Introduction: How to Transfer an Image to Wood - Laser Vs. Inkjet

I have been looking for different ways to transfer my logo to the projects I make as a way of signing them.

I had read that laser prints are much better than inkjet prints when you try to transfer them. I decided to investigate and see if there was much of a difference.

I you would like to watch the video here it is:

Materials Used:

  • Laser Print on regular paper
  • Inkjet Print on regular paper
  • Modge Podge Image Transfer
  • Water
  • Spray Polyurethane
  • Wood to transfer too

'Tools' Used:

  • Clean Rag
  • Scissors

Step 1: Prepare the Image

Picture of Prepare the Image

Remember to flip your image before printing. Especialy if you have text on the image. If printed normaly the image will be back to front so it has to be flipped first.

If you dont want a white boarder around your image then remember to cut as close to the image as you can. You could experiment with different edge styles but I just prefer a clean cut look. White boards can look good though.

I cut out my logo on both the laser and inkjet version leaving no white paper showing.

Step 2: Apply Mod Podge Image Transfer

Picture of Apply Mod Podge Image Transfer

All I did next was to paint a thick (but not too thick) layer of Mod Podge image transfer onto the image itself. I could barely see the image through the white Mod Podge when I was done.

I could then apply the image to the piece of wood. I had split the wood to show the difference between laser & Inkjet versions. I placed both images face down and smoothed them out using my fingers to make sure they were flat and had no creases or bubbles. I could leave them to dry overnight.

Step 3: Remove Paper Backing

Picture of Remove Paper Backing

To remove the paper backing from the images all I did was use some clean water and a clean rag (I used a piece of old T-Shirt).

I lightly dampened the rag and wet the paper back of the images. I left them a short while to soak, then I began to lightly wipe away the wet paper from the image. Be careful at this stage because you could remove the image itself if you arent careful.

I removed a lot of the paper and left them to dry to see what was left. There was quite a bit of paper left behing so I repeated the previouse step of using the wet rag to remove the paper. I did this 3 times for the laser version and just twice for the inkjet version.

The laser print held up great but the inkjet version didnt. It began to fade very quickly and I wasnt able to remove the paper fully.

To seal the images to the wood I used spray polyurethane. This will help protect the images and stop them from peeling or getting scratched off.

I think you will agree that the laser version is a lot better quality when compared to the inkjet version. You can use an inkjet print though as you can see but I would highly recomend using a laser print if possible.

I hope you found this instructable useful.


CaptCheryl (author)2017-04-26

Thank You Hun. Helped me out bunches ((HUGS))

CaptCheryl (author)CaptCheryl2017-04-26

Where the heck is the subscribe button ? Dang I'm blonde !!!

Thanks Cheryl! Im really glad you found it helpful :) I see that you have subscribed to me on here thank you! I hope you get some inspiration from what I make :) I also have a youtube channel if you're interested -

lutam (author)2016-12-12

I wonder. Why have you cut the saw teeth? Was it because the image had a background color other than white?

AverageJoesJoinery (author)lutam2016-12-14

The white also gets transfered to the wood. I didnt want a white background so I cut the shape out first :)

JenniferG211 made it! (author)2016-10-08

So glad you did this tutorial showing the difference between the two printer types. Thanks! I used a regular laser printer for mine and I tried this on tile and wood. The first print I forgot to reverse the image so I have the paper in the photo for colour reference. The modge podge didn't adhere as well to the tile (I was impatient and only waited 2 hours for it to dry). Perhaps if I took some sandpaper to the tile, first before the modge podge then it wouldn't have rubbed off as easily. The colour transfered to the tile better than the wood. Maybe the wood absorbs the modge podge and ink a little more or maybe the wood colour just blended with my image a little more. I found that holding it under the running water and gently rubbing with my thumb was more gentle than rubbing with a cloth.

I made this because I need a lawn sign... I refuse to pull dandelions and I wanted a gentle way to tell my persistant weed pulling neighbour to leave them and enjoy the bright yellow flowers in the spring. :-) Save the bees! :-)

Thank you Jennifer! Im really glad you found it useful. Those transfers turned out great. I think you're right, if your rough up the tile surface it would help a lot with adhesion. The colours look to have transfered really well! Like you say it gets lost a little on the similar coloured wood but on the tile its very vibrant!

Great idea to make a sign too. I like the subtle suggestion to your neighbour to leave them be and let nature takes its course.

JGDean (author)2016-01-15

Great idea and good instructable.

A Xerox Phaser (solid ink) printer works even better than a laser due to its wax-based (waterproof) ink deposit. Unfortunately the printers are quite large (the size of an OLD laser printer) and expensive (generally $650 or more). A set of the solid ink blocks lasts a long time, but is normally over $100. However, if you know someone who has one and is willing to print you a few sheets of your logo....

Thanks! I had never heard of that type of printer before. I will have a look into it. It would be great if I could find an online printing serivce. I got an A3 sheet full of my logo's from an online poster printer. I dont know if my inkjet printer is just bad but the laser print was a alot better quality. I always thought inkjet was better for photo's. I will have to do some research before I commit to a new style of printer :) Thanks and again for the info, I really appreciate it :)

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