Directions for Transferring a Photographic Image Onto Ceramic Tiles

Written by sebastian malysa
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Directions for Transferring a Photographic Image Onto Ceramic Tiles
Replace a boring ceramic tile with a tile that has a picture of one of your favourite memories. (ceramic background image by Alex White from

In our digital age we can easily take hundreds of pictures, transfer them onto our computer and then take more. But, out of the hundreds of pictures we take, only a few are deserving of being called our favourites. These pictures are the ones we look at over and over again without tiring. To further preserve and display your favourite memories, transfer them onto a ceramic tile. There are many ways to display your pictures, but putting them on a tile offers a unique, fun and priceless way to share your precious memories.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Photo editing software (optional)
  • Lazertran waterslide decal paper for inkjet printers
  • Inkjet printer
  • Scissors
  • Bucket of water (large enough to submerge the Lazertran paper)
  • Turpentine
  • Small paint brush
  • Rolling pin
  • Clear varnish or polyurethane

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  1. 1

    Select a picture you would like to transfer onto a ceramic tile, crop and edit it with photo editing software. Insert the Lazertran paper into your printer so that the image will print on the white, eggshell/chalky side.

  2. 2

    Print the picture at high quality settings. Allow it to completely dry for 30 minutes.

  3. 3

    Cut the Lazertran paper down to the size of your image with scissors. Submerge the paper in water for about 60 seconds or until the decal releases from the backing sheet.

  4. 4

    Brush a light coat of turpentine onto the tile. Fully cover the tile, but don't soak the tile. Too much turpentine will cause your picture to melt.

  5. 5

    Remove your picture from the water and gently remove the backing paper. Carefully place your picture onto the ceramic tile in the desired location. Be sure not to allow the picture to overlap onto itself.

  6. 6

    Gently roll out any air bubbles or wrinkles with a rolling pin, rolling from the centre out to the edge of the tile. Set aside the tile and allow it to dry for several hours.

  7. 7

    Apply two to three coats of clear varnish or polyurethane to the tile to seal and protect the image. Be sure to allow each coat to fully dry before applying the next coat. If your picture had a white background, it will disappear during this process, creating an elegant finish.

Tips and warnings

  • Buy several sheets of Lazertran paper in case you need to repeat the process.
  • While the paper is submerged in water, the picture might curl up at the edges.
  • Using too much ink at the printing stage can cause the image to become runny. Avoid this by adjusting your printer settings and doing a trial run.
  • Turpentine, varnish and polyurethane are harmful chemicals. Wear protective gloves and use them in a well ventilated area, preferably outdoors.

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