I've been playing around with decoupage a lot in my studio recently. It is so adaptable – you can use it in any number of ways to create any number of styles! With its roots in Siberia and the Far East, it was in eighteenth century Italy that decoupage became popular in the mainstream for use on furniture in a bid to imitate the beautiful lacquerware from Asia.
The idea is to ‘seal in’ pictures or motifs, which traditionally would involve applying 30-40 layers of varnish before sanding off for a smooth finish. My all-in-one Decoupage Glue and Varnish makes the whole process so simple. It is water based, matt and – most importantly – quick drying, which means that building up the necessary layers for a smooth finish needn’t take an age!
Apply it generously to your piece – make sure you paint enough on so that it will stay wet, that’s really important! Start at the top of each paper cut out and apply carefully. Once you’re happy that it’s straight, brush the my Decoupage Glue and Varnish over the paper. One coat should fix it in place, and, when its dry, sand it back a little before adding more layers until your surface is smooth. Finish off with Clear Soft Wax and voila!
My Stockist Ivory & Pitch’s beautiful chest of drawers (below on the left) is an homage to the brilliant Swedish artist and designer Josef Frank. I adore Frank's botanical work, and their take on his style is fresh and summery. They also used Graphite to paint the piece, but mixed with a hint of Barcelona Orange to soften the colour.
And decoupage isn’t just for furniture – my first Painter in Residence, Janice Issitt transformed her bathroom by decoupaging the walls, and then picked out the key colours from her paper cut outs with my paint, Chalk Paint® (shown below left). You can read more on that project in this earlier post.
Years ago my neighbour in France, Marie Gaillard gave me an old sideboard (shown above right). I painted and decorated for my house in Normandy, and it can be seen in an old book of mine called Annie Sloan's Decoupage. I originally painted it Aubusson Blue over a base of Barcelona Orange, but recently added more Barcelona Orange and some Olive to draw out the colours from the brightly coloured wrapping paper that I'd cut into a shape resembling a plant in a pot – applied with my Decoupage Glue and Varnish. I’ll use anything that catches my eye!
Do upload any pictures of your own decoupage projects to my Facebook Page and share the inspiration!