How to Decoupage the Floor

Decoupage allows you the freedom to turn your floor into a giant picture, creating themed images or abstract shapes. Here the work of the artist Matisse has provided inspiration.

Records of decoupage date back to the seventeenth century, when engraved and printed designs were cut out of paper and mounted onto furniture that was varnished and finished so that the cutouts appeared to be hand painted. The craft later became a popular pastime in England during the nineteenth century.

For this project I have veered away from the traditional use of decoupage and paid homage to the French artist Henri Matisse (1869-1954) and the work that he produced with cut-outs. Matisse cut out his shapes from sheets of paper colored with gouache, then pasted them onto a support.

I have cut out aquatic shapes from white paper and glued them onto the floor in the style of his picture Oceania the Sky. I do not think Matisse would really mind this being done since copying a picture that is so beautiful makes you enjoy and appreciate it even more.

Sources for inspiration are endless – you could try cutting out wrapping paper designs, pictures in magazines or printed cards, photocopying designs to enlarge or reduce them as you wish. Make a collection of odd pieces that you like and might inspire you – you never know when or how you might use them.

Once the cut-outs have been pasted down, apply two coats of floor varnish to ensure a hard-wearing and protective surface.

Day One

  1. The inspiration for this design was taken from Matisse’s Oceania the Sky. Prepare the floor with a base color; I used two coats of acrylic floor paint. While the first was drying I started work on the paper cut-outs.
  2. Draw out the shapes on paper.
  3. Cut out the shapes – the sharper your scissors, the easier this will be.
  4. Use a craft knife for corners that are difficult to reach. When you have cut out all the shapes apply the second basecoat of color to the floor, checking that the first is thoroughly dry.

Day Two

  1. Lay the paper shapes out on the floor and arrange the design.
  2. Working one at a time, spray the shapes with spray adhesive or apply PVA glue. Make sure you spray or glue over the entire shape and do not miss any areas of the cut-out.
  3. Paste the shapes down firmly, making sure the whole piece has stuck properly to the floor.
  4. Seal the whole floor with tough solvent-based floor coating. When the floor is dry, apply a second coat for maximum protection.

Filed Under: Home & Maintenance


About the Author: Jason Prickett loves to write about home maintenance and stuff you can do yourself instead of hiring any professional. His step by step guides will assist you in completing your home maintenance tasks.

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