From Paper to Wood: Print Transfer Tips and Tricks

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Paper to Wood

If you are looking for a unique and innovative way to display your favourite photographs, then learning how to transfer paper to wood will help you create stunning pictures in minutes. The same technique can also be used to add beautiful images and designs to just about any wooden surface including kitchen cupboards, picture frames, tables and doors. Surprisingly, you do not even need to purchase any expensive equipment as an ordinary inkjet printer will do along with a few extra items that can be found at any craft shop. The following method will help you transfer just about any image onto a wooden surface to allow you to create stunning features for the home or beautiful handmade gifts for your loved ones.

Paper to Wood

To transfer your printed image onto wood you will need to have the following supplies to hand:
  • Inkjet printer
  • Wax Paper, baking sheets, or the shiny backing paper that holds shipping labels will 
  • also work
  • White craft glue
  • Gel Medium such as Liquitex Mat Gel
  • Clear spray-on sealer
  • Rolling pin
  • Sponge
Prepare Your Surfaces

Preparing both your paper and wooden surfaces to receive the image is an import step that should not be overlooked if you want to achieve a flawless finish. Start by gently sanding the surface of the wood and then wiping it down with a wet cloth. The wood should be slightly damp to enable the ink to absorb better. Spray a thin coat of clear sealer onto your paper, and then leave to dry. Using a small sponge, apply a layer of craft glue onto the paper before leaving it to fully dry.

Print Your Image

A good quality ink cartridge from a reputable supplier such as StinkyInk.com is essential to ensure the best possible result for your image. Load your paper into the printer making sure that the image will print on the side that has been treated with sealer and glue. While the image is printing, apply a thin layer of gel medium to the wood, and then press the paper down firmly with the image facing downwards. 

Transfer Your Image onto Wood

Once you have applied your image to the wooden surface, use a rolling pin to remove any air bubbles trapped underneath the paper. Leave the paper on the wood for at least one hour to allow it to dry thoroughly, and then gently peel the paper away from the wood. Protect your image with another coat of clear sealer or a thin layer of a sealant such as Mod Podge.

You can use this method to transfer both color and black and white images onto virtually any wooden surface. Images with a high contrast are the most suitable for transfer, and you can edit your image using Photoshop software beforehand to increase its sharpness. If you will be using a photograph, try to select a simple image with clean lines. Photos with lots of small details or background clutter may not look so effective on wood, so take time to select the perfect image before starting.

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John Sollars launched his printer cartridge supply company back 2002. The company has grown to be one the biggest suppliers in the UK. He enjoys sharing his business ideas online.

photo credit: photobarn.com

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