Decoupage A Tabletop

By following the simple decoupage instructions with patience you can turn a cheap or damaged table into a one of a kind work of art.

If you have an old table that has seen better days, decoupage can cover the trouble spots and transform it into a treasure that you would be proud to display in your home. The reasons to decoupage a table are many. The steps in decoupage are time consuming. The actual task of decoupage can be easy. The results can be inexpensive, beautiful, and one of a kind.

The first step is inspection. Inspect the table for flaws in color and any rough patches or holes that may need to be filled before continuing. Place the table on a drop cloth. Fill all dents, holes, and rough patches with wood putty. If the table has any loose legs, tighten and glue them before continuing.

If you are going to paint the table, sand the table lightly, then wipe clean. Use a water based primer to seal the wood. Allow the primer to dry completely before painting with a latex paint. Allow the paint to dry completely after any touchups that may be required.



Paper selection is a very important step of the process. If the paper is too thick, you will have to allow time to separate the layers and allowing the thinner piece to completely dry before continuing. You could use maps, copies of photos, wrapping paper, wallpaper, music sheets, children's drawings, or other paper artwork.

If you have not already picked your pattern, lay out the pattern on the table to have the design decisions made before beginning the gluing process. After you have the paper cut, trimmed, and laid out to complete the pattern you choose, transfer the design to a paper template or board to hold the pattern pieces while you work. Remember to adjust the pattern template so that if any pattern pieces overlap, the pieces on bottom will be glued first as you work from the table to the finished design. Any damaged pieces can be colored in with colored pencils.

To glue the pieces, use decoupage glue and apply the glue directly to the paper before placing in place on the table. If you have any small pieces that are difficult to pick up, use a toothpick with a small amount of tacky putty to pick up the piece with ease. The putty is commonly used for hanging posters. Seal each piece of the pattern with a layer of decoupage glue on top as you work. To remove air bubbles as you go, allow the glue to dry for approximately 5 minutes then prick the bubble with a pin or razor blade edge, then press down.

When the pattern is completed, allow the glued pattern to dry for 15 to 20 minutes. Cover with another layer of decoupage glue. It is important to allow the piece to dry completely between steps. If you wish, to give your piece an antique appearance, you can apply a generous layer of an antique colored stain. Allow to dry completely before covering the entire table with several layers of water-based polyurethane.

Never place food directly on any decoupage surface.

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