Step 1: Materials and Tools
5/4" x 24" x 48" Pine panel (1)
21 1/4" Pine table legs (4)
3/4" x 3 1/2" x 96" Pine boards (2)
1 1/2" Screws (1 box) - Or glue, dowels, biscuits, etc.
0000 Fine steel wool
Several brushes or rags
Sand paper (coarse, medium, and fine)
Acrylic Gel Medium (available at art supply stores)
Miter saw (Or hand saw, table saw, etc.)
Access to laser printer
Computer with image editing software
Exacto knife or scissors
Brayer, roller or spoon
Other helpful tools (not required):
Pocket hole jig
Step 2: Design and Planning
Tip: When setting up the color black in your image editing software, it is a good idea to crank up all of the CMYK sliders to ensure that your printer lays down the densest amount of toner on the paper possible. This will increase your chances of having a bold transfer to the wood table top later on.
Edit: I have gotten several requests to post my vector design, so here it is. Please only use it for non-commercial purposes. Thanks!
Step 3: Image Preparation
It is also very important that your image be mirrored prior to printing, especially if your design has text, because everything will be reversed after the image transfer!
This part of the project will vary depending on the printing size capabilities of your laser printer. In a perfect world I would be able to print the entire design on a single 24" x 48" sheet of paper, but chances are this will not be the case. The largest size of sheet I could use in the printer at my work was 11" x 17". In the print dialog of your image editing software, select the "tile" function. I was able to fit my design on 9 sheets of 11" x 17" paper.
Next, carefully trim the prints right up to the edge of the image with an Exacto knife or scissors. Then, align and tile the images together and tape the seams from the back of the prints. Make sure that no tape covers the front, as it would not allow the transfer to work properly. This step is made much easier if you have access to a light table. In a pinch, you could hold the sheets up to a window in the daytime.
Step 4: Cutting Wood
41 5/8" (2)
Step 5: Wood Joints
Step 6: Table Assembly
Step 7: Sanding
After sanding, I took some tools and put some dents randomly on the table to soak up the stain and create an antiqued look.
Step 8: Staining
To make the stain, take your mason jar and insert a piece of 0000 Steel Wool. Then pour enough vinegar to cover the steel wool. Set aside with the lid slightly ajar for a few days. The steel wool will start to dissolve and bubble, changing the vinegar orange and brown.
Take a scrap of extra wood to test the vinegar solution. This creates a reddish brown stain. You can also brew up a cup of black tea and combine it with the vinegar solution, causing a reaction for a gray stain. I experimented with both, but ultimately decided to only use the vinegar stain.
Use a brush or rag to apply stain to your table and let it dry overnight.
After the table is dry, you may need to re-sand a little bit if the stain caused wood grain to expand.
Step 9: Image Transfer
Roll the paper back and apply the acrylic gel medium to the table top. You must work fairly quickly as it will dry somewhat quickly.
Then, starting from taped end of the laser print, carefully roll the image onto the table while using your brayer, roller or spoon to avoid bubbles and to make sure that the laser print adheres properly to the table top. With the print in place, use the brayer to flatten any spots with bubbles. Let dry overnight.
After the gel medium has completely dried, remove the tape from the back of the paper. Then dampen the surface of the paper and use your fingers or a sponge to rub the paper away. The idea is that the damp paper will slough off, leaving the toner from the laser print embedded in the dry acrylic gel medium. This part of the project is pretty messy and time consuming, but is exciting to see your design start to emerge. Remove as much of the paper as possible, but try not to rub so much that your image comes off. Don't worry too much if some of the design rubs off, as you can touch if up afterwards with a Sharpie or paint pen. I decided not to touch up my design because I liked the distressed look.
Step 10: Sealing
Step 11: Final Thoughts
Thank you for reading, I hope that you enjoyed my first Instructable!