Decoupage Furniture Ideas, Techniques and Projects

Decoupage Furniture

What is decoupage?

Decoupage furniture is a very basic decorating project that involves gluing decorative paper (anything from an old atlas to wallpaper samples) using either PVA glue of a specific glue for decoupage. You can use a variety of decoupage techniques to achieve different looks, from covering the entire piece of furniture, to parts of an item or simple adding a single cut out shape to add a bit of detail. In short, there is lots of fun to be had!

Decoupage Furniture Ideas

Not sure what to start with? The world really is your oyster when it comes to decoupage. You could revamp an old dressing table or up-cycle a pair of dining room chairs, you could give an old trunk a new lease of life on inject a bit of design into a dingy looking lampstand. However, when starting out with decoupage, it is best to think simple. Clean lines, basic angles and a totally flat surface are ideal for your first few decoupage projects. Once you have had a few practise goes feel free to let your decoupage ideas run wild.

What materials do I need create decoupage furniture?

The good thing about decoupage furniture is that is cheap to make, fun, and you should have most of the stuff you need lying about your home.

  • Piece of furniture
  • Decorative paper (an old atlas, wall paper samples magazines, newspapers, gift wrap)
  • PVA glue
  • Varnish
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Paintbrush
  • Sandpaper

How Much Does Decoupage Cost?

The joy of decoupage is that it is a relatively cheap interior design project that shouldn’t cost you very much at all. To save costs we recommend using a tired piece of furniture that you already own, that needs jazzing up. If you don’t have any why not go to a car boot sale, charity shop of even look on freecycle for an old piece of furniture that you can practise on?

You should be able to pick up a piece of furniture from £0 – £10 for your first project. Practise with paper you already own (old magazines, newspapers, wall paper samples etc.) as this will also cut costs. Then you will need to buy is PVA glue (£2), varnish (£10), assuming you have the basics. This means the total cost of your project shouldn’t exceed £22!

How-to Decoupage Techniques

Learning how to decoupage is not particularly hard, and if you are adept at gift wrapping you’ve be a decoupage dab hand in no time!

  1. Sand: First things first you need to prep the piece of furniture, especially if it has a high shine. So use some elbow grease and sand it to a flat surface. This will likely create quite a lot of dust, so make sure once you have finished sanding you clear that away.
  2. Cut: Now it is time to cut up your pieces of paper. Whilst you can get fancy in the future, for now it is probably easy to stick with the same size squares, you can decide on the size just make sure they won’t be too big or small for your given piece of furniture.
  3. Glue: Using either PVA or decoupage glue, brush sections of your furniture with glue. Only work on one section at a time, such as the top of the table for instance. Add your squares of paper, remember it is ok to overlap – in fact that creates a nice decoupage technique – but all edges must have glue on them to ensure everything adheres properly. Make sure you place your favourite squares of paper somewhere they will be seen.
  4. Cut: When your paper reaches the edges of the furniture, glue the sides and splice the paper to avoid it bunching up around any curved edges. If you have got straight edges furniture, you can simply wrap the paper over the edges without the need to cut.
  5. Grooves: Run your fingers over any grooves to push the paper into them and give a smoother finish.
  6. Varnish: Once the glue has dried it is time to get varnishing! Apply at least two coats of varnish and up to eight to ensure that the piece of furniture will last for as long as possible free from scratches and spills. Plus, the more coats of varnish you apply the less it looks like stuck on paper, not the ideal look! Ensure that you let each coat of varnish dry before applying the next coat though.

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