Earlier this spring I wrote a little review on Knack Studios' Barb Blair's new book, Furniture Makeovers and now we're thrilled to bring you a DIY from the book as we ride along on the book's official blog tour! Chronicle Books sent over one of my favorite projects from the book, "Using Decoupage". And as you'll see Barb's technique and explanation, make for a simple project that anyone can do. I know I have an old dresser here just waiting for a good makeover! But first, check out this cute trailer for the book!
And now here's the instructions on how to decoupage (Knack-style):
Découpage is an age-old technique that was used centuries ago in places like France, China, and Russia and was extremely popular in the 1960s when crafting became the “groovy” thing to do! The word découpage actually means “the art of using cut-out paper, plastic, or other flat material over which varnish or lacquer is applied.” Over the past several years, découpage has evolved, and even modern enthusiasts have embraced its beauty.
Before you start, prepare your piece of furniture by filling any unevenness or holes with wood filler using a putty spatula, sanding with a fine sanding sponge, and cleaning the surface with a damp shop towel. You want the surface to be completely smooth before you apply the paper design.
Paper for your design
Scissors or craft knife
Adhesive: wallpaper paste if using wallpaper, or Mod Podge depending on the paper being used
Small paint tray
Paintbrushes: small craft brush for adhesive, Purdy Nylox brush for final Mod Podge layer, and White China Brush Series brush for polyurethane finish
Polyurethane, water based
1. Measure with a ruler and cut the paper carefully with your scissors or craft knife so that it matches the size of the area to be covered. Pour an ample amount of adhesive into a small paint tray, and using the craft brush, apply a thin layer of adhesive to both the surface of the furniture and the back of the paper. You will want to keep the adhesive only in the area where you are working. Adhesive dries quickly, so apply the paper immediately, and lay the paper design down carefully.
2. Once you’ve applied the paper to the piece of furniture, smooth it gently with your fingers. I recommend using a small plastic squeegee to get the paper ultra-smooth and squeeze out any excess glue that will cause rippling. The most important thing is to work from the center of the paper out to the edges; this technique works out any air bubbles and excess glue. Be sure to keep some extra towels on hand to keep your fingers clean while working with the paper. You do not want to transfer glue or dirt from your hands to the top of the paper. I promise there will be lots of glue on your fingers, as this is a very messy technique, so try to keep your hands as clean as possible throughout the project.
3. Continue applying pieces of paper as stated above, working in sections until the furniture you are working on is entirely covered with the desired amount of paper. Upon completion of each section, apply a layer of Mod Podge over the top with the Nylox brush, especially in a collage design, to ensure proper adhesion.
4. When all of the paper has been applied, and the Mod Podge is completely dry, it is time to apply a coat of polyurethane to the project. This provides both a nice finished look and protection for the paper you have so lovingly applied to your piece. I highly recommend a polyurethane coating over Mod Podge, because I have found that sometimes Mod Podge can remain “tacky” even when it is completely dry. A polyurethane coat, applied with the China brush, ensures a smoother surface, and will dry completely. After you have applied two to three coats of polyurethane, allowed proper drying times, and sanded lightly with a sanding sponge between each coat, your piece is ready to go.
All above photo's by J. Aaron Greene.
Whether it be decoupaging, dry brushing, stenciling, using milk paint, the techniques are endless and guaranteed to bring inspiration to your next furniture makeover project. Definitely a must-have if you're considering refinishing an old piece.
Follow the rest of the blogtour here:
Wednesday, July 24 - The Bedlam of Beefy
Thursday, July 25 – Decorology
Friday, July 26 – Bloesem
(and previous posts here):
Monday, July 15 – A Beautiful Mess
Wednesday, July 17 – Urban Comfort
Thursday, July 18 – Indie Craft Parade
Friday, July 19 – Simply Grove
|Photo: Carlton Riffel Photography|
Book + Knack Tote Giveaway!
Now for the giveaway! Chronicle Books is offering a signed copy of Furniture Makeovers and a Knack tote for Poppytalk readers! To enter - there are two ways: Leave a comment here at our blog post for one entry and/or leave a comment on our instagram @poppytalk at the tote image (as seen above) tagging a friend at the same time for another. Entries will be open till Tuesday, July 23/13 until 6pm (Pacific). We'll announce a winner Wednesdsay here at this post. Good luck!
Update: Congrats to Natalie Kay! You are the lucky winner! Please email us at poppytalkblog[at]yahoo[dot]ca with your mailing address!
Furniture Makeovers is also available to purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, or Chronicle Books.
Simple Techniques for Transforming Furniture with Paint, Stains, Paper, Stencils, and More
By Barb Blair • Photographs by Aaron Greene