Disastrous decoupage leads to a distressed Si but also a delightfully distressed table :)

Oh, it was all going SO well!!

When one of our tenants upcycled her life and moved from her nice but not so glam apartment into one of our super gorgeous ones, one of the pieces of furniture needed was a tv table. Down in the Moregeous Aladdin’s Cave cellar I found a slightly bashed, mahogany stained coffee table that was decent quality and attractive looking with nice legs  – a bit like our lovely tenant, through my dad’s eyes 😉

I decided to give it a make-over, choosing Old White chalk paint with dark wax to give it an aged look. That bit went really well, as you can see above and below. Assisted by some bank holiday fizz, I happily sanded and buffed away at the frame and legs.

But then it all got a bit adventurous, fuelled by the bubbles and last week’s successful cardboard letter decoupage, which had gone remarkably well considering it was the first time I’d done it. Why not decoupage the whole of the table top I thought? And I had just the wallpaper to do it, left over from the hallway of one of the rentals!

Mr M generally just rolls his eyes at these interior design whims of mine but even he quite liked the way all the cut out flowers and leaves looked once spray adhesived onto the table. It took me hours, the cat was almost buried in paper at one point 🙂

When all the table was covered and the multiple layers of foliage were arranged & stuck down I was delighted with it. The wallpaper seemed to be stuck fast and flat, so I started to roller on the water based varnish but oh no, almost immediately huge bubbles started to appear, lifting up the paper from the table surface, arghhhhhh! This was so wrong, the only bubbles I wanted to see were the ones in my glass!!

Having talked to the experts (thanks @createfurniture!), it would seem that a combination of the chalk paint, the type of 3M spray adhesive & the type of varnish created a Decoupage Disaster. I was gutted, after all that hard work 😦

I couldn’t face doing the same table over again with the risk that the cut-outs still wouldn’t stick so instead stripped off all the paper, sanded, dark waxed and buffed the top. This gave a fabulous look to the table but it will never be as distressed as I was when that bloody paper lifted!!

Give me a few days to recover and I’ll have another go at decoupage on another other poor unsuspecting piece of furniture, in the meantime this one will wend it’s vintagey way over to our tenant’s flat. She will never know the traumas…..

6 thoughts on “Disastrous decoupage leads to a distressed Si but also a delightfully distressed table :)

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  1. Oh no!! You certainly saved it though and i hope future attempts work out easier. I’ve been decoupaging today. It turned out fine for me (made some marriage themed wooden bunting), even though it was my first ever go, but it did feel very precarious, like anything could go wrong at any moment. Was glad when it was finished if I’m honest!

  2. My decoupage over chalk paint kept lifting so i took it off and its left great ridges. How do I strip the piece right back please.

    1. Hi Nell, I had a disaster with decoupage once, it’s horrid after all your hard work. Did you use the correct varnish? With chalk paint you should simply be able to use sand paper – maybe an 80gsm – to flatten down the ridges. The great thing about chalk paint is you can then repaint / touch up and re-wax & polish. Does that help? X

  3. I don’t think I would have waxed if I wanted to decoupage the table.
    Just chalk paint, stick on your design and varnish???

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