27 November 2015

Getting to grips with Decoupage

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!

For a very grand take on decoupage, I must share the picture above from Tea and Roses, my Stockists based in Shropshire, UK. Isn’t it stunning? Clever Deborah painted the whole piece in a thick coat of  Chalk Paint® in Graphite before applying the paper butterflies using my Decoupage Glue and Varnish, and created that wonderful rich patina using Craqueleur and Dark Wax. As a finishing touch Deborah gilded the edges using my Gold Size and Brass Leaf, which brings it all together beautifully.

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.


For a more contemporary example, my Stockists Becky and Jenny who run Fig and Frolic in Iowa, USA have used typography to transform their chest of drawers. I think this would work really well in a Warehouse setting (see my book Room Recipes for Style and Colour for some other great ideas on this stripped back, rough-luxe look).

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!

Yours, Annie

1 comment:

  1. Hi can you use Annie Sloan wax over the glue? Also what is the best paper to use? Thank you x