How to Refurbish an Old Nightstand Quickly Using the Decoupage Technique

Updated on June 1, 2020
ibalic profile image

Ivana is a passionate crafter who loves sharing her experience, mistakes and victories.

What You Need to Decoupage a Nightstand

If you have all these materials and about an hour of time freed up, you can decoupage your nightstand. Here's what you'll need:

  • White wood paint: This is actually not obligatory, but it is if you would like to change the base colour of your piece. Mine was brown and I liked it better in white.
  • Good artwork, newspaper or images you wish to use: You can go the traditional route with paper napkins, or you can choose some magazine clippings, printed quotes, images of your family, etc.
  • Wood glue: Make sure it's water based.
  • Small bowl: Plastic or glass will do.
  • Sponge or cloth
  • Brush
  • Water

Now let's get started!

Quick Tips for Selecting and Applying Your Artwork

1) Instead of using plain white paper, print your artwork on recycled paper so that it appears older. It will look better and it's eco-friendly!

2) Try tearing the paper to size instead of cutting it—it will look cooler!

3) After you decide where you would like to place each piece, take a photo before you start gluing. This way, you will not forget your design!

Choose Good Artwork for Your Piece

The final result of your work will depend significantly on the images you choose to use. You can find inspiration everywhere, but the best advice I can offer is to think about who will use your piece and where it will be placed after you are done.

I decided to refurbish this nightstand for my daughter’s room, and this was my starting point. She really likes Avengers serials, so I went online and printed out some nice Avengers comics.

I printed them out on recycled paper—this is not entirely white paper, but a little bit brown, so it gave my artwork an "older" look.

After you print it out, you can cut it so it fits your design. But I just tore it with my hands and made the collage.

My daughter really likes Avengers serials, so I went online and printed out some nice Avengers comics for my decoupage project.
My daughter really likes Avengers serials, so I went online and printed out some nice Avengers comics for my decoupage project.

Add Some Base Paint

My piece was a boring brown colour, so I changed it to white before I started to decoupage. This step is not necessary, however, if you like the base colour of your piece.

I used white Aqualux Shabby Chic wood paint. I already used this paint in the past and was quite happy with the result. It has a matte finish and dries off really quickly. You can apply it with a brush and just wipe some of it off immediately to get that worn-off look. Alternately, you can apply it with a sponge.

This step took about 15 minutes to apply the paint, and then only couple of minutes to dry off. You can immediately start decoupaging after that.

This paint also does not have a strong smell. So I managed to do it all in my bedroom, which was handy.

I used white Aqualux Shabby Chic wood paint for my base paint—it has a matte finish and dries off really quickly.
I used white Aqualux Shabby Chic wood paint for my base paint—it has a matte finish and dries off really quickly.

Decoupage Mixture Recipe

After doing all the preparations, finding the artwork and painting your piece if necessary, it is time to prepare the decoupage mixture.

For this step, gather these three materials:

  • water-based wood glue
  • bowl (plastic or glass)
  • brush

I did not measure this in any way—I used only my intuition while preparing the mixture. You need to put some glue in the bowl and add little bit of cold water. Stir it well so you do not have any glue chunks. You want one nice, smooth mixture similar to milk.

Please watch the video below to get an idea of how dense it should be!

How to Decoupage

  1. After you have prepared your mixture, check out the snapshot of your desired design that you took and take the first piece you would like to apply.
  2. Place the piece on the desired place and apply the mixture across the piece with a brush.
  3. After brushing on the mixture, take a wet sponge and tap it across the piece. You will see the white parts of paper becoming clear and merging with the surface.
  4. Be careful not to wet the sponge too much, because you could make a hole in your artwork!
  5. To get rid of any bubbles, after you apply the glue with a brush, carefully tap with a wet sponge until it becomes clear.

Consider Adding a Glossy Finish

After you have coated your entire piece, leave it to dry off. This glue dries rather quickly, so you should be able to continue working again within 10–15 minutes.

When dry, you can choose to apply some glossy finish. This will protect your piece, especially if you will use it as a table or nightstand. Waterproof finish will prevent water damage from glasses or cups.

Once you are fully done with decoupaging and finishing, re-install the handles and you are ready to enjoy your newly refurbished nightstand!

Here's a look at the finished product—my daughter loved it!
Here's a look at the finished product—my daughter loved it!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Please share your opinions or your own decoupage work! Thank you!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • sparkleyfinger profile image

      Lynsey Hart 

      3 weeks ago from Lanarkshire

      Awesome upcycling project! I have made lots of pieces of furniture like this! I have also made shoes with comic books too! (tutorial on my profile) I love how you used a plain black and white image on the while painted background- it looks so well finished!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)