How to Transfer Images on Wood With a Transparent Paper

Written by kate mcfarlin Google
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How to Transfer Images on Wood With a Transparent Paper
Still life pictures are commonly used on wood transfer projects. (wildlife refuge image by Earl Robbins from

Transferring images onto wood is a way to create a picture that has a built-in frame. This technique creates a glossy finished product that should last for years if properly cared for. These wood pictures are popular as gifts and even sell well at craft fairs and in local shops. They can be used to create heirloom pictures, or even just regular decor items.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Inkjet printer
  • Transfer paper
  • Turpentine
  • Sanded wood
  • Clear varnish

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  1. 1

    Select a piece of wood. You will need a piece that is large enough for the entire picture you will be transferring. One side should be sanded smooth, or the picture will not transfer properly.

  2. 2

    Select and print your image on your inkjet printer. Using a graphic design program such as Paint Shop Pro, open the image you want to use on your piece of wood. Insert the transfer paper into your printer. Before you print the image, make sure that you create a "mirror" image first. This will reverse the image on paper, but when it is transferred, it will look normal. Print out the image and trim it to fit the piece of wood.

  3. 3

    Soak the transfer paper in water. This will remove the backing so that you are left with a transparent sheet. It will take several minutes of soaking to easily peel away the backing. Set this image aside momentarily.

  4. 4

    Apply a thin coat of turpentine to the wood. Turpentine will help transfer the image permanently into the surface of the wood. Do not allow this to dry.

  5. 5

    Place the transfer sheet on the wood. Make sure it is perfectly centred before placing it on the wood and then gently smooth it out. The turpentine will transfer the ink of the image directly into the wood. Remove the backing paper. Allow this image to dry for a few hours.

  6. 6

    Varnish the wood. Make sure that the image has completely dried and apply a thin coat of varnish on top of the image. This will help protect the image and create a glossy finish.

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