Decoupage Paper | Easy How To Tutorial On An Old Door

Posted in DIY Home Decor
decoupage paper on a vintage door
Decoupage Paper | Easy How To Tutorial On An Old Door

Vintage decoupage paper! Immediately, I knew that Grandma’s vintage door, which I had been hanging on to for so long, was finally getting its makeover. This project takes me right back to those golden days. It’s my first time using decoupage tissue paper. I’m sharing the good, bad, and happy accidents!

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Decoupage Tissue Paper

To be upfront with you before we begin… today’s project is NOT about perfection with decoupage paper. It’s about aged imperfections. It’s pretty much the way I view most of my makeovers. Trying to create perfection is usually a recipe for disappointment. Well, for me anyway. Embrace the imperfections and have fun creating because it’s about the journey.

I discovered this tissue decoupage paper and I'm so glad I did! The vintage door I had been hanging on to for so long was finally getting a makeover.

Products Used For This Project

Click on the products below to find where to purchase them.

The Application Of Decoupage Tissue Paper

The door (you can also use wood furniture for this technique) was painted with a combination of Driftwood and Gravel Road chalk mineral paint. I love blending colors, and this combination looks like a great match with my chosen transfer.

I applied the topcoat before applying the decoupage tissue paper. Did you know you can use topcoats with decoupage?

After the paint has dried, the first step is to apply the Top Coat (which works like Mod Podge but is so much easier to work with) directly on the painted door/furniture. Next, apply the tissue paper directly to the wet topcoat. Ensure that the topcoat is equally covered over the area you want the decoupage tissue paper to adhere to. If a spot (even a tiny spot is missed), the tissue paper will not stick.

This may take some practice when working with decoupage tissue paper because it’s so fragile. Once the tissue paper comes in contact with the topcoat, it’s kind of like toilet paper hitting the water. It is drawn into the water-based topcoat. So make sure placement is accurate on the first go.

After applying the decoupage paper to the door, I sealed it with an acrylic topcoat.
I used my fingernail to trim the decoupage paper to add an aged element to the design on the door.

Because I was applying this to an inset of a door, I trimmed the edges with my fingernail while the tissue paper was still wet. I didn’t want a straight line for reasons you’ll see later on in the process. Yes, I know there’s probably a better way to do it… but hey, it’s my first get-go with tissue paper. I also created a video tutorial for the process on a drawer front on my next try. Here’s the tutorial that will explain more. CLICK HERE to see more!

What I Learned About Paint Color Choice

Allow the decoupage to dry overnight if you plan on blending paint around the edges of the decoupage tissue paper on your door/furniture. I blended the two with Tea Rose and Drift Wood chalk mineral paint.

Looking back, I learned that it would have been best if I had first painted the background with a similar color instead of over the darker paint color. Again, I learned a lot during my first try.

I blended the paint around the decoupage paper to give it a more unified look.

Adding A Distressed Chippy Look Over Decoupage Paper

After the topcoat and paint are dried, for a vintage-aged look, try using paint to create a chippy look over the tissue paper by dragging a putty knife across the tiny lines for an aged look. It was a happy accident for sure, but I LOVE everything about this!

Later on, I discovered on another decoupage paper project that if you apply the top coat on your fingertip right after applying the top coat on the paper, you can easily work out any tiny lines and bubbles. Live and learn! But I was still super happy.

Using a putty knife and lightly scraping over the tiny lines in the decoupage tissue paper added a chippy aged look.

I gave her highlights! Well, the girl needed something to make her pop. I used Decor Wax (Diamond Dust) and applied it with my fingertip to the lighter areas of her hair. Reminds me of my highlighting days before the gray… Huh!

Highlights were aded with decor wax to the decoupage paper to make her hair pop. Loving this makeover on this vintage old door!

Dark Wax For More Aging

Lastly, add colored waxes that compliment your decoupage tissue paper. WOW! I was speechless. It was like looking in a mirror. As I mentioned before, we started. I spent a lot of time with my grandma during the summer months. SHE introduced me to the paintbrush. A door very similar to this one was my first project. ๐Ÿ™‚ The best memories ever!

Adding dark waxes tied my design all together on this vintage door.

Thank You, Grandma!

When I look at this door, I see all our memories. I know without a shadow of a doubt that my Grandma’s patience, instructions, praise, and encouragement are why I am here this very moment sharing this with you. This vintage door will accompany me in my office as a reminder of where it all started. Because of you, Grandma.

Vintage paper on a vintage door... It turned out so amazing! Because of you, Grandma.
Salvaging this vintage door was a great idea. Love the paper!

No, it’s not the usual furniture makeover, but why not use a vintage door as home decor? The best of Flea Market decor with decoupage paper! AND… if you loved this makeover, I added tissue paper to a vintage dresser, too. CLICK HERE to see how tissue paper created a vintage feel with some depression glass knobs. And if you love antique doors, you’ll love this chippy makeover.

So, what do you think? I’d love to hear from you. Tell me about your experiences with unusual makeovers. Inspire me! I’m always looking for new ideas. The unexpected! ๐Ÿ™‚

Until the next project… xo, Do



  1. Do I love this project. I can tell how much this meant to you. I appreciate you sharing your talent and creativity. Iโ€™ve attempted the tissue decoupage not bad on my first try but it does take patience. ?

  2. ?Never seen such a beautiful door like this before! I get more inspired every day by your creations. Thank you for sharing!โค๏ธ

  3. I LOVE this project!! It is absolutely amazing!! Not only is it a great idea for the door or other wood furniture, it gave me some great ideas for Christmas projects. I just placed an order with Zazzle and now I’m ordering some of the products from Dixie Belle. Can’t wait to find the wood and get started. Thanks!!

  4. I have an old home we bought for storage on our farm. It has doors like the one you decoupaged. With many other pieces of old wood I donโ€™t even know what they are. The house was built before 1900. I want to do something with the pocket door and weights for windows. I love your website. And I love to paint with these paints and dark wax. Thank you again.

  5. You mentioned a tutorial you made on another decoupage project. Where can we find it. This is gorgeous!

  6. Dear Do
    I am from germany and i love your work .I watch a lot of your Tutorials on Pinterest and let me inspiering from your work .Unfortunatly I Cant get the Great Produkts you use (Dixie belle )in germany . There are Other Chalk Paints like rustoleum or Anie Sloan but they donโ€˜t have That much colors and are Really expensive .Sorry for my bad english,

    1. Hello Ramona! Thank you so much for the kind words. Your English is much better than my German. Trust me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hang tight, it will be there soon and then you can paint your world.

      xo, Do

  7. I love you creations. Thanks for sharing about work and ideas. I love to learn and hope that while I’m reading and seeing will help me push myself. Thank you. God bless

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