So, this thing happened last spring wherein I decoupaged my kitchen cabinets with newspaper.
You didn’t see that one coming did you? Newspaper and ready-made cabinets dancing together in some unorthodox swirl of muskrat love. How’s that for a Wednesday?
Okay, okay, this opens up two lines of questions…
The cabinets were melamine front (essentially plastic). Painting would have been awesome, but painting required sanding the melamine indoors, which is highly toxic and would be a pain in the butt, not to mention a major respiratory risk to Lola (mi gatita). No go. I tried some liquid sanding products and neither one were adequate products in my book. One wasn’t aggressive enough, the other was too aggressive, smelled awful, and left an uneven surface. So I said aloud to nobody in particular, “Screw it, let’s Mod Podge this mo fo!”
If I hated it, I had a plan B. It was called Ikea. This room will likely get a larger overhaul down the line, but for now, this is fun way to bring the funk to a boring old kitchen.
2. This is from a year ago? Why are you telling me about it now?
I wanted to be sure it would stand up to a year of cooking and cleaning before I recommended this method to anyone else. You know? That’s important sometimes. It annoys the crap out of me when DIY bloggers post about stuff knowing that the results won’t withstand the test of time. I mean, okay, that’s one thing when it’s some crafty doo-dah, but kitchen cabinets are the real deal. I don’t know that anyone reading this will actually attempt to decoupage their cabinets, but if they do, I don’t want some chunk to fall off in their spaghetti sauce. Quality counts.
One year later…
They have been splattered, scratched, picked at, roughed up and scuffed up non-stop for one year and they are just as good as ever. A month after the paper went on I sealed with outdoor Mod Podge, but that was it. I kept some newsprint as scrap in case I need to patch something someday, but so far it has not been necessary. The one thing that did change was the newsprint – it went from grey to yellow in just a couple of months – which is what I wanted, so that’s fine, although it made me switch the hardware to brass a while back. Yes, I’m a fickle one.
This is what I used to adhere newsprint (highly porous) to melamine cabinets (non-porous) and make it look slightly aged at the same time:
- Two parts Mod Podge
- One part Wood Glue
- One part Diet Coke (could swap for Dr. Pepper or Coffee or whatever, you could swap for water) ….Why Diet Coke? I wanted the acid in the soda to set off the acid in the newsprint and make it yellow faster. Initially I wanted to have old-looking newsprint with new-looking hardware. Then that looked weird, then I tried some stuff, then I settled on old-ish brass. Well, aren’t you glad that got sorted out?
|Prepare for this project to take over your entire kitchen for at least two days.
This is the same as any other decoupage project only bigger; slap on the glue, slap on the paper, slap on some more glue. If you are not familiar with basic arts and crafts decoupage, please, for the love of sequins, start there there before you embark on a major project like cabinetry. It’s easy but don’t bite off more than you can chew.
- Use your fingers to smooth things out after the brushes are done.
- Use a lightweight paper and crumple it up beforehand (the crumples will allow the paper to absorb the adhesive better and give a smother finish).
- Use a finishing sealer. I thought mixing the woodglue into the adhesive mix would stand up to wear and tear — and it did on the fronts, but around the edges it started to get a little frayed. After the cabinets cured for a few weeks I used outdoor Mod Podge (–it’s easy to control, but you can get spray-on finishes just about anywhere).
I realize 99.999995% of the people reading this will never do this, but, IF YOU ARE REALLY CONSIDERING DOING THIS…
If you really do this, the adhesive is everything. Everything. The adhesive recipe I use to attach paper to melamine front cabinets might be different than the one you use to attach fabric to poly-sealed wood cabinets, or glossy magazine paper to metal. Stuff varies. Do a test patch and let it set a week before doing the whole thing. Okay, okay? And if you do try it, send me a picture!