How To – DIY Decoupage

Turning something old into something new with decoupage.

By Shelby Robinson

Photo courtesy of CrazyAboutGreen.


With decoupage you can give something that you’ve had at your house a whole new look. In this How-To, Kenny Trinh shows you the pizzazz added by decoupage.

Kenny Trinh grew up in Chantilly and is the owner and founder of CrazyAboutGreen, which sells products made from “up-cycled” materials.

CrazyAboutGreen has two bases, in Chantilly and Richmond. In this project, we will be looking at the wooden letters that Kenny covered with decoupage, however, keep in mind that you can cover anything from wooden furniture, flower pots, pendants, home accents, organizers, and much more. If there is something that needs a new look at your house, consider covering it in decoupage.


What you Need:

1. It’s a good idea to wear painting clothes because decoupage can get pretty messy, depending on the size of your project.


2. Latex gloves are also strongly encouraged, to keep the adhesive off of your hands.


3. Choose an adhesive. You should select an adhesive such as plain white glue or wallpaper glue, depending on what you will be covering in decoupage (wood, plastic, paper) and what materials you will be using for decoupage (paper, fabric, wallpaper). Generally speaking, if you use plain white glue and paper or magazine clippings, you will need to mix it with water to make an adhesive that is half glue and half water.


4. Collect the items you will be covering in decoupage and the materials you will be using to cover the items. Consider using things that are already cluttering your house as materials for decoupage.


5. Find an area of your house where you will be doing the decoupage and cover it with a plastic bag, this will protect the furniture that you do not want to cover and make for an easy cleanup.


6. Scissors – optional


7. Decoupage finish, such as varnish or lacquer, sold at art supply stores or hobby stores.


8. 400 grit sandpaper


Photo courtesy of CrazyAboutGreen.


How to Decoupage:

1. Cut or rip up the material you will be using for your decoupage cover. Kenny chose to decoupage different wooden letters by color, however you can do it by shapes, flowers, letters, designs, or randomly, depending on how you want your project to look.


2. Plan your project. Sometimes it is a good idea to sort out where different pieces of material will go on you decoupage project, but some people find it freeing to glue as they go.


3. Prepare the surface of the object you are covering. Make sure it is clean and dry, sand the surfaces down if necessary.


4. Cover the entire surface with a thin layer of your adhesive.


5. Glue your pieces of material one by one to the surface.


6. When you are finished covering your object, let the glue dry completely, then trim excess clippings or uneven edges.


7. Cover your recently decoupaged object with a few coats of your decoupage finish. Make sure to let each coat dry before adding the next.


8. Sand the finished decoupage with your 400 grit sand paper to remove any imperfections. You can wipe off sand residue with a damp cloth.


9. Add a few more coats of decoupage finish or varnish. The decoupage look is created in part by several coats of varnish. After your varnish dries, you are finished and you have an old object with a new look.



Photo courtesy of CrazyAboutGreen.