Elmer’s Glue has come a long way.

I remember when I was in first grade, we didn’t really have glue.  We had paste.  The paste came in a tiny little jar with a tiny little spoon.  It was kind of a flat spoon and it was supposed to be used for scraping the paint out of the jar onto the paper.

Some people skipped the paper and just used the spoon to eat the paste.

I remember being fascinated with the paste-eating kids.  There was one in particular who ate it on a regular basis.  All the time.  Every day.  I waited to see what would happen to him.  Would his hair fall out?  Would he turn sticky?  Would he start eating the crayons, next?

The weird this was nothing ever happened.

All that glue and he still knew that the capital of California was Sacramento.


I don’t really recommend paste eating.


Why waste your glue on something like that when you could be using it to crackle your table top.

Remember this table from the turtle-filled-field-fried-chicken-eating photo shoot?

I crackled it with glue.


A crackle finish for only  .97.

And it’s so easy.

Crackle Glue Finish

1.  Paint your base coat the color you want to show through on the crackle. With this table, I didn’t paint it.  I just left it yard-sale white.  You’ve seen yard-sale white before.  It’s on all pieces that were once pristine white and now have faded and aged and look a little forlorn.

It’s one of my favorite colors in the universe.

2.  Paint the glue on where you want it to crackle.  Hint #1:  use a lot of glue.  I used almost the whole bottle.  The more glue you use the more it will crackle.

Don’t be shy.

Glump it on.

(3)  This is not a good picture of the glumped on glue, but trust me.

It’s there.

And now you wait for the glue to almost dry.  This is an important step.  Hint #2 you want the glue finish to be sticky.  If you let the glue dry all the way it will not crackle and if it doesn’t dry enough it will just be a gluey glump.

This is one time when tacky is perfect.

(4)  After the glue is tacky, you brush on your top coat.  Hint #3 brush it in one direction.  When you apply the top coat, don’t brush back and forth because this prevents the glue from crackling the paint properly.  Where your glue is more thickly applied, you will have heavy crackling.

Where there is a lighter coat of glue, you will have lighter crackling.

That’s it.

That’s the long and short of glue-crackling.

Wasn’t it so easy?


                 ….I still wonder about that first-grade paste eater.

Where is he?

What is he doing now?

Is paste still a delicacy to him?

I feel like I need to DVR “My Strange Addiction” just in case 🙂

PPS  If you want to see a totally one-of-a-kind project using glue click here.

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  1. Image for cassie cassie

    i have heard of this but haven't use it before. i eat my glue instead. kidding! we had rubber cement i remember.... and we would take the dried up parts and put it in our hands and then fake sneeze and pretend it was snot. we were really mature.

  2. Image for Laura Laura

    Thanks for sharing this. Who would have thought when we were eating that paste back in kindergarten it would have such a cool use. I just remember coming home with glue all over my clothes and my mom not being too happy about it :)

  3. Image for pendy pendy

    Thanks for commenting on my blog; I have NO readers so it always makes my day! I tried this glue/crackling technique once and didn't have success. This post makes me want to try again!

  4. Image for creativehome8 creativehome8

    Pretty little table, Karianne! I'm always drawn to things this size because they can fit in anywhere. Funny, I just painted over something that I had crackled years ago!

  5. Image for brenda brenda

    maybe his and all the others who imbibed insides have crackled and that is what caused lots of disease and other issues in later life

  6. Image for kellyatvatw kellyatvatw

    This is MAGICAL. Plus any excuse to play with glue gets a thumbs-up in my book. I just remember everyone pouring the glue on their hands, letting it dry, then peeling it off in large sheets. Everyone ELSE, I mean. Not me.

  7. Image for Revi Revi

    Oh, yeah. I remember that paste. You know, I might have even tasted it, but since texture is important to me, I went no further. What I DO remember is one of the reasons a kid would even CONSIDER eating paste: they flavored it with wintergreen. It was like a big tub of lifesaver paste. Go figure. Flavor it like candy and then tell kindergarteners, "Don't eat it!" Oh, by the way, I like your cute table. "Love that skirt, doll!" -Revi

  8. Image for theboldabode theboldabode

    I'm stuck on you. Past eaters? I had liquid paper sniffers... I'm sure they became fine, upstanding citizens... I did.

  9. Image for Linda @ it all started with paint Linda @ it all started with paint

    Oh, I think your paste eater has graduated to raw ground beef meat loaf mix eater. And raw cookie dough eater. And raw stuffed shell cheese mix (replete with raw eggs mixed in) eater .. And you ask yourself: how does she know this? And now you ask yourself: perhaps starting up a potential new biz with her could be a monumental paste-eating mistake ... :)

  10. Image for Emily Emily

    I've seen this method a few times before, but it's still a great idea! I can't wait to try it for myself. Thanks for sharing :)

  11. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    Just got back from being on the bleachers all day...it is totally a way of life for me... So just opened the laptop and saw your oh so cinchy project... All I can say is, "Where there is a glue, there is a way".... Even us totally "glueless", oh I mean clueless...may be able to handle this project! Love the "Colonel Sanders" inspired table!

  12. Image for Betsy(@coastal-colors) Betsy(@coastal-colors)

    I just got back from the ER with my dad. I checked my email to see this unbelievable project! I love this crackle finish! Amazing, affordable and adorable! I have to try this!

  13. Image for Claire Claire

    Wow! I had no idea the crackle effect would be so easy to achieve with such a common product. I have a new-found appreciation for white glue! Claire P.S. I am happy to say that in 6 years of teaching I have never encountered a glue eater! Phew!

  14. Image for judi judi

    karianne, you are such a hoot. i do remember that paste but i don't remember any paste eaters, however there was this one boy who ate other things that weren't meant to be eaten. ewww. i've never tried the glue crackle technique as i've always used the "expensive" crackle in a bottle. this is such a great way to save $ on a designer finish. and i think your turtle-filled field fried chicken table is super cute! judi

  15. Image for Jo-Anne Jo-Anne

    I had a flash back to my childhood no I didn't eat paste but I remember the kids that did eat paste.............lol Moving the table is looking really great you do good work.....

  16. Image for kirbycarespodi kirbycarespodi

    I, too, love yard sale white. ANd my husband, the chemist, told me that I didn't have to 'waste my money' on crackle finishing stuff, because he could 'make it out of glue.' He was not a paste eater, but he is a label reader. Love the outcome!

  17. Image for Connie Lenden Connie Lenden

    Hi karianne- Thanks for stopping over. Don't we all just love company ?? I was thinking about your glue project and was reflecting on what I used when I used to do decoupage. The English teachers at my husband's school loved to collect words, and sayings, etc. and I used to make plaques for them. I think it was Mod Podge. Coat it up and sand. Repeat. Then, later, put the crackle it on and watch. That is a cute table, oh, I wanted to thank you for Pic Monkey -- love it!

  18. Image for Cindy Cindy

    Um, I used to eat the glue occasionally, it tasted wonderful, did you never taste it? I quit when my mom told me that it was made from horse's hooves. I just smelled it after that. That's my true confession for today. I have never crackled anything, but it sounds simple enough, perhaps I'll give it a try sometime. Hugs, Cindy

  19. Image for Mrs C Mrs C

    We had a paste eater in 1st grade. I still remember his name. Sadly, he had other strange habits, ones we speak not of. I don't know if it was because of his pasted brain? ??? Anyway, I love the crackling knowledge you shared in this post, I have a table I need to do something to, and this is perfect! It is currently a dark brown, and I'd love to do some crackling on it. Thanks a million for sharing this!

  20. Image for Mike (CraftyDad) Mike (CraftyDad)

    Hmmm, I wonder if we were in the same first grade class. Because, umm, I ate quite a bit of paste that year. And, I too, knew the capital of California was Sacramento. And, the capital of Kentucky isn't Louisville. It's Frankfort. But I'm sure you already knew that. Even after ingesting all that paste (damn it was good!), I turned out pretty-much okay.

  21. Image for Shawn Presley Shawn Presley

    I remember those paste eatin kids.... never did quite get it..ew! I can still remember the smell of it though..ah..childhood. Curiosity and innocence at it's finest :)

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