Saturday, January 12, 2013

Photo Transfer to MDF Pre-Painted Block

We recently received this new item in our store, a pre-painted distressed block, and the first project that popped into our minds when we saw it was "photo transfer."

And this is what Christy created. Beautiful, isn't it?

Crafted by Christy.


  • MDF Pre-Painted Wood Block
  • Claudine Hellmuth Studio Multi-Medium in Matte
  • Vinyl Lettering
  • Spray Bottle
  • Paintbrush
  • Sponge

For this project, you will need to print a favorite photo onto regular copy/print paper using an inkjet printer. Remember to print the photo in reverse if there are words or numbers in the photo so that it transfers correctly. You can purchase the Claudine Hellmuth Studio Multi-Medium in Matte here in our online store.

1.  Apply a thick coat of the multi-medium in the area you want to transfer the photo.

If you are covering the entire surface, then you must apply a thick coat to the entire surface. For this project, Christy only applied the photo around the middle area.

2.  Place your photo print side down onto the surface with the multi-medium and use your fingers to adhere it.

Be sure to adhere every area of the photo. Missed spots will not transfer properly or at all.

3.  Let the photo dry completely before moving onto step 4.

We recommend letting it dry overnight.

4.  Once the multi-medium is completely dry, use the spray bottle to wet the paper.
5.  Using a soft sponge or the soft side of a sponge, gently scrub off the paper.

Do not rub too hard as you will scrub the transfer off of the surface. Add more water to remove the paper if necessary.

If your image appears "cloudy," it is because there are still more paper fibers that you can scrub off.

Christy scrubbed the edges of the photo off to create a more distressed look, blending it into the surface of the block.

6.  Once your image has transferred, set it aside to let dry.

This block resembles the blocks for subway art, so Christy thought it would be perfect to apply vinyl lettering. Applying vinyl lettering is optional, however, as you see in Christy's project, words can add a more emotional connection to an image.

7.  Whether you have decided to apply the vinyl lettering or not, seal the entire front surface (including vinyl) with a thin coat of the multi-medium.
8.  Let it dry overnight and then, it will be ready to display!

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

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