Saturday, March 3, 2012

Finally! I've had this tutorial planned for so long and I finally get to share it. I'm going to show you how to use acetone to transfer an image from a laser print onto a wood plaque. I love the aged look this method gives and the somewhat unpredictable results it can surprise you with.

::Safety equipment::
-chemical gloves
-respirator (a couple of notes on the respirator: 1)if you're a serious crafter it's a good idea to have one of these on hand, not just for acetone but for spray paint, house paint, spray adhesives, etc. I use mine all the time. 2)DO NOT USE A PARTICLE MASK a particle mask will protect your lungs from dust and particles but it WILL NOT protect your lungs from fumes. A good common sense rule is if you can smell the fumes, then chemicals are getting into your lungs)

::Other supplies::
a rag
wood plaque 
sand paper

::Not pictured::
photo printed with a laser printer (sorry it won't work with an ink jet print)
white paint (optional)

All safety equipment and supplies available at your friendly neighborhood hardware store. Except for the wood plaques which are really inexpensive at any craft store.

I wanted my final product to have a white washed look so I painted my plaque with some watered down white paint. If you're going to paint yours too, it's a good idea to use a paint with a matte finish because the acetone needs to absorb into the surface a little, if you use a glossy paint it won't absorb at all. 

Then I lightly sanded the whole thing. 

Next I prepared my image. I used a scan I took of a leaf I found in my back yard. I imported the scans to an image editing program and changed the image to greyscale and then upped the contrast and adjusted the size to fit my plaque. An important thing to remember is anything you print will be reversed when you transfer the image, so if you decided to include text make sure to flip it in the image editing stage otherwise your text will come out backwards on the final product. Print your image using a laser printer. Toner is the key to this process so only images from laser printers or copiers will work. 

Next step is to prepare all your safety stuff. Make sure your respirator is securely on your face and your chemical gloves are on (Remember, if you can smell the fumes then you don't have it on correctly and chemicals are getting into your lungs). 

Place your image toner side down on the plaque.

Pour some acetone onto the rag.

Rub the acetone soaked rag on the back of the image. Make sure you don't move the image once you've started, otherwise your final image will be all wonky. Just press firmly and wipe across the back of the entire image. You only need to wipe once over every part of the image because pretty much all the toner transfers in that first swipe.

Once you've rubbed the acetone all over the back of your image, peel away the paper and voila! Have fun with it! I would love to see anything you create using this image. Send me a photo or a link intrepidhermit(at)gmail(dot)com

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