Faux Barn Board

by Sharon Field

Use white glue and a re-inker to create an interesting background.


  • Scrap paper to protect your work surface
  • Paint tray or plastic container to mix your supplies in
  • White acrylic paint
  • Medium brown dye re-inker (Soft Suede used here)
  • Toothpick or something to stir your ink/paint mixture with
  • Two to three foam brushes
  • White glue (Elmer's Glue used here - school glue will work just fine)
  • Light, neutral cardstock (Very Vanilla used here)
  • Heat tool


  1. Step 1

    Put a nickel size drop of white acrylic paint in your paint tray or plastic lid.

  2. Add 4-5 drops of re-inker, and mix well with a toothpick.

  3. Step 2

    Use a foam brush to apply the paint and re-inker mixture to the cardstock using a sweeping motion, allowing some of the base cardstock color to show through, and continuing in the same direction. The cardstock will curl because of the moisture in the mixture.

  4. Step 3

    Gently dry the cardstock using a pre-heated heat tool.

    Pre-heating your heat tool helps prevent scorching the paint -you can also allow the cardstock to air dry.

  5. Step 4

    Add about 1 teaspoon of glue into the paint tray, and working quickly in the same direction as the paint strokes, use a foam brush to apply a thin layer of glue to the painted cardstock.

    The cardstock will have a somewhat milky appearance.

  6. Allow the cardstock piece to dry just until it is tacky. You can speed it up with a heat tool if you'd prefer - just don’t let it dry completely.

  7. Step 5

    Add about a quarter sized drop of white acrylic paint to the paint tray. Working in the same direction as the prior brush strokes, use a foam brush to add white paint to the cardstock.

  8. Step 6

    Be patient - if you try to apply the paint before the glue is tacky, the piece will look have a mottled look and texture.

  9. Step 7

    It’s fun to watch the piece as it air-dries - you will see the paint and glue separate right before your eyes, like a mini science experiment.

  10. Step 8

    As it dries, add additional distressing with the pointed edge of a foam brush by lightly brushing it across the surface.

  11. To speed up the process, use a preheated heat tool, but be careful, the paint likes to scorch!

    As it dries, the cardstock will flatten out.

  12. Step 9

    The background is finished.

  13. Step 10

    Use the background on a finished card.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Faux Barn Board. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

Excellent technique! Thanks for sharing.
Jane Harrah  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 12:57 PM
def a technique I will be trying!!!!
Bonnie Isabelle  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 1:03 PM
I so look forward to these tutorials every week. Thanks to all the artists responsible. I do have one question on this one, though. Could you just use brown acrylic paint instead of white paint plus reinker? I'm not sure why there is that extra step. TIA, Lisa
Lisa Smith  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 1:06 PM
Wow... Joann That's really thinking outside the box! Great tip!
Sharon Field  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 1:10 PM
I love this technique, I can't wait to try it! I have some great ideas...now to find the time to do it! Great idea using it on a table, I'll bet that looks really interesting.
Jen  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 1:41 PM
If you do use this procedure on wood, use a dark acrylic paint first, let dry, then cover this with Elmer's glue, let dry enough to put a top coat of a lighter paint on top, it will crack and let the dark paint show through.
joann Weidman  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 2:16 PM
What a great technique. I never cease to be amazed by the info available on the message boards of these great crafter's blogs.
Marilynn  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 2:58 PM
Hi Lisa... this is just how I did it given the materials I had on hand. I wanted my finished project to match my other cardstock, ink, supplies exactly, hence the re-inker. Re-inkers are a convenient and inexpensive way to change the paint color... and only requires use of one bottle of paint, vs. two!
Sharon Field  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 3:02 PM
What a fun idea to use during this time of year! I see all kinds of fall projects forming in my mind...
Kristina  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 5:10 PM
Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

You mentioned you live in FL. I am just east of Orlando. Will you pm me and let me know if you are local? I am getting names for a possible get together.

He IS Able,
Traci S.
Blog Candy Extravaganza at:
Traci S.  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 6:05 PM
Wow, this is fabulous! And I have just the kind of man to make this card for...my hubby! Thanks!!!
Deebi27  |  Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 7:53 PM
All I can say is BRILLIANT!!
Coirnna  |  Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 10:51 AM
Beautiful effect, I think you could work the sample in larger pieces and cut it for uses on smaller projects. Then you'd only have to clean up once and a while.
mrslaporte  |  Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 1:32 PM
This is so NEAT!!
What stamp did you use?? I love the clock!
Jackie Corley  |  Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 6:19 PM
I love this technique...thanks so much for sharing! I think I'd even use this in my art journaling!
Danielle  |  Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 6:29 PM
Wow - home-made crackling medium !! very neat - kinda looks like tree bark!!
Heather  |  Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 8:50 PM
ACK that is so cool! I loved that tutorial, especially the super speed! Better make some time to try this out soon! Thanks, Sharon!
Kelly Schirmer  |  Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 9:29 PM
Hi.. dropping in again to answer a few questions!
MrsLaporte: I found that working with a smaller piece worked best for me (drying time, glue, paint, etc.. ) But you go for it.. maybe I'll try that myself!
Jackie Corley: The large clock image featured on the card is part of the Stampin' Up! Sense of Time Stamp set.
Sharon Field  |  Fri Sep 24, 2010 at 4:09 AM
yip ,ill try it ...i think it looks way cool ... reminds me of birch trees in the adirondack mountains ..mmmmmmmm miss it there ..beautiful work ...will use craft sheet for sure .. keep up the good work ,,thanks yours in ink anne marie
ANNE MARIE  |  Sat Sep 25, 2010 at 12:12 AM
I learned this technique several years ago when I was tole painting, my teacher called it "crackling". I can be done on wood as well as cardboard, chip board and cardstock. I have never tried it on metal but that could be a fun challenge.
Marcia Feeney  |  Sat Sep 25, 2010 at 3:51 AM

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