A simple way of printing your own pictures on wood

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The following lines will teach you how to print any picture or photo onto wood.

Most of the tutorials on this matter you could came across online will involved a few special materials that aren’t on the reach of everybody (such as matte gel or the backing paper of printer labels).  Most people do not have access to any printer label paper and many don’t even know what matte gel actually is. And of course, every DIY person want to do it right now, without waiting or buying expensive materials.

Fortunately there is a simple solution. All you will need is a simple printer, a roll of waxed paper and your idea.

Yes, all you will need is a regular printer and some regular waxed paper. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Cut some sheets of wax paper so that they’ll have the size of a regular piece of printer A4 paper. If you have a larger printer that allows A1 printing and you’re thinking about transferring your image to a very large board, you can also cut larger pieces of waxed paper.
  2. Find a light coloured piece of wood. It’s actually best to find a few so you will have some to practice on. Get the high resolution image of your choice. Or make your own image. Pixabay.com is a great place to start for copyright free, high-quality, high resolution images.
  3. Once you have the photo or picture you want, reverse it using a photo program you have on your computer, you can also do this online. If you are unsure about how to do this simply Google it.
  4. Put a piece of your waxed paper into your printer and just click print.
  5. As the waxed paper starts coming out of the printer, guide it gently. Bear in mind that you have to be careful so that it doesn’t roll under itself or touch anything in any other way, since this will cause the ink to smear.
  6. Put your picture exactly where you would like it on the wood. Keep in mind that this can be any unfinished wood. For instance, a bench, table, box, or any other thing. Once you have placed your picture onto the wood you cannot move it. If you do so, it will smudge. You won’t like it.
  7. Holding the transfer with strength to the wood, and doing so quickly, swipe the edge of a ID card across the picture. This will push the ink from the waxed paper onto the wood, which will absorb it. Push hard, but not extremely hard because you could rip the waxed paper. Then gently lift the paper to see if it’s transferring properly. If you notice spots that are not transferred, rub it again with the card, but this time burnishing it.
  8. When you are certain that you have transferred all possible ink, lift off the waxed paper and you’re all set to show off your piece of artwork.

As discussed above, this technique can be used on any smooth wood such as old crates, chairs or tables.

If you do not have a chair, dresser or table you would like to print on, you can simply find a nice board and hang it somewhere.

Some quick tips for the waxed paper transfer process:

  1. Cut pieces of waxed paper to the size of A4 paper or A1 if your printer allows and you would like to print in very large boards.
  2. Print your photo onto the waxed paper with any regular printer. You need to reverse the picture first using a photo program.
  3. Carefully put the picture on the wood and then rub over it with a card.
  4. The ink is now transferred onto the wood.
  5. Seal it with a matte spray wood sealer.

Some other tips:

  • Use smooth wood. A rough board will not work, but a smooth barn board will.
  • A dark colour on a light wood works best.
  • Dampening the wood with a sponge should make the transfer darker, however it may blur and smudge if you are not careful.
  • If the waxed paper doesn’t properly feed through your printer, you can tape it to a piece of A4 printer paper before putting it into your printer.
  • You can also use the slippery side of freezer paper instead of waxed paper.

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