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Tissue Paper Transformation of Curio Cabinet

Sometimes ya need a break 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 need a break from churning out furniture after furniture. After about 3 weeks of not really doing a major makeover, I found it is time. Do you ever take a break like that? A friend of mine was in the process of moving and has a few pieces that belonged to her mother that she thought I might have interest in. She had a desk and this curio cabinet. I see a tissue paper makeover coming on.

Curio Cabinet Before | prodigalpieces.com

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.

Back of Curio Cabinet | prodigalpieces.com

It originally came with a glass back, but at some point the glass is broken and I decide 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.

Heirloom Traditions Paint | prodigalpieces.com

DIY TIME

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!

Painting Curio Cabinet | prodigalpieces.com

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.

Distressing Curio Cabinet for Tissue Paper Transformation by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

So you may be wondering what I decide to do with that messed up backing…well, I want to give more structure to this piece and knew a piece of beadboard (usually used for wainscoting) would do the trick. In addition, it adds texture. I have 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 want this piece to show an aged appeal, it is time for creating layers.

DECOUPAGE

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

Staining Bead Board for Tissue Paper Transformation by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

You know that shabby chic is also about ROSES, right? So, to get some rose action happening I use 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…

Creating Tissue Paper Transformation by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

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

Rose Tissue Paper for Decoupage | prodigalpieces.com

THE REVEAL

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 with Tissue Paper Decoupage by Prodigal Pieces | 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.

Glass Door Curio Cabinet | prodigalpieces.com

 Tissue Paper Transformation Curio Cabinet by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

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

Tissue Paper Transformation Backing by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

It is providence that I find these vases the same week I am working on this cabinet, don’t you think?  These vases and the curio cabinet are available in my shop. (SOLD)

Shop Prodigal Pieces Furniture, Vintage Finds, Handmade Goods, & Supplies for your home | shop.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Vintage Rose Vase Showcased by Prodigal Pieces | 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 | 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 | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesTrashure: Making Treasure Out of Trash by Prodigal Pieces | prodiaglpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Comments

  1. Susan Homeroad says

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

    • Larissa says

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

  2. Adina Johnson says

    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.

    • Larissa says

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

  3. Gwen says

    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!

    • Larissa says

      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!

    • Larissa says

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

    • Larissa says

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

    • Larissa says

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

  4. Amanda says

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

    • Larissa says

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

  5. Lisa House says

    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

    • Larissa says

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

  6. Jaana Flaherty says

    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! 🙂

    • Larissa says

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

  7. Sally says

    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!

    • Larissa says

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

  8. Tone says

    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;)

    • Larissa says

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

  9. Leslie Willmann says

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

    • Larissa says

      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. 🙂

  10. Toni says

    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.

  11. Linda says

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

  12. Suzanne says

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

  13. Cheryl B. says

    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.

  14. Laura says

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

  15. Shirley Cline says

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

  16. Shelley Reid says

    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

    • Larissa says

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

  17. Linda says

    [email protected] 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!!

    • Larissa says

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

  18. Dina says

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

  19. Kathy says

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

  20. Rosa says

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

    • Larissa says

      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.

  21. Carol Martin says

    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?)

  22. Pat says

    Could you give me the step by step instructions with your tissue paper decoupage?
    I love it!

    • Larissa says

      Thanks! It’s just brush on a layer of slightly watered down school glue, apply paper, brush on my glue working out the wrinkles if desired. Practice on a scrap of wood to get the feel and be gentle while brushing.

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