I use a lot of decoupage type mediums in my art…whether as glue or as a sealer, or sometimes for other creative ideas…and there are LOTS of different kinds on the market. Â A few months ago, I was given a couple bottles of Decou-Page by DecoArt to try out, and I’ve enjoyed using it.
Let’s talk about what the product is. Â From the DecoArt website:
All-in-one product. Â Use as a sealer, glue, and/or finish. Â Use for all types of collage, decoupage, mixed media, puzzle preserving, and more. Â Available in gloss and matte finish. Â Seals paper to cardboard, paper macho, wood, terra cotta, canvas, glass, plaster, foam, fabric and more.
Available in 2, 4, 8, and 16 oz.
According to the instructions on the bottle, the product can be applied with a wet or dry brush, or a sponge applicator. Â It also recommends using thin, even coats. Â Finally, the instructions suggest that to get a smooth finish, to dampen the brush in water prior to final application. Â Drying time is 15-20 minutes between coats, per the bottle instructions; I live in a very dry climate, however, and found that the drying time was actually much quicker…closer to 5-10 minutes.
First, I tried applying both the matte finish and the gloss finish to a swatch of canvas, to see if there was any discernable difference when they dried on the fabric. Â While I could see a slight line in the center where they met (probably b/c there was a slightly thicker amount of the product there), I could not otherwise see a notable difference between the two…and certainly not anything I could capture on camera! Â (In the photo below, the gloss finish was applied on the right, and the matte on the left.)
Next, I tried applying some Decou-Page to paper (well, actually to a manila time card). Â I wanted to see both how the matte and gloss finished looked side by side, but I also wanted to see how the product affected water-soluble or water-reactive products. Â Decou-Page is, after all, a water-based medium.
This time card had been used to “mop up” excess spray ink (both Dylusions and Color Wash), and then was stamped with both Distress Inks and Distress Stains. Â All of these are water soluble. Â I used a dry brush to apply matte finish Decou-Page to the top half of the card, and gloss finish Decou-Page to the bottom half of the card.
As you can see from the photos, the gloss finish definitely leaves a shiny, reflective finish, and you can see the brush strokes. Â However, the top half of the card is perfectly matte, with no hint of shine. Â You can also see that the product – both matte and gloss – did smear some of the color that was already on the card; however, the stamped images are still completely visible and able to be seen.
I wanted to try one more sort of “swatch” test. Â In mixed media (and really, many forms of art), the ability to layer is so very important. Â I’ve used other decoupage mediums which did not allow for the ability to layer water-based products (like spray inks, Distress Inks, etc.) on top of them. Â So I put the Decou-Page to the test. Â I sprayed some Dylusions on top of the card, both on the matte and the gloss finishes.
I was super impressed when the spray ink soaked right in and stayed put over the matte finish Decou-Page!! Â Like my prior experiences with other decoupage mediums, the spray ink beaded up and wiped right off of the gloss finish…but this is to be expected, as after all, this IS a “sealer” and is created to be used as a top coat for things like completed puzzles.
Now, on to a couple projects. Â I started off with a blank 8″x8″ canvas. Â I used the matte finish Decou-Page to cover the canvas in torn pieces of vintage dictionary pages.
Next, I added some stamping and a bit of paint using paint dabbers. Â Thanks to the matte finish, there was no problem with any of this adhering to the canvas. Â Finally, using a tutorial shown here, I used a mask and modeling paste to create this awesome textured doily pattern. Â I was really happy with the end result, and the fact that the Decou-Page didn’t steal the show from the modeling paste or other mediums used.
I actually find that I do a lot of canvas projects – here is another canvas project I created, on which I also used Decou-Page to layer vintage book text and vintage sheet music for the background. Â Again, I used the matte finish so I could layer paint and Distress Stains over it.
I also find that I use a lot of washi tape these days. Â And while I *adore* it – seriously…you should see my dessert stand full of my rolls of tape! – I find that when I use a lot of pieces on a journal page or scrapbook layout, many of the strips tend to curl up. Â I’m afraid that over time, they will continue to peel off. Â So I’ve taken to dabbing a bit of Decou-Page (matte finish) on my finger, and just rubbing it over the tape once I’ve finished laying down all of my tape, making sure to overlap all the edges. Â It has worked wonders!!! Â Here’s an example…this is a vintage ledger I’m using as an art journal/mini-scrapbook of sorts.
This is the first page of the book, and it was sort of separating from the cover…so I used washi tape to hold it all together. Â I rubbed the Decou-page over the strips of tape to make sure they were secure.
I also use the tape for accents and just for fun…but I still rub the Decou-Page over it to keep the ends secure. Â You can see that it didn’t cause the inks already on the page (all of which are water-soluble) to smear onto the tapes at all, which was great.
So what’s the bottom line? Â There are lots of decoupage mediums on the market…why should you choose this one? Â Well, the “pros” I see are some of the things I’ve pointed out about the matte finish. Â The ability to layer on top of the matte finish is a huge plus. Â The matte truly is a matte finish. Â The gloss finish has a great shine if that is what you are looking for – and the spray ink did bead right up on it, which means that it will work great as a sealer if that is what you need to use it for. Â And there are SO many uses for this product – decoupage, gluing, sealing…you can even mix mica powders or paint into it to make glazes or sparkly concoctions all your own! Â Cons? Â I haven’t found any, yet. Â I really, truly, love this decoupage medium! Â Even the glossy finish dries to a completely NON-sticky finish, unlike some other similar products on the market.
Decou-Page comes in 4 sizes (the little 2-oz bottle is great for a travel art kit!). Â The 2-oz bottle is $1.99; the 4-oz bottle is $2.99; the 8-oz bottle retails for $3.99, and finally, the 16-oz bottle retails for $6.99. Â I think you get a GREAT value for the price here. Â I’ve personally paid MUCH more for other decoupage mediums which did not perform as well as this one.
So have you tried Decou-Page by DecoArt yet, and if so, what have you used it for? Â What other decoupage mediums have you tried? Â What are your thoughts comparing Decou-Page to others on the market?
Disclosure: Â Samples provided for review purposes.
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