PVA glue and wax finish vs classic napkin decoupage technique

Very often
I hear that PVA and wax works just as well as a classic decoupage technique, and I did not need varnish and special glue, because it is unnecessary expense. Ok- for me PVA works well with wallpapers or if we glue over the entire surface but whether it actually works with the napkins? I decided
to check it out.

I prepared two pieces of plywood painted with chalk paint, PVA glue, cear wax, glue for napkins, satin varnish and one napkin (for handicaps napkins background is a different color than paint and has additional prints)

First I tested PVA and tried on small pieces of paper napkins
PVA without water - napkin  torn to shreds
I mixed PVA with water 50/50- was too watery and wrinkled napkin.
Further mixed to obtain a consistency similar to my glue for napkin. Finally, I decided to try it on a napkin-this is the result:

Seriously? I've never seen so many wrinkles on my beloved napkins ... and I am not a newbie in this matter. But this time I wanted to cry seeing these wrinkles and bubbles
Chapeau bas for those who can stick a napkin without wrinkles with PVA, and compassion for beginners who are trying  PVA first

Then I tried the glue for napkins ... One layer, a few moments of work and ready (and much less wrinkles ... phew)

I waited until both pieces dry. First one I covered with next layer of PVA, on the second I started painting around the theme with chalk paint to blend decoupage into surface.

I sanded first piece (the PVA one) to eliminate wrinkles. Now it looks tolerable but still below my standards. Here's how to at this moment look both works

Now I covered PVA work with first layer of wax, and second work with satin varnish.

When you work on a large surface (eg table top) is very tempting to use  glue only over decoupage, and not on the entire surface. In the end, the whole surface will be protected with wax-right?
I usually have a habit to cover the entire surface with glue before varnishing , but in the "PVA project" I decided to see how it would look if I cover only a paper napkin
with glue.

After 24 hours,  two coats of wax and buff you will still see traces of glue

At the same time, the second board was covered with two coats of satin varnish. Each layer after drying sanded with sandpaper

After more or less the same time spent on each project, they are both waterproof and they look like this (still not perfect, but it is only a test):
and... a final "touch" test: on PVA and wax surface you still feel paper, you still feel edge. On napkin glue and varnish you feel one smooth surface...

At the end I came up with another idea. What if after some time you want to improve your work? I wanted to add dark shadows (I used brown paint and blending medium). This time I started from the work done with glue for napkins and satin varnish

Now it's my attempt at work with wax finish -  paint does not stick to the wax. Game over :/

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