Hello! After years of attempting to do image transfers with only so-so results using the glued down paper and water technique, I hit upon 2 or 3 helpful hints yesterday that I was compelled to come on here and share with anyone who may happen upon my poor ol' neglected blog. :)
I'll start by showing the finished product.
In case there's still one or two of you out there that don't know about this, Karen at The Graphics Fairy has been generously posting free images for anyone to use for years now. Even if you just check out the French Typography section, I'm sure you'll find something that sparks your creativity. You can see that's where I found this Paris Apartment sign that I used.
So I started out like I always have--painted it, got my print sized correctly and printed out backwards (mirror image) and trimmed, glued it face down, waited a few hours to dry, and started wetting and rubbing off the paper with my hand. But after it had been wet for a while the paint started to peel up, then I started to wash down some of the text, too. I had already anticipated loss of text so had bought a couple of paint pens to fill in like I always had to do, but this time it seemed all of the paint was wanting to peel off! In case nothing I just said makes sense, here's a step by step that shows closest to the way I've always done it. Somehow she ended up with near perfect results, but I never did. Until now!
First tip...paint the entire surface that you'll be transferring onto (the table top) with a coat of Mod Podge. Let dry completely. This acts as a sealant for the paint. Now when you begin the normal process of laying a (second) coat of Mod Podge, there will be a resistant coat between all your watery rubbing and the painted wood.
Second tip...Don't trim around the paper image you will be transferring (like she did in the above linked tutorial) because it's really quite difficult to get rid of the demarcation line between the transferred image and the rest of the painted item. Have the image printed onto a sheet of paper that will cover the entire surface. (more rubbing off of paper, yes; but also a more overall even appearance.)
Most of the imperfections in this finished project come from having attempted it in my old usual way the first time, and quickly washing *most* (not al) of it off and starting again the new and improved way. All the improvement ideas came at me so fast I just had to DO IT! But I'm okay with the way it looks...I usually have a hard time achieving the old and worn look so it helped ;)
Third tip...Send your image to Staples (or similar in your area)copy and print services..either upload it online or bring your image into the store on an sd card. They have a category called Engineering Prints which produced an 18"x24" b&w print on thinnish paper (handy when it comes to getting it wet and having to rub it all off) for only $1.79!!
OH. And a fourth thing that I'd never tried before but it worked well enough that I want to pass it on; I let the first coat of water sit on the paper for a good twenty minutes. It got so soft that I could actually use a wide blade putty knife to gently push off the first coat of paper in a long, wet strips. Saved a LOT of rubbing by hand, but be careful not to gouge into the paint. (the pic below is whitened from sun glare in the photo).
Maybe you already guessed this used to be a sewing machine table. From underneath I screwed the top surface down so that it can't be folded over. I think the little tool drawer is just as handy for pens and pencils when using it now as a writing desk.
The padded seat lifts off for more storage inside. By adding a scrap of folded ribbon, now I can just grab and pull it rather than having to dig my fingernails into both sides of the seat every time I want to lift it up. I remembered having that harlequin in my stash and felt it would be a good fit, but the white was TOO white, so always remember a nice tea bath to tone things down a tad if necessary.
Well, I think that's about it for all my discoveries and good ideas this weekend. I hope something in this post helped someone somehow!