postheadericon How to Apply Composition Appliques to Woodwork

The hand-carved look of composition appliques (compo) has been popular in the woodworking industry since the early 1900’s. Adding a compo to an item is an easy and quick way to personalize it, and make it look more complex and custom-made. Read on to learn how to apply compo using the steaming method.

How to Apply Composition Appliques to Woodwork

1 Place the pan filled halfway with water on the heat source.

How to Apply Composition Appliques to Woodwork

2 Lay the stretched canvas on top of the pan and turn on the heat.

How to Apply Composition Appliques to Woodwork

3 Heat the water to a simmer, so a gentle steam is created.

How to Apply Composition Appliques to Woodwork

4 Place the compo piece face up (flat side down) onto the canvas.

How to Apply Composition Appliques to Woodwork

5 Leave the compo for 30 seconds-2 minutes.

How to Apply Composition Appliques to Woodwork

6 Check the bottom of the compo by lifting an edge with the knife blade to look at the back side. If it looks tacky and is taking on the texture of the canvas, the ornament is ready to apply. If not, leave for another minute.

How to Apply Composition Appliques to Woodwork

7 Lift the compo off the canvas using the dull knife and spatula.

How to Apply Composition Appliques to Woodwork

8 Press into place gently. Be sure to check all the edges to make sure they are all pressed down and bonded to the surface.

How to Apply Composition Appliques to Woodwork

9 Clean off any excess residue and water.

How to Apply Composition Appliques to Woodwork

10 Allow to cool and dry for a day or two before painting or staining.

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