I went to my old crafting standy-by: decoupage. For those who’ve never tried to decoupage, it’s a method for adhering paper to a surface with a glue-like substance. I’ve done it many times before, to decorate an armoire, table top, glass vases, etc. The best part – it’s so EASY! And really can be done quickly!
With all that said, I’d been staring at a filing cabinet in my office, for quite some time now, that disappoints me. Originally all black, it underwent a makeover prior to my “enlightenment.” By that I mean I had no idea what the hell I was doing back when I was taking this on. It was before my introduction to furniture painting. So, I attempted to strip it. And white wash it. It looked like crap. There was still too much grey hue showing through. But, I put it in the office anyway, and decided to live with it.
Fast forward a year later, and you would think I might have painted this by now. I know if I gave it some old white and aging wax, and a little distressing I would love it. But, that means emptying it out and moving it! (some days I don’t have that much motivation)
Instead, I decided to decoupage the drawer fronts. That’s all anyone really sees anyway, right? (my inner lazy girl is talking here)
Here’s what I did…
First, I removed the knobs. Then, I tore pages from the old books. I chose pages with mostly text, but did grab this cover page because of the vintage illustration and because you can read the date it was published, 1960. And so I wouldn’t get glue all over the floor, I grabbed a catalog to work on (sorry Restoration Hardware).
Next I poured Modge Podge into a plastic container and dipped my brush into it. You won’t need a lot on your brush. Brush it over the side you want to stick down first. Cover the entire sheet.
Once its covered, place it down, and lightly use your fingers to smooth it into place and get out any air bubbles. Remember to be gentle, as the paper could tear.
Next, cover the front of the page with a layer of Modge Podge. It goes on like white kid’s glue, but will dry clear, I promise!
Here you can see it starting to dry. You don’t have to wait for it to dry, before moving on to adding more.
I started cutting out more sheets of varying sizes. I chose to trim away the margins so that the text would run to the edges. I layered them vertically and horizontally just to keep it interesting.
When I got to the sheet that would cover the knob hole, I used my scissor to poke a hole though, so it wouldn’t dry hard later, and make it more difficult to do this without tearing the paper.
After I added the last sheet, I went over the entire surface with another coat of Modge Podge.
Then I repeated the entire process on the bottom drawer.
When it was all dry, I put the knobs back on and voila!
I really love how it turned out. I used Modge Podge in a matte finish, so it’s wouldn’t be shiny. It’s nice and smooth, too. I still may decide to drag this puppy into the garage some day and give it a proper paint job. But for now, this little change gives me a big happy face!