Today’s post is introducing a new technique and more specifically, we’re going to learn how to decoupage on wooden object, using the background extension technique.
Decoupage isn’t complicated but in order to have a successful result, the one thing that we need to do is to make sure that our paper napkins are blending nicely with the pattern of the object that we decoupage. And this is why today’s decoupage tutorial is very important.
The first thing that we need to pay attention is the object that you’re going to decoupage on. It’s highly advisable that we select one that is wide enough with large area so that there’s plenty of space to extend the pattern of the napkin that we’re going to use. And hence the name of the technique ”extension”.
For the particular tutorial, I chose a wooden cutting board. This doesn’t mean that you need to use only this type of wooden object. You can also decoupage on wooden box, other wooden surfaces, old wooden frames. I guess that it depends on our available materials and budget to either use our old things or buy new ones.
If you’re going to use this decoupage technique on wood for the first time -as I always recommend, get a wooden object that won’t cost you a lot of money. Once you become better, you can always invest more money but until then, it would be a pity to experiment on an expensive object.
For this post, we’re going to need napkins and acrylic colors that will blend nicely with the wooden background. Other materials include gesso, patina and water varnish. Due to the fact that acrylic colors dry relatively fast, it’s a good idea to get a paint retarder so that you have more time to correct any mistakes.
If you’re just starting out with decoupage, you’ll have to invest in good materials that will set you back a little amount, but rest assured that they’re going to last you for a lot of projects and experiments. Therefore, it’s better to have everything from the beginning and nothing is going to be missing from your next creations.
What kind of materials do we need to decoupage on wood?
As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, the surface of the object needs to be substantially larger that the size of the napkin so that you can extend the background.
You’re going to need a napkin with large pattern, compared to smaller patterns that we chose in other posts.
There are a lot of decoupage glues available on the market. My suggestion is that you buy a small size glue for the first time, see if you like it and judge accordingly if you want to stick to the particular brand or change.
There are free flowing and viscous decoupage glues. Choose which one works for you best.
For the wooden object that we’re planning to decoupage, both acrylic primer and gesso can be used. We’ll make our wooden object one pass with either gesso or primer so that we apply our acrylic colors on top.
For the background extension, we’ll use more than two acrylic colors. It heavily depends on the background and pattern of the napkin.
Normally, we need to experiment until we get the desired result. Personally, I used green, dark brown, light brown and red acrylic paints.
We’re going to need to apply varnish at the end of our creation so that the napkin becomes more durable. This is what I do just before I finish with every object.
For best results, make two to three varnish passes right after you’re done with decoupage.
Materials that we’ll use for decorating our object
Patina gives our object a very beautiful finish. I used patina that can be spread with our fingers in bronze color.
We use relief outliner in order to highlight certain lines on our object or patterns on our napkin.
Metallic objects, buttons, handmade flowers, gold glitter or anything else you deem appropriate for decorating your wooden object.
Tools that we’re going to use.
- 1 good brush to apply the decoupage glue and the varnish
- 2-3 brushes to apply the colors
- Few pieces of aluminium folium
- 1 small glass with water so that we get the brushes wet
- 1 small sponge
- 1 nail file
How to decoupage on wood with napkin with extension technique, step by step.
Clean the wooden object with paper and alcohol.
Make sure that you’ve got all the necessary materials and tools close to you.
Time to pick a napkin and the acrylic paint colors that match with the napkin’s background.
Apply the gesso or primer on the entire surface of the object. Use a medium brush to apply it well. Make sure that you didn’t leave a spot without any primer or gesso.
After you finished applying it, let it dry.
Put the light acrylic color on the piece of aluminium folium. Then, take the small sponge and dip it in the color. Then, tap the sponge on the entire surface of the wooden object.
It’s important to use the light color first as a base, so that the pattern of the napkin is clearly visible.If we use dark color as base, the napkin’s pattern wouldn’t be clear since napkin are very thin.
Once you’re done applying the acrylic paint, let it dry again.
Cut the napkin with your hands and make sure that you don’t cut the pattern.
First, I make one pass with the decoupage glue on the surface where I’m going to glue the napkin pattern. There’s no need to put a lot of glue. You only need enough to make it moist.
Next, I place the napkin on the surface where I applied the glue, starting from the bottom of the pattern while I use my fingers to gently place it on the right spot.
Remember that when the napkin’s pattern is big, it’s more difficult to glue it on the object’s surface. So, be extra careful when you glue it.
Once, I’m happy with the position of the napkin and it’s glued on the wooden object, I make another pass with the decoupage glue with radial moves from the center to the edges.
After you’re done applying the glue, you need to wait again until it dries up.
Now that the glue is dry, I make one pass with varnish very carefully.
We apply varnish at this point to make the napkin more durable that will allow me to work on it without having the fear of tearing it.
Insist more on the napkin’s edges.
Now, let it dry for a while.
There are a lot of varnish varieties.
- Water varnish is matt and it usually doesn’t affect the colors of our creation as time passes.
- Turpentine varnish on the other hand, it’s glossy and more durable than water varnish but it makes the acrylic colors yellowish after a few years. For this reason, this varnish is mainly used for creations with antique effect and making the object a bit yellowish, is actually the desired result.
- Lastly, there’s the alcohol varnish that is equally strong and glossy.
When the object is dry, take the nail file and remove the excess pieces of napkin
I place all my colors on a palette or a piece of aluminium folium and I begin with the background extension.
Make sure that the colors of the napkin and the acrylic paint colors blend nicely together. The should look as if they’re one
When you’re happy with the background extension and you don’t want to change anything, let it dry and make another pass with the varnish.
Wait until the varnish dries up.
Now comes the fun part.
You’re done already with the challenging part and now it’s time to decorate your wooden object.
Use patina all around the object and in a few spots on the napkin pattern.
I continue with the golden relief on the small lines of the napkin pattern.
Lastly, I use a very thin brush to highlight certain small parts of the pattern with acrylic colors.
That’s it! I hope you liked it and I wish you best of luck with your creation! Let me know how it goes!