Frequently asked questions – Decoupage

Decoupage is a simple art but steps or techniques need to be followed closely. Once you know the basic steps rest all falls in place. You can then even try experimenting and variations. Before you begin, here are some questions which will clear doubts about Decoupage.

What material do you need for decoupage?

  • MDF item like coaster or pen stand, glass bowl or ceramic plate
  • Decoupage tissue paper
  • Decoupage glue
  • Set of flat brushes
  • Acrylic colors
  • Gesso or White Acrylic paint

Where to buy decoupage paper?

There are three types of papers which decoupage artists use, Decoupage tissue paper (also comonly known as German Tissue Paper), Decoupage paper and Rice paper. Decoupage paper is bigger in size like A4 sheet and it is thick. It has got vibrant designs and is either sold individual or in pair. It is available in major art and craft stores or can be ordered online.

Apart from tissue paper can I do decoupage with newspaper?

Yes you can. Any paper can be used for decoupage. Printed decoupage tissues have beautiful designs. Using them you can create lovely designs on ordinary items. But in old times, they used to use pieces of newspaper or colour magazines and paste them on furniture or plates.

On which object can you do decoupage?

Hobbyists use coasters, chopping boards, pen stands, tissue box, tray and similar items made of MDF sheet because of their easy availability and ease of use. Next popular item which is decoupaged is ceramic plate and earthen plate which are easily available. Glass items like bowls and containers can be done with reverse decoupage. Large pieces of furniture can also be used for decoupage. Even tins and trunks can be up-scaled by decoupage. Virtually any object or material can be used for doing decoupage. We just need to follow the process.

Can you burn the candle on which decoupage is made?

No. It is only for decoration.

Do you need to apply gesso and then colour? Why?

Yes, we need to apply gesso to prime the object. Gesso provides a layer on which colour can be applied and colours shine out bright. Gesso holds the colour to the object. Even on artists canvas, gesso is applied so that the colours hold onto the canvas. If gesso is not available, you can use Camlin Texture white. It creates the same effects at a lesser price.

Is it necessary to do primer?

It is absolutely necessary to prime the surface. No object can hold color easily. Primer acts as a layer between the object surface and paint. Primer prepares the surface for application of paint. Acrylic paints appear vibrant and colours look more beautiful on a primer. Gesso is primer only.

Which glue are available in the market?

The standard glue which most of us use is Mod Podge by Plaid. It is an American product which is imported and stocked with major stationary and art and craft stores. There are different varieties of Mod Podge by Plaid and it is available in various sizes.

In India, Deco Magic is another popular brand of Decoupage Glue by Little Birdie. Recently Fevicryl has launched a glossy version of Decoupage Glue by the brand name Modge Podge. It is fast gaining popularity in India and the effects as same as the original Mod Podge.

What is chalk paint?

Have you seen a smooth pastel effect of colours or the paint finish at cafes in Paris. They are bright pastel colours but the finish is chalky. These are called chalk paints and they specially look good over wood. Chalk Paint was inverted/created by brand Annie Sloan. It gives a totally different finish to decoupage.

What varnish is available in the market?

A final coat of varnish gives a glassy finish to your decoupage work. It also acts as a protective layer against damage and erosion. The best product available in the market to use is Aquadur PU by Asian Paints. If this is not available then you can try to get varnish spray by Camlin or Little Birdie.

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