Have you ever wanted to transform your furniture from plain to stylish? One of the easiest ways to give simple furniture some extra personality is to decoupage it – an interesting decor technique that involves adding a collage of pictures to an item.
Most people use decoupage to add new life to a photo frame or simple table, but it’s actually suitable for a huge range of different items. From your closet to your coffee table, decoupage is a great technique for adding new life to plain furniture.
The technique itself is simple – all you need is a piece of paper with the image you’d like to attach to your item, some sandpaper, decoupage glue and, for some furniture, paint to prepare the surface for decorating.
Ready to decoupage your furniture? Whether you’re adding new life to some of your bedroom furniture or restyling your home office, read on to learn how to decoupage your home’s furniture for a completely new look.
START BY CUTTING OUT YOUR DECOUPAGE MATERIALS
Ready to begin? Start by cutting out the paper materials you’d like to attach to your furniture. You can glue almost anything to your furniture – magazine images, paper greeting cards and photos are all fantastic choices.
It’s best to avoid using images printed from a cartridge printer, as the ink can mix in with the lacquer you apply later in the decoupage process. If you’d like to print your own images, take them to a professional printer for a more professional look.
As well as paper materials, you can also decoupage furniture using fabric, wallpaper and other materials. Get creative and think of something unique you can use to give your furniture a stylish appearance.
WORK OUT WHERE YOU’LL PLACE EACH CUT-OUT
If you’re going for an eclectic look, you can skip this step and start preparing your furniture’s surface right away. However, if you’d like to make sure your decoupage looks fantastic, it helps to plan your design before you start working.
Work out where you’ll place each cut-out on your item by using adhesive putty or tape to attach each item to the furniture. You can even mark each location using a pencil to make sure your finished design matches your planning.
One of the most important aspects of decoupage is layering items. If you’d like to use multiple layers to create a unique and interesting look, use a pencil to mark exactly where each item should go before you start sanding the surface.
SAND (OR PAINT) THE SURFACE TO REMOVE BUMPS
Once you’ve planned your design, it’s time to prepare the surface. Most furniture has small bumps, scratches and marks that make it tough to get the perfect results from your decoupage project.
Before you start applying the paper or fabric pieces, prepare the surface by sanding with a fine grit sandpaper. This will remove any small imperfections that could lead to bumps and gouges in the finished item.
Once your surface is prepared, you can apply a coat of latex paint. This is perfect for materials like metal and some woods, as the latex paint will improve the effects of the adhesive you use to apply the cut-out items.
CLEAN UP YOUR WORK AREA AND LAY OUT NEWSPAPER
Before you start, make sure your work area is clean. Since you’ll be working with a strong adhesive to attach the cut-outs, vacuum the area to make sure there isn’t any dust or dirt that could end up on your furniture.
Once you’ve cleaned up, lay out a layer of newspaper over the floor to protect it in case you drop any paper items or spill the glue. Fill in gaps in the newspaper using masking tape to make sure no dropped or spilled materials can damage the floor.
APPLY DECOUPAGE GLUE TO THE SURFACE OF THE FURNITURE
The next step is to apply the decoupage glue to your furniture. You’ll want to use a special decoupage glue or craft glue for the best results, as many other glues don’t create the same finish.
If you need to mix your glue with water, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Use a soft paintbrush to gently apply the glue to the surface of your furniture, working carefully to avoid applying the glue unevenly.
Once you’ve glued the surface, apply the decoupage glue to the rear side of the cut-out items. It’s best to glue each item on its own as you’re ready to apply it onto the furniture.
Give some old furniture a new look using decoupage. We think the spring colours of this chest of drawers are gorge... pic.twitter.com/1xL0W1dqzB— Centura (@CenturaPearl) 17 March 2015
APPLY EACH CUT-OUT, THEN SMOOTH IT ONTO THE SURFACE
Once you’ve applied a coat of glue to the back of each cut-out piece, gently lay it on the furniture. Make sure it’s smooth against the furniture, with no wrinkles, before you press gently onto its surface with a soft brush.
After you’ve applied each item, use a brayer – a type of small hand roller used for a variety of arts and crafts projects – to make sure the paper is completely flat against the surface of the furniture.
Once you’ve applied the first piece, attach the second one using the same method. If you’re applying several layers of items to the furniture, you’ll need to wait for each layer to settle and partially dry before you glue anything on top of it.
AFTER THE GLUE HAS DRIED, APPLY A COAT OF LACQUER
Before you can apply any lacquer, you’ll need to let the glue dry. Let the furniture sit in an area with good airflow for several hours. Check that the glue is completely dry before you make any further changes to the item.
If your design incorporates several layers, you’ll need to make sure that all of them are dry before continuing. If any layers have started to peel away from the furniture, you can use a craft knife to trim them for a smoother look.
Once everything has dried, apply a coat of decoupage lacquer to give the furniture a sleek, clean look. You can apply a second coat of lacquer for a more thorough look if necessary, but make sure the first coat is completely dry before proceeding.
SAND GENTLY AND APPLY A SECOND COAT OF LACQUER
Once you’ve applied lacquer to the item, it’s time to sand the furniture to smooth out any bumps and mistakes. Use a very fine grit sandpaper to avoid damaging the finish and work carefully to make sure the materials aren’t affected.
After you’ve finished sanding, you can reapply more lacquer. Most items need about five coats of lacquer for a professional look, although complicated decoupage with a few different layers of items could require 10 or more.
Let the lacquer dry before you move the furniture into its position. After you move the furniture, remove the newspaper you set down earlier in the process and clean your work area.
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