Decoupage: What is it and how to put this technique into practice?

Probably if you like manual techniques in some Have you ever heard of the decoupage, and if not, then you will find out what it is and what it is used for. The first thing you should know is that it is a decorative method for any surface, and if you control it you can create really striking effects, which will give a totally different look to a box, a tray, a closet, a console … So you can even change the look of your home giving it a different touch if you have already tired of always seeing the same decoration.

Paint effect

Said in a very basic way the decoupage is based on decorating using images of paper or cut out fabrics, fixing them to the surface by means of a varnish. It is a French term whose meaning is to cut. It can be used on any type of material: ceramic, wood, porcelain, metal, cardboard, glass, soaps, candles … What is intended is that what you transfer is in such a way as if you had painted it with a brush. To understand it in a very graphic way, it would be something similar to a decal but instead of practicing it on the skin, we do it on any of the mentioned surfaces.

As a curiosity, it should be noted that it is not a recently invented technique, since it was used in ancient times to decorate the tombs in some tribes.. In China it was traditionally used to give a different look to windows, boxes and other objects. Then the method began to be used in Italy and from there it spread throughout Europe, being used in different ways.

Several types of paper can be used, but printed napkins give very good results, and they are also faster to apply, so fewer coats of varnish are needed. In fact, these are the ones that are used the most for this reason and for the good results they provide.

This technique is an entertainment that helps you change the appearance of a piece of furniture that is already old, or that simply if you want to modify it that shows another aspect and that even looks like new. The chosen object is indifferent, but it does interfere when fixing each material and how to apply it.

The application of decoupage therefore it is conditioned to the object that we have chosen and what it is made of. On the other hand, clarify that there are products that are at the same time glues, varnishes and sealants, so they simplify the process to a great extent.


Materials and technique

The materials you will need are a broad brush, paintbrush, glue, varnish, sandpaper suitable for each type of surface and decorative napkins.

First you have to clean and sand the object that we are going to decorate. We have to make sure that the surface is completely clean and free of any dust or particle that prevents a correct placement of the paper, which in no case should appear rough.

If you want to paint it and thus change its image even more, especially if it is wood, you can do it anyway. For this step you have to give the paint layer after sanding and cleaning it. The normal thing is to paint the wood white, since this way the drawings are more highlighted.

As the paint dries, we will cut out the figures or drawings of the napkins you have chosen. It is about cutting several and then we place them as we want on the article in question.

Next, you will have to fix them and for this it is necessary that you use the glue. You can reduce it with water and then you spread it along the area where you are going to place each cutout with the brush. You must ensure that it remains well spread, and that there are no bubbles or lumps. To achieve a completely smooth effect, you can press lightly with your fingertips, very carefully, or with a spatula. It has to be something with a straight edge so that no blemishes are generated.

How can I clean the wood without leaving a trace?  (big stock)

The next step is to let the paper dry, and you can wait several hours to make sure it is fixed correctly. After, you will have to apply the clear varnish with the broad brush and on all the paper figures that you have placed. Then you will let it dry for another time.

The process is exactly the same if you have used fabric or another type of paper. Now, in these cases it is possible that the edges are a little protruding. If so, you will sand them to try to make them integrate even more with the surface and accentuate the paint effect. What’s more, you will apply the layers of varnish that you consider necessary so that the feeling of painting is also increased.

If you control the decoupage You can get to have a very colorful and original furniture, as it is suitable for chairs, drawers -if you use it to decorate the front of the drawers, the result is very original-, and countless pieces of furniture. In the end, what you get with this technique is give a much more colorful look to the rooms of your home.

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