Funky Ways to Decoupage or Decorate Old Furniture

Updated February 21, 2017

Don’t let old furniture go by the wayside. Découpage, the process of lacquering cutouts onto a surface, as well as other methods of revamping will transform worn-out wood furniture into works of art. If you want to give the furniture a funky edge, découpage or decorate with fun imagery and bright colours.

Pop Art

The pop artists revered comic strips. If you do, too, make pop art furniture by decoupaging with cut-out comic strips from comic books. Just make sure you aren’t cutting up a valuable comic book. The comics in the découpage can be arranged in linear order, or they can be more random and scattered.


Use paint chips or cut-out chunks of solid colours from various sources such as magazines and photos to make a rainbow table or a rainbow chair. To make rainbow découpage, divide the piece of furniture into six successive sections. Start in the first section with reds. Gradually transition into orange, then yellow, then green, then blue and finally purple.


Give your furniture that creepy, funny feeling by covering an entire surface with only cutouts of eyes. Use human eyes, animal eyes and cartoon eyes. A similar effect can be made by using only cutouts of hands.

Retro Mosaic

Another way to decorate furniture is with mosaic. Mosaic is the process of mortaring broken tile, glass, stones, jewels and other objects to a surface. You can also combine mosaic with découpage. Bring back flower power in a retro mosaic by arranging the bits into bright, psychedelic flowers with lots of swirling colours around them.

Mix and Match

Another way to add funk to wooden furniture is to mix and match parts. Use random handles on a dresser, for example. Switch out one chair leg with the leg of another chair. Put unusual feet on the base of a coffee table, such as claw feet, wooden ducks or carved clown shoes.


Stencilling with paint is a unique way to update furniture. Make your own stencils by printing on vellum and cutting out the image with a craft knife. Lots of funky stencils are sold online as well. Examples of funky stencils include cartoon characters, famous icons such as Marilyn Monroe or Elvis Presley, superhero symbols such as the Batman or Superman symbol and various plant and animal forms.


A subtle way to decorate your furniture is to just paint little parts here and there. Choose one or more funky colours and paint just the knobs, for example. You might just paint the trim, or the feet or legs. Paint them solid colours or add little polka dots or stripes.

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About the Author

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.