Transfer PHOTOS to STONE!





Introduction: Transfer PHOTOS to STONE!

This tutorial video will show you how to "print on stone", or rather - transfer your laser-printed picture (color or black-and-white) onto stone.


  • A stone (ideally smooth and light in color)
  • Acrylic Polyurethane* (OR ModPodge Photo transfer / Liquitex Gel Medium / etc.)
  • Brush
  • Laser-printed image (printed on regular or specialty transfer paper - see below)

This technique works even if your image is printed to regular paper. But if you go that route, you'll use the "rubbing" technique shown in my first instructable video about transferring photos to wood.
For this video, I use a special "peel-away" paper that makes the process a LOT faster.
That paper is called "Tom Palissade Transfer Paper", and can be found here:

Step 1: Step 1: Transfer Your Image to Stone


  • Clean the surface of your stone (remove any dirt, oil, grime, etc.)
  • Apply a layer of acrylic polyurethane (or transfer gel)
  • Quickly apply your laser-printed design, FACE DOWN onto the wet surface
  • Using your hand or paper towels, work air bubbles out to the edges
  • Try to eliminate wrinkles as much as possible. Some wrinkles are ok.
  • Let dry for a couple of hours, depending on your heat and humidity.
  • ONCE DRY, apply water using a soaked sponge or paper towels.
  • Let the water soak into the paper, until you start to see the image through the back.
  • Carefully peel the paper away.
  • OPTIONAL: Apply a coat (or several) of acrylic polyurethane over the image to protect it.

Watch the video to see the photo-to-stone transfer techniques performed.



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    54 Discussions

    Drat! "Tom Palissade Transfer Paper" and their etsy shop are no longer open. Any guidance on finding a similar peel-away photo transfer paper? Ive done the rub away method, but am curious to try the other paper on your recomendation.

    Okay folks. I first researched the HECK out of this tutorial to make certain I was not indeed, missing any steps. I am now on my 3rd and LAST ATTEMPT IF NO ONE IS WILLING TO HELP ME. You know the part you have written within your instructions that states, "Carefully peel paper away?" YEAH, well, I am here to kindly tell you that that step of peeling the paper away does not, in fact; work! I am living proof of it. AFTER YOU DRIZZLE WATER OVER AFTER IMAGE IS DRY AND DO THAT WATER METHOD...THE FRICKING PAPER STICKS TO THE ROCK AND WILL NOT COME OFF!!!??? Finally excited about something and low and behold, it don't work. Story of my life. And no, I will not be nice with something that I am very displeased about, I am sorry.

    I would like to try something like this with a picture of a deceased loved one to place at their grave. How long should something like this hold up outside in the elements? I live in the upper midwest where we have four seasons.

    8 replies

    If I was going for outside use, I'd finish up with a clear casting resin or similar. Preferably something with UV inhibitor on it. A Black only image should last quite a long time. Colors are likely to fade with sun exposure.

    Deedles, I agree with Tanzer26 on this one: UV deterioration will be the biggest factor for outdoor prints. Black is the most UV resistant (or at least maintains contrast the longest) so that would be ideal, over color. Look into something with a UV protectant. This is doable! It just needs a little care up-front, and perhaps some maintenance over the years.

    Thanks TheCraftsMan. I really like your indestructible and am anxious to give it a try. The memorial places charge an arm and leg for a picture on a monument and I think with your idea putting a picture on a smooth stone would be very nice. It is for my teen daughter's grave. She really enjoyed doing crafty things like this so I know she would like it. I'll give it a try. And thanks for the encouragement! It is doable!

    Hi, Deedles. First, I want to say that I am so sorry for your loss.

    I believe this should work, especially if coated with a UV / weather-resistant finish. The stones I used in the example have been sitting in my yard a couple months with NO topcoat on them and are holding up fine so far.

    Thank you for the reply and update Crafsman (and your condolences). This is good to know how yours are holding up in the weather and your added suggestions. I haven't tried it yet as I haven't found any smooth enough rocks. I live near a river and find perfect sizes but can't find any with perfectly smooth surface. Do you have any suggestions where I can get some large ones (very minimum 12" x 12")?

    Thanks for the suggestions Tanzer26. And the tip on color vs b and w.

    Unsure about the UV (have to read the can) but anything "Spar" like spar varnish or spar urethane will hold up to weather most excellently !

    I have been looking for instructions as to how to do this! Thanks you SO much for posting. I do not have a laser printer, and I'm sure everyone here knows what it is, but sadly, I don't. Can you please explain?

    1 reply

    A laser printer is basically toner-based, which means instead of using ink (like an inkJet printer), it uses plasticy powder (toner) that gets heated and fused to the paper. The toner is what sticks to the stone or wood or whatever surface you're sticking it to. The paper essentially dissolves during the water + rubbing process. Hope this helps!

    Its amazing how many people just want to put their stones outside, new challenge for you TheCrafsMan, you'll have to find reliable weatherproof solution lol - You might have to learn how to use polyester resin, polyurethane polymers, synthetic resin, what a mess

    1 reply

    I was thinking about exterior finish, and began wondering whether UV-protective membrane finishes like polyurethane or epoxy would be the way to go, OR would exterior concrete/masonry finish give better results. So I've got some stones out in the yard weathering right now. I'll see what happens over the next several months. :)

    What if I don't have a laser printer. Is there another way to do this?

    2 replies

    If you don't have a laser printer, you can have your image printed elsewhere on a laser printer, OR have copies made at your library, for instance.

    For inkjet printers, a totally different method is required, involving solvent (like citrus solv) and rubbing, to force the ink away from the paper and onto the surface. That method does work on wood, but I've not tried inkjet solvent transfer on stone yet.