Can I transfer my photographs to furniture?

Carmen Claveau
(Blainville, Québec, Canada)

I would like to transfer pictures of my four grandsons when they were babies onto an old pine two-door dresser (armoire) in my bedroom, and maybe antique it afterwards. Is this possible, and what are your suggestions for doing it? Thank you so much.

It's certainly possible to transfer photographs onto various objects, and we can think of three ways you may be able to do this. For some of them you need to start with a photocopy, and some of the methods we would recommend need a reversed copy, unless you're happy with the final images' being reversed. We also think that a 'proper' photocopy is best, rather than one produced using an inkjet printer, as some of the processes tend to be a bit 'wet', and we wonder if the ink from an inkjet printer might run.

The easiest and most direct method would be to take a direct copy of your photograph, cut out the image if required, and simply collage it onto your dresser with PVA glue or Mod Podge, sealing it afterwards with more Mod Podge or varnish.

The second method is using a transfer medium. In the UK there is one called Dylon Image Maker that seems to be intended for use with fabrics, but it may work with other surfaces as well; we're not sure. Dylon has a list of international contacts that includes a couple in Canada, so you may be able to obtain this product locally. We do know, though, that Golden produce several types of transfer medium, and we would assume that these would be easily available in Canada.

There seem to be a couple of ways of using a transfer medium for this purpose, one of which (the easier, we think) needs a reversed image. We've found some hints and tips on using Golden transfer medium on their website that may be helpful to you.

The third method is using a 'transfer' or decal. For this method you would need to scan your photographs into your computer and print them off onto special decal paper. In some cases at least you would need to print your image in reverse, but there's usually a printer setting for this.

We know of a company in the UK called Crafty Computer Paper that sells various types of decal paper, and we know that they ship overseas at cost (or below!). Perhaps you have a stockist or supplier for something similar in Canada. Here's their website address for these products.

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