When you hear the word decoupage, what do you think of? Um, yeah . . . about that! Let’s hold those thoughts because today on Before & After Basics, I hope to show you a fresh take on using paper to add character and fun to furniture design. We’ll start with a simple design plan and see what beautiful things transpire. —
CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!
- piece of furniture (painted)
- paper designs
- acrylic varnish
1. Make sure that the piece you are adding detail to is painted and ready to accept the paper. If you need painting tips, you can read my painting furniture post.
2. Plan out your design carefully! This is almost as important as the actual process; placement is the difference between a crafty fail and fantastic! Cut out all the pieces that you plan to incorporate into the design so that they are ready to go. I chose a flower that is outlined in black so that it would blend in nicely with the black paint on the piece. My personal goal when working on projects like this is to make it as clean and seamless as possible.
3. Apply Mod Podge or acrylic varnish to the back of your paper with a brush, making sure that it is applied in a thin, even coat. You do not want to saturate the paper or create ridges with excess adhesive. Typically, I use Mod Podge to apply paper and am really comfortable with that method, but I was recently challenged to try something new, so I applied the acrylic varnish to the back of the paper for this project and it was amazing!
4. Make sure that you do not have any glue/varnish on your hands as you place your paper where you want it on the piece. This is really important especially if your paper is white or at all light — it shows everything! Have a clean rag on hand for wiping and keeping the surface of your paper clean.
5. Use your clean, dry cloth to smooth the entire surface of the paper that you just applied. I can’t stress enough how important this step is. Be careful not to rub too hard and damage the surface of your paper, but you want to make sure that all of the air bubbles are worked out and your design is nice and smooth. Don’t worry if the paper becomes a bit transparent when wet, it will dry and be just fine!
6. Once you have placed all the designs on the piece, let them dry. Once dry, apply two to three coats of polyurethane to the entire surface of the piece using a brush. If you are worried about brush strokes, you can use a roller as well, and I recommend a mohair or short-nap roller for poly applications. Nice and smooth is the name of the game, my friends!
This is a nice and easy starter project that will get your feet wet in the decoupage world if you have not yet ventured there! If you are a seasoned decoupage queen, then by all means, cover the entire piece in flowers, newspaper, book pages, posters or maps because the possibilities are endless!