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How to Revamp Old Furniture with Decoupage: A Step-by-Step Guide

Find a step by step guide on decoupaging furniture, perfect for beginners, and give your old piece of furniture new life!

Welcome! Today we are exploring creative ways to revamp your furniture with the art of decoupage. If you have a piece of furniture that needs a little love but don’t want to paint it, decoupaging is the way to go.

In this step-by-step decoupage guide, I’ll show you how to breathe new life into old furniture.

Decoupage Furniture
A beautifully decoupaged piece of furniture.

Before we dive into the tutorial, let’s take a quick journey through the history of decoupage.

What is Decoupage?

Decoupage is the art of decorating objects by gluing cutouts of paper, often with beautiful designs or patterns, onto various surfaces. This technique allows you to transform plain furniture into unique and eye-catching pieces.

Step-by-Step Decoupage Guide

Step 1: Remove the Hardware

Start by removing any hardware or knobs from the furniture piece you want to decoupage.

Wrapping paper and other tools for decoupaging furniture.
Gather your supplies, including a screwdriver to remove existing hardware.

Step 2: Measure and Cut Your Paper

Measure the areas of the furniture where you want to apply the paper cutouts. You can use various types of paper, such as wallpaper, prints, posters, wrapping paper, or even pages from an old atlas.

Push out air bubbles of decoupage with a plastic tool.
Measure and cut your paper pieces to fit the drawer fronts.

Step 3: Apply the Paper

Use a sponge applicator to apply a layer of Mod Podge to the drawer front. Place the paper cutout on top, pressing it in the middle and smoothing it to the edges. If your paper is thick, apply a coat of Mod Podge to both the drawer front and the back side of the paper before placing it.

Apply Paper and decoupage with mod podge on top and bottom.
Apply a layer of Mod Podge to the drawer front and press the paper on top.

Step 4: Seal the Decoupage

Apply a second coat of Mod Podge on top of the paper to seal it. Press down the sides (you can trim the corners after it dries). Don’t worry if the paper bubbles a bit; it will become smooth as long as the surface underneath is smooth.

Decoupaged Dresser in a cream color for shabby chic finish.
A decoupaged dresser after it’s dried and ready for use.

Step 5: Let It Dry

Wait overnight for the decoupage to completely dry before putting the hardware back on your beautifully transformed piece of furniture.

This simple and affordable project will take about 30 minutes and costs under $5. The result? A stunning piece of furniture that doesn’t compete with other patterns in your room. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try peel-and-stick wallpaper for more fantastic makeovers.

Boho Glam Cabinet Makeover With Removable Wallpaper
A display cabinet update with paint and peel-and-stick wallpaper.

Ready to give your furniture a makeover? Why not try decoupage? It’s a creative way to revamp your living space without the need for paint.

Commonly Asked Questions about Decoupage for Beginners

  1. What is the best paper for decoupaging furniture?
    The best paper includes wallpaper, printed designs, posters, wrapping paper, and even old atlas pages. Choose a paper that matches your style and the piece you’re working on.
  2. Can I decoupage over painted furniture?
    Yes, you can decoupage over-painted furniture just like I did. Just make sure the paint is fully dried and smooth before applying the paper cutouts.
  3. How do I prevent air bubbles when decoupaging?
    To prevent air bubbles, apply a layer of Mod Podge to both the furniture surface and the back of the paper. Use a flat-edge scraper to help push out any bubbles during the application process. Some bubbling is normal and will dry smooth.
  4. What is the drying time for decoupage?
    At least wait overnight for the decoupage to completely dry before reattaching hardware or using the piece of furniture.
  5. Can I decoupage on uneven surfaces?
    While it’s possible to decoupage on uneven surfaces, the results may not be as smooth. Make sure the paper adheres as closely to the surface as possible to minimize wrinkles or unevenness.
  6. What’s the difference between Mod Podge and regular glue?
    Mod Podge is a specialized adhesive for decoupage that acts as both a glue and a sealer. It dries clear and is designed for crafting and decoupaging projects, making it an excellent choice for this project.
  7. Can I decoupage fabric onto furniture?
    Yes, you can decoupage fabric onto furniture. Fabric decoupage can create unique and textured looks. Ensure that the fabric is well-coated with Mod Podge and smoothly adhered to the surface. Thinner fabric like lightweight cotton will be easier to work with.

When it comes to giving your furniture a fresh look without the hassle of painting, decoupaging is the perfect solution. I hope you enjoyed how this step-by-step decoupage guide will help to revamp old furniture in a creative and affordable way.

Decorating in Maximalist Style

Learn how to decorate with a maximalist vibe without feeling cluttered. It’s not your grandmother’s floral but has lots of fresh colors, modern surface coverings, layers, and use of traditional design.

It is a great DIY for all styles whether you like a shabby chic decoupage style like my dresser or more modern styles. All you have to do is gather your paper, Mod Podge, and a few basic tools, and you’re ready to give new life to an old piece of furniture!

This process is perfect for DIY enthusiasts and beginners to achieve a beautiful design or art on your furniture without needing to paint it!

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  1. This looks amazing! What a great idea to update basic furniture. Thanks for sharing this with us at That’s Fresh Friday!

    Hope to see you again this Friday

  2. Hi! Love what the work you did to create this masterpiece! I was curious if you knew the name of the “design” of wrapping paper you used from Hallmark? I’ve been looking all over the internet and can’t seem to find this design. Thanks!

  3. I am also curious about the wallpaper design. Another question, what brand of glue (or decoupage) did you use for this project? I have found that Elmer’s doesn’t really hold up as decoupage and mod podge is unduely expensive.

    1. Hi Jam, I used Decoart Decoupage. One bottle lasted me about 5 yrs. (I use it for furniture and when I gild something) You can find it on Amazon for around $8. The paper was actually Hallmark wrapping paper that I snagged for $2.50. I bought it last summer. Its thinner than wallpaper of course but I find it easy to work with. 🙂

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