How To Transfer A Photo To Wood
You may think that printing on wood is something that can only be done in a workshop, but to our amazement, there’s a remarkable DIY way to do that.
A photography blog named SLRcoaching.com have designed an educational step-by-step video tutorial that involves only a few things: some wood, a laser-printed image, Gel Medium (it makes the ink stick, but not the paper), and aerosol wood oil. One commenter of the video even claimed that this works on virtually any dry surface. What ‘canvas’ would you choose?
Step 1 – Get Some Wood
Before you sort your image, or maybe around the same time, you need to know what wood you are conveying the photo to as it could alter the size and layout of your image. Some guys on the youtube channel have recommended applying an image to their guitars or a piece of furniture but if you’re just starting out we advise using a hardwood cutting board.
If you’re going to a hardware store then look for a nice spotless piece of wood that’s simple and straight. You may need to cut it down but keep in mind the size of paper you’ll be printing on. In the UK it would be A4 ideally so your wood wants to be approx. 210 by 297mm the same as the A4 print.
Step 2 – Prepare Your Photo
So first you must find a photo you like. Now if you have wood by now and need to fit it to the size of that and with any luck it will be A4 or under else, you’ll be paying more for your printing. (Of course, you can go A3 if you like but I’d maybe start off smaller on your first project).
If your photo needs editing or flipping around I recommend Pixlr as an online app. I have given instructions on this process in the first video.
I do recommend decreasing the saturation and preferably warming the image up so it looks more golden and will sit better on the wood. Bright, full-color images don’t look as good in my point of view.
Step 3 – Print Your Photo
Now, this is the step that causes most of the mix-up and questions on my YouTube channel so I’ll go through it clearly. As I have a photo printer and I’m fussy I chose in both videos to print the photo I wanted to the precise size at home onto photo paper. I then grabbed my photo to a printer like Staples and asked them to photocopy my picture on their laser photocopier just onto plain paper (ideally 80gms weight).
You can transfer from an inkjet printer (as seen here), but the outcomes are far better from a laser copier/laser printer.
Step 4 – Get Everything Ready
What do I mean? Well as you can see from the videos you must lightly sand over the wood with fine sand paper. You will need some Gel Medium or Mod Podge so get that ordered in or from the store. You need to spread it over with something like a credit card or loyalty card so have that ready, and have some cloth or towel available to clear up your extra gel.
Continue to the NEXT PAGE to see the final process and videos.