French Provincial Furniture

Bryonie Porter's Wallpaper Furniture

Bryonie Porter creates outstanding wallpapered furniture from the most famous wallpaper companies such as Cole & Son, Osborne & Little, and Timorous Beasties. She does a wonderful job of matching up the paint with the colors in the wallpaper.  Do take a look at her wonderful website with many more of her wallpaper creations.   Decoupage looks quite complicated, but it is much easier than it looks.  With a little patience, you can cover a lovely chest with beautiful wallpaper using some easy techniques that will allow you to have an ornatly detailed piece of furntiure without the laborous time painting the details.   We show you some simple tricks to creating the perfect decoupage wallpaper chest. 

How to Decoupage Furniture 101

1.  Make sure that your object is dry, smooth, and free from any kind of imperfections. I would always suggest slighly sanding your piece of furniture so that the glue has something to grab on to. 

2.  Cut out your image first.  This is the most tedious and important part of the whole process.  You want to be patient to get a great cut. 

4.  Submerge your print in water which will allow you to manipulate the print on your furniture with ease

– Avoid decoupaging with thin paper because it overly wrinkles, and tears very easily.  Many copy stores now produce beautiful prints that can blown up to cover any large piece of furniture.  Do not use ink-jet photo copies as they will smear in water and with water based varish products.

4.Using a foam paint brush, and glue, apply glue all over the furniture area you are covering.   Work section by section.  Align the paper with the furniture edges, and carefully apply the cutout to the surface of the furniture.  

 Keep your hands wet or the paper will tear. Use a wet paint brush sponge and and work out excess glue, water, and air. Work  outward from the center using a foam roller to flatten the surface and even out the glue under neath your print.  

-Avoid bending or crumpling the print, as it gives the finished product a bumpy, ugly look.

-Within the first hour after the application, check your furniture piece to smooth out any air bubbles with wet fingers.  Let your furniture dry overnight.

5.  The next day after your piece is dry you will need to apply a sealer.  It is extremely important that your first coat is a water based polycrylic.  If you use an oil based polyurethane, it will leave spots in your collage, and potentially ruin it.  

Modge Podge is another option which seals collages which dries to a rock hard finish.  It can be used to glue your paper down and and seal your final piece.  Modge Podge is available in Gloss, Satin and Matte finishes.  Mod Podge also has an excellent line of fabric glue. 

A water based polycrylic is always the very best option on white painted furniture, as an oil based polyurthane will always turn yellow over night and keep getting darker in color over time.  Polycrylic comes in a satin and semi gloss, and gloss finish.  It also comes in a beautiful spray, which makes it much easier to produce a clean even finish.  The polycrylic or Mod Podge are excellent products will seal your furniture, but if you wish to additionally add an oil based spray lacquer, use it after you have applied 2 layers of polycrylic. 

If your collage is lightly colored, I would caution you against using anything but water based.  For darker prints, a polyurthane spray will be just fine after your water based crylic has dried. 

Acrylic lacquer avoids the yellowing problems associated with nitrocellulose lacquer.  Acrylic resins go on crystal-clear and stay that way over time.  The most widely used Acrylic lacquers is called CAB-acrylic lacquer, made with cellulose acetate butyrate and acrylic resins.

Blackbirds By Bryonie Porter Wallpaper Osborne & Little

Map Chest by Bryonie Porter

Faces By Bryonie Porter Using Cole & Son Wallpaper

Silver Bureau By Bryonie Porter Osborne & Little

Turqoise Willow By Bryonie Porter Wallpaper by Osborne & Little

Pink Desk By Bryonie Porter Wallpaper by xxxx

Pink Toile Chest by Bryonie Porter Wallpaper by Timorous Beasties – London Toile

Bluewillow By Bryonie Porter Using Osborne & Little

Blue Toile By Bryonie Porter Wallpaper by Timorous Beasties

3 comments to Bryonie Porter’s Wallpaper Furniture

  • Grace

    This post is timely because I just finished a small project
    and found Mod Podge to be very sticky. I used to decoupage with shellac and after a few years, they went horribly yellow with age but I do not know much about other products here in the USA to be able to experiment with them. I will pop down to Home Depot to get a small can of polycrylic to test it out, thank you so much!

  • admin


    I love the table tray! What a great idea. I noticed you used fabric for your project. Mod Podge has a glue just for fabric. I noticed you mentioned Mod Podge was a bit too sticky when applying the glue. I honestly haven’t used it. I have read it has been made specifically for decoupaging furniture, so I suggested it. Any white glue would work. I personally like the glue that dries clear. I am like you, that I do not like overly thick glue that cannot be easily manipulated.

    Shellac, and polyurethane will go yellow over years. I noticed the disaster it creates with the first table I painted, and finished with polyurethane. Polycrylic is a water based formula that can be used over any white furniture. It is also perfect for decoupaging because it is not made of oil which would ruin the paper that you are decorating your furniture with.

    Though, I have a question for you Grace…..

    When you applied the Mod Podge on your fabric tray table, did the end product turn out like a piece of glass on the fabric?

    Polycrylic is a very thin watery substance, so it certainly wouldn’t create a thick layer of glass. It is meant just to seal your finish.

    One product I have played around with in the past is the clear solution that comes in the tub painting kits. Rust-oleum has a 2 part kit which is meant to be used on tubs. The kits come with two paint, (1 Almond, or white, and 1 clear epoxy) The first time I used it on a tub in one of our rental apartments, I used them individually, which turned out very badly. I didn’t read the directions that they are meant to be mixed together then applied.

    I had left over epoxy so I used it on other projects. The clear enamel is like nothing I have ever tried before. It is rock hard. Initially when I used it over white, it did turn out very yellow. Although, I was really impressed on how hard and thick the substance got when it dried. It could be used over fabric, but I honestly haven’t tried it yet. It would be interesting to create a fabric chest and it (might) be the perfect solution for the top. (I am sure there is fabric paint out there to seal projects)

    The draw backs to this project is that it is extremely toxic. You have to wear a mask when applying it, and after a good 7 minutes, you have to leave the room if you don’t have a window fully open. The smell is so chemically saturated, that you do have to leave your house. It is not a good idea to leave a pet, like a bird or a dog or cat while this chemical is drying.

    The second draw back is that it take a LONG time to dry. I finished a chest surface in it once, and it seemed dry after a week, and I packed boxes on top of the chest and it made an imprint. Granted I had the clear finish on pretty thick. If you put it on thinner, it might take three days to dry. Secondly, the finish is so rock hard you cannot sand it. So when you do apply it, be sure to apply it with a foam paint brush, because if you don’t get it perfect you cannot sand it. It is a product full of promise though. I wouldn’t use it over white, but it could be something to experiment with when it comes to fabric chests for example.


  • cheree

    What beautiful creations! I was inspired by the way your artful furniture looks. I am into buying old furniture that I find at yard sales and sometimes on the curb! If its solid wood, has dovetail drawers, and solid condition with great lines, it can go home with me! I have collected some wonderful peices over the years. I am always looking for new ways to bring old peices back to life. I use free hand paintings of roses, toile, etc. decopouageing once or twice, distressing is my favorite as I love “shabby chic”. I am babbling!! I am currently working(right now) on a 1908 vanity with exsqusite shell carvings and an old wavy mirror, I will incorporate your technique for sure! I am excited, hence all the !!! your website rocks.

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