Patch a crack over a strie

hand painting

It can be a real challenge to patch a crack over a strie or other glazed surface.  Recently, we went back to a job we completed about 5 years ago and the wood paneling had cracked on many of the joins.  As many of you know, this is not uncommon.   Before I begin, I try to assess whether it would be easier to touch up the cracks with acrylic or just re-paint and re-glaze the entire area.  Sometimes it is just as fast to redo the area instead of touching up.  Plus, the patch will surely look better.  However, in this case, we decided to touch-up instead in the interest of time.

The first step is to dig out the cracks.  As we have previously described in our patching a hole post, this is an important step even though it may seem you’re making the problem worse.

original cracks

original cracks

Normally, we would use tape to mask the area before we filled the crack, but the tape was pulling off the glaze, so we had to do without.  We first used plaster of paris to fill the hole because it dries fast and doesn’t shrink.  Then, we filled again with a harder plaster like M&H Ready Patch.  We were able to sand that final coat down and wipe any excess off with a wet rag.

fill the crack

Next I mixed an acrylic primer tonality to cover the patch.  In the photo below, you will see a big difference in the patch on the left and right.  Ideally, you want to surgically paint the patch (as on the right).  The left side was painted way outside the perimeter of the patch and thus  caused much more work on the paint touch-up.   We learn from these mistakes, quickly!

fill paint peel

Here we are mixing a basecoat color.  I use white paint plus fluid acrylics to tint.  A few important things to remember about mixing colors:  Acrylic paint will dry darker, so have a hairdrier ready to test dry paint.  AND Mix enough for the entire job.

mix basecoat

Paint the color as surgically as possible over the patch.  I like to use a sable-mix pointed brush.

paint  basecoat

paint basecoat

Use a hairdrier to check your first patch.  It most certainly may need 2 coats.

hair dry many times

finished basecoat

Now for the challenging part.  In order to make an acrylic touch-up look like a glaze, you need the following:

1) Vibrant colors like fluid acrylic

2) A palette of colors as shown below

3) The right brush!  I would suggest a long, pointed sable liner, a sable pointed brush, or a samina veiner.

acrylic touch up

Using the previously mixed basecoat, we start making thin, parallel lines with a slightly darker color than the basecoat.  Then, repeat the process with a slightly lighter color.  Continue to paint back in forth until you are satisfied.  Lastly, I like to mix a vibrant tonality using a yellow or orange and apply some strokes.  Be wary of using white as it tends to look grey.

hand painting

stripes of color

finished painting

If you’re looking straight at the patch, it should look good.  But as soon as you see it from an angle, it will look off, color-wise because it needs a varnish.  In this case, I mixed a waterbased flat/satin varnish that I tested ahead of time.  That made it look better.

finish painting

finish painting

Don’t get me wrong, I know the patch isn’t perfect.  Any decorative painter will understand what I mean.  But, if you didn’t know it was there, you probably wouldn’t see the patch.  And it’s much better than how it started.

* Pierre is teaching a 4 hour demonstration at the IDAL convention in Fort Worth, TX on Friday, October 3rd.  Click here for more info.


  1. This was great to see …. It’s always a challenge to repair old faux. I like your method and will try it! Thanks!

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