Decoupage Drawers With Posh Chalk & WoodUbend

Decoupage papers lend themselves so well to upcycled furniture projects, you can quickly and easily transform an old piece of furniture in moments. I had a unique set of drawers which was just dying for the decoupage treatment. These drawers were fitted with what Google reliably tells me were a bureau hinge, the drawer fronts opened outwards to a horizontal position, revealing a small storage space…perfect for storing even more decoupage!

A brown set of drawers against a white background. Posh Chalk Deluxe Decoupage can be seen in the bottom left

For those of you who follow this blog, or indeed our social media channels, will know that the first stage when working with decoupage is ensuring that the surface is fully prepped. I’m not talking about sanding and cleaning, that goes without saying. No, your decoupage papers want to be be applied to a light background, this ensures that the colours on your papers will pop. So, a coat of Nordic Chic was applied to the drawers to give the Posh Chalk Deluxe Decoupage the best chance of uplifting these antique drawers.

Once the paint was on and dried, it was time to apply the Posh Chalk Pigments Infusor. Yes, the Infusor is specifically designed for getting the most out of the Posh Chalk Pigments, but it’s the perfect medium for gluing your decoupage to the surface – it also has the added benefit of being suitable for external use. The Infusor was applied to the drawers and the Bouquet of Flowers Posh Chalk Decoupage design was laid over the top in sections.

As I wanted a continuous design which would cover the entire front of the drawers, I elected to use the larger A1 size. Remember, all Posh Chalk Decoupage designs come in the larger A1 and smaller A3 sizes.

The Posh Chalk Decoupage is a robust rice paper which allows you to really play about with it on the surface, this is perfect when you’re chasing the wrinkles, simply hold the paper onto the surface with a dry brush whilst removing a section, pulling it taught and reapplying.

A close up of a dry paint brush applying a floral decoupage design onto the front of a set of drawers

Sometimes, the upcycling gods smile down on you and sometimes they do not. Unfortunately, today was one of the latter days. As the room was quite warm and the infusor was drying quickly a fair amount of fiddling with the paper was required. Luckily, it was nothing which the paper could not handle.

Once I was happy, a second layer of the Infusor was applied over the top of the paper to seal it as well as really adhering it to the surface.

Time to let it dry.

The paper needed slicing around the drawers so they could open and close. However, it’s important to do this whilst dry to ensure that your paper doesn’t tear, causing you to employ some creative painting tactics to hide the tear. Once it’s dry however, the paper can be easily sliced with a craft knife.

Floral Decoupage being sliced with a blue Stanley Knife

Right! With the decoupage dry, it was time to spruce up the drawers a bit with some of the brand new 3rd generation WoodUbend mouldings. First up was the newly released TR718 Egg and Dart trim, like all WoodUbend trims, the TR718 is 2.1m long and should be kept in its coil when using it. The trims should be kept coiled up as they retain the heat much longer and you don’t have long, unruly lengths of WoodUbend trims everywhere!

Find out why 3rd Generation WoodUbend mouldings are the best yet.

This particular flexible wood trim would frame the Bouquet of Flowers decoupage design as it was placed on the legs of the drawers. When using the WoodUbend trim, it’s always a good idea to apply your glue to the surface as opposed to the back of the moulding. It just makes the whole process much easier because you can uncoil as you go. That is exactly what I did with the TR718 before using a craft knife to slice the trim off at the bottom.

Don’t be worried about slicing your WoodUbend trim with a knife, just ensure your moulding is nice and warm and you should have no trouble. If you have cut it a little shoddily, simply wait for it to cool and sand the edge to create a nice finish.

A close up of a WoodUbend trim being sliced with a craft knife

As you may be able to tell form the image above, when you’re applying your WoodUbend, often the glue will squeeze out from underneath your decorative wood moulding. This isn’t an issue, it just means that the applique is sticking really well to the surface. All you need to do is come in with a baby wipe, wet paint brush or even a Q-tip and remove the excess.

When prepping this piece, it was sanded right down to the bare wood. The wood grain was something which I wanted to incorporate into this upcycled furniture project. Dressed to impress with decoupage on the front, yet with a hint of the antique everywhere else.

This meant it was time to break out the Posh Chalk Smooth Metallic Pastes, namely the Deep Gold and Black Carbon. As the pastes are water based, you can change the consistency from a thick paste into a wash just by using a little water. I simply spritzed the surface without saturating it, applied the paste and came back in with a baby wipe to remove some of the paste. The Deep Gold Paste accentuated the natural colour of the wood whilst the Black Carbon gave it a decidedly vintage vibe.

A chest of drawers half painted with deep gold posh chalk paste. Posh Chalk decoupage can be seen on the far left.

As often is the case with craft or upcycled furniture projects, inspiration strikes when you’re halfway through the project. I had created the Posh Chalk Paste wash for the top too, but it just seemed a little…dingy. Time to liven it up!

The Bouquet of Flowers decoupage had hints of green in the design, this prompted me to incorporate some of the Green Fhthalo paste into the wash on the top. I liberally applied the paste whilst once again spritzing with water. The difference this time is that I came in with a dry paper towel to remove the excess. Using a stippling motion meant it gave me the hint of texture whilst avoiding any obvious and uniform marks.

the top of a set of drawers washed with green posh chalk paste

Once the paste had dried, it was time to complement the decoupage with some stencilling. As the top was quite bare, I could afford to be a little more liberal with the pattern so I chose the rather ornate Solly’s Lace Posh Chalk Stencil.

I was really digging deep into my Posh Chalk stash for this upcycling endeavour, for the stencil I would be using the Posh Chalk Pigments. I wasn’t aiming for a blingy design this time around, I wanted something a little more subtle. This meant mixing up the Silver and Copper Pigments to create an eye-catching rose gold colour.

When this was mixed up, I used a small roller to create a faded pattern on the top, in keeping with the antiquey direction in which this project was headed.

For the sides, I elected to use one of the as-yet-unreleased stencils, the Dainty Trellis. Too much stencilling on the side would look busy at best and tacky at worst – something I was keen to avoid. So, understated, subtle and – well – dainty it was then. Again I used the roller to create a faded stencil design on the side.

the top of a set of drawers stencilled with Posh Chalk Pigments

The issue I found now is that I had a whole lot of the Pigments mixed up with nothing to do with them – all dressed up and nowhere to go! This is often a dangerous moment in the creative process as the temptation is to go overboard and start painting everything with the pigments. Luckily, I resisted.

Sort of.

I dry brushed over the top of the mouldings and picked out the edges of the drawers too. Finally, I gave the original hardware a light coat to tie them into the rest of the project. Then exercising much willpower, I stored the rest of the pigments. As the infusor stops the pigments from corroding, you can store them in an airtight container for some time if you have made too much.

Et voila. We were done. Another decoupaged delight created with Posh Chalk and WoodUbend. A set of drawers with decoupage on the front and washed with posh chalk pastes in gold and green. Rose gold pigments pick out the finer details of the woodubend trims on the side.