Transferring Images to Wood #2: The Dirty Work & The Big Payoff!

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Blog entry by KnotCurser posted 06-21-2013 08:29 PM 4976 reads 13 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Day One - Prep Work & Stickin It To the Man! Part 2 of Transferring Images to Wood series no next part

Okay, you have waited overnight (at least) and are now ready to continue…....

The image has now dried and all the medium has gone perfectly clear.

If you noticed the change in scenery, we are now in my kitchen at the sink.

Get the water running pretty warm and then totally soak the image – that’s right SOAK IT!

Let the water sit on top of the wood until the paper actually absorbs it and then put a tad more on.

Now, take your thumb and, gently at first, start rubbing the paper in one direction until it starts to roll up and part company with the image underneath. I generally start in the center and work my way to the edges. Keep applying water when the paper starts to dry out. Don’t try to get every bit of paper off on this attempt – just the easy stuff.

Now, once all the “slag” is off, go back and use your finger tips in a circular motion to start getting some of the tougher bits off. Don’t rub too hard or you will start removing the image itself! Also, don’t go too long or the image will start to soften. When you have most of it off, dry it off with a paper towel and put it down to dry for a few hours.

Here’s what it will probably look like when it dries – not too nice yet….........

Once again, go to the sink and this time only wet your fingertips and get the spots that remain – if you wish, you can now experiment with adding a touch more pressure at certain places to remove some of the image for that aged look.

You should only get a small amount off – don’t worry about getting every last little bit – it isn’t needed.

Once again, dry it off and let it dry.

Here’s what it will look like – still, not the greatest, eh?

Now, for the big payoff! Change of scenery again – back in the shop…....

Intermission: Here is where you can take a piece of sandpaper and roughen up or blend in the edges of your image. Make it look aged, etc…. I most certainly did this with my first image, but this one I chose to only go with what I rubbed off during the cleanup process.

Back to the show…........

Take your clearcoat and spray (or brush I suppose) a coat over the entire surface of the wood.

Instantly, as if by magic, all the white blotches disappear and out pops a brilliant, crisp and clear image!

I’m going to attache a picture hanger on the rear of this one and hang it up at work – I am pretty sure I’ll sell it to somebody in the next week or so. :-)

I hope you enjoyed this two-part thriller and please feel free to let me know how this goes for you, should you decide to give it a shot! Also, I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have – good luck!!!!

Cheers, and GO O’s!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

16 comments so far

View KnotCurser's profile


2040 posts in 4226 days

#1 posted 06-21-2013 08:35 PM

One other thing I forgot to mention – try not to rinse all that paper down your sink! It will do bad thing in your pipes, and nobody wants that!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

View degoose's profile


7284 posts in 4512 days

#2 posted 06-21-2013 09:01 PM

Very cool procedure… and your blog was very informative…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3832 days

#3 posted 06-21-2013 09:18 PM

Great write-up!
Explained soooooooo well…..
I think even I could successfully do this!!!

Thanks for taking the time to blog this procedure!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5039 days

#4 posted 06-21-2013 11:49 PM

Neat. Thanks.
Go Natty Boh.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View flintbone's profile


213 posts in 4314 days

#5 posted 06-22-2013 01:15 AM

Nice and easy to follow information. Thanks Bob.

-- If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. - Albert Einstein

View Celticscroller's profile


1286 posts in 3230 days

#6 posted 06-22-2013 03:06 AM

Great blog Bob. This is definitely worth a try.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View robscastle's profile


8085 posts in 3361 days

#7 posted 06-22-2013 08:24 AM

Well I know Titebond II does not work!


So it was off to the The Art Factory 274 Montague Rd for some Derivan Matisse Gel Medium and try again !
02 9736-2022

-- Regards Rob

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3961 days

#8 posted 06-22-2013 12:03 PM

Nice blog bob. I’ll have to give it a try one o these days. :)

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 4193 days

#9 posted 06-22-2013 02:53 PM

Good blog, Bob.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View robscastle's profile


8085 posts in 3361 days

#10 posted 06-22-2013 11:22 PM

Well here is a shot of my second try its a bit raggedy but a project well worth perusing further.

Thanks b0b for your inspiration.


Robert Brennan

-- Regards Rob

View KnotCurser's profile


2040 posts in 4226 days

#11 posted 06-23-2013 12:05 AM

Looking good Robert – A great choice for the subject of your work!

I might suggest switching to spray lacquer instead of the poly though….. I have heard that poly might interact with the medium and make it all gooey, but since I’ve never tried it I am not sure.

Keep up the great work!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4491 days

#12 posted 09-04-2013 09:31 AM

A super tutorial blog Bob and a fantastic result on the transfer. I already have the medium, so I will surely give it a try in the near future. Thanks much for sharing this with us.

One point that was not clear to me was the final instruction of drying,lathering, rinsing and repeating. Do you mean to get off the medium or are you talking about the picture? And it seems a strange thing to do after the whole surface has been lacquered.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View KnotCurser's profile


2040 posts in 4226 days

#13 posted 09-04-2013 11:31 AM


This is my fault – I meant to put that statement directly after the part where you rub off a layer of paper and BEFORE you apply lacquer.

Good eyes! Thanks for pointing this out – I am going to edit the page to avoid anyone screwing up there work at the last second.

Thanks again,


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

View brianadams's profile


183 posts in 3801 days

#14 posted 10-07-2013 01:13 AM

Awesome, thanks for the extra info, that’ll help a lot!


View degoose's profile


7284 posts in 4512 days

#15 posted 10-25-2015 10:05 PM

Water based Polyurethane works a treat in lieu of gel medium …
Pic shows the reveal on black and white photograph…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

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