Photos Transferred to Wood, with how-to video

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Project by CueballRosendaul posted 05-29-2013 02:14 PM 1670 views 13 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I found an easy way to transfer photos onto wood. The process uses something called Matte Gel Medium which is a paint base that you can buy at any craft store. The medium goes onto the prepared wood like a paste, spread with foam brushes, then the photo gets smoothed on. After drying overnight, remove the paper by wetting it and rubbing with your fingers. Apply clear poly or Mod Podge as a top coat when finished. Here’s a link to a lengthy video of the entire process on YouTube.

Things to remember:
Soft woods with tight grain work best (pine,poplar,maple,birch,plywood, etc)
Cut the wood to size, route the edges if desired, sand to 220
Use a foam brush for the best application of medium
Clamp a block on top to keep pressure while the piece dries
Use regular lightweight printer paper from a laser printed picture
You may need to bump the contrast and color up a little because the process mutes the colors
Be patient when removing the paper, don’t rub too hard or you’ll remove the photo from the wood
The idea is to have a rustic, aged look to the transfer. Works well for old logos and phrases.

Matte Gel Medium

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

8 comments so far

View Sanding2day's profile


1000 posts in 934 days

#1 posted 05-29-2013 04:48 PM

Pretty cool… Thousand and one uses I’m sure… Thanks for sharing…

-- Dan

View a1Jim's profile


113822 posts in 2665 days

#2 posted 05-29-2013 05:13 PM

Thank you Matt

-- Custom furniture

View TheeWoodShed's profile


165 posts in 998 days

#3 posted 05-29-2013 08:09 PM

Matt, that was a really cool project that could open a lot of avenues for custom signage/logos.

Question tho, you mentioned laser printer so a regular ink jet printer would not work?

-- "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

View eruby's profile


78 posts in 1862 days

#4 posted 05-29-2013 08:42 PM

I have also done this method with laser printers and it is as easy as the video makes it look. (remember to print a mirror image!!!) I have also tried the iron transfer method and found this one to be far superior.

-Shed ” so a regular ink jet printer would not work” I don’t think this method will work w/ inkjets but I found this

-- Eric - Baltimore MD

View CueballRosendaul's profile


414 posts in 1228 days

#5 posted 05-29-2013 11:24 PM

Ink jet won’t work. It’ll smear all the ink instead of just transferring it. If you don’t have a laser you can run to a copy shop and have them run a copy for you.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

View BobWemm's profile


1357 posts in 1014 days

#6 posted 05-30-2013 06:02 AM

Magic, Thank you so much for that, I too, can see a heap of uses.

-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View Roger's profile


17850 posts in 1892 days

#7 posted 06-02-2013 12:41 PM

Good stuff Matt. Thnx for the vid and how-to

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View BENTWOOD's profile


359 posts in 870 days

#8 posted 09-04-2013 01:55 PM

Very well done video that even the likes of me can understand. ;)
This project is perfect as a personal gift to friends and family.


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