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Want to create your own works of art? Want to also save money? Then you’re in luck. In this article, you’ll learn how to transfer vintage wallpaper, pictures and almost anything on wood!
You can create your own beautiful artwork such as this piece by Diego Tirigall. See more examples of work at Diego Tirigall website.
You can basically transfer anything on wood, from photographs to wallpaper pattern. It’s something anyone can do, and you can achieve a beautiful beautiful result!
How to Transfer Image on Wood – What you’ll need:
- Acrylic gel medium (such as Mod Podge): The beauty of this technique lies in the nature of the acrylic – you can adjust and modify the gel to suit your needs. Whether using a retarder to increase smoothness, mixing in acrylic pigment, or even mixing in other materials. I’ve seen everything from gold flake to sand mixed into the acrylic gel.
- An image to transfer. Print a photo out with a laser or inkjet print on regular paper (NOT photo paper). If your photo has any words on it, you will need to print it out as a mirror image.
Note: Laser images transfer better. Inkjet images may or may not transfer as well – they may come out more faded. Always test on a scrap piece of wood first.
Image transfer on wood in 6 steps – How to do it:
- First, you have to lightly sand the face of the wood with a sanding block or any sander, and then sweep off the wood dust. See our wood sanding tips.
- Paint a thin layer of gel medium over the entire front surface of the wood with a bristled brush if you want your photo transfer to look more rustic. If you want a more polished and complete photo transfer, paint gel medium on with a foam brush instead. See our helpful info on wood pallet painting.
- Make the layer of gel medium as thin as you can without portions of it drying out as you paint. Then, quickly but carefully lay your photo face down on the gel-coated pallet.
- Clean and dry your hands, and use a bone folder to gently press the photo flat onto the pallet, pushing out as many air bubbles as possible. (If any air bubbles remain, those portions of a picture will not transfer.)
- Wait at least 24 hours for the gel medium to dry thoroughly. Then, use a sopping wet washcloth to wet the back of the photo paper, and gently and slowly rub away the paper backing from the photopigment with your fingertips and/or wet washcloth
- After you rub away as much of the paper as possible, wait another 24 hours for your pallet and photo to dry completely.
Now the main difficulty will be to find the right image or wallpaper pattern you want to transfer! I suggest you check out this page for printable patterns. And if you missed something here is one or two sources to find the tutorial with pictures and a video on the basics of this process: