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Best finish over text printed on paper onto wood project

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Forum topic by WhoMe posted 06-05-2015 06:09 AM 1945 views 2 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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WhoMe

1468 posts in 2710 days


06-05-2015 06:09 AM

I’m making a wood project where I want to place a printed piece of card stock onto the project and then put a protective finish over it to seal it onto the wood. The project will see little use other then a display
I currently have 2 costs of arm r seal on the wood to bring our the character of the wood, now I want to add the printed card stock. The card stock is printed from a printing press so the ink is pretty permanent.
Any recommendations on what I should use now? Should I just affix the card and then add more of the same finish or will a water based Poly work. I’m afraid the oil base finish may cause issues with the ink but then I’m afraid the water based finish will cause problems with the card stock.
Any advise would be appreciated.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -


17 replies so far

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2326 posts in 1763 days


#1 posted 06-05-2015 01:04 PM

Your card will fade. Can you put archival glass over it from a frame shop?

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

1159 posts in 2157 days


#2 posted 06-05-2015 01:16 PM

Epoxy table top pour! I’ve done a few bar tops with baseball cards set into the epoxy, works great.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2417 posts in 2389 days


#3 posted 06-05-2015 01:28 PM

I have done a lot of decoupage by printing images on tissue and applying with brush on lacquer. No smearing after several coats of brushed on lacquer. The tissue paper virtualy disappears and only the image is visible. Here are photos of this:

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

808 posts in 1701 days


#4 posted 06-05-2015 06:23 PM

How does one print on tissue?

-- Jerry

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Gerald Thompson

808 posts in 1701 days


#5 posted 06-05-2015 10:01 PM

Oh! I think you meant to draw or paint on the paper. I was thinking using a ink jet.

-- Jerry

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2417 posts in 2389 days


#6 posted 06-05-2015 10:28 PM

I use my ink jet printer for the images. I tape tissue paper, as used when wrapping gifts, to regular printer paper. Print image on best setting. I put two coats of brush on lacquer on the wood and then lay the printed tissue on the dry finish and brush the tissue into the finish with lacquer thinner on a brush. Then top with a few coats of lacquer.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

808 posts in 1701 days


#7 posted 06-05-2015 11:01 PM

Thank you. Next question. Does the object to be printed get stuck in the printer often?

-- Jerry

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WhoMe

1468 posts in 2710 days


#8 posted 06-06-2015 03:20 AM

Thanks for the advice. I’m going to take some similar cards and do some experimenting too. I also thought about spray lacquer to seal the card before adhering it to my project and putting layers of finish on it.

Any comments on the spray lacquer? I would imagine it would behave like the brush on lacquer that Jim is using.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View woodenwarrior's profile

woodenwarrior

203 posts in 1661 days


#9 posted 06-06-2015 03:45 AM

I have heard of a method of decoupage that uses printed paper and lacquer thinner to transfer the image to the substrate. You would have to print a mirror image and the results I have seen are pretty neat, however I have never attempted it myself.

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

View warrenski's profile

warrenski

6 posts in 558 days


#10 posted 06-06-2015 05:44 AM

I’ve applied both laser-printed and inkjet-printed images to wood.

My experience was that inkjet ink was water-soluble and water-based finishes caused it to smear immediately. Varnish (marine, oil-based spar varnish) rendered the onion-skin paper almost invisible and the printing popped. Under three or four coats, the thickness of the paper was only barely noticeable.

I now prefer laser-jet printing—again, my experience is with onion-skin paper, not business cards. If you have a laser-printed design, it would have to be mirror image because you apply the inked side directly to the wood. You use an acrylic gel medium (from an art store) to transfer the ink to the wood, letting it dry overnight before moistening the paper and rubbing it off. (As wooden warrior mentioned, you can also use a few very aromatic solvents like lacquer thinner, but the gel medium is much nicer to work with)

That technique leaves nothing but the ink, now saturated in an acrylic medium. You can finish this with a water-soluble product and it appears printed directly on the wood. You have to be very careful rubbing the paper off so you don’t take the ink with it.

I don’t know if any of that is helpful for someone dealing with business cards, but I’ve had fun making boxes for a trim router and a selection of router bits decorated with 1890s tintype erotica. They aren’t bikinis in front of 18-wheelers, but they add a nice ambience to the shop. :)

View Vicki's profile

Vicki

1043 posts in 2811 days


#11 posted 06-07-2015 03:10 PM

@ Jim, does the ink side go next to the wood? Does the tissue peel away and the ink stay on the wood, or do you keep applying coats over it like decoupage?

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View WhoMe's profile

WhoMe

1468 posts in 2710 days


#12 posted 06-09-2015 05:40 AM

Well, I tried 4 different finishes on some business cards as a test. Here is the update.
The water based poly made the card soggy as expected but also blurred the text.
The Shellac worked well but gave the white paper a slight tint and seemed to ever so slightly blur the lettering but not anywhere near objectionable.
The Arm-r-seal worked well too and gave about the same finish and blurring as the shellac.
The best performer was the spray (rattle can) semi gloss clear from home depot. The letters stayed nice and clear, there was no apparent degradation of the card and it dried quickly.

So, I slightly recessed the area where the card was going to go, coated the actual card on both sides with the spray clear coat and then glued it in place with medium CA,
Then I added several thick coats of semi-gloss Arm-r-seal to try to hide the card to wood seams and coat the entire project uniformly. It was semi-successful and I definitely could have done better with the recessed area but it looks fine for what it is. I did the outside and my wife did the lining. Not a fan of the pink but it is her boss. She should be happy wit it.

The pen case is Mahogany, the pen is a Cuban/cigar pen made from Bethlehem Olive wood for my wife’s boss who is graduating to be an episcopal priest. The inlay is the little certificate telling about the Bethlehem olive wood.


-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2417 posts in 2389 days


#13 posted 06-09-2015 12:59 PM

I apply the image that is printed on tissue ink side up. Never thought to put the ink side down. May work better ? I leave the tissue in place and as has been mentioned it virtually disappearss after a few more coats of lacquer. Taring the edges of the tissue ,rather than cutting it, adds to the “disappearing of the tissue” effect.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View Vicki's profile

Vicki

1043 posts in 2811 days


#14 posted 06-09-2015 02:02 PM

Thank you Jim!

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View warrenski's profile

warrenski

6 posts in 558 days


#15 posted 06-10-2015 05:45 AM

Just remember if you apply the image with the inked side against the wood that you will have to print it mirror-image: which is trivial to do.

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