How to glue photos to wood then shellac

Written by elton dunn
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How to glue photos to wood then shellac
Decorate a boring end table with photos and shellac. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Turn an old table, shelf or wooden object into a unique collage of family photos or art object through the craft technique known as découpage. Découpage transforms your old wood furniture into a delightful work of art using nothing more than glue and shellac. This project takes a few hours to complete, but may require significant planning time for you to get your layout just right.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Photos
  • Scissors
  • Rough sandpaper
  • Rag
  • Wood filler (optional)
  • Glue stick or liquid glue
  • Spray shellac

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  1. 1

    Plan your design. Gather photos and arrange them over the wood surface until you have enough material to cover the wood. Trim the photos if needed, and make other amendments if necessary.

  2. 2

    Sand the wood before you begin with rough sandpaper to roughen the surface, then wipe the dust off your wood. If you're covering a worn piece of furniture, sand, then fill in cracks with wood filler, then let the filler dry before continuing.

  3. 3

    Coat the back of one photo with PVA (white) glue. Position the photo in place. Apply all other photos in this manner to create your découpage pattern. Use less glue rather than more to avoid a glue leak; if glue does squish out the side of the photo, wipe it off with a damp cloth before continuing.

  4. 4

    Let the glue dry, then coat the wood with spray shellac, which seals the images into the wood without disturbing your photo project. You can also use liquid shellac, but you'll have to brush it on, and this could catch in crevices within your collage.

    Spray or paint on one coat of shellac, then let it dry the recommended wait time suggested by the manufacturer. This will be clearly marked on the can of shellac.

  5. 5

    Apply four to eight coats of shellac, waiting for each coat to dry before continuing.

Tips and warnings

  • Be careful when working with scissors not to cut yourself.

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