A Guide to Painting and Decoupaging a Cupboard

A Guide to Painting and Decoupaging a Cupboard

Are you looking to breathe new life into an old cupboard, giving it a fresh and stylish makeover? Look no further than the technique of painting and decoupage. These creative techniques not only allow you to revive worn-out furniture but also provide an avenue for you to have some fun bringing your ideas to life. In this tutorial, I’ll take you through the step-by-step process of how to paint and decoupage a cupboard into a stunning focal point for your living space.

Discover the art of painting and decoupaging a cupboard with this helpful guide

How To Paint and Decoupage A Cabinet | www.raggedy-bits.com

Before diving into the fun creative process, gather the necessary materials.

Here’s a list to get you started: Just click on the links in BOLD to see the products I used.

For Painting:

  1. Sandpaper – 120grit 80grit & 220 grit
  2. TSP Alternative
  3. Your favourite Chalk or Acrylic Paint – I’ll be using Artisan – Olive Leaf & Dixie Belle – Cotton
  4. Paintbrush
  5. Painters Tape
  6. Dixie Belle American Honey No Paint Gel Stain
  7. Clear Coat
  8. Wax

For Decoupage:

  1. Raggedy Bits Decoupage Paper – Farm Fresh Lemons
  2. Clear Coat or Mod Podge
  3. Paint Brush
  4. Scissors
  5. Soft cloth or micro fibre cloth
  6. Sandpaper 120grit

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Step-by-Step Guide

1. Preparation: Start by selecting a well-protected workspace and lay down protective materials like a drop cloth to prevent accidental spills. Remove hardware such as handles or knobs from the cupboard doors and remove doors. For this cupboard, I also pushed out the door inserts for ease of decoupaging. For the top, I completely sanded back the top using 80-grit sandpaper and then worked my way up to 220-grit to get a nice smooth finish.

2. Surface Preparation: Clean the surface of your cupboard both inside and out with TSP. Scuff Sand the cupboard’s surface using 120 grit sandpaper to create a slightly rough texture. This helps the paint adhere better. Wipe off the dust with a damp cloth.

3. Painting: Choose your desired paint colour. I’m using Artisan – Olive Leaf and Dixie Belle – Cotton on the door inserts where the decoupage paper will be going. Acrylic and chalk paints are super popular choices due to their ease of use and versatility. Apply thin, even coats of paint to your cupboard, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next. Remember to paint the inside of the cupboard too, if visible.

Be sure to watch the Facebook LIVE Tutorial!

4. Decoupage: Paint your door inserts in the White. Take the Raggedy Bits Decoupage Paper – Farm Fresh Lemons and line up the decoupage paper so that there is a tiny bit of overhang. Apply a thin layer of Clear Coat or Mod Podge to the door inserts and carefully adhere it to the surface. Smooth any wrinkles or air bubbles using a soft cloth or scrunched-up cling wrap. Repeat this process for the other door. If you see any wrinkles lay a piece of baking paper over the decoupage paper and use a hot iron with NO steam and iron them out. 

Use your 120 grit sandpaper to go around the edges to remove excess decoupage paper.

5. Stain: For the top of the cupboard use a lint-free cloth to apply the Dixie Belle – American Honey Gel Stain. Leave for 72 hours and then seal with a clear coat – satin or Gator Hide.

6. Finishing Touches: Once you’re satisfied with the paint and decoupage, seal the cupboard with clear wax or a clear coat. This protective layer adds durability and a beautiful finish. Reattach handles, knobs, and doors and your transformed cupboard is ready to shine.

How To Paint and Decoupage A Cabinet | www.raggedy-bits.com

Tips and Tricks

  1. Experiment with Colors: Don’t be afraid to mix and match paint colours and decoupage papers to create a unique look that complements your decor.

  2. Practice Patience: Allow ample drying time between coats of paint and layers of decoupage. Rushing this process can lead to uneven results and brush strokes.

  3. Precision is Key: Take your time when cutting out decoupage designs. Neat and accurate cutting will result in a more professional finish.

  4. Test First: If you have never decoupaged before test on a small piece of scrap wood so that you can get used to the paper and the decoupage medium that you’re using.

  5. Maintenance: To keep your revamped cupboard looking its best, avoid using abrasive cleaners that could damage the finish. Simply wipe with a damp cloth for regular cleaning.


Painting and decoupage offer an excellent opportunity to revive an old cupboard and infuse your personal style into your living space. Whether you prefer a shabby chic look, a bold and vibrant statement, or something more subtle and elegant, these techniques provide endless creative possibilities. With the right materials, a little patience, and a touch of imagination, you can transform an ordinary piece of furniture into a stunning work of art that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

How To Paint and Decoupage A Cabinet | www.raggedy-bits.com

Happy Painting,

Be sure to follow Raggedy Bits on Facebook. I go live each week for Waste Not Wednesday and Friday Faves to share craft and painting tips along with sneak peeks and new arrivals!

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Give your furniture a stylish makeover! Learn the art of combining paint and decoupage to revamp your cupboard. Dive into a world of creativity and design magic | www.raggedy-bits.com #paint #decoupage #cupboard #makeover #furniture #upcycle #raggedybits

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  1. Soooo freakin’ pretty!!! I need to do one of your furniture workshops and make something like this! *MWA!* chef’s kiss!

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