Graphic Image Tutorial

 A while back, I attempted a graphic image transfer onto a buffet.  It took a few attempts... but I finally got it.  Today I did this little dresser, and I took step-by-step photos to share with all of you how its done.







But first, here is the before and after.



Now that we have that under our belts, let's take a look at how we got there.

First, sand, prep and paint the piece.  I used 'Grain Sack' by Miss Mustard Seed.



Sand that puppy down.  I used an orbital hand sander on the flat surfaces, then used a piece of 120 grit around the finer detail.  Finally, I sanded the whole thing down by hand with 220, to make it nice and smooth.
 

Choose your image.  As always, I use the Graphic's Fairy.  Her images are free and large enough for such projects.  I go to Staples, and they print it out on 11" x 17" paper, using a laser printer.  They use Adobe to convert the image to tile mode.  There's a really nice young girl who knows me by now at the Staples in Center Mall on Barton.  She really knows what she's doing.

Make sure you get it printed out in mirror image!!

I then cut the image out, and tape it all together.


Too bad I'm not Miss Mustard Seed - Frog Tape would be paying me for this post!


Make sure not to cover any of the image with the tape.
 

 The next step is to fit it onto the piece.  Tape it down.



Dig out the varsol (paint thinner) out of the garage.  Our jug has seen better days.
 

Wear gloves to protect your dainty paint-covered hands!
 

Dip a rag in varsol, and saturate a small portion of the image.  You want to really rub that varsol in, making sure the image is completely soaked.
 

Using a hard, blunt object, rub the image onto the piece.  I use an edge of a credit card.  If it doesn't work well, try different objects and use whatever works for you.


Scissors work well, too.
 

Do not underestimate how much hard rubbing you will have to do to get the image transferred.  It will take you a few hours to complete the project.  Hold that image in place, and plug away at it.  You can peel back the paper to see how you're doing.


The parts you missed, just re-soak it in varsol, and rub it even harder.  RUB baby, RUB!!!
 

And if you stick with it, you will succeed! 
 

Such a beautiful, French typography dresser.


Wouldn't this be cute as a front entryway table?  Or as a side server?  Or as a change table?
 

Oh yes, on the hardware I use Annie Sloan's silver guilding wax.


That's it!  Pretty easy.  As always, let me leave you with an adorable shot of my twins this week, playing the piano.


Pictures like these make me excited for life with them :)

Linking up to my favourite blogs:

The Graphics Fairy


125x125



The 36th Avenue

Knick of Time Tuesday link party









46 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for such a detailed tutorial! Is it hard going over the parts of the dresser that protrude, like the drawer edges? And how can you tell when you've used enough Versol?

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    1. It is tricky! But you just have to go for it. I think as long as the area of the paper is saturated, you've used enough.

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  2. What type of protective finish did you put on your project? It looks wonderful.

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    1. I used Annie Sloan's clear wax. It's pricier - but one container lasted for about 20 pieces, and it's the most durable, smooth, clear finish I've ever used. Big fan!!

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  3. Great job Jen! I hope you get featured again on Redoux!

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  4. Your dresser turned out lovely! My inquisitive little mind had a couple of questions for you. Will any paint thinner work or does it have to be that brand? Did you put any finish over the image transfer?
    Thanks for sharing,
    Suzanne
    PS - Love the picture of your sweet little piano playing twins.

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    1. I haven't tried any other thinner. I tried Acetone, but it dried too quickly and didn't work well at all. I used Annie Sloan's Wax for the finish.

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  5. Jen - the dresser turned out SENSATIONAL. Love love love it.

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    1. Thank you for it! It was a perfect piece for a graphic transfer.

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  6. SWEET!! Jenn you are so creative and talented... I love your piano, too. You've got me thinking...

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  7. Absolutely amazing. What a before and after!! Makes me want to get started on something. Graphics Fairy is unbelievable isn't she?
    Thanks for all of the steps.

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  8. Can the Miss Mustard's be ordered online? It says it can but I can't find any way to do it.

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    1. I call Homestead House to order it - www.homesteadhouse.ca. They're pretty busy and it's hard to get through, but that's the best way to order.

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  9. You did it again!!!!! I think this one is even more amazing than the first one!!! I am sharing again tomorrow at Redoux. 5:00 EST. Love those twin bottoms!

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  10. That is awesome!! I love it!! Thanks for sharing your RUB techniques!!!

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  11. Great Tutorial! What a beautiful piece.
    Smiles about the little ones...so cute,
    Deb@LakeGirlPaints

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  12. What an amazing transformation...and thank you for the tutorial. When I saw the darling photo of your twins...I said..."How can she find time to do such a project with those two babies?"

    You must be a super-mom!

    I signed up for post by email...love your work and creativity.

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    1. Thank you! Definitely NOT a super-mom (you should see my kitchen right now...) I have a wonderful hubby who helps me a lot!

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  13. Great tutorial....And I LOVE how this turned out! I transferred the same image onto a small table for my mom using the Mod Podge method... I'm going to have to give this method a try...

    And your babies are adorable!

    Suzie @ Dorothy Sue and Millie B's too

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  14. Spectacular transformation. I would have to put it inside the front door so everyone would see it!

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  15. What a brilliant piece you have created! So appreciative of the tutorial as I have a desk that I finished with ASCP and want to place a graphic in the middle. Your tutorial is timely. Wondering if the varsol is really smelly as my huge desk is now upstairs and I wouldn't be able to bring it back down to take it outside? The area of the desk that I would place a graphic on is only 48" x 20". Do you think I could tolerate the smell for the length of time it'd take me to do the work?

    Laurie

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    1. I would close the door in that room, open the windows, wear a respirator, and you should be fine.

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  16. Thanks, Jen, for the advise. Have bookmarked your blog for future viewing and inspiration! :O)

    Laurie

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  17. Beautiful! Stopping in to pin.

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  18. Awesome!!! I am pinning, and your twins are adorable!

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  19. This is so gorgeous!!! I have a piece I'm thinking about doing something similar!! Thank you for the inspiration - I've seen this technique but your tutorial was so wonderful I almost feeling oourageous enough to try it!!! I love you piano also and those babies are adorable!!!!! I have an old piano like that . . . what to do, what to do!!!!

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  20. Hi! We were so inspired by your work, and my husband and I decided to try it on a buffet. Where do you find Varsol at? We couldn't find it and had to get regular paint thinner. We went to Staples and they printed the image out on one big sheet of paper for us and said it was a laser printer. We rubbed and rubbed and rubbed, but little transferred. We did it over Annie Sloans old white. I would assume it would still work with her paint, correct? Maybe its just that we need to use Varsol and not regular paint thinner? Thank you for any suggestions!

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    1. I have the same problem, darn. I was hoping she had responded to yours. Did you ever get it figured out?

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    2. I can't find Varsol, either, but Xylene works well, or at least it did when I practiced with it on plain wood. When I tried it over chalk paint, it's like it bled and came out blurry. Trying to figure out why...

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  21. So in Love with this buffet! Beautiful job! I am a new follower and would love if you could follow back! http://churchstreetdesigns.blogspot.com/

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  22. I work at FedEx Office and we have a machine that is primarily used for blueprints called an Oce'. Ours has 2 rolls, 24" & 36" widths. It prints on paper similar to standard copy paper and uses toner like our other laser machines, I would think that would be easier than the tiled 11x17's. I believe our local Staples also does those prints. Just a suggestion. (We charge 75 cents per square foot)
    Thanks for the tutorial, I think I will try it too.

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  23. I don't know if someone mentioned it before but why didn't you used transfer potch? It makes transferring the pictures from laser printed paper really easy.

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    1. Never heard of that product, but I haven't tried anything like it before. I was just reading through the comments above. I read up on this product and it seems to be a good option. I don't know the cost though, and whether it would work for chalk painted surfaces or milk painted surfaces.

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  24. Wow...what an absolutely gorgeous piece!

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  25. GORGEOUS piece I agree!
    Never heard of using a paint thinner before... doesn't this effect the surrounding area of paint?

    I believe Transfer Pouch is the same as a matte gel medium by Golden, which is how I do transfers on almost anything including fabrics I use in mixed media art. I don't think Pouch is available in the US but could be wrong. It is easier I would think. I have also done it with ink jet home printer, but it gives a very imperfect transfer (which sometimes is ok), and needs to be sealed with a spray sealer as the ink will run some.
    I've also tried printing on waxy side of parchment paper and applying wet ink side down and burnishing. Works very well, but only good for small pieces.

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  26. nice work ...!! why not use mod podge for transfer papper !!

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  27. Your piece is beautiful and thank you for taking time to demonstrate it. I love the adorable picture of your twins! I am a twin and seeing that photo brought back memories of when my sister and I were that age! Thank you!

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  28. Dont look now but there is someone behind you in the mirror.

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  29. Just loooove the tutorial...and the finished project of course.
    Any suggestions if you have to deal with a piece where lot's of rims (curbs)
    are? Would love to give it a try. I tried the wax paper method on something
    else, but didn't work out at all. Anybody can let me know where to get the poutch paper for a reasonable price?

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  30. I love the before and after pictures - such a huge transformation - I love it! I have an Etsy store selling beautiful ceramic, glass and resin knobs that would be perfect for adding affordable finishing touches to restored items. Feel free to browse my store at cormeenhomedecor.etsy.com - where you can get a handle on your furniture without breaking the Bank!

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  31. THANKS FOR THIS , I LEARNT A LOT!!!

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  32. Hi... I just saw your posting and fell in love with it. I do have 2 questions: You prepped, sanded and then you painted the piece? Well while transferring the picture using the paint thinner "Doesn't the paint thinner remove the paint you just added in the process?" & Can I use a wood stain in place of / or in conjuction with the wax? Please Reply and Thank You... for your time and consideration!

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