Using Mod Podge to Transform Any Piece of Furniture

My sister showed up around Christmas with this set of drawers and man is it heavy.  It is not old and the top was completely damaged but she figured I could do something with it.

set of drawers before upcycling

I forgot to take a picture of the top, so she will just have to vouch for me on that one, but it was bad!  I tried to sand it but there was just too much damage to get it to the point that it would have looked good.

How to fix it…

My solution?  Grab some matte Mod Podge!  I don’t use Mod Podge very often.  I actually find it a bit hard to work with.  For this project though, I thought it might just be the thing I needed.

The paper

I had picked up this vintage-inspired paper a couple of years ago when I was in Pennsylvania to take a class with Marion Parsons (AKA Miss Mustard Seed!  eeek!) and had such big plans for it but just never got to it.  And guess what… turns out that was a good thing because it was the perfect size for the set of drawers.

measuring vintage inspired postcard paper to cover nightstand top

Before applying any Mod Podge, I made sure the paper fit the way I would like it in order to frame the picture on the top.  I creased the edges once I had it in place to make putting it on later easier.

The Mod Podge

A thin layer of Mod Podge was applied with a wide foam brush.  With the piece not being overly big, I decided to apply it on the entire top and work with the paper all at once.  I wanted the paper to have a really aged look so I wasn’t concerned about crinkles and tears.

applying ModPodge before adding vintage inspired paper for furniture upcycleNormally, you would only apply a layer of Mod Podge to the underside, between the furniture and the paper, and then let it dry.  Once it is dry, you would then add a layer on top to protect it.

I applied a layer under and over the paper at the same time though.  By doing it this way, the paper gets quite wet and crinkles and tears more easily.  It just gives it a much older look.

adding Mod Podge over vintage inspired paper

Finishing it off…

To finish off the edges, I ran a straight blade along the edge and sliced off the excess paper.  Since I wasn’t worried about the paper looking worn, I wasn’t very careful and let the paper rip at will 😉

painted drawersI wish you could see the damaged top before because this turned out to be the perfect way to cover it up.  The paper looks worn and aged, and it completely hides the imperfections.

drawers upcycled with vintage inspired Postcard and bird paper Even though I don’t use Mod Podge very often, I would definitely recommend this method when a piece just can’t be fixed.  Find some gorgeous paper, and let it become your new top.

Have you found any unique ways to cover up furniture damage?

modern drawers upcycled with paint and vintage inspired bird paper
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modern drawers upcycled with vintage inspired paper and Mod Podge

You also don’t want to miss the release of my new book out shortly:
Cottage Projects With a Vintage Flair!


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Use decoupaged paper to completely transform your furniture


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18 Comments on " Using Mod Podge to Transform Any Piece of Furniture "

  1. Lisa

    Very pretty. I did this with fabric on my night tables. I used a solution of half water, half white glue. The material came out scratchy, but that’s not a problem. I use coasters. The only caveat is that when it starts to dry, you have to go back every 15 minutes to smooth out air bubbles. It’s been months and it is holding up perfectly. I will now do something with paper.

    1. Lisa

      That sounds cool Johanne! I have used fabric before but with resin to make coasters. I have not tried it on a tabletop/dresser top yet… I might just have to try that 🙂

  2. Lisa

    Thanks for your help. I will try and find the things I need before starting this project.

    1. Lisa

      Have fun and any time 🙂 Always happy to help!

      1. Lisa

        So pretty! I just covered my old and ugly kitchen cabinets by decoupaging them. Bye bye boring kitchen—-hello beautiful! The entire redo with paper and mod lodge cost me about $40 US dollars. Beats the $40,000 quote for all new cabinets and it only took 2 days not two months. I wish I knew how to add pics to this post.

        1. Lisa

          Oh wow, what a great idea! I would have never thought of recovering kitchen cabinets! What a great way to save money and make your kitchen look fresh and unique! I would love to see a picture. You can send one over Facebook messenger if you were not able to upload one to your answer…

    2. Lisa

      OH MY GOODNESS…ABSOLUTELY STUNNING! Great color to compliment the paper.

      1. Lisa

        Thank you so much Melissa! I am pretty fond of that paper myself 🙂 (I’m a sucker for anything with a bird!)

  3. Lisa

    Just gorgeous!

    1. Lisa

      Thanks so much Kate!!

  4. Lisa

    I love that! thanks

    1. Lisa

      Thanks so much Mary!

  5. Lisa

    Beautiful job!

    1. Lisa

      Thanks Ruth! I am completely in love with those cute little birds 😉

      1. Lisa

        Where did you get that paper?? I’ve been looking for it to do one like this 😑

        1. Lisa

          Hi Kristin, I purchased the paper several years ago in Pennsylvania when I was there on a trip from a little store. I am not sure of the brand or where to get the exact paper any more. I have tried to find it again but have been unsuccessful.

  6. Lisa

    Beautiful transformation!

    1. Lisa

      Thanks so much Louise!!

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