Who says office furniture has to be bland and drab? It certainly doesn’t when you’ve got WoodUbend and Posh Chalk to hand! As part of our big workshop renovation going on, I thought it was high time that I invested in a new desk – not just any desk though…a seriously special upcyled desk!
For a project like this, it’s always handy to have some help from your creative friends, step forward Sue Parsons of Sue Chic! The Crafting Queen herself was on hand to get stuck into the new Posh Chalk Decoupage designs which would adorn this piece. Admittedly, I did have to reel her in and stop her from sticking decoupage flowers all over my new upcycled desk!
As always, prep is the important first step. The desk was lightly sanded, washed and left to dry. Once we were good to go, all of the panels where the decoupage was going was pre-painted in Dixie Belle’s Salt Water from their Silk range. Unless you’re going for a specific style, you should always lay your decoupage over a light colour, this helps all of the colours stand out, you wouldn’t want to lose your designs against a dark background now, would you?
Once the Silk was on, we could get to decoupaging, there was going to be a veritable smorgasboard of decoupage on this upcycled desk, luckily, there’s over 70 designs to chose from so I had a wide range to have a go at. The first port of call for Sue and I was the two pillars on either side, and the drawers on top these would be the new home for the Gracious in Pink, Regal Sash and a section of the Bouquet of Flowers Posh Chalk Decoupage.
Now, anybody who has followed another of my decoupage papers will know that I always tear the borders off of the paper, leaving a ragged edge. the reason being, the eye is drawn to straight edges and the whole point of decoupage is to make it seem like the paper has always been there – you don’t want the edge of your paper standing out. I wouldn’t be doing that with these designs on my upcycled desk, as they were covering the entirety of the drawers a straight edge would be fine as it’s where the drawer ends, it would look natural.
In order to ensure that the decoupage papers were flush with the edge, Sue shared a little tip with me. Lay your papers on your surface and simply run a piece of sand paper down the edge. This will tear you papers exactly where you need to, giving them a flush finish. This worked perfectly for the Bouquet of Flowers design adorning the drawers of the top as they could be removed, for the pillars we had to first stick them down and run a craft knife around the sides.
Given her top tip, I deferred over to Sue Parsons for the next stage. First up she put a coat of the new Deluxe Posh Chalk Pigment Infusor straight onto the drawers, this would give a medium for the decoupage papers to stick to. Once the papers were down she went over the top with the Infusor, working in sections and making sure to keep the paper taught to avoid creases.
The decoupage dream team was in full swing and my upcycled desk was looking good! The great thing about decouapge paper is that any spare bits or offcuts you having laying around can be repurposed into you design. As we used the larger A1 Bouquet of Flowers paper on three drawers and the top, there was plenty of paper which could still be used on my upcycled desk. Back to the Queen of Craft, Sue Parsons and her wet paintbrush. Sue ran a wet paint brush around specific designs we wanted to use, as the paper was damp it meant that it ripped very easily, giving us the oh-so-important jagged edges.
It was at this point Sue got the dreaded flower fever and started trying to stick flowers all over my upcycled desk! We compromised on some well placed individual flowers on the decoupage already on the drawers and a good section of the remaining paper on the side panels. Can you stick decoupage paper on top of decoupage paper? You sure can! Just make sure that it’s on a light bit of the pattern to ensure the designs shows up well.
Two pieces of the Posh Script decoupage went on the back and we were ready to start getting bendy with WoodUbend!
I realise at this point, a more suitable title for the blog may have been, how to completely cover an upcycled desk in decoupage, but I wanted a to frame them using a few select mouldings. The 1338 plume mouldings would make up the corners whilst the TR37 trim would join them together. Framing your decoupage in this manner means that you don’t have to blend out the colours of the paper to incorporate them into your project; they can be a standalone design.
WoodUbend mouldings can be heated using a hair dryer, heat gun or as in this case, on a griddle. I find griddles are the most useful as they can be warming your mouldings up as you’re working on another part of your project. On with the corners first, I coated the back in a good wood glue and applied them to the surface of my upcycled desk whilst they were still warm. This meant that they really adhered to the surface, any glue which was squeezed out of the sides was simply wiped away with a wet paint brush or baby wipe and I got to work on the other corners.
All the WoodUbend trims are 2.1m long, but it’s unwise to unravel them all at once, instead, keep you coils neatly coiled up and just unravel as much as you need as you go. Working with the WoodUbend trims in this manner means that they retain the heat better, staying pliable for longer, and you don’t get all caught up in over two metres of WoodUbend which will cool and harden quickly! Joining the 1338 plume mouldings was a doddle, when warm the trims can be easily sliced, so it was just a case of measuring up and slicing away.
Now, I’m no carpenter, so quite often I find the I have cut my trim too short. Panic? Nope! WoodUbend mouldings will stretch by around 10% when warm. So for those of us (hands up now) who aren’t the most accurate measurers, this is a life – and money – saver.
Unlike some of my previous projects, this upcycled desk would be ‘WoodUbend heavy’, I just wanted a few embellishments to add that little bit of extra to my designs. With this in mind, just the two outside feet housed the 1239 Decorative Scrolls. As is often the way with projects like these, the mouldings didn’t quite fit…why would they? Again, no issue, when they were still warm but before the glue had dried I warmed up the mouldings and just squeezed it into place. Once cool, the moulding will stay in the position you’ve held it in – this won’t take long as WoodUbend mouldings take about as long to cool down as they do to heat up.
The last of the WoodUbend! Three of the 1708 centrepieces were evenly spaced out on the back, and three more on the sides. Even though these were going on a flat surface and would be bent, it was still important to heat them up, this ensures the best adhesion possible…no mouldings falling off here! My upcycled desk project was coming together, but for now it was time for me and Sue to stretch off a little and head out to enjoy a rare sunny afternoon in England.
Join us next week as we get snazzy with Posh Chalk, Dixie Belle, La Magic Paint and stencilling! If you can’t wait that long, you can watch the full video of the desk coming together below.