How to Decoupage Furniture

head & footboard wide

If you’ve ever wondered how to decoupage furniture, now is a great time to learn and jump in on this trend.  There are more papers and designs available now than ever before.

First things first, what is decoupage?  Affixing paper to furniture or decor items using glue. 

Why would you want to decoupage? It gives your items a unique artistic look that you can’t otherwise achieve unless you are a gifted painter.

Hopefully, you’ll be convinced of that when you see how this bed turned out.

headboard before

Rice Decoupage Paper

You can use many things to decoupage, like napkins, tissue paper, posters, etc.  But as I mentioned, these days there are tons of papers on the market specifically for decoupaging.

These are frankly the easiest thing to use since they are designed for this purpose.  It needs to be thick enough that it won’t disintegrate when it gets wet, but thin enough to adhere well.

Dixie Belle has a new line of embellishments called Belles and Whistles, and it includes these rice decoupage papers.

Dixie Belle decoupage papers

Aren’t they gorgeous?!  I haven’t used most of the designs yet, but I have my eye on a few I’m especially excited to use.

Let me preface the supplies list this week by saying yes, I used 4 million products on this project.  So if you want this look, you have to hire me to get it!

I’m kidding.  I wasn’t exactly sure how to achieve the vintage-y yet modern look I was going for.  So I played around with it until it felt right.  Here is the list.

Resource List

(Note: When you purchase these items, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Thank you for your support!)

For more information on Dixie Belle products, grab one of my free guides here by clicking the picture.

How to Decoupage Furniture

I kicked off this project with the decoupage using the Pallet Wood paper design.  For the glue medium, I brushed on the Clear Coat in Flat.  I trimmed off the white border around the paper, but I didn’t cut the paper to size.

If the bed wasn’t already fairly white, I would have painted the base white before adding the paper.  This keeps the paper color as true as possible.

I laid the paper over the glue in the inset area and smoothed it out.  You can lift and reposition it if needed.  Then I brushed clear coat over the top of it as well.

Once it was dry, I trimmed the excess with a razor blade.  Using more clear coat, I stuck down any edges that needed it and re-sealed the whole area again.

pallet wood decoupage

Painting the Headboard

Since the bed had a laminate surface, I prepped it with Slick Stick.  Next was a coat of Salt Water Silk paint.  This is a beautiful bright white with a super smooth finish.

Do you see the little flowers on the pallet wood paper?  I brought those onto the frame by hand painting them.

I started by painting a blob of Peony, the darker pink.  Over that, I dabbed some Soft Pink, and then added some blue flower sprays with Blueberry and leaves with Farmhouse Green.  I added a tiny bit of depth to the leaves with Kudzu.

Since the flowers were going under more layers, they didn’t have to be perfect.  Which was good because they weren’t!  Here I had layered on some watered-down Sand Bar.

headboard with decoupage

headboard bow closeup

The rest of the layering I did without waiting for anything to dry.  I added some Putty for a little more depth.  Then I thought I needed even more darkness, so I added some dark brown wax.

Next I cross-hatched on some Gold Digger and Rozay.  And finally, brushed on some Drop Cloth.  I love how the final look kind of glows from the metallics and it also reads coral.

That’s what inspired the use of Apricot on the footboard.  First, though, here is the footboard with a coat of Slick Stick.

footboard before

To tie into the headboard, I painted a coat of Salt Water as the base coat.

Next I blended Tea Rose around the edge and Apricot in the middle, two coats.  I love the sunset colors that emerged.

footboard in process

With a small artist brush, I added Golden Gem to the braid across the top and the bow at the bottom.

Next came the Lace transfer.  Toward the end of applying the transfer, I encountered a little issue.  The color on one of the transfer sheets was much whiter than those I had already applied which were gray.

Around the edges, I blended a mix of Rozay and Gold Digger.  I think this camoflauges the difference pretty well.

Lastly, I dry brushed on some Drop Cloth for additional texture and vintage-y layers.

lace transfer footboard

lace transfer closeup

I forgot to mention I painted some Rozay metallic around the edge of the pallet wood to tie it into everything else.

head & footboard closeup

To preserve this paint job, I sealed it all with Flat clear coat followed by Gator Hide applied with a synthetic brush.  I hope the 12 year old daughter of my client is thrilled to have this bed in her pre-teen room!

If you like this makeover and learning how to decoupage furniture, check out these others as well.

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how to decoupage furniture

8 thoughts on “How to Decoupage Furniture”

  1. You have the best projects. So pretty. Great tutorials as well. I am happy to feature your post at Love Your Creativity today, Sunday.


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