Learn how to decoupage a tabletop in this unique upcycled furniture project! You can do it yourself with Mod Podge. So easy!
Skills Required: Beginner. It helps if you have experience with paint and Mod Podge, because that’s what you’ll be doing to complete this project.
I love a good upcycled furniture project! I’m please to share the results of my “fabric table” makeover with you today. Call me the DIY queen! I’m kidding, but I am pleased with the results.
This decoupage tabletop is colorful like I am (kind way of saying goofball), and I absolutely love the owl fabric I Mod Podged to the top.
I’d like to walk you through this Mod Podge tabletop re-do because, if you are afraid of doing this to a piece on your own, you won’t be afraid after this upcycled furniture tutorial.
There are several steps, but if you have patience and give yourself the time to complete the project, you are going to have fun and love the results. As usual, let’s jump in.
Mod Podge Tabletop
This little display shows you most of the goodies that I used for my decoupage tabletop. Here’s the full list of supplies:
- Wood table – mine is from the thrift store, sanded and spray painted white as a basecoat
- Mod Podge Fabric and Mod Podge Gloss (you could also use Matte or Hard Coat as a finish for extra durability)
- FolkArt Paint – Asphaltum, Citrus Green, Jamaican Sea, Kelly Green, Lavender, Ocean Cruise, Pure Black, Titanium White (get the colors that coordinate with your fabric)
- Fabric, 1/2″ yard or enough to cover your tabletop. I used Alexander Henry Spotted Owl in Light Blue
- Paintbrushes, at least one large and one small, and a liner brush
- Stencil or painter’s tape (optional)
- Brayer (optional)
- Cute mushroom apron (optional)
Prepare the Fabric
You first need to prepare your fabric for your decoupage tabletop. Do this by washing and drying it, then ironing it flat. Lay it out on a surface like wax paper and then spread a medium layer of Mod Podge across the top.
If you don’t have Fabric Mod Podge, regular Mod Podge will do.
Coat the entire top, covering an area of fabric with Mod Podge slightly larger than your tabletop. Allow to dry.
Measure your tabletop and then cut the fabric to fit. You’ll see that the fabric can be cut without fraying since you Mod Podged it. Cool, huh? Set the fabric aside.
Paint the Table
Coat the tabletop with the color of your choice. Keep this in mind – you will likely see the color of the tabletop through the fabric, which is why I chose this light blue. It was the same color as my fabric background, and I thought it would bring out the blue in my fabric nicely.
If you have a dark fabric with a light pattern, just stick with white as your background. I painted my entire tabletop and then let it dry.
While my tabletop was drying, I painted the legs with Lavender. I sort of have ADHD. Completely coat the legs and allow to dry.
You’ll notice in this picture that when I painted the tabletop, I made a mess over the sides. It really shouldn’t be a surprise; I’m not the neatest painter in the world. We’re going to clean this up. And by “we” I mean “me.”
This is a great way to clean up an edge. Simply line with stencil or painter’s tape and then paint with your color (in my case Titanium White). Peel the tape away immediately and you’ll have a nice, clean edge. Allow to dry.
Turn the table over and paint the base (right underneath the top) with the color of your choice. I used Ocean Cruise. Completely cover and then allow to dry.
Add Painted Accents
I’m going to be honest, this part was a blast. I made black stripes around the edge of the tabletop. As you’ll notice, there is no method to my madness, and I didn’t tape.
If you don’t feel like you want to risk going freehand, simply use your stencil or painter’s tape to section off stripes and paint that way. Peel the tape away immediately and then allow to dry.
Look at my decoupage tabletop with the checks around the edge. I’m so happy!
Add the Fabric with Mod Podge
I know it’s taken awhile, but we’ve finally gotten to the best part – bust out the Podge, my friends! I thought I was going to use Matte, but at the last minute I switched to Gloss.
Grab your fabric from the first part of this project and lay it down on the tabletop. I did one side of the top and then the other.
If you want to do what I did, Mod Podge onto the tabletop and start spreading. This will ensure that you have a medium layer of glue.
I then laid the fabric down over the Mod Podge, making sure I was getting my placement correct, and then I flipped up the other side of the fabric and repeated.
You might feel like you are putting too much Mod Podge under the fabric, but you are better off to put too much than not enough.
Smooth the fabric down thoroughly with your hands. Remove as many of the bubbles as you can. Work from the center out towards the edges.
I had some Podge squeeze out the edges. Just wipe it away with your brush.
This is where the brayer comes in handy. You don’t have to, but I highly recommend it. Keep rolling the brayer over the fabric and smoothing it until you are satisfied. Wipe away any Mod Podge that comes out the sides. Allow this fabric to dry.
Tip: If you find that your fabric goes over the edges a little bit, I would use an X-Acto knife to trim. Be very careful!
Coat the Table with Mod Podge
Coat the entire tabletop with Mod Podge. Don’t do the rest of the table yet.
Paint Final Embellishments
On the base of the table I added some flower decorations (pulled from the pattern on the fabric) using a smaller brush and my Citrus Green/Kelly Green. You might have to coat the flowers a few times depending on the colors you select.
Go around the entire table base with your flower patterns. Don’t be too hard on yourself about how these look – they are supposed to be loose and whimsical.
Dot the centers of your flowers with the opposite color on the end of your paint brush. Allow to dry.
I used my liner brush to add some stems to the flowers with Asphaltum. Allow to dry.
Add a Final Coat to Seal
Decoupage the entire table with a medium coat of Mod Podge – allow to dry and then repeat. Your upcycled furniture project is nearly complete!
Your choice of final finish can be Gloss or Matte with a clear acrylic sealer, or you can use Hard Coat for a more durable, satin finish.
Learn how to decoupage a tabletop with fabric and Mod Podge! It's easy, even for beginners.
- Wood table
- Primer (optional)
- Mod Podge Fabric
- Mod Podge Hard Coat
- FolkArt Paint - coordinating colors
- Fabric, 1/2" yard or enough to cover your tabletop
- Stencil or painter's tape (optional)
- Paintbrushes, at least one large and one small, and a liner brush
- Tape measure
- Brayer (optional)
- Prime the table if necessary.
- Prepare the fabric by washing and drying it, then ironing flat. Cut to be slightly larger than the tabletop.
- Lay the fabric out on piece of wax paper and coat with a layer of Mod Podge Fabric. Let dry.
- Measure the tabletop and cut the fabric to fit using the scissors.
- Coat the tabletop with the acrylic paint color of your choice (match your fabric).
- Paint the legs and the side of the base of the table using the acrylic paint. Let dry.
- Paint stripes around the edge of the top using acrylic paint (I used black). Use painter's tape to make the lines straight if you choose. Let dry.
- Add a medium layer of Mod Podge to the top of the table. Place the fabric down and start smoothing. Work from the center out towards the edges.
- Continue smoothing with your hands or a brayer. Wipe away any Mod Podge that squeezes out the edge.
- Coat the entire tabletop with Mod Podge Hard Coat. Let dry.
- Add acrylic paint decor (I did flowers) on the base of your table. Use the liner brush to add details. Let dry.
- Decoupage the entire table with a medium coat of Mod Podge - allow to dry and then repeat. Let dry for several hours before using.
I’m very pleased with my attempt at upcycled furniture, and the bright and cheery color palette makes me happy (it’s such a fun craft!). Are you ready to decoupage a tabletop of your own? Let me know in the comments!
If you enjoyed this decoupage furniture project, I’d love for you to check out these other ideas:
Sunday 12th of June 2022
I want to do a hospital table with a laminate top. Cloth/fabric cover, mod podge gift for my dad who has cancer. Do I need to to prep the top? Does it really take mod podge 28 days to cure? Will it be washable after it's done? First time..I really want to get it right! (Father's Day gift. Please help! :)
Tuesday 14th of June 2022
Hi Kris! There's a video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Utq0FCepOEA This isn't me but I found it :) The one thing she didn't cover is that you should sand the top a little bit just to "key" it up so that the Mod Podge sticks better. Then wipe away the dust. So yes I would prep it. Use a rougher grit sandpaper. It takes Mod Podge 28 days to cure but that just means reach its ultimate strength/chemical bonding. It will be dry the first day. But before it gets beat up, I'd let it cure for 28 days. That doesn't mean don't use it, just don't go crazy. If it's going to take a big beating, I'd put an additional clear acrylic brush on sealer like Minwax polycrylic over the top. You'll be able to wipe it off with a cloth if you do that. I'm so sorry that your dad has cancer! Good luck with the project and sending up a prayer for him!
Saturday 27th of July 2013
Can Modge Podge be used to fill the 'grooves' in paneling? I'm wanting to cover the back of a bookshelf with fabric, but it has grooves in it, like paneling. It's made of laminate. Thanks!
Sunday 28th of July 2013
Hi Lynn! No, you would need to use something like wood filler. Thanks!
Thursday 20th of January 2011
just gorgeous, what a great idea, and a great colour!
Jillian and Claire
Saturday 18th of December 2010
Wow! Great idea! I love the owl fabric and had no idea that there was such a thing as FABRIC MOD PODGE!!
Its So Very Cheri
Tuesday 16th of November 2010
It's So Very AMY. You did a great job. I love the black on the table edge. So whimsical.