Decoupage is making a comeback, and it's no surprise! This awesome technique can take your crafts and upcycled furniture to the next level, with fantastic results. Decoupaging is like magic! It can transform anything into a work of art that looks like it was painted by a pro. But before we dive into the enchanting world of decoupage, let's ask ourselves a question...
What is decoupage?
Decoupage is like playing arts and crafts for grown-ups. It's a fancy way of cutting out pictures and sticking them onto things.
Alright, this might seem a tad basic, and I’m certain experienced decoupagers will be fuming over the audacity of labeling decoupage as mere cutting and sticking. They would be right to do so, there is an art to it and there are certainly some pitfalls which you are going to want to avoid. Sso, before we further ignite the rage of furniture flippers and crafters who live and die by decoupage, let’s dive into the dos and don'ts of decoupage, shall we?
The Art of Cutting Decoupage
Cutting decoupage papers isn't as straightforward as you'd think, it's all about understanding their purpose.
Lots of upcycled furniture projects, for instance, have a focal decoupage design in the center that's been integrated to match the rest of the project. It's a super effective way to make it look like your paper has always been a part of the overall design.
If you're gonna go with this method, avoid cutting your paper in a straight line. Eyes are naturally drawn to straight lines and it'll give the game away. Tear your decoupage instead for an uneven, organic look!
To make tearing papers less of a pain, give it a go with a wet paintbrush to create a 'tear line' and then just tug the paper apart.This works especially well with the durable decoupage papers. This method comes into its own if you are just trying to cut out a section of the design rather than utilizing the whole thing. Simply create a line around the section you would like to cut off and tear it right out!
Whether you're a crafter or into upcycled furniture, there might come a time when you want to decoupage an entire section, like the front of a drawer maybe. Try out these two techniques:
Firstly, you can skillfully slice the section to size with a nifty craft knife, nothin' fancy, just something you can snag online! What's great about decoupaging is that the stuff you need is probably just lying around or easy to find. Cutting the papers like this will give you super sharp, clean lines – just what you’re after – but be warned, you’ll need a steady hand and it's easy to mess up.
A way easier trick for cutting your paper flush to an edge is to use a design a tad bigger than necessary, secure it in place or even glue it down with a slight border all around (we'll get into the mysterious craft of adhering momentarily).
Once you've got the paper in place, fold the extra over the edge and give it a good rub with medium grit sandpaper, moving up and down, not side to side. That'll tear the paper nice and flush. I love this method, it's easier and very effective!
The Art of Sticking decoupage
The beauty of the Posh Chalk Deluxe Decoupage is that they can be stuck on using the more traditional method, but they can also be ironed on too! For now, we’ll stick to a more traditional method.
You'll find a ton of decoupage glues and whatnot on the market, but here's the deal Posh Chalk Pigments Infusor is an all-in-one weatherproof top coat seal that is just perfect for using with the of any of our Decoupage or Rice papers. Liquid Patina is also an incredible Top-Coat, Decoupage and Transfer Gel - and comes in a 16 oz container!
Before we start applying the decoupage it’s important to remember that in order to get the best finish possible, the papers should be applied to a light surface to allow the color to really remain vibrant.. Often it’s a case of applying a coat of white paint such Annie Sloan Chalk Paint or DIY Swan, prior to starting. For those looking for a vintage feel, combining a top coat of crackle Tex with light paint will really add some depth.
Working in sections, apply a coat of your liquid medium straight onto the surface to which you’re adhering to. Next, lay your decoupage over the top and come back in with more of the medium on top of the paper.
The Posh Chalk Decoupage and the Annie Sloan Decopauge Papers, really comes into its own when battling the creases, the papers are incredibly robust and – like the WoodUbend – are quite comfortable being stretched a little. If you hold a section of the paper down with the smooth brush you’re using to apply your Infusor/Patina, it’s easy to manipulate and stretch the papers. Once the paper is wrinkle-free and pulled taut over the surface, it’s a case of rinse and repeat.
Your brush is an effective tool when applying decoupage, use it to really work the paper into the crevices of the surface, smooth creases…and most importantly saturate it with your topcoat of choice.
With Posh Chalk Decoupage paper specifically, there’s a window of opportunity when it’s first placed onto the surface to remove and reapply it. If you decide to do this, trust in the paper, slowly but firmly pull it off, much in the same way you would when stripping wallpaper. Once it’s been removed, you can make whatever adjustments need to be made and go again.
Blending your Decoupage
Alrighty! Your paper is in place, the top coat is nice and dry, and now it's time to get to work!. ITo properly finish your decoupage project, it's absolutely crucial to skillfully mix it in with the rest of your work. This involves some clever brushwork, with the goal of merging the colors from the paper into the rest of your project and vice versa.
Blending is an art form in itself and requires some practice, but adding your decoupage to your project is a tad simpler than making a massive ombre!
When you're working on color matching, try to blend the colors at the edge of the design. It might not be a perfect match, but that's okay! Add some of your own colors onto the design to give it a bit of consistency and really bring everything together.
Get creative and experiment with it, discover your rhythm and if you’re working with a water-based medium like thePosh Chalk Pastes, Aqua Patinas or Pigments and if you're not feeling your masterpiece – just paint over it and start anew!
As always, it’s about a bit of creativity and finding what works best for you.