Tuesday 31 August 2010

A Tip and a Winner!

Thank you to those of you who participated in my giveaway last week. I am pleased to announce the winner, picked from a hat by my helpful fiance (who is NOT pictured below, by the way!). The winner is:

To claim your prize, email me your address and I'll put the item in the post for you!

Now, I'd like to share with you a technique I used for painting these hearts. Actually I was told about it by my mum, who was told by the lady in the shop, who was told by... word of mouth is still quite fast - not quite at YouTube or forum speed, but it does work!

If you remember, I said that the hearts had a kind of shabby look to them - not worn, not vintage, but a little aged. The technique I'm talking about is a way to achieve a certain distressed look. In a nutshell, you use a combination of PVA glue and acrylic paint. I've seen a few videos on YouTube, all of which feature slightly different methods of application: some start with PVA, some don't let the PVA dry before applying the paint, and some use a heat tool to dry the layers.

The technique I used was to paint a layer of acrylic onto the heart and let it dry. Then I painted a layer of PVA glue - quite thick - on top and let it dry. Finally I painted a second layer of acrylic on top of the dried PVA and let that dry. I was patient - I didn't try using the heat tool to speed up the drying process, but some people say if you do it increases the 'crackage'. I wanted to keep a very plain base so I used the same colour for both paint layers, but if you wanted to have a more striking effect you should use a darker first layer, which will then show through the cracks. You can also try rubbing ink into the cracks for a more striking effect.

A Note on Crackle Paint

I bought some a few months ago, after resisting the price for a very long time. The first time I opened it, it was way too thick and the first layer I painted crackled off completely. Not happy, I added water and mixed it up, and it seemed to be OK after that. The differences between using Crackle Paint and the PVA-acrylic technique are, of course, the cost, but also the variety you can achieve at a lower cost: you can mix a lot more colours, and colours combinations, with acrylic paints. One other big difference is the type of distress. Crackle paint really gives that classic crazy paving type of crackle, like the type used on furniture. The PVA-acrylic technique doesn't do this - it results in lines, like warped paint on wet wood, and it's an entirely different look. It depends what effect you're looking for, but if you're not fussy, I'd recommend PVA-acrylic every time.

Thanks again for looking. I'll be back on Thursday with a layout or two to share!


  1. Congratulations to the winner!
    Thank you for the tips about the crackle effect, I have just started a project and am about to put the pva on. I will follow your tips and method and let you know how it goes. The tip about adding ink to the cracks is a good one, I hadn't thought of that.