Creating a photo transfer on wood is simple. In fact, if you’ve ever used Silly Putty to lift an image from the Sunday comics, then you understand the basic idea behind this easy technique. Instead of using Silly Putty to pull the image from our paper, we use gel medium.
Here’s how you get started:
First, find an image you like and print it on a laser printer. If your picture has words, you may want to flip it horizontally (think mirror image) before you print it.
Next, find the perfect piece of wood. I used a Basswood Country Round® from our Wood Crafting Section, but you can pick up wood at any home improvement store. You may even find that perfect piece of wood at home in your garage.
Cut out your image to match the size and shape of the wood, and you’re ready to get started.
Step 1: Add gel medium to wood.
Spread the gel medium on in a thick, even coat. I used Artists Loft™ Acrylic Gel Medium, but you can use any gel medium you like.
Step 2: Apply your picture.
Make sure the image is face down. Then, smooth it out with a brayer or your fingers. Some bubbles and creases are okay – they add character to your artwork.
Note: Try not to get gel medium on the backside of your paper. It will only make it harder to pull your paper off once it dries.
Step 3: Let it dry.
A few hours should do the trick, but you may want to leave it overnight.
Step 4: Rub off paper with a damp cloth.
The next day…Use a damp washcloth to rub the paper away, but be sure not to rub your image too hard. You don’t want to take your picture away with the paper.
There will be some paper residue left behind, so continue to work with your image until you get it exactly how you like it.
You may also paint, stain, or sand your project to give it a more personalized look. You can even add another layer of gel medium to create a clear coat, or add brackets to hang on the wall.
Have fun with it!