Inkjet Printing on Wood

First off, check out the amazing work of Sean Mahan shown below. Amazing, right? Yes. Aren’t you inspired? Why not print your work on wood? You can.

There are a few ways to get your design onto wood. Inkjet printing, or “giclee,” is the most popular printing method right now with printers ranging from desktop home models to multi-thousand dollar high end commercial flatbed printers. All options shake out to a field of two: do it yourself or hire somebody. Think of the possibilities!


Veneers are thin pieces of wood that can fit through a not-so-loved printer. Some have been designed for inkjet. A demo can be found here.

Veneer Suppliers: (google ’em too)

Giclee Printers

DirectJet printers and their cousins are designed to print on large, flat surfaces. (An industry site can be found here.) A number of commercial giclee printers use these high end machines to print your designs on glass, wood and aluminum.

Service Bureaus / Printers: (google ’em too)


InkJet Transfer

This is tried and true. Print on a special substrate and then move the color onto the surface you desire. Exerpts from a tutorial by matsutake is below. Go read the whole thing: here.

How to transfer inkjet images to wood


Here we go! This is what you’ll need. Mod Podge, Elmer’s washable glue, and a piece of cardstock.

…(read the whole thing)…

Step 5: Soak it. You can dunk it in water, run it under a faucet, or squirt it with a spray bottle. Let the cardstock get really wet and soft. Gently peel off the cardstock. I held this under running water while I peeled it. You can gently rub the image with your finger tip to loosen any remaining paper pulp.
Step 6: Voila! And no plasticky decal edges! The Elmers washes away completely. Totally smooth!
Posted 14th October 2009 by

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