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Folk Art > Paints > Matisse Mediums : MM23 Cracking Medium (Water based)


MM23 Cracking Medium (Water based)
Price: $13.90
Description: Matisse MM23 Cracking Medium lets you produce works that have that weathered and old country farm feel. To obtain a crackled look, there are three steps and three layers involved. The MM23 Cracking Medium is sandwiched between the two layers of different coloured Matisse Background Colours.
  1. The first coat of paint is the coat that will show through as cracks. Use any of the Matisse Colours for this coat (e.g. Matisse Flow, Structure or Background Colours). Allow to dry.

    If cracking over raw wood, for example, and you would like the wood to be seen through the cracks, do not apply a layer of colour (omit step 1). As an alternative, use a clear sealer as step 1 to seal a porous surface.
  2. The second coat is the sandwich coat. Use MM23 Cracking Medium and paint an even coat that is not so thick that it runs. Leave this coat to dry for 3 hours.
  3. The third coat will need to be applied within 12 hours of the cracking coat being touch-dry. The thicker the application of paint, the bigger the cracks. The third coat of paint must be the Matisse Background Colour as it has been specially formulated to work with the MM23 Cracking Medium.
Please Note: The technique used in the application of the third coat governs the finished result. As the third coat is applied, it reacts with the cracking coat, now being destabilised, tries to form new bonds with itself and in doing so pulls together or shrinks. As it shrinks, it takes with it the top coat thus forming cracks. The cracks will form at the weakest point of the top coat; this is where there is the least paint. For example, a brushstroke is not perfectly flat but has thick and thin ridges parallel to the drag of the brush. Therefore, if all brushstrokes were made in the same direction, then the effect would be that the majority of the cracks form in the direction of the brushstrokes. If a sea sponge is used, the paint is of random thickness all over so the cracks will be quite random. A general rule with this finish is that the thicker the top coat of paint, the thicker the cracking and the thinner the top coat, the smaller the cracks. If you are new to this finish, experiment on an old piece of wood or cardboard as a test before commencing your project.

Many people wish to crack metallic gold. This is possible. Mix equal parts of Matisse Flow Metallic Gold with MM5 Matt Medium and apply over the MM23 Cracking Medium as in Step 3 above.

N.B. We cannot stress enough that Matisse MM23 Cracking Medium has been made to crack the Matisse Background Colours only. Other brands of paint may work with this medium; however, we cannot guarantee performance.

Technical information courtesy Matisse Derivan.
All prices are in Australian dollars.

Gwen Crichton

23 Dina Beth Ave,
2148. NSW


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