Table Top Decoupage: How to Redecorate a Table's Surface With a Collage
Decoupage Mod Podge Table Top
Table decoupage is the perfect way to transform a damaged or boring tabletop. Inexpensive, easy, and a fun way to show off your creativity, a decoupage table makeover is easily accomplished in a few hours and for a few dollars. All you need is a little planning, an old table, some or other decoupage medium, a paintbrush you don't mind getting messy, and whatever paper items you want to decorate with. You may also choose to use paint, stencils, stickers, or an acrylic sealant to ensure sweating mugs or spilled drinks do not damage your new creation. Mod Podge
How to Prepare a Table for Decoupage
First, you need to prepare your tabletop for painting/decoupage. I redecorated a simple TV dinner style table left at my house by a previous roommate. Almost all furniture comes with a smooth sealant or topcoat that must be sanded down or your Mod Podge and paint will flake off. Use a medium grit sandpaper to scuff up the tabletop's surface until it looses its luster. If the table is no longer shiny, you have removed the topcoat. After sanding, wipe the surface down with a damp cloth to remove grit and wood dust.
Plan the Decoupage
How you decorate your table is up to you, but whatever you do, you must plan. If you have a map, poster, or even newspaper, you may cover the entire surface with one decoupaged sheet. Alternatively, you can create a collage of photos, magazine pictures, scrapbooking materials, or just about anything else. I took a mixed approach and used part of an Art Nouveau -style poster, scrapbooking embellishments, and stencils.
I once heard someone describe collages as "pure composition." They really are. A successful collage isn't just a jumble of photographs - it is planned, balanced, and interesting. If you want to simply throw down a bunch of pictures, it is your table and no one can stop you! However, if you want your re-done table to be an attractive addition to your home décor, take a few minutes to plan where you want each piece placed. After you have applied Mod Podge and placed a piece, it is too late to change your mind!
Decorating your Table with Mod Podge
After carefully planning everything, remove all the pieces and get started! While planning, I realized my poster cutout was smaller than the tabletop, so my first step was using a sponge to apply black paint as a border all the way around the table's edge. After that dried, I applied random patches of gold to match the poster's appearance. if your decorative elements completely cover the table's surface, there is no need to paint a border.
To decoupage your table, apply Mod Podge to the tabletop wherever you want to place your first piece. If you are using one big sheet, cover the entire top. If you are making a collage with smaller elements, Mod Podge an area the size of your first piece. Unless you love having messy fingers, apply the Mod Podge with a brush. I prefer inexpensive sponge brushes because bristle brushes tend to shed when used with Mod Podge.
Next, carefully place your piece of paper. Take the time to line it up where you want it because you cannot count on moving it once contact is made with the Mod Podge. To make sure the piece is thoroughly stuck, and at least somewhat flat, I like running a ruler across the piece's surface. As you can see in the picture to the right, I did not do that with this project, which resulted in a large bubble I had to deal with later! If this happens to you, use a pin or needle to poke a hole in the bubble and try flattening it again. You may be left with a crease, but you can at least remove most of the bubble.
After allowing the Mod Podge to dry for as long as you want—I've waited minutes or days, depending on my schedule—apply a second coat of Mod Podge over the entire surface. If, like me, you have additional collage pieces to place over a largest piece, go ahead and stick your smaller pieces to this layer of Mod Podge. Continue this drying, reapplying, and adding decorative elements process for as long as you wish. Whenever you are finished adding pieces, give the whole surface a final coat of Mod Podge.
Using Stencils with DecoupageClick thumbnail to view full-size
Using Paint with Decoupage
My Art Nouveau poster already had some faint gold text, so I chose to add a few more stenciled decorative elements. I wanted the fleur-de-lis, swirls, and 'travel' text to match the poster, so I selected an antiqued gold paint. You may want your stencils, drawings, etc. to contrast with background. Whatever type of paint you choose, make sure to stencil correctly. Dab the paint brush or sponge straight up and down instead of making strokes side to side and lift the stencil carefully to avoid smudging the wet paint.
How to Stencil Correctly
Finishing and Sealing the Table Decoupage
After adding all decorative elements, paintings, drawings, stencils, and whatever else you want, you are essentially finished with your table. All that remains is protecting your creation with an (optional) acrylic topcoat. If you plan to actually use the table, I highly recommend taking the time to apply a topcoat. I have used both brush-on and spray-on topcoats and, for projects like this, I prefer spray coats. Mod Podge makes a that works wonderfully. Is is available in both matte and gloss finish, is easy to apply, and is reasonably priced. Other, similar products, like Krylon clear coat work as well. waterproof acrylic sealer
After spraying the top coat, allow the coat to fully cure for 24 hours before using the table.
There you have it—an inexpensive way to redecorate a table and add a personal touch to your décor! Decoupage is perfect for well-worn tables, especially those you can find for a dollar or two at yard sales and thrift stores. The next time you see a cute table and think "if only the top weren't so beat up..." stop that train of thought and start planning your decoupage collage!