Tuesday, April 3, 2012

How-to: Photo Transfer to Wood

We've showed you how to do a photo transfer to canvas, and now, we're going to show you how to create a beautiful rustic look by transferring a photo to wood.

Crafted by Kellie.


  • Wood Item (Board, Plaque, Block, Slab, etc.)
  • Claudine Hellmuth Studio Multi-Medium in Matte
  • Foam Brush
  • A Favorite Photo
Before you get started, print a favorite photo on regular printing paper using an inkjet printer. If you have a lot of white in your photo, keep in mind that white does not transfer (since there isn't any color there) and the wood will show through instead.

You can purchase the Claudine Hellmuth Studio Multi-Medium in Matte here in our online store.

1.  Prep the surface of the wood by rubbing a damp cloth over it to remove any dust and particles.
2.  Using the foam brush, completely cover the surface of the wood where the photo will be transferred.

Be sure to give the wood a good thick layer of the multi-medium because the photo will not transfer in any areas that you may have missed which will create empty spots in the transfer. To ensure a complete transfer, you can use the foam brush to apply a light coat onto the photo. 

3.  Now, carefully lay the photo onto the wood to prevent any large wrinkles or accidental placement onto the wood. Once the paper touches the multi-medium, it will be very difficult to reposition your photo.
4.  Smooth it out with your fingers to get out all air bubbles. Do not apply too much pressure as the paper may tear. You want to make sure that you have the paper completely adhered to the multi-medium.
5.  Set aside for 12-24 hours to let it completely dry.
6.  Once dry, take a wet sponge and press it onto the paper, saturating it with water.
7.  When the paper is completely saturated, lightly rub the paper off with the sponge. This may take a while but do this until all the paper has removed to reveal your photo.

If you still see paper residue on the wood, let it dry, then repeat steps 6-7. If you rub too hard, you can affect the photo transfer.

8.  When you're done, you can leave the photo as is, use Ranger Distress Ink around the edges to really give it that rustic look, or add embellishments.

To hang the photo, you can attach a sawtooth picture hanger or drill holes in it to string twine or ribbon.

The wood creates an appealing texture.

In this video, watch Kellie demonstrate how she did this photo transfer to wood.

For more projects, visit our Project Gallery on our website here.


  1. Wow! That looks fun. Ok heres the question... can you apply a transparent stain and clear coat over the image? It would be cool to have a ghost image showing through the stain.

  2. what kind of gel did you put on the wood and photo??

    1. The gel medium is called Claudine Hellmuth Studio in Multi-Medium in Matte.

  3. Bravo, C'est magnifique. Vous serait-il possible de me donner les explications en français et le nom du produit utilisé pour le transfert. Merci beaucoup. Thank you.

  4. Does the print of the image should be reverse when we print using a printer ?