For several months now I’ve been fooling around with transferring photos onto wood using gel medium, I started out with some old growth fir I had lying around the shop… Made several attempts and just couldn’t get anything I was real happy with, albeit I think part of it was just me being too anal about getting the picture to look perfect. I have several pics of the first few attempts I did with gel medium but not here at the moment, I got a new phone last month so the old pics are on my old phone.
Anyway that was about 6 months ago when I started experimenting with it, fast forward to now and I decided to make a couple of these for family members for Christmas presents, and out of at least 8 attempts I was only able to get 2 that I was happy with. Its so strange to me, I’ve come to realize that the pics aren’t going to be absolutely perfect but I am getting better.
I ended up switching from gel medium to fluid medium and I think that I am liking the results with the fluid medium better. My process is to cut the wood to shape, plane and sand with 60, 180 and 200 grit sandpaper, then apply the medium and picture, let dry for several hours (usually overnight at least) and then wet it down and remove the paper.
First one right after wetting it down before rubbing the paper off:
First run of rubbing of the paper:
I was real bummed I didn’t finish this one in time for Christmas, it was for my cousin who was recently separated from her finance and now she basically has joint custody of her dogs which she just loves to death. But the very weird part of this one is that the spot in the middle picture that the picture rubbed off of—well it rubbed off in almost the exact same spot as the first attempt, and I planed and sanded so I can’t imagine their being something in the wood but who knows, stranger things have happened.
I am going to keep trying this one until I get it right though.
Here’s my first attempt (of course after the pics were edited and had them just how I Wanted):
This is after the 2nd attempt when I had to re-print the pics here at home and have the nice edited copies I’d made at work, like I mentioned the pic rubbed off in the same spot, I find that so weird, I almost got it done, this one was done on christmas eve, and only dried for about 2 hours, I applied the medium then took it upstairs and set it in from of the heater and I really didn’t think it was going to work at all but it did pretty well for only having dried for 2 hours:
These are all done on pine.