But it was good enough, and for a long time, I lived with it.
Then, thanks to a hot cup and a low attention span, I ruined it. I scalded the top of the stool and a big fat chunk of varnish, bird and paint tore away.
This gave me an opportunity to start again.
Using my handy-dandy oscillating sander, I stripped away the old decoupage. (I should have used paint stripper for this. I'm so lazy. Don't be lazy like me. Do things right and you'll save yourself heartache.)
I brushed on a new under-coat of black paint, then found, printed and carefully cut out a picture of a water lily to take the place of the lost birds.
Here's how it turned out:
I re-decoupaged the top of the stool with the flower. The thin paper wrinkled and I had major bubble problems along the way. I tried to solve these with a needle and patience.
The result is imperfect. If you look at the stool up close, you can see that the varnish isn't smooth and the flower itself is a bit blurred, but nonetheless, I am very happy with it. It's better than the birds, I think. The water lily has more impact.
I did the whole thing while watching a movie on a Saturday afternoon, so it wasn't exactly hard labour.
Have you decoupaged anything recently?