7. Think of the finish.
The adhesive can also help determine the finish displayed on the final product. A matte finish is flat and duller than glossy. If several coats of matte finish are applied, consider a glossy coat in between each matte finish to help avoid a cloudy appearance. A matte finish will also look similar to paint and minimize reflection and glare, in comparison to a glossy coat
A glossy finish is also ideal when applying decoupage to photos. It will won’t dim the luster of the photos causing them to look less vibrant and dull. When applying decoupage on wood furniture, a satin finish is recommended to reduce shine and produce professional results. For those seeking more dynamic coverage, a sparkle finish can be especially attractive when used on the entire piece. When staining wood, colored decoupage can add an alluring tint. In decoupage on wood furniture, choose an adhesive that will not fade or wear away with use.
Decoupage adhesive and finish specifically designed for furniture will be easily absorbed by wood or a porous material such as fabric. It will also provide significant protection against the wearing away of the finish. It provides a strong, protective coat. However, if your decoupage project needs protection from the elements, outdoor decoupage incudes a waterproof sealer and adhesive, often with a matte finish.
6. Clear a space.
Clean the area where you will be applying the materials. For decoupage on wood, smooth the surface using sand paper. Remove any bumps or scratches. Even the slightest grit can show through your decorative materials, so it is important to wipe the surface clean after sanding to a very smooth finish. If you are applying varnish to the entire project, do so first. Once the varnish has dried, use steel wool to gently buff the area where you are placing the cutouts. The intention is not to remove the finish, but to prepare a smooth area where you can apply the decorative materials.
5. Got glue.
Once the surface is prepared, place the cutouts and affix them to the wood surface. When applying the adhesive, consider the material and finish. If you are not going to add a finish, you can simply apply glue to the backside of the material and let it dry to the surface. In decoupage on wood, you will most likely want to apply a finish, so you can cover the cut out with adhesive on the front and back and if desired, you can add some to the area where you will be applying the design.