Decoupage is an awesome technique to give your projects or old furniture a great look. But you may be struggling with getting that perfect finish on your Decoupage, which will be a thing of the past once you have read this article.
So how do I get a smooth finish on Decoupage? You can get a smooth finish on your Decoupage by either using a sponge brush to carefully apply your Sealant or you can use a very fine Sandpaper and wet sand the surface of your Sealant after it has dried to make the finish extremely smooth.
The main reason for an uneven finish on any decoupage is an uneven spread of the Sealant. So by using the right kind of brush and carefully applying the Sealant to the surface your chances of getting a smooth finish are way higher than by just applying decoupage with a regular brush.
I always recommend using a sponge brush or a very fine art brush, because these brushes don´t leave any brush marks (or at least very little brush marks) on the surface.
Also, try to apply your Sealant (which will most of the time probably be Mod Podge) as evenly as possible and try not to stir or shake your Sealant in any way, as this may introduce bubbles, that are hard to get rid off.
If you already have applied your sealant and you found the surface to be uneven or having some brush marks on it you can still smoothen it out.
You can use a very fine grided Sandpaper (something like a 400 grid) to smoothen it out. Generally, the finer the grid of your sandpaper, the better.
Apply some water to the sandpaper and then carefully sand the surface of your Decoupage until the surface is smooth.
Don’t apply to much pressure and don´t go over the same are too long or you will run the risk of damaging the paper underneath the Sealant.
Can I Use Sandpaper to Smooth Decoupage?
Yes, you can but you should be very careful and not every surface or any sealant can take a sanding. If you used Mod Podge to seal your Decoupage, then you can use a very fine grid Sandpaper and some water to carefully smooth out the surface of your Decoupage and give it a very smooth finish.
You can use sandpaper on any Decoupage, that is sealed with a Sealant, that does not get dull or changes its transparency when it is being sanded.
Some varnishes, for example, can be difficult to sand because most of them will turn white and they will no longer be transparent when you are sanding them.
So be careful and first try sanding your Sealant on a scrap piece before sanding the actual piece, just to be sure.
If you are using Mod Podge or a Decoupage sealant, then you can go ahead and sand it. I never had or heard from anyone who had problems sanding either of these Sealants.
If you sealed your Decoupage with any kind of white glue (Mod Podge or Wood Glue is a white glue for example) then you can most of the time sand down any imperfections as well. But I would still test it on a scrap piece just to be sure.
You can sand your Decoupage on most surfaces like wood or metal but if you are using acrylic or glass as a surface for your Decoupage then I would be very careful to sand it as you may damage the surface if you are not careful.
Some Metals are also quite sensitive to scratching so be careful with sanding those too.
How Can I Avoid Brush Marks on My Decoupage Finish?
If you have problems with unsightly marks on the surface of your decoupage, then it is most likely because you didn´t apply your Sealant carefully enough.
So to avoid nasty brush marks on your Decoupage you should either use a very fine artist brush or a sponge brush. These brushes will apply the Sealant very evenly and when the Sealant dries it will be evenly and without any ugly marks.
It needs a little practice until you can apply the Sealant smooth enough to get a beautiful finish.
But in many cases, you don´t even need a very smooth finish because you won´t even see it from a normal distance. So a very smooth finish will only be needed on items, that are being seen from very up close.
So basically don´t stress out too much about the perfect finish of your project.