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Photo by Sarah Walor
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Photo by Sarah Walor
If you love dramatic “before-and-afters,” then this project is for you. Adding decorative paper to a furniture piece is a great way to bring some bold color and a pattern into your home without a lot of commitment.
Supplies You'll Need:
• Piece of wood furniture
• Paint brush
• X-Acto knife
• Metal ruler
• Decorative paper (wrapping paper, wallpaper or old maps)
• Mod Podge
• Foam brush
1. Choose a piece of furniture It is easiest to add paper to a defined space with straight edges. Door panels are a good beginner project.
2. Prep the piece of furniture You will probably need to paint your piece of furniture to coordinate with your paper. Sand the wood and fill in any nicks or holes with wood filler. Next, paint on a coat of primer, then two to three coats of your chosen paint color. Paint the sections you will add paper to as well. Be aware that if you are using a light-colored paper and dark paint, some of the paint color might show through the paper when you attach it.
3. Measure the paper You can use a ruler to measure what size to cut your paper panels, but I find it easier to lay the paper directly on my furniture piece and run my finger over the sharp edges of the furniture to make an imprint on the paper. I run my finger all the way around the rectangle and then I have an indented line showing exactly where I need to cut.
4. Cut the paper You can use an X-Acto knife with a metal ruler, or scissors — whatever you are more comfortable with. If you want a super straight line, an X-Acto knife will provide a more precise cut.
5. Attach the paper to the furniture Paint an even coat of Mod Podge onto your furniture with a foam brush. Then quickly lay the paper on it. You will need to burnish the paper to make sure that it adheres well — do this by rubbing the edge of a credit card all over the paper while applying pressure. Take into consideration the thickness of your paper. The thinner it is, the more delicate it will be.
6. Seal the paper and protect your furniture Paint a coat of polyurethane over the whole piece of furniture, paper and all, to protect your piece.
If your furniture still isn’t fancy enough, think about adding new hardware. New drawer pulls can make all the difference. I also added feet to my cabinet to lift it up off the ground. And don’t forget to take a “before” picture so you can see the dramatic transformation you created!
Karen Guard is the blogger behind Darling Octopus (darlingoctopus.com). In each issue, she tackles a new do-it-yourself project for R•Home.