One of our favorite crafting techniques is transferring an image to another surface such as wood. This simple and fun craft requires minimal supplies and is great to do together with kids and friends. In this post, we show you step by step how to transfer any image to wood using Real Milk Paint’s Dead Flat Finishing Cream.

What is Dead Flat Finishing Cream?

Dead Flat Finishing Cream is a clear, water-based top coat for all your wood products. Not only is it a protective layer to maintain the ascetics of your indoor or outdoor projects, but it’s also a washable topcoat. You can apply it on top of any paint, without changing the color of the surface you are applying it to for a flat, finished look.

Strong and versatile, these creams can be used on both new and old surfaces, making them an especially great topcoat on cabinets, walls, trim, outdoor furniture and high-traffic areas that require additional protection. Real Milk Paint’s finishing creams are available in gloss, low sheen, and dead flat. In this example, we will be using Dead Flat.

In addition, our finishing creams are environmentally friendly and non-toxic making them safe, enjoyable, and easy to use on a variety of crafts. Since it’s made from 100 percent organic materials, it’s safe for kids and pets.

Our innovative formula lasts longer than your traditional paint products that you can find on sale at stores. After being mixed, it remains stable on your wood for years to come, so you can enjoy vibrant wooden image transfers day after day without having to worry about them quickly deteriorating.

Before you start, watch our short video tutorial showing you an example project we did.

Gather Your Supplies

The first step for our transfer image to wood project starts with gathering the right supplies. In this tutorial, we will be transferring images to wood log rounds that we cut from a tree branch. For this project, you will need to gather the following supplies:

– Wood (Log Rounds)
– Sand Paper
– Scissors
– Printed Images (reversed)
– Real Milk Paint Dead Flat Finishing Cream
– Foam Brush
– Water
– Brush

Tip: When printing your images, you can choose any graphics, photo, or design you’d like. The key for this project is to print them with a laser jet printer, which most people have at home. Before you print your images, make sure to ‘reverse’ or flip the image, so that when you apply it to the wood the image will be applied properly. You can see an example of this at the 10-second mark in the video.

Once you have your flipped images printed and the other supplies gathered, let’s get started!

How to Transfer Printed Images to Wood in 5 Easy Steps

1. Begin by sanding your wood pieces so the surface is nice and smooth so when you apply the image it will lay flat and adhere to the surface.

2. Apply an even coat of Dead Flat Finishing Cream. You don’t need to apply a thick layer but will want a decent coat so that the image and ink can stick.

3. Using your fingers, wipe out any bubbles and smooth down the surface to make sure the image is perfectly flat with the wood. Then, let this fully dry.

4. After it has dried, wet it with water using your small brush. Once wet, begin to scrub the paper until it is completely removed. You should be able to see your image transferred onto the wood. Let it dry completely.

5. Finally, apply another coat of Dead Flat Finishing Cream. Not only will this protect your project, but it will also help make your image ‘pop’ more. Again, allow this final layer of finishing cream to fully dry.

Get Creative with Real Milk Paint

There are tons of fun and crafty ideas that you can do after you transfer image to wood. Make a gallery of your favorite images and hang them on your wall. Or, you can make unique holiday greeting cards from wood. The choices are endless! Visit for more tips and craft ideas.