the photographs we usually have framed With us, they say a lot about us: together with different members of the family, couple photos, improvised selfies – or not so much – photos with friends … Endless shots that bring us the best memories. and which also decorate different corners of the house, generally through frames of all kinds.

But there are alternatives to classic frames of all life. For example, did you know that you can transfer a photograph to a wooden surface? The results and finishes, as you can imagine, are spectacular. So, if you want to immortalize a special moment in your life, alone or shared, keep reading as we’ll tell you how to do it with your own hands and without too much effort.

In addition, it can be for yourself or become an original gift that will leave the mouth open to whoever receives it.


How to transfer a photograph to wood | materials

As you might have imagined, we’re not going ‘to printour photo on a piece of wood from a common printer. We will need a series of materials who are, above all, cheap and very accessible. Without going any further, you will have some at home. Take note:

  • We have to get a piece of wood. Its size will vary depending on the photo you want to transfer. If possible, the wood should be solid, of the so-called noble type, as it will greatly influence the quality of the final result. You can use plywood, but it won’t have the same sleek finish as hardwood. Or we can also choose a piece of pallet.
  • In case the the wood is not in very good condition, that is, it contains impurities and is not completely smooth, we will have to fix it, because we will need a completely smooth surface in order to be able to successfully transfer our photo. For this we will need a brush that will serve to fix the typical impurities found in wood. We will also need specific sandpaper to polish the wood and a filler.
  • Medium gel: it is an acrylic substance which will give the thickness and the consistency necessary for the transfer of the photo. You can buy it at any paint store.
  • In order to beautify the final result, we can use two products: white glue diluted in water or matt varnish. With the glue you will get more shine, while with the varnish we will change the final tone of the wood. Choose the one you prefer.
  • Nail spatula that will help us a lot too.
  • Rags dirty.
  • The water, which we will apply in a sprayer or in a container.

Of course, don’t forget to choose the photo you like the most, either in black and white or in color. Preferably, it is preferable to have a photo printed by a laser printer, on a sheet of paper. The thinner the blade, the better.

Oh, and your photo could also be transferred to canvas instead of wood, for that more accentuated artistic touch.


How to transfer a photograph to wood | Step by step

Once you have it all, it’s time to act. As a first important indication, you should know that our photo will be displayed on the inverted wood, as if it was when we look at ourselves in a mirror. Therefore, it is crucial to print our reverse photo on the laser printer, so that during the process it does not happen the other way around.

If the piece of wood we got needs some care 100% smooth surface, it must be sanded (the edges too). Then we can apply the filler with a cloth to finish the process. We let it dry for a while. In case your piece of wood was perfect from the start, you don’t need to be careful.

The time has come to apply the gel medium on the wood, a key step that will allow the transfer of the photo. It’s very simple: just apply generous layers of gel over the entire surface, in several passes from top to bottom. Don’t be afraid to go overboard with your app. By means of spatula we will extend it well to all corners of the wood.

Once the wood is ready to receive the “transfer”, we place the photo. To do this, we will place the part of the printed photograph facing the medium gel impregnated piece of wood. In other words, you will see the photo from the back. Once you have glued it with the greatest care, we proceed to remove the typical bubbles that form with the air inlet. Again, the spatula will help us in this task, or even a kitchen roll.


We almost have it! But now we will need your patience because we have to leave the wood and the photo merge into one for a while, while drying for about 8 hours. That is, let it sit overnight while you sleep peacefully.

Once dry, we will see that a layer of paper has formed on the wood, which we will proceed to the extraction by water and a damp cloth. We will be patient to be able to remove this layer of paper by rubbing with delicacy in every corner of the wood. We will observe during the process how the photo has been “printed” as we remove the printed paper, as if by magic. If you have any paper left over after the process is complete or the wood has become too cracked or softened, don’t worry, these are tiny side effects that shouldn’t spoil the end result.

The last step is here: apply white glue or matt varnish, depending on what you have chosen, to give that final touch to embellish the process. If glue is applied, we will dilute it first in water, then apply it to the entire surface without fear that it will be completely white. With him varnish, likewise.

Once let’s dry (a few or three hours), we will have our brand new photo transferred to wood. Sounds amazing, right?

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