CRAFTS: Revive a Sad Looking Coffee Table with Decoupage!
Now I know we all have some pieces of furniture from our dorm room days, or "beer run" days, that in some ways we still need to furnish our nests with. Budgets these days can't allow for a furniture shopping spree for most of us. Thus that eye sore of a coffee table or end table irks you daily like nails on a chalkboard. But fear not! We have all seen some Trading Spaces. It's amazing what you can do with a bottle of glue and a little design sense!
In the past, I have revived some old pieces of furniture by gluing paint chips from the hardware store, in a mosaic fashion on the wood, then varnishing it. At first, the effect was cool and colorful. The problem, however, is over time the varnish yellows and gets a funky texture to it. Recently, I have been doing some decoupage work with my girl scout troop, and have been using some beautiful paper from books found in the scrap booking section at the craft store. So when a group of us at work decided a certain cracked and ugly coffee table needed to get tossed, I wondered if I could breath new, creative life into it through decoupage. I have to say, the process was fun and easy, and everyone is really happy with the results (see above).
One important thought about decoupaging furniture that I have found. You need a unifying "theme'. That theme can be a color palette, a story theme, an art style, a type of paper, etc. But because decoupage is a mix of things layered on top of each other, it can look either beautiful and interesting, or a chaotic circus that doesn't match anything in the room. SO have a plan, and then start collecting your items to glue down. Our theme was lightly based on the design industry, and more importantly, we kept to a color palette of orange, green, black, purple and baby blue. We grabbed paper pieces from everywhere, being fortunate to have a lot at our fingertips from being in the visual arts industry.
Here is a list of ideas on where to get material for your decoupage.
Vintage, old or new magazines
Vintage, old or new book pages
Print outs, black and white or color, of images off the web, which can be anything. Use stock image sites or Pinterest for ideas and patterns to print off
Paper from the craft store
Paint sample chips
Victorian clip art from books
Old greeting cards
Music CD covers or color copies of record album covers
Board game pieces
Commercial paper sample booklets
Stationary, invitations, postcards, business cards
Old commercial artists/photographer rep books (like Workbook or Blackbook)
Old or new photographs
Maps, old or new, travel brochures or books, atlases
You get the picture!
Other supplies you will need:
white glue, such a Elmer's
plastic cup and paint brush
burnisher (or the edge of a popsicle stick will do)
decoupage sealant and glaze, such as ModPodge
clear acrylic spray varnish for finishing acrylic paintings
And then you go!
Instead of Elmer's glue, you can also use the decoupage glazing and sealant in this manner. However, it is a little expensive. I prefer to use it only as a sealant on top in layers, and use cheaper glue to get everything down. I am not sure there is much of a difference, but if there is, someone please comment!
Now using your sponge brush, brush thin layers of decoupage glazing over the furniture in long, even strokes. It dries quickly, so don't go over areas you just brushed down that are drying, or you will get streaking textures in the glaze. I liked Matte glaze for my piece, but there is Gloss as well if you want things shinier. After your first coat, let it sit for 20 min. Then do another coat, and another. The bottle said between 3-5 coats. I layered 5 coats on my table. I wanted to make sure if someone spilled something on it, it was somewhat water resistant.
After the 5th coat, I spayed a thin layer of clear acrylic, matte finishing varnish used for acrylic paintings over the table as a final sealant. Let it dry fro another 20 minutes.
And voila! Jenky, cracked Ikea table is now a pretty, hip table with an homage to the office color palette and to the advertising/design industry. I bet your piece will go from eyesore to a creative focal point in your room!