• Hannah Oxberry

Experiment - DecoArt Crackle Paste

We have something a little different on the blog today. Following a conversation with Di from Tando Creative regarding Crackle Paste an experiment was born! Di wondered whether a LED light source could cure Crackle Paste, in a similar way to what it does for gel nail varnish. Always willing to discover new things I took on the challange.

Here are the results!

In the interest of a fair experiment, alongside the LED trial I also ran a base line test of Crackle Paste air dried and Crackle Paste dried by heat gun.

Each experiment contains the same base; a gold painted greyboard circle. For each circle I applied the Crackle Paste in the same way, using a palette knife to build the paste to the centre while spreading it out at the edges.

10 Minutes

After 10 minutes we can see some differences. The Air Dried example offers some fine cracks at the edge of the circle. The LED Dried also shows crackles at the edges but they extended further and are slightly wider than those seen in the Air Dried. The Heat Gun Dried didn't work at all, it bubbled up producing fumes and no crackles. The Heat Gun Dried experiment was abandoned after 10 minutes.

20 Minutes

Already you can begin to see a difference in the drying times. The Air Dried piece has fine crackles at the edges, they have extended a little further compared to the 10 minute mark but the LED Dried cricle shows wider and longer crackles.

30 Minutes

After 30 mintues the differences are even more evident. While there is only a little change to the Air Dried piece, the LED Dried circle has crackles beginning to reach the centre parts of the circle where the paste is much thicker.

45 Minutes

The results after 45mins are similar to those for 30mins, the rate of crackling has slowed as the centre of the circles has thicker paste which will take longer to dry.

60 Minutes

After an hour there is little change to the Air Dried circle, the LED Dried piece is showing crackles spreading over the thicker areas of paste to the centre.


The final results are interesting. It took 6 hours for the crackle paste to dry fully using the Air Dried method. The crackles appear over the whole circle, are even and relate to the thickness of the paste used.

The LED Dried piece only took 1 hour 15 minutes to dry fully, however the paste seems to have flatted out where it had been thicker and it hasn't cracked as much as the Air Dried circle.


If you have the time, and want to use a thick layer of crackle paste let it air dry (circle left). If you only want a thin layer of paste and are pressed for time you can get away with a LED dried finish (circle centre) - never use a heat gun! (circle right).

#cracklepaste #tandocreative

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