• 7 min read

Decoupage technique is popular

Layering and combining different painting techniques is the thing that makes furniture painted with chalk paint like works of art - such things are almost impossible to achieve with conventional furniture paints.

Decoupage history

Découpage is a 20th century word that comes from the French word découpeur, which means to cut. Paper cutouts are assembled and redesigned and reattached to a painted or varnished surface, and the end result looks like a painting or inlay.

Since the decoupage method has such a long and varied history, it is not surprising that it continues to evolve with new styles. With its colorful origins and diverse techniques, the possibilities of this fascinating art form are endless, offering endless room for creativity.

In China, as early as the 13th century, cut paper was used to decorate lanterns, windows, boxes and other objects.

In the 17th century, Italy, especially Venice, was at the forefront of trade with the Far East, and it is generally thought that it was through these trade connections that cut paper ornaments and furniture decorated with them eventually made their way to Europe.

This Frenchic Blog introduces the Decoupage technique for furniture and at the end you can see the completion of one furniture example step by step.

For shopping - wonderful art sheets for decoupage technique

Choose great prints here. You can find Mint By Michelle's decoupage series here.

You can finish small and larger pieces of furniture with the Decoupage technique

Decoupage technique Finishing Coat and Frenchic Paint paints.

Black furniture paint Loof shade Frenchic Paint Finland and decoupage technique.

Decoupage technique Finishing Coat and Frenchic Paint paints.

You can implement the decoupage technique on a small and large scale.

In the most elaborate ones, twenty shades, different waxes and crackling agents, and different tools for building the layers have been used.

At its best, the picture embedded in the layers looks like a hand-painted work of art.

Watch the video at the end of the blog, where the furniture is shown, how you easily attach the degoupage sheet and how to get the picture to 'sit' on the furniture.

In the decoupage technique, the sheet is attached to its substrate and then layers of paint are added on top and on the sides, so that the sheet can be 'planted' in its substrate in a natural way.

Decoupage is a popular technique also among skilled furniture painters, who paint unique works of art on their furniture as a profession

It is best to use large A3 - A1 size sheets intended for furniture painting on furniture, for example on the insides of cabinets, doors, insides of drawers or front panels or side walls.

There can be several layers of paint and you can use several different products in the layers, such as furniture waxes or crackers.

You can practice the techniques on a smaller piece first until the methods feel familiar. In this article, we go through the degoupage technique that can be attached to the furniture. There are several methods, here are a few of them.

Decoupage sheets from Pappila's Sunday Shop.Decoupage sheets from Pappila's Sunday Shop 2.
Image sheet: Brown horses

Degoupage instructions and tips from Frenchic Blogs.Degoupage instructions and tips from Frenchic Blogs.

Decoupage technique Finishing Coat and Frenchic Paint paints.

Decoupage technique Finishing Coat and Frenchic Paint paints.

Choose a piece of furniture

The size of the furniture has a slight influence on the choice of sheet and motif.

A vertical pattern or motif may be more suitable for a tall cabinet.

The planned final shade also affects the choice of image.

Clean the surface of the furniture by washing it with Sugar Soap furniture detergent and wipe the detergent off the surface, dry.

Decoupage French Paint.

The corner cabinet in the picture has been washed and there will be a vertical degoupage sheet on the front door. We want the end result to be dark.

Color choice

Will you paint the furniture black or white? The choice of the final color affects the choice of the subject and the sheet.

If you want a dark piece of furniture as a result, you should not choose a very white sheet - it may not be possible to sink it into a naturally dark base and the result may be a light 'hole' in a dark surface.

The picture and the background colors of the picture are wanted to combine with the furniture in a gradient type, naturally. So, if you want a dark piece of furniture as the end result, you should choose the colors of the subject and the background on the darker side.

Girl decoupage Parsonage Sunday Shop.

This motif was chosen for the cabinet in A1 size.

Base color

The background color affects how (clearly) the subject stands out. The shades of the sheet and the details of the image are best reproduced on a light background.

It is therefore recommended to paint the part of the sheet with a light shade. If you paint a part of the sheet with red, for example, it will also show through the sheet - sometimes this can be used as a good power tool, depending on the desired end result.

The details of the image may not stand out in the best possible way on a dark or black background.

A white painted base is the most common starting point if you want the colors of the sheet to be repeated as accurately as possible.

You can use, for example, Lazy Range: Whitey White or Wedding Cake shades on the base. Try different options.

Decoupage cabinet.

In the photo, the cabinet is primed with a light Stone in Love shade. The base color does not have to be opaque and even if you want the end result to be as vivid as possible.

Sheet layout

Think about the layout of the sheet and motif, but don't let furniture decorations, locks, pulls, doors or drawers limit the layout.

The sheet is placed and fixed as a whole, and finally all the necessary seams are opened with a sharp knife. You can also press or tear the edges open, so that the sharp edges are not so easily visible in the final result. Pulls and knobs should be removed before laying out the sheet.

Torn edges

You can get inconspicuous edges by tearing a slatted border on the paper, which is easy to fade under the paint. On the other hand, if you leave the original, sharp edge of the sheet visible, it is almost impossible to fade it under the paint.

Decoupage cabinet Frenchic Paint.

In the picture, the sheet was placed at the bottom edge and fixed with Finishing Coat. The outer edges of the sheet were torn before fastening and the hinge point of the door was pressed open. The hinge point could also have been cut neatly.


The sheet can be attached in a few different ways.

A crumpled sheet

The most natural or artistic end result comes when you crease the sheet before fixing and brush the surface with a spatula or a small plastic card like a 'credit card' - from the center outwards.

Sively causes some wrinkles in the paper, which look beautiful and natural in the end result.

The surface becomes alive and three-dimensional, just like old oil paintings.

Smooth sheet - Foil

To reduce wrinkles, you can use plastic film/film over the paper. In this technique, a layer of Finishing Coat is first applied to the bottom of the furniture. The sheet is placed on a wet surface.

The sheet can also be fixed like wallpaper: brush a strip of Finishing Coat fixing agent: on the top edge of the surface of the furniture.

Place the top edge of the sheet in place, as when wallpapering.

Lift the sheet and apply a new strip of adhesive.

Brush the sheet from top to bottom, on top of the fixing agent.

Repeat until the entire sheet is attached.

With this technique you get a smooth surface, it works best on a flat surface.


If the sheet has been delivered folded, you can make the folds disappear with steam - use a small hand-held steam iron for clothes or the steam function of the iron.

Fastening with heat

Fixing with heat gives a smooth and even, but not so vivid final result. At least two layers of Finishing Coat are applied to the base and the layers are allowed to dry.

The picture sheet is placed in place, on a dry surface, and tape can be used as an aid.

The sheet is ironed on a medium heat with an iron, from the center outwards, through the baking paper. This technique can be challenging if the surface of the furniture is not completely flat.


Attaching and painting the degoupage sheets to the furniture.

In the picture, the painting is halfway through. The picture sheet starts to merge into the bottom.

Use dark shades on the outside of the sheet as the main shades if you wanted the end result to be dark.

Grab other shades from the subject and add shades to the surface using different techniques.

Use a sponge and dab the shades, fade the borders and apply paint on the sheet as well, not just on the edges. Various brushes and tools were used in this work.

You can try to 'continue' the image a little, as here, for example, with the skirt. We want the end result to be unique and personal, not printed.

Finished decoupage painting, cabinet Frenchic Paint.

In the picture, the sheet starts to 'sit' into the furniture.

There are several options for finishing

You can sand out the wrinkles in the sheet lightly with sandpaper and or emphasize them with dark waxes.

You can add another layer of Finishing Coat to protect everything, so you get a beautiful shine on the surface. Or you can wax everything.

A colored, for example, brown Frenchic wax would bring a patina to the surface and place the image even better on the surface.

Using decoupage sheets is easy and comfortable.

With this technique, you can take your furniture to the next level!

Decoupage and crackling agent Frenchic Paint.

In the photo, the decoupage change of the small cabinet

In this small cabinet, a crackling agent, Easy Crackle, has been used with the paint, thanks to which the surface of the sheet looks cracked.

The cracks are highlighted with gray Frenchic wax. The paint is the Sugar Puff shade from the Original Artisa series. The original small cabinet was dark brown.

It takes about two to three hours to make a small piece of furniture like this - Easy Crackle dries the longest, and you can speed up its drying with, for example, a heat fan or a hair dryer.

Finishing Coat is an excellent fixing and coating agent in the Decoupage technique

It dries quickly, in about 20 minutes, and the surface becomes bright and shiny.

The end result is a surface that is resistant to splashes. Application to large surfaces is easy with a sponge. Finishing Coat is a non-toxic and certified product. You can buy the Finishing Coat here.

Watch a useful video on how you can repurpose an old chest of drawers with a beautiful and brand new paint, decoupage image, wax and crackling agent!

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