How to Varnish Decoupage

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Varnish is used to make cutout items look as though they were hand-painted onto a surface. It is a long process that requires a lot of patience.

Things You'll Need

  • Medium-bristle Brush
  • Varnish Or Other Clear Finish
  • Paint Thinner
  • Colored Plastic Wrap
  • Dip the brush into the varnish and wipe off the excess varnish.

  • Begin covering cutouts with varnish at the center of the surface and brush outwards.

  • Check to make sure there are no bubbles or drips and that the surface is smooth.

  • Allow to dry overnight.

  • Repeat 18-20 times for best results.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a high-quality brush that won't lose its hairs.
  • Varnish works best when it is thin. Keep it thin by adding a small amount of paint thinner.
  • Clean brushes with paint thinner.
  • Seal the varnish can every night to prevent varnish from thickening. Cover with plastic wrap before sealing the lid for extra protection.
  • Set the brush down flat; standing it on its bristles will ruin it.
  • Always work in a well-ventilated area to avoid fumes.
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