Friday, August 8, 2014

How To Mod Podge Transfer like a Jerk

Welcome to another lovely installment of Jen's jerk-like DIY! As some of you know, I take a very honest approach to do-it-yourself projects, as showcased in previous posts like How to Paint your Trim Like a Jerk and Neglected Nightstands: A Makeover Story.

This post shall be no different. This is my flaw-filled tale of how I took two butt-ugly filing cabinets and turned them into something I kinda enjoy looking at.

The "Before" Pic
So you remember back when I wrote the trim post? The one where I explained I wanted to "lighten and brighten" up my home from beigey blandness to sweet French country bliss? I wrote that post a little over a year ago and I am delighted to tell you absolutely nothing has changed. In over 365 days, I have not put one ounce of work into my "lighten and brighten" project. Not one ounce. Procrastinators, unite!

A couple weeks ago I decided I had to do something to quiet that nagging little voice in my, much to the dismay of my husband, I decided I was going to paint some furniture.

I knew I wanted something easy, something cheap, something that used the ungodly amount of Mod Podge I've got in my basement, and something French-cottagy. I'm kinda into the whole "wildflowers and white" look.

I scoured a couple hundred blogs for this project, trying not to skip the "research" step. I honestly used a number of tips and techniques ripped right off my Pinterest wall, but because I combined about 40 different ideas and added my own jerk flavor, I can't really tell you a single source that helped me with this project. Search Pinterest for french white paint furniture transfer and read allllllll of the pins that come up. Universal credit goes to all those. And the Graphics Fairy. Everyone needs to know about the Graphics Fairy.

So. Let's get started.

Step 1 (optional, I think?): Paint your furniture like a jerk. Don't wipe it down beforehand. You want to make sure you get a ton of those teeny little cat hairs and huge black dog hairs all up in that stuff, like a real jerk would. Get paint all over? No problem. Just use your sock to wipe it up. Don't forget to accidentally dip your hair right in the paint container. That's when the real jerk glory hits ya. Wear that shizza loud and proud.

Have you heard all this crazy buzz about chalk paint? ...Not chalkboard paint, CHALK paint. As in, the finish is chalky. For about a year now I've been wondering why some rich lady named Annie Glidden or whatever has been selling chalkboard paint. Well now I know, people. It's not chalkboard paint. It's chalk paint. Different things.

I used this stuff. It was at Home Depot.

You'll notice it is NOT Annie Glidden or whatever. I don't even know where to buy that stuff. I also did not make my own because I would prolly completely mess it up and let's face it, this is jerk blog time. Jerks don't get thrifty and smart, they blow money on paint. This stuff was about $9 a container. I got 2, and the sales guy recommended grabbing the wax to go over it. So about $25 for the paint.

Step 2: Figure out what image you want on top of your terribly-painted furniture. Graphics fairy is the bomb. She has everything you need. Go to her. It will bring your jerk meter down a little, because she is truly the best thing on the internet, but it's worth it .I chose a French sign for a flower shop.....or at least I think I did....extra jerk points when you choose something in another language and don't take the time to research what it means!

Step 3: Waste a ton of paper trying to print the graphic. Try it at home first, where the printer is sure to be cheap and less reliable. Waste some ink printing on paper that's been smashed and tore up by toddler fingers and cats that enjoy laying on top of random objects. Then realize you have an ink printer, not a toner printer. Many of the non-jerk blogs say to use a toner printer, like the ones you have at work the library. Head into work the library and print a few more copies of the image using a toner printer. Lose the copies within 12 minutes of printing them. Print them again. Have them destroyed by previously-mentioned cat and children. Print them again.

Step 4: Cut around the graphic like a two-year old, making sure you're really far, far away from the outline of the image. This will ensure you spend an overwhelming amount of time peeling all the excess paper away later. Like a jerk.

Step 5: Paint gobs of Mod Podge on the furniture surface (in the general area of where you want to place the graphic) using a super-hairy, dirty paintbrush. Get disgusted with the amount of hair you've just Mod Podged on your piece of white furniture. Wipe all the Mod Podge off, using an equally-dirty towel. Get more hair on there. Sit back and cry for a minute while the Mod Podge starts to dry into a nice, hairy sheen. Remember at the last minute that water gets undried Mod Podge off. Use water. Wipe off. Wait for wet surface to dry, kinda, and re-paint the Mod Podge on there.

Step 6: Paint enormous amounts of mod Podge onto your graphic - the side with the image. Really smear the crap out of your image. Grab another copy of the graphic. Repeat Step 4 as fast as you can, before the Mod Podge you already slathered onto the furniture dries. Try to paint the graphic again. Get Mod Podge literally on every surface you can possibly reach, including your legs, feet, and face.

Step 7: Place the image face-down. Put it on all crooked-like. Try to move it. Rip the paper. Try to put it back together again. Smear the image. Repeat steps 4-6. Get it in the general vicinity of where you want it.

Step 8: Grab a flat card, like a credit card. Use it to smooth the Mod Podge out so the graphic lies flat with no air bubbles. Really press hard. Make some little tears in the paper. Reap all the benefits of overusing your Mod Podge and get the white, gluey madness into every crevice of your life. Think it's smart to Mod Podge the back of the graphic.

Remember you eventually need to rub the paper off and Mod Podge will keep that from happening. Scramble to remove the Mod Podge you put all over the back of the graphic. Realize Mod Podge is gumming up your credit card. Try to wipe it off on your pants. Fail miserably. Spend the next three days chipping Mod Podge off your credit card with scissors.

Step 9: Let it sit for 24 hours. Or 5 days.

Step 10: Spray the graphic with water. Really soak it, so the water ends up dripping down the side of your furniture and getting all over the floor. Make sure you end up slipping in water and knocking your butt on the corner of something the brick you'd recently used to hold the furniture off the floor when you painted it. Let the water soak into your graphic, floors, pants, everything.

Step 11: Rub the paper like a maniac. Ignore everything everyone said about being gentle and make sure you rub off both the paper and the graphic. Use your finger and just go to town.

Make so much friction your heat dries the water. Spray more. Watch as children and animals slip in the pools of water that are now surrounding you like a moat. Princess DIY.

Step 12: Dry off the image. Again, rub fiercely here. Why be gentle after all the time and energy you've put into this project? Nah. Jerks don't care about messing their graphics up.

Step 13: Coat the entire surface with another thick, gooey layer of Mod Podge. Let it dry, hairs, lint, and all.

Now step back and enjoy your flaw-filled creation with jerk-like pride and a haughty, evil chuckle. You did it - the jerk's Mod Podge method of transferring graphics onto painted furniture.

I gotta admit, like any good DIY jerk, I'm pleased with the results. Not as ugly as before, but not so classy I can't put a perspiring glass on it. Works for me!

Any of you transfer with Mod Podge? That stuff is like the milky sauce of heaven.

Happy jerky-DIY weekend everyone, and as always, thanks so much for reading :)


  1. OMG! I am in awe that you did this! Where is the quote though? On the side? What does the chalk paint actually look like? I'm so loving this!

    1. Hahaha the image was transferred on the top of the file cabinet - I took pictures like a total jerk, where you can't see the final product at ALL! hahaha! The chalk paint looks like a really matte, flat finish paint. It's the texture that's appealing, I think. It feels like a chalkboard. It's also super easy to distress! Bring on the kids! HAHA

  2. Love everything about this post. Because this is how everyone feels and thinks while taking on a DIY project. thanks for the honesty!

    1. HA Thanks Michele :) :) I kinda feel like transparent is the better way to go - Flaws, Forgiven is all about accepting the reality, not the "perfect" picture so many women strive for every day! Embrace your inner jerk!

  3. Jen, every time I read the word jerk in your post I thought of Steve Martians old movie The Jerk! Every time I tell you!!

    1. HAHAHAHA SUZ! I've missed you so dang bad! Heading over to your blog to see what's been going on!

    2. I've missed you too, my friend! You know if you need me, you can reach me through my email. It's good to be back. I missed my bloggy friends!

  4. Anything artsy or craftsy is not my jam - I have no skill for it, lol. :)Thanks for the tip though and take care Jennifer! -Iva

    1. Thanks Iva! :) I am so not crafty.....much more jerky. Sometimes they turn out ok tho...although a little hairy.....

  5. That honestly was a pretty ugly piece of furniture before, but it looks sweet now!

  6. HAAAA!! This...THIS is THE SHIT...the most REAL tutorial I've seen!! Thanks a mill!!😂😂