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Since the decoupage projects I collected a while ago, sparkled quite a lot of interest in people, I decided to do some more research on how to decoupage a fridge. It wasn’t very easy, but that’s what I found as information online. I hope it is useful!
So, if you have an ugly, old fridge you want to upcycle here is what you should consider first:
1. Once you decoupage your fridge it is for good. Since you sand the surface, glue the paper and then seal it, I can pretty much say with 100% confidence that you won’t be able to get rid of the decoupage. Why I am saying that? It is really simple! You will put on the hours to make it look as one of those fridges you see online, but if you grow tired of it soon enough, you will have to live with it until you buy a new one!
2. If it is your first project of this kind, practice somewhere else first. Try a mini fridge in the game room before you do something big on your kitchen one. If you have never done decoupage before, you might want to gain some practice on jewellery boxes and other small items. This way you will get a feeling of it and after each project you will know what can go wrong, what you DID wrong and what to be aware of.
3. Don’t start the project without the approval of your husband and all members of the family. After all everyone will have to live with it afterwards. You are only allowed to surprise your husband if you plan to decoupage his mini fridge in the game’s room/mencave with pictures and paper cut-outs of his favourite sports team. If you live in a rented property and the fridge is not yours – don’t even think about it!
Now back to instructions! If you have an old rusty, dirty-looking fridge that’s not even stainless steel, but has that generic plastic-ish-looking finish, here is how you do it.
! Important ! Before you start – try on the side of the fridge that is less or not at all visible – just see how it goes and whether you like it. Never start on the front side first!
Selecting and Preparing the Object
1. According to professional cleaners whenever you choose to decorate, or decoupage an item whether that be a vase, trash can, sneakers or fridge, the surface should be perfectly clean and free of any dust, dirt and dried-up stains.
2. Make it perfectly smooth – for the purpose you can sand it. Start on a side of the fridge that is not usually visible – this is where you will try and glue your first paper cut-outs.
3. If you want to paint the object first and then start your decoupage project – make sure this is done 24 hours in advance. You have to give it time to dry too.
Organizing Your Materials
4. Select your materials carefully!
Sand paper – Before each decoupage project the surface must be smooth. This way there will be no bumps once you glue the paper.
The paper – Music notes, encyclopedia pages, old book pages, or pages from illustrated children’s books, newspaper, magazine cuttings, wrapping paper and tissue paper, comic book paper, postcards, napkins or serviettes; pages from books in other exotic languages like Arabic, French, Bulgarian, etc. phone book paper (yellow pages), paper from calendars, wall paper, greeting cards. If you have your own pattern and idea, or you are good with Photoshop, you can design your own paper and go get it printed in the size you need to cover your fridge and freezer doors.
The Knife – Use sharp scissors to make the paper cut-outs. You can also use craft knife, or razor blade. Depending on how you cut the paper, you can either get a more edgy look, or a smoother one. If you don’t want straight lines, you can tear the edges. Be careful with your hands!
Useful tip: When you have your paper cut-outs ready, you can place them on the kitchen table. That will help you decide how you want to arrange them on the item. Try variations and see how it works. As long as you play around with them, you can always change the look, according to your taste. Unleash your imagination and creativity!
Glue – The glue is one of your main ingredients. For the purpose of this decoupage project you can use inexpensive medium decoupage glue, diluted white glue. The light glue could be made thinner when you add some water. Some even suggest that you can use wallpaper paste.
Paintbrush – You will need it to apply the glue on the fridge/back of the paper cut-outs.
“Sealing the deal” – Once you glue the pictures to the item and the glue has dried, you can use a water-based acrylic sealer.
5. How To Decoupage?
When you have your item ready, cleaned up and smoothed out, and your materials organized and in your hand’s reach, you are ready to start your decoupage project. Firstly you need to apply a thin layer of glue on the area where you want to glue the pictures. Apply a thin area on the back of the paper cut-outs too and press it against the surface. Make sure you your fingers move from the middle of the paper to its edges, so you can smooth any wrinkles that may appear and wipe off any excess glue (you can also use a damp cloth to deal with the excess glue). If you want to make sure the paper is glued smoothly, you can use a spatula or Popsicle stick. Apply the glue using the paintbrush, as advised previously. If the corners of the paper don’t want to stick, lift them up with a toothpick and apply a little amount of glue underneath – that should do it. Press it down with the cloth. Repeat this with all your paper cut outs.
You should allow it some time for the glue to dry. Once it is dried, top it off with a second layer of glue. Seal with a few coats of water-based acrylic sealer. Usually, sealing is optional, BUT if your item is going to be used and will witness some “wear and tear”, sealing is strongly recommended. A woman that has attempted this project herself shares that she applied 5 layers of the acrylic sealer and other people do 10 to twelve coats. It is really up to you and your previous experience of decoupage. Just keep in mind, you should leave the sealer to dry between layers. Another way to go about it is to apply to coats of ModPodge and varnish it so it shines. As I said, it is really up to you.
After you are finished, take a moment to breathe and enjoy your creation! Take a minute to rest, but don’t forget to clean the area, since It could get a bit messy. According to professional cleaners, it is a good idea to cover the floors in the fridge area with old sheets. You don’t want any glue, or sealer on the floor.
If that will help you can visit again my previous article – it has a video on how to decoupage a medium sized coffee table: http://ihatecleaning.com.au/the-art-of-decoupage/