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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.

Mod Podge Photo Transfer Tips

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.

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!


NOTE: This medium is hand washable only. Keep that in mind! No machine washing, my friends.

Now that you know my tipes, 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 this post!

Are you ready to try it?? Visit our Mod Podge photo transfer craft ideas! I’d also love for you to visit the following projects:

Pat Tomlinson

Wednesday 24th of August 2022

I am a very experienced wooden furniture crafter. I have done lots of successful decoupage projects on painted furniture using Mod Podge glue. I just made a first attempt at using the Photo Transfer Medium after watching many tutorials and doing plenty of reading. I am trying to transfer dark gray text that was printed on my inkjet printer using regular printer paper. I reversed the lettering as directed and cut out the single lines of text I wanted to apply. I applied a heavy coat of the medium as directed. I made sure I didn't see the image through the medium. I placed it and pressed it onto the surface. Only a small amount of the medium came out so I wiped it away. I let the image dry a full twenty-four hours, wet it and began rubbing with my finger. Some paper was coming off so i thought everything was on track. I wiped it gently with a cloth and let it dry for a little while. I reapplied water and began to rub a second layer, but the paper was not really coming off well at all. I kept trying with those last few steps of wetting, rubbing, drying, repeating, but the paper simply wouldn't come off of the lettering or from in between the letters either. After hours of this, I decided to chuck plan A. It took literally a couple of hours of sanding, scraping, using Goo Be Gone and finally I got three long lines of text off enough that I could paint primer over the area. It will need another primer coat and probably two coats of chalk paint to put my project back where it was three days ago. I get that the rubbing process is a little fiddley, but I have seriously watched so many videos I feel like I know what to do. If you have any ideas on what happened here, I'd love to hear from you. Otherwise, I have thrown $10 bucks out the window with nothing but lots of lost time to show for it. I like Mod Podge but this one has me flummoxed! Thanks.

Amy

Thursday 25th of August 2022

Hi Pat! I have a tutorial for you: https://modpodgerocksblog.com/image-transfer-to-furniture/ First issue I see is the inkjet - it needs to be laserjet printed. And printer paper shouldn't be photo paper (just checking on that). Check out my tutorial and see what you think. I did it on chalk paint as well. Thanks!

Janie

Saturday 20th of August 2022

As a new bride without much extra money, I used Mod Podge to make a Christmas gift for my parents 56 years ago. It was a wine poster in greens and golds that I put on a wooden board and decoupaged. It was proudly hung in their home for many years. When they passed in 2003, it was something my daughters fought over. So, a unique and inexpensive gift which made memories for our family was handed down through 2 generations has lasted all these years. A truly great product!

Amy

Thursday 25th of August 2022

So glad you love it! That sounds like such a special gift :)

Jennifer

Wednesday 17th of August 2022

Will this wirk on paper? Like a craft paper notebook?

Amy

Friday 19th of August 2022

Yes, it will! The only thing is be really careful when you are removing the paper because you don't want to soak your notebook. You probably want to use a sponge to remove the paper.

Kurt

Monday 11th of July 2022

Thx for this tutorial! After you've transferred the image, do you recommend putting on a top coat of regular mod podge? In my case i'm making a game board, so there will be tokens set on the board.

Thx!

Amy

Monday 11th of July 2022

Hi Kurt! I recommend at least using a spray sealer. So yes, something that offers protection! :D

Jen

Sunday 5th of June 2022

I've tried a few times and I get bubbles that peel away to the canvas....HELP. what am I doing wrong?

Amy

Monday 6th of June 2022

Are you doing it on a painted canvas? Do you know if the canvas is prepped? I'm worried that it's cheaply prepped. If you could give me a better idea I can try to help!