Photos Transferred to Wood, with how-to video

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Project by CueballRosendaul posted 450 days ago 1321 views 12 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


953 posts in 473 days

#1 posted 450 days ago

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

-- Dan

View a1Jim's profile


112010 posts in 2203 days

#2 posted 450 days ago

Thank you Matt

-- Custom furniture

View TheeWoodShed's profile


162 posts in 537 days

#3 posted 450 days ago

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


77 posts in 1401 days

#4 posted 450 days ago

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


300 posts in 766 days

#5 posted 449 days ago

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


607 posts in 552 days

#6 posted 449 days ago

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.

View Roger's profile


14318 posts in 1430 days

#7 posted 446 days ago

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

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

View BENTWOOD's profile


351 posts in 408 days

#8 posted 352 days ago

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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