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decoupage instructions

Decoupage Finish

The age-old art of Decoupage (the word derives from the French verb decouper – to cut out) began to flourish in the late 15th century. Elaborate printed decorative borders were used to decorate furniture and then coated with many layers of thick varnish so that the finish was as smooth as if the design had been hand painted. It was a shortcut which was indistinguishable from the real thing and became known as ‘arte povera’ – the poor man’s art. By the 19th century it had become a hobby for Victorian ladies and colourful images know as ‘scrap sheets’ were mass-produced which made the craft much more accessible. Around this time pieces of chintz fabric were being used to decorate furniture as well. The interest in decoupage declined thereafter and it is only since the innovation of the photocopier and fast drying varnish that its popularity has returned.

Materials and tools
Scissors, preferably curved manicure scissors for fine cutting and longer scissors for rough cutting, paint brushes, a household sponge, fine grade sand paper (wet & dry), Applicraft Decoupage Finish Gloss or Matt, varnish brushes and White Shellac (optional)
Decoupage motifs should be applied to a clean smooth surface. Prepare, paint and sand back the surface lightly if necessary. Work in a dust free area.
1.     Cutting your motif is a most important stage. Use the larger scissors to roughly cut the area around the motif. Cut around the edge of the motif precisely with the manicure scissors, feeding the paper through the blades.
2.     Position the pieces on your chosen object and experiment with the design and balance.
3.     Brush a thin coat of Applicraft Decoupage Finish on the back of the cut-out.
4.     Position the cut-out and working from the centre of the design with your sponge, gently smooth out the excess fluid and bubbles.
5.     Allow the Finish to dry – approximately 15 minutes.
6.     Your will need approximately 10 coats of Finish.
Washing up
Wash brushes in warm soapy water.
Use blutac as a temporary positioning measure when planning your design. For the application of motifs, wallpaper paste or Gloy glue can be used as an alternative pasting medium. This allows the motif to be repositioned easily. Wipe off any remaining paste carefully with a damp sponge.
Use a hairdryer to dry the surface in between layers of Decoupage Finish, thus speeding up the process.
If you intend to sell on the goods you are decorating, please always be aware of copyright laws. Sources for prints; greetings cards, stamps, wine bottle labels, music sheets, old books, programmes.
White Polish Shellac
A fast drying spirit-based varnish. Use for sealing Craquelure effects, Decoupage paper and hand painted motifs. It can be used to strengthen and protect decoupage paper, making the cutting process easier. Use a soft bristled brush or paper kitchen towel to apply. Work quickly in a warm atmosphere. Clean the brush with methylated spirits followed by warm soapy water. Use this brush for spirit-based products only. White Polish Shellac can be obtained from specialist paint suppliers and French Polishers.
A water-based, fast drying all-in-one glue, sealer and varnish.
Decoupage Finish is ideal for fast build-up layers for decoupage projects in paper and fabric on virtually any surface. It is an ideal medium for Napkin decoupage. It is an opaque medium, which on drying becomes transparent. Select a finish in either Gloss or Matt. Achieving a professional result is quite easy. The motifs need to be embedded and this is done by building up layers of Decoupage Finish. The final result will look and feel as though the picture has been painted on the surface.