There is a wrong way to do Wood Transfer Photos. Ink jet printed photos or actual store-printed photos will not work. The best results come from laser printed images (laser ink is dry and ink jet is wet.) Remember to invert any images with writing on them (so the words face the correct direction when transfered.) I had great success with an acrylic gloss medium from Wal-Mart (Daler-Rowney Simply Acrylic Gloss Medium) and Mod Podge Matte to seal the project once the paper is removed. I encourage lots of patience when it comes time to remove the paper (that had the photo printed on it.) You must go over the project with a wet washcloth or rag 3-5 times to properly remove all of the paper. Let the project dry slightly so you can see where the paper remains. While the wood is wet, it looks like you removed all of the paper the first time you wipe over it.
**Note the paper left over on the left side of the project by clicking on the image to open it**
Even with delicate care, you might lose bits of your printed photo. Practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to do a practice run before embarking on an important project. I grabbed left over pieces of wood from the garage to practice on but I have seen affordable wood plaques at Michaels that are smooth & perfect for a more professional looking transfer. After experimenting for my video, I chose to re-do my dresser & it is much easier to transfer onto a completely flat surface!
What you will need:
- laser printed photos, cut to size
- transfer medium & brush to apply (I used sponge brushes)
- a thin piece of cardboard or an old gift card to smooth out the photo transfer
- mod podge matte (to seal the finished project)
How to do it:
- Prepare wood for transfer: I sanded the side I was transferring onto & wiped the wood clean
- Coat your photo(s) with a moderate amount of mixing medium and place face down on the wood
- Smooth out any air bubbles with the cardboard/gift card
- Let dry 8 hours
- Taking a moderately wet washcloth (not dripping wet,) wipe over the surface of the paper until it starts to slough off. When I used a lot of water the transferred photos lost bigger pieces.
- After removing what APPEARS to be all of the paper, let the project dry slightly and go back in with the wet washcloth and wipe over the project again. (Repeat until you are satisfied)
- Let the project dry & then apply a coat of Mod Podge Matte. Once dry, your project is complete!
**I did go over my project with Martha Stewart “fire opal” extra fine glitter & mod podge matte (around the photos)**
I have wanted to experiment with transferring pictures onto wood for the longest time–and as long as you take your time & use a laser printer (most work places use laser or gel printers,) you can have great success with this type of project!