A Decoupage Coffee Table (and how to make yours)

Before I start this post I would like to mention the obvious in that, I can’t help you make a coffee table (I didn’t study woodwork, and if I did, I probably wouldn’t be very good) but rather, how to decorate a decoupage table in a decadent way (try saying that three times fast).

This is the second time I’ve made a little crafty project like this, and with the help of my partner Jack (he’s going to be popping up now and again) we are pretty happy with the results. As I write this, we are waiting for the final coat of varnish to dry, so that we can put coasters and other things on the table without it ruining the patterns.

Before I tell you how to do this, here is the list of what you will need. No use going on stage without learning your lines, after all.

1 x Piece of Wooden furniture, big or small.

A tub of Decopatch White Acrylic Covering Paint Primer

A tub of Clear Satin Varnish (I used Colours Satin Varnish from b+q)

A Tub of Mod Podge – Water base Sealer, Glue and Finish

Some paintbrushes


An old book with pretty pictures that you don’t mind tearing up, or decoupage sheets. (Magazine paper will be too thin)

Okay, that’s your list – there are probably variants of these products that are suitable, but as these are tried and tested I would recommend them.

Let’s get down to business shall we…

So, this project came to me by chance, I had decided I wanted to make another table after the success of my first, and the plans were put in motion when I found a lovely retro coffee table for free on my favourite Olio app. You may have seen this name pop up a few times on my blog now, and you can often find some great bits and bobs for craft projects on there. You may even find some free books to repurpose!

Once you have some your piece of furniture, you are going to want to sand off any existing varnish so you have a slightly sad looking bit of furniture ready to be made beautiful again. A bit like me when I take off my make up before bed, and wake up the next day ready to reapply.

Me, A Pea, Hard At Work.

You will need to find a lot of scraps to cover your furniture with, so its important you think about the look of it and plan ahead. My original table decoration consists of black and white images from a book on gangster films that I found in my local charity shop. This one, Jack and I decided on a 1920’s memorabillia table, I had the 1920’s Scrapbook which was sadly damaged all along the spine, so I thought I’d make use of it. What I love about this book is that there is a series going through various decades, I also have the 60’s one.

Please note the size of the table, we had to use a whole book to cover it, so make sure you have enough pictures before you start sticking. There is no need to cut out the pictures neatly, you can just rip them out if you want too, don’t be shy!

1920’s Scrapbook Cuttings

Next, you’re going to want to get your primer and coat the surface that you plan to decoupage (not the most exciting but its got to be done), then wait for that to dry and have a nice cup of tea, or gin.

A Table With Primer

Now it’s time for the fun part, time to decoupage! It seems strange to write a how-to on this aspect, as its so random. But basically, you need to apply the Mod Podge to the back of the cutting, sticking it to your surface, and then brushing the top with a light layer of Mod Podge too. A Mod Podge sandwich.

Don’t be too neat! The aim of the game here is to create a collage of layered imagery – we don’t want to see any white primer on the table or whatever furniture you’re using.

Jack and I thought we had finished, but the next day we came back and spotted a few tiny white gaps that just needed to be filled, so don’t rush.

Once you’ve stuck everything down, I would suggest brushing a light layer of Mod Podge over the whole decoupage just to be sure everything is stuck down. Leave overnight.

The next day, you will come back to your project with fresh eyes, and it is time to varnish. This is quite boring but must be done to keep your table protected and even heat resistant in some cases. The particular varnish that I chose is apparently quick dry, but still recommends that you leave 4 hours between coats. You need to apply 3 coats in total, which means sadly, another day before you can use your furniture – but you will love the end result.

Et Voila

The End Result (Still A Tiny Bit Wet)

There we have it, a lovely decoupage project in its completion (almost). If you tried this method I would love to see what you have done, and maybe feature on my social media! Sharing is caring. I’d love to do a clipboard next, I think that would look brilliant – making notes, decadent style.

Until next time,

A Decadent Pea x

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