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Monday, September 19, 2016

Transferring a Printed Design to Wood

Last week, I posted about how I found a wooden box at Goodwill and upcycled it by removing the dated handle and painting the box with milk paint.  The other part of the project was to transfer a design onto the top of the box to make it even more Christmas/vintage looking.  My step 1 was to design what I wanted to transfer.  Taking it back to before step 1 - here is my design inspiration - the fictional Inn in one of my favorite Christmas films - White Christmas.

Back to step 1 - here is my design:
Step 2 was to reverse the image using photo editing software:

Then I did a test using a method I found online - which was to print on regular paper and brush the back with water and then rub the ink into the wood.  This method didn't transfer very well and came out kind of blurry and light.

So I searched for another method and found this tutorial on Pinterest that was very helpful: 

It directed me to print the reversed image on freezer paper, on the shiny side and then position it and rub over the back it with a credit card. The freezer paper is very important - not saran wrap, not waxed paper, not parchment paper - FREEZER PAPER.

Since I was using milk paint, which requires an oil rubbed finish, I decided to transfer the image on after I'd painted but before I applied the oil.  This is how it looked after that step.  I think I could have rubbed it harder and it would have come out darker, but I was worried it might smudge.

I gave time for the ink to dry and then I did applied the oil.  I was really concerned that the oil might smudge the ink, but it didn't!


  1. Very cute! One of your photos doesn't show up, the one right after you talk about freezer paper.

  2. Weird - it does for me, but it's actually an Amazon ad for freezer paper, so maybe you have ads blocked or something.

  3. You're right. Ad blocker strikes again.




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