Have you ever looked at a beautiful piece of art on the internet that represented your beliefs and worldview and reflected the true colors of your soul? I did, and all I wanted was to get it printed somehow on a plaque and hang it on my bedroom wall so that I could look at it whenever I felt down. I couldn’t possibly think of any way of actually doing it, so I sighed heavily at the picture and downloaded it. Little did I know that there was a way of doing it.
Sublimation is that fantastic technique through which you can get any artistic picture you want to be transferred onto different surfaces such as fabric, plastic, wood, etc. However, if you want wall hangings, I suggest that you get a sublimation on wood. It is durable and long-lasting, plus it looks fantastic on the walls.
However, if you have absolutely no idea of how to do sublimate on wood and just have a basic idea of what it is, then get ready to get some profound knowledge on the topic, for I am about to disclose everything that I know on this subject. So if you are interested, which of course you are since you are here, then keep on reading and soaking up the knowledge.
Table of Contents:
Sublimation On Wood with Laminate
What is sublimation printing?
Just to clear away any misconceptions and misunderstandings you might be harboring relating to the sublimation process, let me explain it briefly. It’s basically a computerized printing technique used to get multiple dyes on different material surfaces through a heat transfer process. These surfaces may be plastic, wood fabric, so on and so forth.
To get a good sublimation print on wood, you need certain specified equipment to begin with. Some of the pieces of equipment mentioned below are specific to the process of sublimation on wood and would not be required for sublimation on other materials. So, let’s see what these pieces of equipment are like.
1. Sublimation Printer
A sublimation printer is the most essential thing that you must have for sublimation printing on the wood. Your sublimation printer’s quality and performance directly impact the quality of the output, so always get a sublimation printer with good quality and excellent reliability. Besides, you must also consider the size of the sublimation printer, as the larger the printer is, the bigger print you can get.
2. Sublimation Ink
Sublimation on wood requires some special kind of ink that will not get spoiled on the wood texture. This type of ink may not be used to sublimate on other materials. So, it is an additional expense when it comes to sublimating on wood. However, if you are thinking about getting into the sublimation business, then this expense would not go to waste.
3. Wooden Blanks
Now, moving on to the most important thing, i.e., the wooden planks. You must choose the texture of the wood very wisely because, on some wooden surfaces, the sublimation ink gets spoiled and would not give the results you expect. Moreover, the wooden blanks must have a polymer resin coating; otherwise, the ink will not stick to it as naturally as it should.
4. Heat Press Machine
A heat press machine is vital when it comes to sublimation on all surfaces. However, for sublimation on the wood, you will need a machine that has the capability to perform complex jobs with variable pressure settings so that you can adjust the setting as per the requirements of any particular job.
The Process Of Sublimation On Wood
Step #1: The first thing you need to do before actually starting with the sublimation process is to find an inspiring picture that you want to sublimate on the wood. It can be anything you want, such as scenery, abstract art, a deep motivational quote, or a character logo. You can find your favorite stock design images from Shutterstock.
Step #2: Once you have decided what you want to get printed, the next thing you need to do is get perfectly sized and textured wooden blanks. Make sure that the wooden blanks have a coating of polymer resin because it helps the dyes better stick to the wood and for a longer time.
If your wooden blank doesn’t have any polymer coating then you can do polymer coating by following the video tutorial.
Step #3: Next, get your selected print to be printed on the sublimation paper. An additional pro tip is to choose a picture with high contrasts and resolution because it will give you the best results imaginable.
Step #4: When the print comes out, it may look a little dull but don’t worry because the dullness is due to the incompatibility of the dyes with the paper. The color vibrancy will show up on the wood. Just stick the print facing down on the wooden blank and take your time to adjust the placement. You can also use heat-resistant tape to stick the paper in place.
Step #5: When you are done adjusting the paper on the wooden plaque, place the plaque in the heat presser and set the machine to the required pressure and temperature. This heat and pressure will melt the dyes and imprint them onto the wood plaque.
Step #6: Once the heat press process is completed, you need to take the plate out of the machine and let it cool down a bit before peeling off the paper from the plaque. Remember, you must not peel the paper when the plaque is still hot, mainly because it may spoil the dyes and blot the print.
Can you sublimate on wood?
Yes, you can definitely sublimate on wood. However, there are certain things that you must consider before you proceed to sublimate on wood. For instance, the piece of wood that you intend to sublimate must have a polymer coating; otherwise, your efforts will go to waste. However, if you still want to sublimate on a particular piece of wood that doesn’t have a polymer coating, you will have to get it coated first.
Can you sublimate on painted wood?
If you are wondering whether you can sublimate on painted wood, then the answer is yes, you can sublimate on a block of painted wood. However, the paint on the wood may slightly alter the color of the sublimation print. Apart from the color distortion, you will notice a visibly more apparent print. Moreover, you will get an even print with no printless patches on the wood surface.
Can you sublimate on a wood cutting board?
You can sublimate all wooden surfaces, whether it is in the form of plaques or cutting boards. However, in order to do so, you will have to make sure that it has a polymer coating. A non-polymer-coated wooden cutting board will not give you the results that you need. So, before sublimating the wood cutting board, double-check the polymer coating.
Can you sublimate on stained wood?
Yes, you can get your beautiful stained wood sublimated. However, there is one thing that you must keep in mind before getting started on the sublimation process. The piece of stained wood that you have selected for sublimation must have a polymer coating on it.
How do you do sublimation on wood?
Sublimation on wood is a simple process that you can perform using your old sublimation printer. All you will have to do is get yourself some wooden plates, compatible ink cartridges, and a heat presser. Get your favorite design printed on paper first, and then tape this paper to the piece of wooden plage that you selected for this work. Then put that plaque inside the heat presser and leave it for a good ten to fifteen minutes. After taking it out, let the whole thing cool down before peeling off the paper from the wooden plage. And Voila! You are done!
What temperature does wood sublimate?
As you may already know, the sublimation time, temperature, and pressure vary from surface to surface. Considering wood, the total temperature required to sublimate wood is about three hundred and sixty degrees Fahrenheit for 60 seconds. Apart from that, you shouldn’t put too much pressure on the surface, and the pressure duration must not proceed ten minutes.
So, this was all from my side. By far, I have tried my damndest to impart all my knowledge and experience to you guys. And considering that you read the entire article word to word, you are now fully aware of everything that is to understand regarding sublimation on wood. So, what are you still waiting for? You already got yourself a new hobby, now it is time to start doing it.