How to Decoupage Furniture with Rice Paper

Decoupage is a fun and creative way to transform ordinary furniture into unique and personalized pieces. With some rice decoupage paper and a little creativity, your wood (or laminate) furniture can have a whole new look. Here’s how to decoupage furniture with rice paper without any stress!

Try this painting technique for furniture and create stunning designs and patterns on any piece of furniture in your home, from dressers to chairs.

white church pew before adding decoupage art

My husband and I built this mini church pew because like most moms, I love taking pictures of my kids and thought this would be a cute little photo prop.

Click here to subscribe

After building it, painting it, and using it many times, I decided to try out a new technique. I first practiced this technique on a piece of wood and absolutely loved the results.

I am excited to share this easy and quick process with you to try on your own furniture!

scroll down to see the after photos

Supplies Used to Decoupage Furniture with Rice Paper

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I also may earn from other qualifying purchases with other companies or get free product to review and use. All opinions are my own.

How to Add Texture to Wood Furniture

First, I created a textured surface by using Dixie Belle Mud in the color White.

dixie belle mud white

I stirred the product well and spread a thick layer over the area I wanted to decoupage.

I wanted this area to have a lot of hills and valleys, so I began stippling the wet Mud with a chip brush. Read this post to learn more about the best paint brushes for painting furniture.

stippling on dixie belle white mud onto a wood surface

Then I allowed the product to fully dry before moving on to the next step. (This took approximately 2 hours.)

Dry times really depend on the temperature and the thickness of the Mud. I like to set my projects out in the sun when I can to speed up the drying process.

white textured wood surface

How to Apply Decoupage Paper to Furniture

Once the Mud was dry, I put my rice decoupage paper onto the area to estimate the size I needed to cut.

Then I cut the paper down to size with some scissors and applied the Satin Clear Coat onto the Mud with a brush.

I like to put a generous amount of clear coat on to ensure all of the areas of the paper are saturated. I gently placed the paper onto the wet clear coat.

Immediately after putting the decoupage paper onto the clear coat, I applied more of the clear coat on top of the paper. This seals the paper onto the surface.

brushing clear coat on top of rice decoupage paper

While I apply the clear coat on top, I use a stippling motion again to make sure the paper gets pushed into the crevices of the texture we created.

Now it’s a waiting game again to make sure the clear coat is fully dried.

scroll slowly so the photos can load properly

How to Antique Furniture With Wax (Optional)

So now we have a textured decoupaged surface that looks beautiful as is, but I wanted to create a more antiqued look. I did this by adding brown wax over the sealed paper.

I grabbed my chip brush and dipped it into the Best Dang Wax in Brown.

brushing brown wax onto decoupaged surface

I applied it over the entire surface of the paper, making sure it was pushed into all the crevices. I then grabbed a damp rag/paper towel and began removing the excess wax.

Wiping excess brown wax off decoupaged surface

This wax is water based, so it is easy to remove from the sealed surface.

Now, this is the time when it comes down to personal preference.

I like to remove most of the wax from the center while leaving a bit more wax as you progress to the edges. I like this look because it looks more natural to me.

Decoupaged surface with wax left on the edges

Once you have the area looking the way you like, you can begin closing up the lid on your wax and throw in the towel.

two decoupaged sections finished and two sections with brown wax still needing to be wiped away

Decoupaging Furniture

This technique is super simple and easy. Decoupage can sometimes be a bit challenging when trying to make it look “perfect”, so this is a great way to alleviate some of the stress. The finished product has a vintage feeling, so if it ends up looking worn and imperfect, that is just fine!

If you like how this bench turned out, you should check out more shabby chic painted furniture and shabby chic dresser ideas here. If you want to try more floral pieces, check out more floral painted furniture ideas here. And here’s another makeover of painting a wood bench with chalk paint.

Closeup of finished white church pew with blue floral decoupaged sections
finished white church pew with blue floral decoupaged sections

More Before And After Makeovers

Click any of these “before” photos below to view the “after” of that makeover.

Can you not add texture to the furniture before decoupaging?

Yes, it is possible to decoupage without adding texture to the furniture first. The process would be the same, except you would skip the steps involving adding and drying the Mud product.

Instead, you would simply apply your chosen decoupage medium directly onto the surface and then place your paper on top, along with the clear coat. This method may result in a smoother finish.

However, adding texture can add an extra dimension and visual interest to your decoupage project.

Can you use decoupage on curved surfaces?

Yes, you can use decoupage on curved surfaces! While it may seem more challenging than applying it to flat surfaces, the process is still the same.

The key is to be patient and work carefully, making sure to smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles as you go along. One helpful tip is to cut slits in the paper before applying it, so that it can better conform to the curves. Overlapping the slits will help prevent gaps or creases in the design.

So if you have furniture with intricate or curved details, don’t hesitate to try decoupage!

Can you use regular paper for decoupage instead?

No, regular paper is not the same as decoupage or rice paper and you will not get the same results. An alternative to using rice paper for decoupage is using one very thin layer of a napkin. Since it is very thin, you can get similar results.

Regular paper is thicker than decoupage paper and it is not made for this purpose. If you have specific paper you want to use for decoupage, you can test it out on a sample to see if you like the results before tackling a project and potentially ruining it.

This makeover was created by Eryn Garcia with Breath of Life Design. Eryn has a passion for breathing life into furniture and interior spaces. She was born and raised in Texas and graduated from Texas A&M in 2016 with a degree from the College of Architecture. She lives with her husband and three kids, ages 5, 3, and 1. She is a stay-at-home mom that decided she needed a creative outlet and began refinishing furniture. Follow along to see more of her work and some behind the scenes into her life…

Follow Eryn on Pinterest, Instagram, and her Facebook Page to see more of her amazing work!

scroll up if you missed the after photos

How to Decoupage Furniture with Rice Paper

White church pew with decoupaged rice paper panels

Check out this super easy and creative way to transform your furniture by learning how to decoupage furniture with rice paper!


  1. Stir the white Dixie Belle Mud well and spread a thick layer over the area you want to decoupage. Stipple the wet mud with a chip brush to have a lot of hills and valleys.
  2. Leave it to fully dry then put rice decoupage paper onto the area you want to decoupage.
  3. Apply a generous amount of Satin Clear Coat onto the mud and paper with a brush to seal it to the surface. Wait for it to fully dry.
  4. For a more antiqued look, brush water-based brown wax over the sealed paper. Then grab a damp rag/paper towel to remove the excess wax.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

More Floral Furniture Makeovers

Click here to subscribe

Follow us on YouTube to get more tips for painting furniture. Or share your project with us on our Facebook Group and be part of our community. See you there!

white church pew before adding dedcoupage

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *