How To Decoupage a Table Using Modge Podge & Wallpaper

how to upcycle a table using decoupage and modge podge

We have a wonderful guest blog for you by Liz, a New Zealand stay at home mum of two boys. She moved with her family from Auckland to Taumarunui in the Central North Island of New Zealand in May 2014. “You could blink and miss this place, it is so small compared to where we have come from” says Liz. Looking for a more rural, slow paced and outdoor lifestyle for their family, they have definitely found that here. Their home is on just over an acre and set amongst the beautiful natives and lush lawns is a shed they converted into an art studio. They upcycle furniture, re-purpose old vintage items and create amazing artworks and home decor pieces. Liz believes there is crafty potential in just about anything and hopes to inspire others to feel the same while sharing their creative ideas.

How to upcycle a table using decoupage

Decoupage is the art of decorating with paper. You can decoupage just about anything, but in this tutorial we are going to start simple with a nice flat surface – an occasional table (the fancy version of a side table).

It really is so simple, and you can transform the most plain piece of furniture into a real statement piece, with both style and function for your home. I have a number of these small plywood tables that I spotted in my local charity shop. No longer wanted and to be honest….a little sad looking. So I bought them all and will decorate each one differently.

Once prepped and sanded, you can start on the painting. I like flipping the table upside down and doing the underside and table legs first with a medium size paint brush. The top can then be painted.  I really like using the small paint rollers for this size of furniture. It is fast and leaves a smooth even finish.

Once all dried, check if you need a second coat. I applied 2 coats to my table. I decided because my table wasn’t perfect I would go for a distressed look by sanding down the edges of the table top and legs. This really helped my table to have a unique shabby chic feel to it.
Then it’s time to choose your wallpaper and prep it for glueing to your table top. You will first need to measure your table top and then align the measurement over your wallpaper to get an even centred image. Instead you can cut out different shapes or patterns from your wall paper and glue them separately. Personally, I loved my wallpaper and wanted to use an entire piece to cover the top.
how to upcycle a table using decoupage and modge podge
Then it’s glue time! You can use pre-made modge podge for this, which you can buy at most craft stores. Or make your own by adding a little bit of water to PVA or white craft glue. With a small brush apply the glue to the entire piece of paper then place it where you want it on the table top. Use a small hand towel to stroke the paper firmly into the table and wipe up any glues from the edges.
​It will need to dry for around 12 hours (overnight works best). Then finally brush the entire table top and underside with a clear varnish/laquer. Or alternatively you can use a clear varnish spray (from hardware, DIY store). This will seal and protect the paper really well and make it easy to wipe clean.
And that is done! Enjoy creating your own masterpiece with decoupage!

how to upcycle a table using decoupage and modge podge
** updated post originally shared in 2014


  1. Stacey Alexander on November 12, 2014 at 7:19 am

    I just finished a children’s side table with some decoupage on it… I love it!

  2. Mandy Farr on November 12, 2014 at 7:30 am

    Thought I’d practice on a pair of shoes before attempting doing a piece of furniture. I loved doing it – very relaxing. Now to do the doors on my hutch.

  3. Wendy Wright on November 12, 2014 at 8:42 am

    This is great – thanks for the inspiration

  4. Elizabeth Aitken on November 12, 2014 at 10:06 am

    these are amazing!

  5. Recycled Interiors on November 12, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    you are welcome Wendy Wright

  6. Recycled Interiors on November 12, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    so cool Mandy Farr!!!

  7. Recycled Interiors on November 12, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    would love to see it Stacey Alexander

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