That's the attitude I adopted when I decided to transform a derelict door cabinet that I found on the streets of New York City. The cabinet was in good shape with only one of the wood pulls damaged. It was designed with drawers on one side and a hanging rod on the other leading me to believe that it was probably intended for a child's nursery. But, the scale of the piece—and the need for concealed storage in my home office—made me see the piece in a brand new light.
I decided to paint the interior the raspberry color of my window trim and cover the outside of the cabinet with architectural blueprints; something that would complement the room's blue and white theme and counter the amazing "St. Antoine B951" foral, damask-patterned wallpaper from Farrow & Ball. I made multiple color copies of a single blueprint (photographing it in sections on 11" X 17" paper), purchased a couple of bottles of Royal Coat Decoupage Finish (1401 Clear) from A.C. Moore, and armed with a single edge razor, metal ruler and plastic wallpaper smoother, headed upstairs to give decoupage a try.
The decoupage process is pretty basic. Apply a light coat of decoupage finish to the backside of the material, lay it in place, let it set, and then re-coat it with more of the same finishing solution. Since I wanted the pattern to have some flow, I approached this project like a puzzle; making certain not to repeat the same patterns too close to one another—or too often, joining wall and dimension rules from page to page, and, essentially, turning the blueprints every which way to get the look and flow that I wanted. That's why you will see room titles—living room, kitchen, dining room, etc.—right side up, upside down and left and right-side facing. I was careful to match rules near door seams, too, to give it a more professional look.
I was very proud of my first attempt. My one faux pas was applying a clear "non yellowing" polyurethane finish to the piece for added protection. The finish has yellowed and, while I have been tempted to try to remove the finish, I am going to live with it!