Best of DIYs | Photo Transfer DIY

Back with our Best of DIY series today and one of my favorites –a project from Janis Nicolay of Pinecone Camp - a fairly simple photo transfer DIY she made using an old bench.  Here's how she did it.

Contributor post by Janis Nicolay of Pinecone Camp

Today I'm sharing a fun, and fairly simple, photo transfer project with you. I've done a variety of different ways of transferring images onto wood, fabric and glass and even polaroid transfers, and plan to post more in the future. For this project I had an old bench that needed funktifying....
I started with a roughed up vintage bench. After stripping it and sanding it down, I put one coat of primer on it. Once it dried, I painted two coats of a pale grey (Universal Grey by Behr).

I chose an image, then cropped and sized it to work with the bench. I then printed it in reverse (as a mirror image), so that once applied it would read correctly.

Working quickly, I applied a layer of Liquitex Medium Gloss Gel on to the bench, then applied a coat to the front the image and placed it face down on the bench. I smoothed out the bubbles, then applied a coat of gel to the back of the image. The bench dried over night.

Once the bench dried, I used a textured cloth, soaked in warm water, to gently rub off the "back" of the image (the paper). Starting at the corners, I sat the wet cloth on the paper and let it soak through a little, before rubbing it off. This process took about an hour. Once dry, I took a fine piece of sand paper to it, having taken all the paper off, to rough it up a bit as well.

Finished off the bench with 2 coats of the gel. Now it hangs out in our front all.
The beauty of photo transfer projects, are all the little "cracks", "scratches" and "imperfections". That's what I love about it (and why I took sand paper to it!). So what I'm saying is, don't go mad if you can't get every air bubble out, or you rub a piece of the image off. Give it a whirl! 

Jan Halvarson


Carrie said...

How was it printed? Inkjet? Laser print? Actual photograph?

The bench looks beautiful!

Unknown said...

I think it is painted !! One of beautiful way to use color. Either way it's amazing.

gabricci said...

Just love this how-to post. Saw something similar at Anthropologie here in Edinburgh and lusted after it. Nice to know I can make one for myself.

Lady Grey said...

this is incredible! I had no idea something like this could be done at home without any special equipment.
The finished product looks great!

Haley said...

I second Carrie's comment. What was the print technique and what kind of paper was used?


Becca said...

Super cool! I've been really wanting to try a photo-transfer project. I'll put it on my very long DIY to-do list!

Ladyface Blog

Jan Halvarson said...

Carrie and Haley -
In the original post comments section - Janis says:

"I split the image into 3 pieces, as the bench is about 48" long. It is regular photo copy paper and the size of sheets were 11x17 each. The bench is about 10"x48", so I cropped to fit."
Hope that helps

Stacey said...

Incredible! I am inspired to try this!

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Unknown said...

This DIY is the best I've seen! For sure my favourite! Just unreal and incredibly done.

GoodCupcakesGood said...

Such a great DIY! Love it! Thank you for sharing!

GoodCupcakesGood said...

Such a great DIY! Love it! Thank you for sharing!