View Full Version : Peeling Paint

06-04-2007, 10:35 AM
I would like to know how to paint a wall so that it looks like a wall that is losing its paint by the chunks. Kind of like the movies that show an older building that is losing its most recent paint job to expose its previous color.

The Trick: We know how to do it to look like it but need a method that can take a bit of abuse (EX. moving the wall panels, storage of the wall panels, actors touching it, Visitors getting too close.)

Would an actual fabric work?


damon carson
06-04-2007, 11:12 AM
Well I dont know all or every method everyone might use on this board but...... I would buy some crackle paint. Paint your wall the base color that you want. Apply the crackle coat. The more coats you put on the better the effect. Then with like a paint scraper I would randomly scrape downward to reveal the base color. Lightly scrape though you dont want people to be able to tell where you have done it.

Frighteners Entertainment
06-04-2007, 11:54 AM
Something like this?

06-04-2007, 12:36 PM
One way to ahieve the effect of peeling paint is to first paint a basecoat in whatever color latex paint you want. Then piant on dabs or spots of vaseline. This will simulate the 'peeled paint spots'. Since the vaseline is oil based it will not stick to the latex paint. Then paint a top coat in another color. When it dries, carefully wipe off the vaseline and the bottom color will show thru. This is useful to show old paint or a base color that has been painted over.


06-04-2007, 03:56 PM
I like that effect and I have tried the crackle paint thing, I have never heard of the vaseline, I will have to try that. Is there away of doing it with actual peeled paint hanging off the wall in 3"-6" pieces? Is there away of doing it with fabric so that it has more flex to it without breaking?


06-04-2007, 05:00 PM
I have used and seen used a couple different methods for peeled paint.

For an exposed lathe look you can cut a tear shaped hole in the wall and place strips of lathe behind the hole. this works best with 2 sided walls so as not to affect the structural integrity of the wall.

For a strait peeled paint look you can tear strips of thick ( 3 inch plus ) masking tape and attach them in the areas you want torn to a wall that has the undercoat applied. over the whole thing paint what you want your wall to look like and then peel back or tear off the taped areas.

If the area will be lit dimly enough you can paint tears in using black paint, painting a small strip of grey paint on the lower part of the crack for all cracks below eye level and on the upper side for all abve eye level you will give it a bit of depth, I was surprised how effective and easy this method was. I suppose you could use this method in conjunction to attacthing strips of painted fabric to the lower part of the crack to add a more real "peeled" look

Greg Chrise
06-04-2007, 07:30 PM
Take a piece of glass or plastic buckets or counter top material. Apply any kind of mold release like carnuba wax, PAM kitchen spray, baby oil, mineral oil or vegetable oil, the list goes on. Paint it with latex paint and allow to dry a few days and then peel it off and tear it up into chips by hand.

Instead of having paint peeled and fear of more peeling, you glue or clear coat on paint chips and then put a runny tinted solution on that to make it looked aged.

Anything can be either mechanically scared by presurewashing or sand blasting or sanding with crude implements or peeled in the drying process with tape or what have you.

All it takes to keep the effect permanent is to seal in all the goodness with some type of clear coat. This final seal will be the actual last thickness that wears. For the toughest of finished what ever the final clear is going to be, that is what the chips are glued on with.

The trick is to find a flat finish clear that usually ends up being a solvent based product so you generally will want everything suspended below to be acrylic or latex.

You can cross pollenate and get flateners for automotive clears and use them in any house hold or commercial level clear to make them flat. Another trick is to add shark grip products that normallly would be used on a slick painted floor finish. It really makes an other worldly screwed up finish on walls that is non glossy and might even be interpreted as some kind of dried crystal residue from time.

Haunt panels get dragged, walked on and handled outdoors so why not have them treated them like patio floors? Or boat decks? Or swimming pools or architectual finishes on buildings.

I will be going out now to buy more stock in my favorite clear coat company. Generally good clears are around $25 to $30 a gallon, add another $6 or $8 for fire retardant additives and getting about 350 SF coverage per gallon on top of what is already essencially sealed costs only about 10 cents a square foot for 12 to 15 years of sealing in the goodness.

No one does this though.

06-05-2007, 02:33 AM
You might find this to be a surprise but...


Yes thats right. Paint your wall them put a blow torch to it, just where the flame is back a ways and heats up the paint really good. The paint will age and crackle quickly. Make sure there is nothing flamable around otherwise... LOL

But this works!


06-05-2007, 06:31 PM
I'm not saying that Larry's method doesn't work..............

I just have ALOT SAFER alternative for you!

When we have areas that call for cracked and peeling paint at Terror on the Fox, this is what we do. Keep in mind that weather (especially humidity) can play a role in the outcome.

We mix paint with elmers glue (Approx. 70% paint and 30% glue, you may need to experiment a bit)

We paint our base coat with the glue/paint mixture. As this base coat becomes tacky, we then paint our main scene color over the top.

The top coat will dry faster than the bottom coat, when the bottom coat continues to dry, it pulls and cracks the top coat. Sometimes peeling occurs but most of the time you need to "help" it along a bit.

As with anything else, I suggest trying a few test panels and test mixtures to best suit your needs.

Hope this helps!


06-06-2007, 08:08 AM
Great tech. everyone.

I have used Larry's tech. before and the result was very good. I do like your method Tattoo, I'm going to have to try that one this season.

damon carson
06-06-2007, 09:28 AM
I never have had any luck with the vaseline method. I think I seen that on a Kevin Mckurdy vid. But Ive always heard vaseline eats away latex anyway. But thats a totally different subject anyway. Werent we talking about aging paint on walls. LOL!

06-06-2007, 11:37 AM
I've used waterglass (sodium silicate solution) to peel paint... latex paints don't stick to waterglass, so if you paint a patch of it and let it dry first, the latex paint job won't stick to those patches. It'll crack and wrinkle there, so you'll see where the spots are... a heat gun will exaggerate the effect and wrinkle the latex away more, you can scrape off as much as you like... then use clear acrylic or shellac (which will stick to it) to harden the wrinkly paint around it. Dunno if that's the effect you're looking for, but FWIW... If you like that diseased rotten look (like in Silent Hill) you can texture the surface first with drywall mud to get the bubbled plaster effect, or with vermiculite/sawdust mixed with tinted waterglass or glue to get the rusty or rotted look. then topcoat with waterglass and let dry before painting the wall color on and it looks like the corruption is blistering the paint off.

Another neat aspect is that waterglass is a fireproofing chemical. You can fireproof your wood with it... but you'll need to seal it with Kilz if you want to paint over it with latex paints for the above obvious reasons...