I always say “I’d rather be painting!” But what I really mean is I’d rather be playing with paint on furniture. And lately, I’ve been lucky enough to dive into a couple of dresser makeovers that allowed me to play with paint.
And I’m still smiling.
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Iron-On Decoupage and Paint Blending Techniques. Plus a Little Bull Botox (wait for it...)
Today’s dresser makeover is the perfect marriage of DIY Paints and gorgeous decoupage papers from Mint by Michelle Papers. Here’s the big reveal - I made some mistakes that cost me a little time but they also gave me a chance to demonstrate some “fix-it” tips. Silver lining.
You can (and with paint blending, you probably should) watch the whole video right here to learn these techniques. It’s great to pause the video and try the steps on your own project.
If you like to read the instructions, keep scrolling down to find the complete supply list and step-by-step instructions, complete with video timestamps so you can see what I’m saying.
HERE’S EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO CREATE A DECOUPAGE AND PAINT BLENDED DRESSER MAKEOVER
- Mint by Michelle Papers - Texas Longhorn
- Wise Owl Primer
- DIY Paint Liquid Patina
- DIY Paint Layered Chocolate
- DIY Paint Weathered Wood
- DIY Paint Little Black Dress
- DIY Paint White Swan
- DIY Paint Dark + Decrepit
- DIY Paint Copper Patina: Pennies from Heaven
- DIY Paint Big Top Topcoat
- DIY Paint Sampler Brush
- Cling-On Brush: F40
- Cling-On Brush: B10
- Cling-On Brush: B12
- Teflon Heat Sheet
- Paper plate for palette
- Exacto Knife/Razor Blade
- Wide Putty Knife
- Spray Bottle for water
- Dresser ready to be made over
Prepping Your Dresser
Before hitting the record button on the video, I prepped my dresser by covering it with two coats of Wise Owl Primer and two generous coats of DIY Paint Liquid Patina. Then I laid it down on its back because I find it so much easier to work on in that position.
Step 1: Fire up the Iron!
When you iron on decoupage, it reactivates the decoupage medium you used. Make sure there’s no water/steam in the iron and turn it to the warm setting. I always start with my paper lined up on a right angle. (timestamp 1:36)
Here, I line it up with the bottom left corner of my dresser surface.
Remember when you decoupage, the paper will shrink, so start in the middle and work out. Place the Teflon heat sheet right in the middle of the paper and start ironing in nice clean, smooth movements. Continue by constantly moving the iron. (2:11)
Once the decoupage paper is ironed down, right to left, across the middle drawer, I use a very sharp Exacto knife to razor across the drawer. (3:14) My tip here is to rest the knife where the seam will go. I like the clean edge I get cutting along drawer edges with a knife versus ripping it.
Then I continue with moving the Teflon heat sheet to the top and bottom areas. If there’s any paper slippage as I’m working, I readjust to the right angle I’m working from (bottom left corner.) After the decoupage paper is ironed down completely, I’ll make sure all the drawer edges are cut. (5:06)
At this point, I stand the dresser up to check out my progress (which I love!) and get ready to iron on the last corner piece. (14:39) I found this step super awkward with the dresser standing up and much prefer working with the dresser lying on its back.
Definitely experiment and find the position that’s comfortable and easier for you when you’re working on your own projects. Kudos to anyone who can do it with the dresser upright. Remember, we’ve been decoupaging for years, so use what you know!
Step 2: Day 2. A Revelation (aka “Uh Oh”)
On the directions, it says “if you’re going to use a water-based topcoat, spray it on.” But I like to try things and maybe make some mistakes (that I never repeat) so I brushed on my topcoat. And what happened was I got wrinkles, bubbles, and my paper lifted.
Now I can tell you that the reason you spray is so you don’t soak your paper. I ended up with a regular decoupage piece rather than the flat-iron method. That’s fine but I did spend a lot of time…
So pause (8:02) and watch me fix my mistakes by doing a little bull botox with some glue. I wipe up any excess glue while pushing the paper down to smooth bubbles and wrinkles.
Step 3: Let’s Paint!
This is what I live for - playing with layering and blending paint. Have you tried any of these techniques? Watching the blending techniques (8:41) is your best bet but I’ll do my best to break it down for you here.
I paint the entire dresser (except the decoupaged area) with DIY Paint’s Layered Chocolate. Once that’s done, I begin to add paint in layers using DIY Paint in Weathered Wood and Little Black Dress.
I use a broad, flat brush - the DIY Paint Sampler Brush - and lay the paint on in big chunks. (8:45) Once I have the side of the dresser covered as much as I want it to be, I grab a spray bottle filled with water and apply it over the paint. Now I use a completely dry paintbrush - Cling On Brush (#B10 or #B12) - and start blending.
I repeat this process, adding chunks of the colors, spraying with water, and blending with my dry brush. Once I’m satisfied with the side, I spray the entire panel with lots of water (9:39) and let it run down to create movement.
Next, I add DIY Paint in White Swan, outlining the edges of the side panel. (9:44) I continue adding the White Swan, blending, and end with a final spray of water. Then I use a wide putty knife as a trowel to pull the pain down the side of the panel. (10:13)
I repeat the process of adding White Swan, spraying with water, and blending with my dry brush continually until I’m satisfied with the look of the panel.
Step 4: Front and Center Paint Blending Around the Decoupage Paper
Time to start working on the front of the dresser by adding DIY Paint in Weathered Wood along the front right side. Eventually, I cover most of the front, outlining the image of the bull. (11:16) Then I come back and add in strokes of DIY Paint in Little Black Dress.
Once the paint is applied, I grab a clean wipe and start to pull some of the paint off the decoupaged image and blend. (11:47) Grabbing a Cling On Brush (F40) I add in some White Swan and get back to the dry brush blending and spraying water.
I continue this process until the paint is blended just like I want. This is where you get to play and create: add paint and water, blending with the dry brush until you’re happy.
My final paint technique is using an old toothbrush and DIY Paint’s Liquid Patina in Dark + Decrepit. I dip the toothbrush into the Dark + Decrepit and, using my fingers across the brush bristles, I add flecks across the front of the dresser. (13:18)
Step 5: The Big Finish
My final artistic, creative touch is to use the toothbrush to fleck some DIY Paint Liquid Patina in Pennies from Heaven - for a touch of copper! Perfect.
After all the paint has thoroughly dried, I complete the dresser by applying DIY Paint Big Top Sealer. And it’s stunning - if I do say so myself!