How to Transfer Images to Canvas With Xylene

Written by amanda tromley
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to Transfer Images to Canvas With Xylene
(Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Overlaying images is a great tool for the fine artist, and image transfers make the process easy. Using a photocopy with xylene will remove the toner image from the copy paper and leave the mirror image on your canvas. If you are transferring text, be sure to reverse the image before you make your photocopy.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Photocopied image
  • Canvas
  • Rag
  • Xylene
  • Spoon

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Make a photocopy of the image you wish to transfer.

  2. 2

    Lay the photocopy face down on the canvas where you want the image to be transferred.

  3. 3

    Soak a rag in xylene.

  4. 4

    Apply one coat of xylene over the back of the photocopy. Avoid saturating the paper.

  5. 5

    Rub the back of the image with the bottom of a spoon. Firm strokes in a small, circular pattern work best.

  6. 6

    Peel up the corner of the photocopy and check your image. If you want it darker, repeat Steps 3 through 5 until you are satisfied.

Tips and warnings

  • Your photocopy must be toner-based. This technique will not work with an inkjet printed image.
  • Xylene is paint thinner; it’s toxic and emits pungent fumes. Use in a well-ventilated area.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.