What Is Decoupage?

by Bill and Aby Brooks, REALTORS® 08/22/2021

If you’re wanting a fun and inexpensive way to create custom home decor, search no further than decoupage. Decoupage is the art of gluing layers of paper to other surfaces to achieve unique designs and textures. All you need to get into decoupage is a good paint brush and a jar of Mod Podge or other decoupage glue. Here we’ll go over the basics of decoupage so you can apply this DIY technique to create your own art and home decor.

What Can You Decorate With Decoupage?

One of the best things about decoupage is how many surfaces you can apply it to. Some commonly decorated surfaces include wood, terracotta, cardboard, glass or plastic. You can even add decoupage to more delicate surfaces like paper as long as you are careful about the amount of moisture.

Many DIY experts recommend using an acrylic base coat, whether it be acrylic paint or protective finishing spray. This will give the surface a little extra strength to withstand layers of glue and your chosen decorative material.

How To Use Mod Podge

Mod Podge is quick and simple to use no matter the project. Here are the basic steps:

  1. After preparing your surface either with an acrylic base coat or otherwise, use a normal paint brush to add an even coat of Mod Podge to the surface. Aim for a medium amount of coverage, as too little will cause wrinkles and too much will make the surface soggy. If you use too much, wipe away excess with a sponge.

  2. Adhere your chosen materials to the Mod Podge-covered surface. For a clean look, cut your fabric or paper to size so it fits the object snug. Otherwise, have fun experimenting with layering and combining different shapes.

  3. Once you’ve placed your materials where you want, it’s time to smooth them down. You can do this in a variety of ways, including with your fingers, a small roller or any hard flat surface you can apply pressure to. Smooth out all the bubbles and wrinkles and then let dry for at least 15 minutes.

  4. To finish, add another layer of Mod Podge on top. You can add more than one coat for extra protection from moisture and other damage. Consider the function of the object you’re decorating in determining how many protective top layers to use.

  5. As an optional step, add more layers! One of the fun things about decoupage is that you can build up colors, textures and materials by using the same method. You can also add decorative elements like glitter, gold leaf or translucent paint.

Once you try decoupage, you’ll find it’s a great way to add character to practically any existing piece. You can create beautiful art or give new life to old furnishings and surfaces. While there are countless ways to use Mod Podge, there are also multiple formulas available for specific materials. Consider what you’re planning to use before you choose your formula to ensure success and satisfaction with any crafting project.

About the Author

Bill and Aby Brooks, REALTORS®

Aby’s understanding of excellent customer service stems from her extensive professional background. Prior to earning her real estate license in 2005, along with her college degree that focuses on business and engineering, Aby was the head of purchasing, inventory and quality assurance for an OEM medical and aerospace manufacturing company. Known by her clients and fellow realtors for her tenacity, honesty, integrity, and attention to detail, as a full-time realtor, she is also appreciated for her quick response to her client’s needs. Aby has been an avid horse rider and owner since the age of eight, with her husband Billas a local firefighter/EMT they are very active within the community. Bill served as a US Army Airborne Ranger in 75th Ranger Regiment, he is a combat-wounded veteran who was awarded a Purple Heart. Bill's background as facility Manager for an International metals company and as a firefighter/EMT gives him the experience, attention to detail and the desire to go above and beyond to serve his customers. The Brooks' serve on the board of a local non-profit (501c3) that gives back to the veterans, first responders and their families. The Brooks family resides on their small ranch in Manatee County. Aby& Bill excel in all types of real estate and their passion is helping people. “We genuinely like people, growing up in Sarasota and Manatee counties and now raising our own family here, it is an absolute pleasure to share our growing area with newcomers and reminisce with longtime residents. Our area has so much to offer and it is our business to help folks buy and sell their own piece of paradise.”