Embed an image into the finish?

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Forum topic by Jason Tetterton posted 03-08-2010 07:42 AM 1558 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jason Tetterton

54 posts in 3200 days

03-08-2010 07:42 AM

Topic tags/keywords: embed image onto wood engrave

I have an electronic image (jpeg) that I would like to incorporate into a cutting board.. I’m basically going to make the cutting board and then I thought about printing this image and gluing it to the surface and then applying the finish.. not sure how this would work… maybe recess it somehow? I also thought about having someone engrave the image onto the board.. any ideas?

Here is the image:

I want to put it in the bottom right corner of the board, all suggestions welcomed!


EDIT: Finished this project,

-- Jason, Central Virginia

10 replies so far

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4052 days

#1 posted 03-08-2010 08:08 AM

Jason – generally the knives used on a cutting board eventually dig through the finish and down to the wood, so the finish has to be renewed from time to time. If your image is printed on the wood or printed on paper and applied to the wood, there is a good chance that it will get worn through.

That being said, if you print on rice paper and wet-out the paper with the finish, it nearly disappears in the finish. Also, there are printable decals that can be applied to the wood and then finished over.

Good luck!

-- -- --

View Jason Tetterton's profile

Jason Tetterton

54 posts in 3200 days

#2 posted 03-08-2010 01:51 PM

Thanks for the replies.

Peter, are you suggesting that printing on rice paper may work? Where do I find such a thing and will it feed into a standard inkjet?


Where do you go for engraving if you don’t own an engraver? Do places like Woodcraft offer such a service? I found a place called but I’m not sure if I want to send the piece off.


-- Jason, Central Virginia

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4183 days

#3 posted 03-08-2010 02:34 PM

Some trophy places have laser engravers. Might try that.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View cstrang's profile


1832 posts in 3346 days

#4 posted 03-08-2010 02:47 PM

Jason, there should be a local laser engraver close to you, check in the yellow pages for a custom print and award business. Also you can check here for a printable decal “how-to”.

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

View Jason Tetterton's profile

Jason Tetterton

54 posts in 3200 days

#5 posted 03-08-2010 05:16 PM

Thanks for the tips.. I found a guy that does laser engraving right in my town, emailed him the info for a quote :)

-- Jason, Central Virginia

View PaulfromVictor's profile


228 posts in 3523 days

#6 posted 03-08-2010 05:18 PM

I am interested in hearing responses on this also. I am not familiar with the rice paper, but I would guess that anything printed on an inkjet will bleed as soon as the finish hits it. Sounds like a mess.

I did see a nice project that somebody had done where they had somehow adhered an old map looking thing to a board, and put a finish over the top. I have no idea how they did it.

View Vicki's profile


1106 posts in 3522 days

#7 posted 03-08-2010 08:36 PM

People print pics and adhere it to plywood to cut jig saw puzzles. They use 3M spray glue to attach it to the wood and then put triple glaze over it. I know you can’t use triple glaze, but my point is that pics can tolerate a coating and still look fine. Please show us your board when finished.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View jm82435's profile


1285 posts in 3920 days

#8 posted 03-11-2010 03:17 AM

You might try the high school. Lasers are pretty popular in most shop classes these days. My daughter engraved a rose into her cutting board last semester. There is also a trick I have heard of, you print the image with a laser printer, place the paper face down on your wood and apply acetone to the paper. The toner releases from the paper and is transferred to the wood. I am not sure how clean this process is, I have yet to try it…
For that matter, if you printed it on a color laser printer, you could just decoupage it to the board.

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View bigike's profile


4054 posts in 3466 days

#9 posted 03-11-2010 04:03 AM

modgpoge i think it’s called, guy named stevinmarin introduced me to it on a vid of his called the magic disappering box he shows how he put stickers on a box and then put a finnish over it. you can also recess the pic and put a piece of acrylic over it and seal the edges with sylicone sealnt

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Jason Tetterton's profile

Jason Tetterton

54 posts in 3200 days

#10 posted 03-21-2010 04:23 AM

Finished this project, check it out!

-- Jason, Central Virginia

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