Tissue Paper Transformation

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Sometimes a break is needed and it’s good to step away for a while from things that tend to consume us. After finally putting our hospital bills behind us, I needed a break from churning out furniture after furniture. After about 3 weeks of not really doing a major makeover, I found it was time. Do you ever take a break like that? A friend of mine was in the process of moving and had a few pieces that belonged to her mother that she thought I might be interested in.  She had a desk and this curio cabinet. I see a tissue paper makeover coming on.

Vintage Curio Cabinet Gets Tissue Paper Transformation by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Although it wasn’t much to look at, I thought it had potential. It’s not an antique and is actually a more modern piece made to look old, but still a piece of furniture nonetheless.

Vintage Curio Cabinet Gets Tissue Paper Transformation by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

It originally had a glass back, but at some point the glass got broken and I decided it was not going back in.  I wanted to take this sad-looking cabinet and give it a feminine makeover.

A few months ago, I received this sample of Heirloom Traditions paint and wax to try, and thought it would be perfect for this project. It’s been so long since I’ve done a white, shabby chic piece and I was going through withdrawal…sigh.

Vintage Curio Cabinet Gets Tissue Paper Transformation by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I removed the glass sides and door and did very minimal prep work.  On goes the paint and bye-bye tired wood.  It’s looking better already!

Vintage Curio Cabinet Gets Tissue Paper Transformation by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

After two coats of paint (can you believe I got two coats out of that sample container?!!), I did some distressing to create that time-worn appeal we all know shabby chic is known for.

Vintage Curio Cabinet Gets Tissue Paper Transformation by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

So you may be wondering what I decided to do with that messed up backing…well, I wanted to give more structure to this piece and knew a piece of beadboard (usually used for wainscoting) would do the trick, plus add some texture. I had the perfect size piece in my stash…YES!  I love when that happens.

In order for that beadboard to fit in, my husband routed the edges so it would lay flush to the back. Since I wanted this piece to show an aged appeal, it was time for creating layers.

First, I gave the beadboard a coat of stain, then whitewashed it with paint.

Vintage Curio Cabinet Gets Tissue Paper Transformation by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

You know that shabby chic is also about ROSES, right? So, to get some rose action going on, I used dollar store tissue paper to decoupage a layer onto the beadboard. I don’t use the pricey stuff, but just Elmer’s glue with a bit of water does the same thing.  Here’s what it looks like in the process…

Vintage Curio Cabinet Gets Tissue Paper Transformation by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

…and here’s a close-up of the effect I’m getting.  Perfect.

Vintage Curio Cabinet Gets Tissue Paper Transformation by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Once the tissue paper had dried, I took my orbital sander with 220 grit paper and gave it a light sanding to add to that texture. After that, installation was easy and time to see the full reveal.

Vintage Curio Cabinet Gets Tissue Paper Transformation by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Much better, right? Heirloom Traditions paint was a dream to work with, easy to apply, and easy to create a time-worn look.

Vintage Curio Cabinet Gets Tissue Paper Transformation by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Vintage Curio Cabinet Gets Tissue Paper Transformation by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

That backing came out just as I’d hoped and almost even better.

Vintage Curio Cabinet Gets Tissue Paper Transformation by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

It was providence that I found these vases the same week I was working on this cabinet, don’t you think?  These vases and the curio cabinet can be purchased from my shop. (SOLD)

Vintage Curio Cabinet Gets Tissue Paper Transformation by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

If you loved this tissue paper transformation, I’d love for you to share!

Vintage Curio Cabinet Gets Tissue Paper Transformation by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Aaaahh…it felt good to get back at my furniture, and I warn you that this isn’t the last!  tee hee hee.
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More projects like my tissue paper transformation:

Itchy Vintage Chair Gets Lovely Linen Makeover by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesTrashure: Making Treasure Out of Trash by Prodigal Pieces www.prodiaglpieces.com #prodigalpieces


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48 Comments

  • Susan Homeroad

    Get out!! This is amazing Larissa… I love the back technique… Gorgeous Girl!!! 🙂

    April 8, 2015 at 7:48 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You’ve got to try it, Susan! It’s fun and quick. Thank you for your sweet words.

      April 9, 2015 at 3:10 pm Reply
  • Adina Johnson

    Wow!!! Looks amazing. I knew you could use pretty paper napkins to do this technique but didn’t even think about tissue paper. Thanks for enlightening me! I love your work.

    April 8, 2015 at 8:41 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Adina! Yes, I looked for both napkins and tissue paper, but fell in love with this tissue paper instead. 🙂

      April 9, 2015 at 3:09 pm Reply
  • Gwen

    i was happy to read this curio cabinet wasn’t a true antique! i still have trouble painting nice old pieces, but this looks fabulous! absolutely love the rose beadboard and yes, those rose vases are perfect with it! this has given me an idea to spruce up the back of my mother’s china hutch that i painted yellow and use in my sewing room. will be checking the dollar store for tissue paper!

    April 8, 2015 at 9:16 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yes, I don’t touch old piece unless there’s no other way or it’s a custom request. I’d love to see what you do!

      April 9, 2015 at 3:09 pm Reply
  • Yolanda@DelightsOfTheHeart

    So feminine! I love it! You are so awesome!

    Have a Jesus filled day!

    April 8, 2015 at 9:39 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Back at you, Yolanda! It was a fun technique and very easy with quick results. Give it a try!

      April 9, 2015 at 3:08 pm Reply
  • Angela, A to Z Custom Creations

    Totally in love with this! Wonderful work, as always!

    April 8, 2015 at 11:02 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Angela! You’re work is an inspiration and I love that we can support each other.

      April 9, 2015 at 3:07 pm Reply
  • Marie@The Interior Frugalista

    Oh wow Larissa, girl you never cease to amaze me! Gorgeous makeover that I’m sure will sell very quickly. That rose paper is just stunning. Quite the transformation.

    April 8, 2015 at 2:04 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      You are too sweet, girl! I’ve been aching to do this technique on a piece, and this one just begged for it. 🙂

      April 9, 2015 at 3:07 pm Reply
  • Amanda

    That looks amazing! I love the tissue paper idea, thanks for the inspiration =)

    July 16, 2015 at 7:43 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks, Amanda! It’s fun and you should give it a try. 😉

      July 17, 2015 at 7:02 am Reply
  • Lisa House

    Fabulous! I have a similar piece that I use to display my Blue Willow…am going to transform it to a piece that will be a better showcase for my dishes! Thx for the inspiration

    July 17, 2015 at 9:55 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Fantastic! I would love to see your before and after, if you don’t mind sharing. 🙂

      July 18, 2015 at 8:54 am Reply
  • Jaana Flaherty

    WOW WOW and WOWZA!! I can’t believe the difference and transformation you gave this piece. That was a great tip you gave also about the Elmer’s glue. Thank you for that. That other stuff is very pricey and goes very fast. This is beautiful! I’m going to share and pin ASAP! 🙂

    July 17, 2015 at 10:29 am Reply
    • Larissa

      hee hee hee… thank you, Jaana! It was a fun project to do.

      July 18, 2015 at 8:54 am Reply
  • Sally

    This piece is beautiful!! Did you use one layer of tissue paper? Did you put a coating on top of it? I just love this, it is so feminine. Nice work!

    August 28, 2015 at 12:42 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Sally! Yes, one layer of tissue paper with a coating of the poly on top. 😉

      August 30, 2015 at 6:37 pm Reply
  • Tone

    That is just TO CUTE! I love the tissue paper back! It is actually a little funny because my latest piece was a glass china cabinet very similar to this! Mine wasnt an antique either, byt was made to look like it. But I made it look waaaaaay bether:) I will admit that:) Please check it out;)

    October 16, 2015 at 2:40 am Reply
    • Larissa

      They are such beasts at first, aren’t they? Thanks for stopping by and sharing the love. I hope you had fun with it!

      October 16, 2015 at 6:28 am Reply
  • Leslie Willmann

    I love this makeover. I was surprised to see you painting with a chip brush though?

    April 11, 2016 at 2:06 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      ha. That was given to me by the sponsor, so I used it in the pic, but did the piece mostly with my fave brushes. 🙂

      April 11, 2016 at 9:15 pm Reply
  • Toni

    Hi! How does the paper hold up to wear and tear? Would
    Love to use something similar on a vintage round coffee table I have been pondering over but wondered if the decoupage would hold up.

    May 15, 2016 at 5:50 pm Reply
  • Linda

    Very pretty! So I assume you brushed on the glue/water mixture first, then lay on the tissue? Then glue again?
    Thx?

    August 1, 2016 at 6:10 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Nailed it. Yep! 😉

      August 2, 2016 at 6:24 am Reply
  • Suzanne

    Would look great in the bathroom with pretty linens and apothecary jars.

    November 2, 2016 at 5:24 pm Reply
  • Cheryl B.

    I love the transformation. The backing is unique and so chic.I really appreciate it when we can do it on a budget.Thank you Larissa I love the paint as well.

    November 2, 2016 at 8:35 pm Reply
  • Serena

    Wow! I think I may try this soon! Great job !

    January 27, 2017 at 10:32 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Awesome to hear, Serena. Thank you!

      January 27, 2017 at 2:02 pm Reply
  • Laura

    Just Beautiful but I have a question, why did you stain the bead board and then paint it white?

    March 8, 2017 at 2:27 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      To give it depth when I distressed it. 😉

      March 9, 2017 at 11:55 am Reply
  • Shirley Cline

    You have inspired me! Got one. I’m thinking butter yellow

    May 21, 2017 at 11:46 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Love some butter…I mean, yellow! hee hee hee

      May 22, 2017 at 6:20 am Reply
  • Shelley Reid

    I still dont see instructions on how to do the tissue paper technique. All it says is that you use water and glu. Can you please tell mart the instructions on how you do it. It is so beautiful. Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you. Shelley

    November 15, 2017 at 1:28 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Just brush on the paste and lay the paper on. Really is simple. Feel free to practice on scrap wood. 😉

      November 15, 2017 at 3:07 pm Reply
  • Linda

    Beeee-you-tiful!!!@ I have 1 in a beautiful oak from the 80’s……the back got ruined when it literally fell out and down from a moving truck (so sad…) but!! I know just how to make it beautiful again!! Thanks!! (Funny thing is, I bought a lovely “antique” curio from a Habitat Restore store and it actually had old shredding fabric on the back which I replaced with a really pretty fabric tablecloth, have had many compliments….wonder why I never applied this idea to my curved curio….slap my forehead!!

    November 20, 2017 at 11:25 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      aww…thanks, Linda! Sounds like you’re a gal after my own heart. 🙂

      November 21, 2017 at 7:22 am Reply
  • Dina

    Absolutely gorgeous! Can’t wait to try it on my old dresser…Looking forward to more shares…You are amazing!

    January 30, 2018 at 10:58 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you for the smile, Dina. 😀

      January 31, 2018 at 6:17 am Reply
  • Kathy

    Beautiful! That curio would look perfect anywhere! Great work!

    April 2, 2018 at 11:54 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks so much, Kathy!

      April 3, 2018 at 6:53 am Reply
  • Rosa

    Often that furniture has such a smooth finish and can make painting difficult. How did you get the paint to adhere?

    January 28, 2019 at 10:40 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      If you use a quality paint, often you don’t need any prep. A good cleaning of the surface and/or light sanding helps give it tooth.

      January 29, 2019 at 4:41 am Reply
  • Carol Martin

    Now I want to run all over town looking for a curio cabinet! Amazing transformation! I’ve used napkins on a bread basket and inside drawers, but that tissue on that beadboard is lushious! (Is that a word?)

    January 29, 2019 at 12:38 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You are too cute! 😀 And yes…that’s a word. haha!

      January 29, 2019 at 4:41 am Reply

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