Easy way to put your logo on your projects

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Blog entry by stefang posted 12-23-2017 09:23 PM 2739 reads 5 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Every time I gift someone on of my projects I never sign it and everybody says I should. Well, I have a reason for not signing it. My handwriting is pretty atrocious. I thought about wood burning or a branding iron, but I don’t like breathing the smoke so that idea didn’t enthrall me, so after snooping around on the net I found a great solution. Two great solutions actually. The most important one was finding out that I could transfer photos printed on my printer. However, there is a catch. This will only work for laser printers, but I have provided a solution to solve that problem at the end of this blog.

The second thing I found was a logo-making website that allows you to make one free logo. I used it and though my logo isn’t very exciting It’s ok for me. Here is picture of it. I’m pretty sure you can come up with something better!

The process is simple. Here are the steps

  1. print out a mirror image photo to be transferred to your project ( a smooth surface is best).
  2. brush on a liberal but not floating amount of semi-gloss water-based polyurethane onto the area the size of your clipped out photo print .
  3. Lay the printed photo face down onto the poly and gently smooth out until it is resting on the wood with good contact overall.
  4. Wait one hour or longer and then remove the paper print by moistening the paper and gently rolling the paper off in small areas at a time. If you rub to hard you will take the ink with it, so GENTLY.
  5. Once the you think the paper is all off it probably isn’t. If you wait awhile it will dry and show some paper residue as a faded white look. You can then moisten and work it off until the photo is well defined with no white showing.

This is absolutely the best method for transferring. There are 4 or 5 other ways, but this is the easiest, cheapest and best way. There are various videos on Youtube showing how to do it, but you need to see the ones using poly if you think you need to see it done.

Her is the first photo I did as a trial on a piece of scrap wood. The big mistake I did with it was to use a piece of wood that came straight off the bandsaw with the blade ridges left on, as you can see on the wood border of the picture. This means that when you rub the paper off you will also rub off the picture on the high spots or conversely rub the paper off the high spots and leave the paper in the low spots. Either way a disaster.

I did transfer my logo onto all the Christmas gifts I made, but these are all packed away so I couldn’t show to you. They came out perfect and they took hardly and time to do except to wait and hour for the poly to dry.

I tried brushing on poly to protect the logo after all the paper was removed and the water dried up and that also worked well. This probably wasn’t necessary, but it’s nice to know that it works, especially if the logo is located on a flat bottom that will be scuffed around on a table top or other surface for example.

I printed out an A4 piece of paper with a page full of logos so I can just clip one out as needed. If you don’t have a laser printer you can print out a page or two of logos on your Thinkjet and have them copied on a laser printer at your local print shop for a few cents.

I hope you find this useful and Thanks for reading.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

18 comments so far

View Schwieb's profile


1902 posts in 4271 days

#1 posted 12-23-2017 09:35 PM

I was faced with the same things with projects I made. I do like things signed because it might mean something to future generations of owners. I did the woodburning thing for a long time, especially on bowls and turned projects. A few years ago my wife bought a laser engraving machine and we came up with a design and she does them for me now. I like identifying the type of wood and time it was made as well as other identifiers.

It is so great to see you here again. You are truly an inspiration to me personally. You have motivated me to work on posting some projects I have completed. As soon as the Holiday busyness calms down, I plan to do that.

Merry Christmas.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4144 days

#2 posted 12-23-2017 09:40 PM

Hi Ken, can see that I’m probably behind the times what with all the new technologies available. Thank you for your friendship. I’m looking forward to seeing your projects, they are always so well done.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View a1Jim's profile


118104 posts in 4386 days

#3 posted 12-23-2017 09:55 PM

Thanks for the Tip Mike ,it looks like yours turned out very well.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and happy new year. Now repeat three times. Got it? now sing it three times. LOL
I hope you and your family have a great Christmas Like Ken said it’s great to have you back with us.


View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4144 days

#4 posted 12-23-2017 10:02 PM

Thanks much Jim and Merry Christmas to you too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View shipwright's profile


8573 posts in 3607 days

#5 posted 12-24-2017 12:43 AM

That works well!
... but you won’t get me off my marquetry cypher… :-)

Merry Christmas Mike.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View doubleDD's profile


9545 posts in 2852 days

#6 posted 12-24-2017 03:50 AM

Thanks for explaining the steps Mike. I have been interested in this process but haven’t looked into it enough. This may be my winter long must do accomplishment. I usually just write my name and if someone says they can’t read it, I tell them I’m a doctor.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Frustrator's profile


93 posts in 1859 days

#7 posted 12-24-2017 08:11 AM

What poly do you use? (Trying to find something like that in Sweden)

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4144 days

#8 posted 12-24-2017 10:26 AM

Paul The marquetry solution is much much nicer. I might do that myself if I make something I am extra proud of.

Dave Once you do it you will find it to be really quick and easy.

Frustrator I used a water-based floor finish (gulv lakk, matt eller halv-blank). Lots of different brands to choose from.

Merry Christmas All !!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1602 posts in 4374 days

#9 posted 12-24-2017 10:38 AM

Hi Mike, thanks for this alternative branding idea, looks like it works good.

Merry Christmas to you too!

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View toyguy's profile


1735 posts in 4647 days

#10 posted 12-24-2017 11:38 AM

Thanks for the blog. An idea worth investigating.

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View splintergroup's profile


3867 posts in 2032 days

#11 posted 12-24-2017 03:30 PM

I’ve been itching to try this. There was a recent post about five different methods, the “best” being water based poly and acetone.

That photo looks fine on the rough wood, kind of “rustic” looking (and your monster bench archived for generations!)

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7576 posts in 4162 days

#12 posted 12-27-2017 12:06 AM

Thanks for sharing this Mike! When I get a chance I’ll have to give this a try!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View robscastle's profile


7238 posts in 3014 days

#13 posted 01-02-2018 04:02 PM

Hello Mike,

I saw this article while I was just scanning the through LJs posts.

You may have seen this blog already its 2007 vintage, and details what I know as Water transfers.

I will dig around and see if the paper is available in Australia and if so do a test and if OK blog it.

I got some great results from the method you used

I thought the article may be of some interest to you.

-- Regards Rob

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4144 days

#14 posted 01-02-2018 04:58 PM

Your results look real good Rob. The Decals are extra nice as no poly is required. Might be a little difficult to get hold of the decal paper though. Let us know how that went.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View robscastle's profile


7238 posts in 3014 days

#15 posted 01-16-2018 09:15 AM

Hello Mike,

I went shopping for the water transfer paper, but found nobody stocked it.
So I ordered some on line from ebay.
The materials arrived while No 2 son was here with his two young daughters.

So I did some experiments on them.

The water transfer material does actually stick on both sides so they had some for the day up to bath time.

Here is the application directions that come with the media.

1 x Packet has white background media and 1 x packet has clear background media.

Printing : I guess if you use the white background no reversal is needed. and conventional application of the transfer is used.

If you use clear background conventional transfer application is also possible however if you wanted to apply the transfer to the inside of glass or similar you could hold the transfer in place with a wet sponge and apply it that way.

I will do some more tests tomorrow and post them as a process blog if i get some worthwile results.

-- Regards Rob

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