle effect
(This photo shows the first signs of crackling.)