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Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium: My Top Tips!

If you are wondering how to use Mod Podge photo transfer medium, here are all of my top tips. Learn how to be successful with this article! Scroll down to see a video of the process in action!

Top Tips for Using Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium

Have you ever used Mod Podge photo transfer medium? It’s a great formula – one of my Mod Podge-y favorites (I use it to transfer photos to wood!).

It’s also one of the formulas that I get the most questions about, so I thought I’d share some tips about using this medium to do a photo transfer with you.

Mod Podge in general is really easy to use, however, the photo transfer medium takes a bit of practice. This isn’t meant to be discouraging – it’s actually meant to be the opposite!

It’s not nearly as hard as knitting, another one of my favorite crafts. I learned to knit at age 15 and messed up like you wouldn’t believe. Yet I kept at it, and now I love it.

And that’s the way I feel about Mod Podge photo transfer medium.

So here’s the point: you’re going to master it, I promise! With a little practice and patience, you’ll be a photo transfer ninja. Here are some of my most important tips to use Mod Podge photo transfer medium.

Mod Podge Photo Transfer Tips

1) Remember that the medium isn’t clear. When people ask me “why should I use Mod Podge photo transfer instead of regular Mod Podge?” Well . . . this is one big reason.

This isn’t just Mod Podge in a different bottle.

It’s a product meant for photo transfer only, and it will produce an opaque, white background. This means you can use it on dark colored items too. Plan your project accordingly.

2) Print your image on a dry toner printer; don’t use real photographs. Both inkjet and laserjet will work, it just has to be a dry toner printer. So how to tell if your printer is dry toner? It’s hard to say. Laserjet will work 99% of the time. Inkjet . . . it just depends.

My HP works very well because it has a very dry ink. There are about 10,000 different printers out there, so I’d say your best bet is to do a small test if you’re unsure. This will help you practice too! Grab a small scrap of paper and print out a small image – let’s say 2″ or 3″ square.

Expert tip: if you are printing an image with words – reverse the image on your computer before printing! The words will come out correctly when you do the transfer.

3) Make sure to use enough medium on top of the image. So here’s my process. I cut the image down to size, and then place it face up on my Mod Podge silicone mat. I use a foam brush to apply the transfer medium over the top of the photo until the image is obscured completely – meaning, I can’t see any of the photo.

Then I use a fingernail or tweezers to pick up the corner of the image, flip it over, and place it down onto the surface. I use my Mod Podge brayer to roll out the image.

If you used the right amount of medium, not much (if anything) will come out the sides. If it does, wipe away, as it will dry and be stuck there if you don’t!

Leave your photo transfer to dry for 24 hours.

4) Take a lot of patience and care when rubbing off the paper. This is probably the hardest part of the whole thing. You will need to wet your item and rub the paper off, revealing the image below. It’s a little weird to wet your craft project and you’re going to be thinking, “am I doing this right?”

Start lightly and rub off the paper backing – let dry to see what you’ve done. If your image doesn’t look right, wet again and repeat. As you get more experience, you’ll start to see exactly how much you can rub to reveal the image without ruining it.

Because if you rub too hard, you will rub the image away . . . and we don’t want that! I rub with medium pressure, then I typically let dry and rub again if necessary. These days I’m good enough to get it on the first try! You can get there, too.

5) Expect a vintage-style image. This (to me) is an advantage over just Mod Podging an image down. Well, this and the item is now washable (if it’s fabric). But I do love the vintage-y look that a photo transfer gives you.

It’s a less sharp version of a real photograph, and it has its own unique look that I appreciate. Once you do try it, you’ll see exactly what I mean. The soft, vintage-y look is really nice in home decor. I think you’re going to like it!

I’d also love to know what questions you have about Mod Podge photo transfer medium in the comments! And if you’re ready to watch the video of the process, all you have to do is click “play” in the center of the in this post!

Are you ready to try it?? Just click on the image below to get Mod Podge photo transfer craft ideas!

30 Mod Podge Photo Transfer Crafts

Flowers are so trendy right now, so instead of my usual fall sign that I hang every year, I decided to make a DIY welcome sign for my living room!
โ† Previous
DIY Welcome Sign with Boho Farmhouse Style
This lampshade makeover project takes less than 30 minutes and it’s incredibly easy to do! Use your favorite fabric along with Mod Podge.
Next โ†’
Mod Podge Lamp Shade Makeover in Minutes


Monday 30th of November 2020

I made a Christmas sign on a large canvas board. I had to use three different pieces of paper because of the three images I had. I noticed that I can see the faint mark of each piece of paper. It wonโ€™t come off. Am I best to cut the images out and lay them on the canvas instead of having full pieces of paper? My worry is that the board will look smooth and vintage blotchy. Any help would be appreciated!


Monday 30th of November 2020

@Amy, I sure will! Let me take a good pic and I'll send it this evening!


Monday 30th of November 2020

Diane, would you be able to send me a picture of what the canvas looks like now, amy at modpodgerocksblog dot com? I'd like to see what we're working with so I can best advise you. Thank you!


Monday 23rd of November 2020

Can you bake the project (glass, wood, etc) on a low temp instead of waiting 24 hours? or maybe wait a few hours then bake? I'm very impatient.


Tuesday 24th of November 2020

Hi Tuck! Honestly I'm not sure what would happen - it's worth an experiment. If you try it - I would do it at the lowest temperature! Please share your results if you do.

jim grant

Sunday 15th of May 2016

Can you transfer pics to a curved piece of wood


Sunday 15th of May 2016

Hi Jim! I see no reason why not!


Monday 9th of May 2016

Hey!! A good tip that works really well....use Artist's Loft brand tracing pad paper (25 lb paper - you can get it at Michaels for around $6) for all your photo transfers. It may take a few trys to print out your photo (since it practically feels like tissue paper) but it is so worth it in the end because using this kind of paper makes the rubbing process a piece of cake!! As long as you wait 24 hours for it to dry ( this I had to learn the hard way - I used to wait 8 hours and the images didn't turn out so good) and take your time when rubbing the paper off, The top layer should come off very easily!! I'm yet to try mod podge transfer medium ( so far I've been using Liquitex matte gel medium), but I am looking forward to trying it someday :) Also - I like using mod podge antique matte after the images dry - it makes the photos look extra vintagy :)


Tuesday 1st of December 2020

@Kelly, thanks for the tips Kelly! I will definitely try the tracing paper! Did you tape a piece of tracing paper to copy paper before you ran it through your printer or what worked best for you? Iโ€™m envisioning it getting stuck in my printer ๐Ÿ˜‰


Monday 9th of May 2016

Kelly I want to try this immediately! It sounds super cool! Thank you for the great tip. :D

susan clark

Sunday 8th of May 2016

I am wondering if a wood medium can be sealed or if it has to be unsealed before doing a photo transfer.. can you help?


Sunday 8th of May 2016

I've painted on surfaces and it's been fine to transfer on top. What kind of sealer?