Fabric Decoupage Wardrobe by Jonathon Marc Mendes

Dark florals add the perfect update for cosy interiors

If you’re looking for the perfect project for this time of year then my Fabric Decoupage Wardrobe tutorial has just landed in the Painted Love Academy.

It’s one of the most satisfying upcycling furniture makeovers you’ll ever try as it feels so rewarding to take a large surface area and bring it to live with a swathe of beautiful rich colour and pattern without having to paint it all.

Of course, paint, as ever, is part of the process and you can use whatever colour and brand of furniture paint you wish to tie in with your chosen pattern. If any of you have seen the recent Made In Britain article on me and my workshop in Period Living November 2019 Issue, you’ll notice in the piece before mine, that dark florals are deliciously on trend.

Stroke of Genius – Period Living Nov 19

It was such a lovely coincidence to find myself in such good company as I’ve always loved the bold, period drama of oversized flouncy roses and foliage and several years ago tried fabric decoupage on a sideboard.

My first attempt with fabric decoupage on furniture was almost 3 years ago with this Vintage Fabric chinoiserie style sideboard which I teamed with a painted marble top. I was really lucky to find some old Marks & Spencer bedding – so vintage in fact that it was labelled St Michael! The great thing about this print was the pattern repeat was reversed so perfect to mirror the bird print facing in on each of the doors. This piece still takes pride of place in the Edwardian home I have recently moved into. I’ve just started this major home renovation so might spot in on my IGTV adventures!

Vintage Fabric Decoupage Sideboard by Jonathon Marc Mendes
My first attempt at fabric decoupage with M&S bedding – shown in my old house!

So why fabric and not wallpaper you might ask? The answer is my desire for quick results – and scale! I’m not a patient upcycler as you guys will know if you’ve followed me for a while. I am a fan of quick wins and magical transformations. Fabric gives you that much larger pattern repeat so you don’t have to worry too much about matching as you do with paper.

For my dark winter floral Fabric Decoupage Wardrobe project I was super lucky to have some fantastic Dorma curtains from Dunelm to hand. I am not advocating buying brand new curtains to cut up – you can do a great job with vintage or charity shop finds as I did with the M&S bird bedding. I bought these dark floral curtains and they weren’t quite right for my room. Instead they just spoke to me as a way to bring some contemporary love and life to this little Edwardian wardrobe!

Those of you who buy at auction or on Facebook marketplace will know how cheaply you can find wardrobes like this in the UK. They’re unloved in their original state but once cocooned in a bold, glorious contemporary fabric and painted to pick out the print it becomes an object of great beauty.

I think this would work beautifully in a botanical inspired bedroom. You can simply replace the hanging rail inside to run left to right instead of front to back or how about shelves? It would be lovely in a hall or entrance cloakroom for coats, boots and general rammel!

Don’t just take my word for it, some of the UK’s most esteemed furniture artists and refinishers are embracing the potential of fabric decoupage as a way to personalise their unique pieces and give them standout appeal.

Here are just a few of my favourite examples of Fabric Decoupage very kindly provided by my super talented furniture painting friends Shona, Andi, Georgina, Shelley, Helen, Michael and Christine. Below is just a small selection of THE most amazing work these guys do with decoupage and furniture painting in general. Each and every one of these furniture refinishers are worth checking out as they use different paints and different styles which I am sure will astound you. Many of them work on commission sourcing and creating one-off pieces for you. Simply search on Facebook or Instagram for them by their business name and get ready to be inspired!

What do you think? Will you try this technique? To buy this tutorial just log in or register in the Painted Love Academy.

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