Sunday, June 29, 2014

Acetone Image Transfer

I read that you can transfer a photocopy image onto wood with acetone. This intrigued me as I wanted alternative transfer method besides using Mod Podge since it shows the paper.
I chose to try the method on this table I got at an auction for $1.

I won a few samples of American Paint Company clay/chalk paint from a blog giveaway. I used the Beach Glass color and it took two coats to cover the table.

This paint is much different than homemade chalk paint. It is thicker and needs 24 hours to dry between coats. You need to wait the 24 hours otherwise the first coat comes off while you try to paint the second coat.

Once it was dry, I used this mason jar image to transfer to the table top.

  • I did this outside away from the house. Acetone STINKS!
  • I placed the image, ink side down, on the table top and then taped the corners down with painters tape to keep the image from shifting.
  • Used a piece of paper towel that I kept soaking with the acetone and wet the paper. You can see the image once the paper is wet to know where you have gone over.
  • It is best not to move the paper at all until you are done as you take the chance you shift it.
  • Try not to wet your paint directly with the acetone or soak the paper too much, it will melt the paint off.
And here is my result!
It doesn't completely transfer the ink, so unless you go over it with a Sharpie, it will be very rustic looking.
But I love the way it came out! I always distress my pieces, so for the image to be rustic and not perfect makes total sense.
My thoughts on this technique:
  • You can do this on any color paint because all that transfers is the ink, not the actual paper (like what happens with the Mod Podge transfer). 
  • It only worked with copies from Staples, not printouts from my laser jet (definitely not from an ink jet).
  • Did I mention the acetone stinks? Like even worse than ammonia and the smell lingers, so do it outside--far from your house.
  • Always practice on something else first. I learned my lesson the hard way. It just takes a few minutes to paint a scrap piece of wood while you are painting your main piece to give the technique a try.
  • I bought a quart of acetone from Lowes for about $7.50, but I think you could test it out with nail polish remover if you don't want to invest in the quart.

I hope I have inspired someone to give this technique a try.

You can see where I used the same Mason Jar image, but applied it with Mod Podge over on The Pin Junkie.

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