5 ways to transfer a printed image to wood

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Forum topic by Joe Lyddon posted 10-31-2017 07:02 PM 2282 views 6 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5168 days

10-31-2017 07:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: transfer image to wood image to wood picture to wood transfer picture to wood

I received this in an Instructable email…
... and thought the rest of YOU would like to see it!

New way, to me, to do this…

5 ways to transfer a printed image to wood ... some very good…

The BEST I’ve seen so far!

Hope Y’all like it!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

13 replies so far

View John Olynyk's profile

John Olynyk

19 posts in 1323 days

#1 posted 10-31-2017 07:46 PM

Can color photos be transferred to wood or glass with Proacrylic?
Thanks in advance.

-- John Olynyk

View richardchaos's profile


583 posts in 1496 days

#2 posted 10-31-2017 08:09 PM


I received this in an Instructable email…
... and thought the rest of YOU would like to see it!

New way, to me, to do this…

5 ways to transfer a printed image to wood ... some very good…

The BEST I ve seen so far!

Hope Y all like it!

- Joe Lyddon

-- “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” ― George Orwell

View robscastle's profile


7948 posts in 3320 days

#3 posted 10-31-2017 09:30 PM

Thanks Joe,

Of the 5 methods the arcrylic and medium look like the producer of the best resullts.

Photo Transfer:
arcrylic and medium

I first saw the Medium method from Knot Cursers post in 2013 then later a post by The CrafsMan of which he/she (its is actually a puppet! posted the Arcrylic method, but it sounds like a male has done the voice over for it) anyway they used normal water based poly and produced similar excellent results.
Upon checking there are quite a few posts later showing the Photo Transfer process.

The latest on LJs being a Lego Box by John Mclure.

Its a great way to produce images.

Photo Transfer:
Laser Method

Degoose can do excellent photos, of which samples are on his website for viewing.

No doubt any other LJ with a laser can do the same (not sure if its all range of lasers as I do not own one.)
howevr I saw a post regarding lasers by A1Jim so I assume it is the case

The Laser produces only varying shades of Monochrome, (being the composition of the wood differences) at this time frame.

P.S. I was so impressed with the results I did a blog on the process.
All are worth checking out if you are interested in Photo Transfer to wood.

The latest Transfer I did.

-- Regards Rob

View BurlyBob's profile


8999 posts in 3382 days

#4 posted 11-01-2017 01:29 AM

Thank you Joe, I learned a couple of methods for an up coming project. I will definitely use these.

View doubleDD's profile


10422 posts in 3159 days

#5 posted 11-01-2017 02:00 AM

Always wanted to try this Joe. Thanks for the info.

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

View harry1's profile


535 posts in 3401 days

#6 posted 11-01-2017 01:58 PM

I’m puzzled, the original copy was the right way round, therefor the copy should be laterally inverted, or am I missing something.

-- Harry, Western Australia

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Jim Jakosh

26297 posts in 4222 days

#7 posted 11-01-2017 03:44 PM

Thanks, Joe. I’m thinking like Harry. The original that you transfer had to be a the mirror image of the outcome. How do you print a copy in the mirror image to use for your transfer??
I like the poly acrylic the best.

I read Rob’s blog and see that he used MS Powerpoint to reverse the image that he uses for the transfer. The poly acrylic method seems to be the best if you don’t have a CNC laser.

Thanks for the education Joe and Rob!!!!!!!!!!................cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View tyvekboy's profile


2114 posts in 4129 days

#8 posted 11-05-2017 03:28 AM

Reversing an image (mirror image) can be done several ways. The following examples are using a MAC.

1st Option:

Using INDESIGN … create your TEXT or Place a PICTURE … the select the object to mirror (the left group) and click the RED circled icon. The result will be right image group.

2nd Option:

Another way to use INDESIGN is to just print un-mirrored objects and in the PRINT DIALOG BOX choose OUTPUT and choose FLIP Horizontal and then PRINT it. Notice the little “P” is mirrored.

3rd Option:

This option uses PREVIEW on a Mac.

Here I opened a screen shot of the image I wanted to mirror.

Then I clicked on the TOOLS tab and clicked on FLIP HORIZONTAL.

The result is a MIRRORED image. You can then print it out from PREVIEW or just close the PREVIEW window and save the modified image. Then put it into WORD and size it then print it.

Hope that gives you options on mirroring images to transfer them to wood.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5168 days

#9 posted 11-05-2017 05:14 AM

Printing a FLIPPED (Horizontally) Image: (assuming your picture is right-side up, etc.)

I do not have Word…

I do have… for PC:

Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 … for PC:

1. File Select the Picture you want to Print… Flipped.

2. File “Print”

3. “More Options” bottom of screen.

4. “Iron-on Image” Upper Right of screen.

5. Check “Flip Image”

6. “OK”

7. Handle any other options you need…

8. “Print” (it prints)


It works!



I don’t have a Color Laser printer… BUT, I would think one could transfer a Color Image if a Color Image was Printed, etc. instead of Black & White.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


8630 posts in 3315 days

#10 posted 11-05-2017 07:40 AM

Just a comment on the heat transfer shown… a clothes iron is NOT the most ideal thing to use, and will produce results like what was shown. You need sufficient heat AND pressure, which is almost impossible to get with an iron. A smaller heated surface works much, much better – Stuff done with a modified soldering iron comes out clean, and with as much detail as the original printing.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Lazyman's profile (online now)


7126 posts in 2504 days

#11 posted 11-05-2017 01:34 PM

One method that I am surprised he didn’t show uses only an ink jet printer (for those of us without a laser printer or who don’t want to pay Kinkos to print or make copies for us). I saw this method years ago on Steve Ramsey’s Woodworking for Mere Mortals YouTube channel. I tried it and it works pretty well
1) Get some peel off labels designed for inkjet printers. It doesn’t matter what size labels you use/get because you are going to peel all of the labels off and throw them away. You really just want the nonstick backing.
2) Peel off all of the labels and discard
3) Convert the image to a reverse Left<—>Right
4) Sand the area to which you are going to transfer to get it as smooth as possible (220 grit).
5) Print the image on the shiny side of the label backing
6) Immediately lay the printed image on the surface of the wood and rub or sort of squeegee the back of the paper against the wood being careful so that the paper doesn’t move as you rub it. This will transfer the undried ink to the surface of the wood. Note: You have to lay it down before the ink dries. The shiny label backing, slows down the drying time but you don’t have much time.
7) Carefully peel the paper away from the wood, again making sure it doesn’t shift as you lift.
8) You will have to use a spray finish to seal the surface as wiping or brushing will smear the image.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View mafe's profile


13202 posts in 4205 days

#12 posted 11-13-2017 02:24 PM

Interesting, that might come in handy.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View TJones's profile


11 posts in 1998 days

#13 posted 11-13-2017 09:13 PM

For laser printed images I’ve found that I have good luck using One Shot sprayed onto a cotton ball. Just be careful not oversaturate the paper because smearing/blurring will occur. I understand acetone will work as well.


-- Tony, Sullivan IL

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