This decoupage door treatment is what I was in the mood to create. What a fun finish for this eclectic space!
All the products used in this project are stocked in the Redo Your Furniture, (aka Frame and Frills) shop and will have convenient shopping links towards the end of this post.
the door in the Frame and Frills workroom, where I work on painting projects and hold DIY workshop classes was a boring, unpainted metal door that needed some pizzazz!
Obviously, not every space can provide such an open book for a totally creative and whimsical decoupage door treatment, but this is the DIY painting workroom after all! I figured anything was a go!
First, I started with one of my stocked Mint by Michelle decoupage papers aptly named ‘Ferris Wheel’. Using the Fusion decoupage and transfer gel I decoupaged the paper to the upper left corner of the door.
In a nutshell, working across the top in small strips, like 2″ high, I painted on the gel then laid the paper on it, smoothing it with wadded up cling wrap. By keeping the gel in a thin even layer helped to reduced the wrinkles. HERE is a post I wrote last week showing this process in a little more detail while I was working on dresser project. Only difference is that for that dresser I wanted big wrinkles so wasn’t as careful about that part.
I’ll do another post showing the details of how to decoupage, this post is more about how to make the decoupaged piece blend into a larger piece, like this door for instance.
For blending the paper into the door, I first started with painting the rest of the door green. If you can zoom into the decoupage paper at the top, you will see that there are actually several colors and shades of green in that dark background.
That’s what I was trying to blend in to, or maybe I should say blend out onto the door. My goal was to extend the look of the printed paper, using paints, across the entire door.
All the paint used in this project are Fusion Mineral Paint. It’s superior adhesion and built-in top coat are a few of the reasons I love working with it.
My overall goal, when I blend with paint the surrounding area around the decoupage paper, isn’t necessarily to perfectly match the paper design, but to blend into it… creating an overall area, that as a whole looks like a single treatment. I’m trying to soften the edges of the paper and extend the design out onto the rest of the piece of furniture, or door in this case.
Base color is ‘Brook’.
So, the first color to go on the door is the lighter green background color, ‘Brook’. After that was dry I actually added a little patch of ‘Little Star’ because there is a small amount of bright yellow in the paper background. Just a random spot to peek through.
For the main, darker green color, I loosely mixed ‘Pressed Fern’ with a small amount of ‘Renfrew Blue’. When I say loosely, I mean mixed a bit of it and added more ‘Pressed Fern’ along side that mix in the dish I was dipping my brush into. That way when I loaded my brush, it had both colors side by side on it.
There’s really no ‘skill’ to this but just getting the paint up on the door…
Working in small patches at a time, so the paint didn’t dry out before I gently blended it with a loosely wadded plastic bag. During this process, I tried to not blend the ‘Renfrew Blue’ and ‘Pressed Fern’ too much, in order to keep the varied colors.
I used different blending tools: plastic bag, damp paper towel, and actual blending brush all with different results.
Using the bag to blend onto the wet paint, was supposed to give a linear visual texture to the paint. It didn’t work as great as I had imagined. The bag tended to just sort of collapse and not pull any off in the lines I wanted.
I switched to a damp heavy duty paper towel for the blotting technique and accomplished a decent blend. Then to get the lines I was looking for, I simply got a paintbrush damp and using the very edge of the bristles ‘rubbed’ lines in the damp dark green paint. That worked to remove some of the darker top paint, leaving a line of the lighter background green exposed.
Moving down the door, across from where the decoupage paper starts to turn more taupe in the background…
A mix of ‘Cathedral Taupe’ with a small amount of ‘Chocolate’ made the perfect mix to blend in the taupe background on the bottom part of the paper.
Adding little details soften the edge of the paper.
To extend and soften the edge where the ferris wheel ends on the paper, I just used a paint brush on it’s edge, dipped in a bit of ‘Chocolate’. By dabbing it on the door, following the lines of the ferris wheel, worked to soften the ends of the ferris wheel.
The first finish, mostly green…
After the first day, working on the door, this is where I left it. My original plan was that it would be mostly a green door, suggesting that the ‘trees’ were covering the bottom of the ferris wheel.
I thought I liked that…
I took a picture of it on my camera, and after studying that photo later that night, I decided that it needed to be the lighter taupe on the bottom of the door.
So there’s a tip! Sometimes studying a photo, instead of the piece in real life, can be helpful for designing perspective!.
The next morning using my Staalmeester oval brush and the ‘Cathedral Taupe’ and ‘Chocolate’ mix I started to blend taupe into the green.
A tiny mist of water helped keep the paint wet so that I could blend it.
Using the large Staalmeester flat wall brush blended the paint beautifully!
This was my first time using this blending brush and it did lose a lot of bristles at first, but I think all the loose ones are out and now it’s good. It did wonders for blending! So much better than the damp paper towel to create this soft taupe foggy look. I just brushed back and forth the area I was trying to blend, being careful to continually wipe the ends of the bristles on paper towels so that it didn’t wind up putting more paint back on the door.
Careful to not soak into the decoupaged paper!
I worked quickly where I painted over on the decoupage paper part. As soon as I was done blending it, I immediately dried it so that it wouldn’t soak into the paper and reactivate the decoupage gel.
Ah, yes, that’s better.
Knowing I had a fun, bold plan for the panels of the door and to have this calm taupe on the rest of the lower section of the door would be perfect!
Carnival it up.
I figured a ferris wheel would be at a carnival, so why not do a carnival type finish on the panels?
This is the room to be creative painting in, and this door will certainly give a nod to having some fun!
The panels of the doors first got 2 coats of ‘Limestone’ and dried over night.
Taping the harlequin stencil in place helps hold it where it needs to be, (I have huge wall sized harlequin stencils in stock too, so fun!).
By the way, Fusion Mineral Paint adheres so beautifully to this factory primed metal door, so taping on fairly fresh painted metal wasn’t an issue. It is important to note though that Fusion does take 21 days to fully cure and harden, so should be treated gently in that time.
The reddish color for this harlequin is another custom mix aiming to coordinate with the red in the paper. The mix was ‘Cranberry’, ‘Fort York Red’ and ‘Tuscan Orange’.
Using a stencil brush, I loaded some paint evenly on the bottom bristles of the brush.
Then the paint was ‘off-loaded’ onto folded paper towel.
Getting the excess paint off the brush helps it not seep under the stencil or create thick edges of paint.
I like to use a swirling motion to paint the stencil with.
To get a bit more dimension in the paint color, after I swirled the stencil, I then went back and reloaded the brush, but didn’t off load it this time. Instead I dabbed in the diamonds, careful to not get any under the stencil.
Working back and forth, one panel and then the other, gave the paint just enough time to dry in between.
One final color for the edges.
I painted the edges of the panels and trim around the window with a mix of ‘Coal Black’ and ‘Cranberry’. The straight up ‘Coal Black’ was too harsh for this color palette, it needed the ‘Cranberry’ to soften it. This finished color is a very deep brown/black.
The 1.5″ Staalmeester flat brush worked beautifully to paint the edges with.
I cannot stress enough how important good brushes are. They make the paint go on so much better. A quality brush’s bristles hold together to be able to paint a straight edge. Having a good brush to work with makes the job so much more enjoyable!
What do you think?
Kind of a fun, whimsical door, right?! Perfect for a creative place like the DIY workroom! Let the fun begin!
Here’s the promised shopping list, all from my Frame and Frills shop!
- Mint Ferris Wheel Decoupage Paper, (large size)
- Fusion decoupage and transfer gel
- Fusion Mineral Paints, ‘Brook’, ‘Renfrew Blue’, ‘Pressed Fern’, ‘Little Star’, ‘Cathedral Taupe’, ‘Chocolate’, ‘Coal Black’ and ‘Cranberry’
- Staalmeester Oval Brush
- Staalmeester Flat Wall Brush, for blending
- Staalmeester 1.5″ Flat Brush
- RDS Harlequin Stencil and Stencil Brush, (available in studio only)
All the paints I used in this project are available in my shop Frame and Frills. You can shop in person or online. HERE is more info about Frame and Frills and all the fun DIY products and projects we have!
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