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Furniture Painting

Choosing Decoupage Papers and Mediums

I love, love, love using decoupage papers. There’s more ways than I could ever even mention that you can decoupage things to furniture and small goods.  Vases, picture frames, lamps, other wall art, and decor, even on your canvas paintings.  However, some are easier to work with than others.

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I have decoupaged with napkins, with papers that I’ve printed myself off of the computer, with pages out of books and hymnals, and with wrapping paper.  I’ve done a lot, lot of decoupage with wrapping paper.

But now, there are such good papers on the market that I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to go back to making do with a napkin that wrinkles and tears, or a piece of paper that bleeds through, and all of the other complications you can end up with.

I’ve made videos on the heat decoupage method with the iron,  and that was a great way to do it without getting your paper wet and having a lot of issues there, but it still wasn’t as easy as using some of the new rice papers, and the mulberry tissue or the other fibrous papers.

I love the new Belles and Whistles rice paper.  It’s a premium paper, and  it doesn’t tear,  and depending on what decoupage medium that you use to apply it, like satin topcoat which allows the whiteness of the background paper to show through, or Gator Hide, which makes that a little more transparent, you get a beautiful result. The papers just don’t wrinkle, they go on well, and they are sized good for furniture.  The colors are are outstanding.

My favorites, however,  our still the mulberry tissue papers by ReDesign with Prima. They are the ones that I talk about,  that feel like they’re made from something like a dryer sheet. They have small kind of air holes in there that keeps it from bubbling up, it has enough fiber and pull to it that I’ve never had it wrinkle or tear or anything.  It looks so thick and professional, and luxurious on your project. (I’m actually working on a customizable line of my own, too! Watch for it in the near future!)

I used it for a drawer liner, which I absolutely still love in my bathroom drawer. But, I’ve also used it on the outside of furniture, as drawer liners in furniture, and to do various smaller pieces that I wanted to match the decor of a piece of furniture. If you haven’t tried them, trust me when I say that it’s going to be one of the best $8 that you’ve ever spent on a project!

When deciding on a medium to decoupage with, I, for the most part, just grab what’s handy. There are a few minor differences, though. Mod Podge is good, if you have it on hand, and now comes in a multitude of colors and finishes. I do use the antiquing one on occasion, because I got it with my 40% off coupon, back when Hobby Lobby still had those.

More often than not, though, I use a topcoat that I have on hand. Depending on your desired end look, you can use flat, satin or glossy. When I want to age the finish a little, I add a second coat of sealer, like DIY Dark and Decrepit, or even Dixie Belle Grunge or Van Dyke Brown glaze. DIY Big Top is another great medium.

If doing the wet-on-wet method, I apply a coat of the medium to the piece, apply the paper on top, then immediately add another coat on top. Let it dry, and viola! You are done!

The iron-on method, you apply the initial topcoat, and let it dry, you can apply a second coat, if you think it will get a lot of use, like a table top. Cut your paper to size, and pre-heat your dry iron to just below the cotton setting. It is a safe bet to use a piece of parchment paper between the iron and the paper, to keep from scorching it. I have done it with and without the parchment paper, and it attaches like a dream. Apply another coat on top, afterward. I have had a few wrinkles appear during this step, but they have always flattened out during the drying process. You can distress lightly with a fine grit sandpaper, if desired, then apply another topcoat.

What is your favorite decoupage paper & medium? 

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