DIY manual – Printing photos on wood

DIY manual – Printing photos on wood

Are you looking for an inspiration for a creative photo decoration? Or are you looking for a special and personal photo gift? Print your favourite photos on wood and give them to your family or friends. This will give your memories a special charm. You only need a few utensils, some time and a little dexterity.

Printing photos on wood: Impressive decoration and present for friends and family

Natural materials, especially wood in the form of decorative accessories and various pieces of furniture, are becoming increasingly popular. The rustic charm of these natural products has been experiencing a real upswing for some time now and can be seen in all variations.

In order to carry out the creative project of printing a photo on wood, you first need a photo motif. You can choose between colour and black and white. Make sure that the contrasts of the motif are clearly visible, as the grain of the wood will show through.

The special charm, which is conveyed by the natural material, can be enhanced by the choice of motif. For example, use old childhood photos to revive memories, current family photos, or impressive holiday pictures.

Apart from a beautiful photo motif you need the following utensils: Natural wood in the desired type, colour and grain, scissors, a protractor, a pen for marking, a wood saw, sandpaper or steel wool, a brush, photo transfer lacquer (Photo Patch Gel Medium, Photo Transfer Medium or similar) and a commercially available soft kitchen sponge.

The step-by-step process for making a photo print on wood

1. First, print the desired motif on paper using a laser printer of the appropriate size. It does not work with inkjet printing. You can easily have a (colourful) laser print made in the copy shop you trust. Please do not use photo paper for this, but normal to thin copy sheets.

The photo motif will be visible mirror-inverted on the wood. Print the image mirrored to avoid this and make sure that the desired image size is retained and not automatically adjusted by the printer.

2. Now cut the photo and the natural wood to the desired size. Use the protractor and a pen to make the necessary markings.


3. Then sand the desired wood section smooth using the steel wool or abrasive paper to avoid splinters and sharp edges.


4. Now take your printed photo, a brush and the varnish to hand. Coat the front of the photo, i.e. the motif side, and the wood with the varnish. The varnish should not be too thick, but spread all over the wood. Then glue the picture with the motif facing down onto the sanded piece of wood.


Make sure you position the photo print correctly and smooth out the paper. At the end there should be no more air bubbles between the paper and the wood.


Allow the paint to dry sufficiently. To be on the safe side, it is advisable to let the paint dry overnight in a suitable place.

Tip: If it has to be done quickly, you can use your electric hair dryer. The best way to do this is to use the cold level of your appliance.

5. If the paint is completely dry, moisten the kitchen sponge and the paper with sufficient water. Carefully wipe the paper until it is completely detached from the wood. Now let the piece of wood with the photo dry again.


6. To protect the photo motif on the natural material for a long time, coat it again with a thin layer of varnish and let it dry.



This way you can also make bookends for shelves or a homemade game of memory. The photos printed on wood can also be used as place cards for weddings or large family dinners.

Tip: You can also replace the wood with a smaller canvas. Design it beforehand with the colours, patterns or motifs of your choice to create a very special look.

Similar Articles