I'm going to make a cbg for a friend of ours who is a born again christian.

and I would like to have this picture on the front but how do I go about it?

I don't have any fancy gizmo thingy me bobs just a plain printer.

print it on an 'A4 paper but what best to way stick it on.

I don't want the paper to go all wrinkly with glue.

oh and I've never attempted this before.

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I have used inkjet waterslide decal paper for smaller transfers and they were okay - exactly like the old airfix wing markings on the plane kits. I am not sure how easy a large A4 picture would turn out with this method (air bubbles might be a problem).

If you decide to give this a try you can buy it off ebay as a single sheet (just google "waterslide decal paper" Note that the ebay stuff comes in two types - one dries with a see through back ground and the other dries with an white background (for use on dark backgrounds). For the full picture I would use the white background type. The cheaper ones need a spray over of varnish before you apply (to stop the ink running). There is a more expensive version made by lazertran I have used which doesn't need the varnish coat before application making it a bit quicker to do. Either type will need a coat of spray varnish afterwards.

If this idea appeals there are numerous how to videos on youtube (search for waterslide decal paper) and Lazertran has a video of how to use their products http://lazertran.com/

 You could try " Mod Podge "  Google it and have a look ? ..

For the most vivid color, I suggest that you have it printed out full size on glossy photo paper. Office supply chains do this kind of work very cheaply. The   photo paper will give you enough thickness to glue it down without wrinkles using a spray adhesive. Then. some of that Deco-Podge stuff could be applied to provide a protective layer. If you run a blue sharpie along the edge of the photo before gluing it down, that would provide a finished edge and hide the white paper edge.

Nice idea that you could do very well for your friend.

I used the Gel Medium technique on my "Detroit" guitar. Like Capo Kid said, just look it up on YouTube. Search "photo to wood transfer" and you'll see a bunch of videos. I used a roller made for applying laminate to countertops to roll out the photo and keep it smooth with no bubbles. You basically print a mirror image of the photo you chose. Apply gel medium to the photo and stick it face down. Roll out the photo and extra glue then let it dry overnight. Wet the back of the paper and rub the paper away leaving just the ink on the wood surface. Then clear coat it afterwards. It can be a little tricky if you are looking for and absolute flawless picture though. It's easy to rub too hard and peel away the photo.
I should also note that if you use this method you will want to use a light color wood. The light colors on a printed picture basically uses no ink. The photo relys on the paper being white. If you stain the box first, what would have been light color will now be the color of the stain under the photo or the woodgrain that's on the box. Try it on scrap first to get a feel for the process.

This one is a photo of of my original DoD guitar.It's on ordinary printer paper stuck with pva using a roller.

Another method might be to use Balsaloc,paint it onto the wood,let it dry then iron on the image 

by the way, great build.

See if there are any large format print shops near you. We have a flatbed in our shop and we've printed on all sorts of stuff (plywood, styrofoam, mdf doors). As long as it is flat and less than 2" thick, chances are we can print on it.

Check your local model train / rocket shops for this stuff. It works great in a regular ink jet printer. 


John...  I have also used the water slide decal paper.  I have used it a lot!!!  I have mostly used the laser jet paper but the inkjet paper works great also.  Decalpaper.com has all types of decal paper to fit several different types of printers. You can get a white or clear background. You can even make a full size decal (8.5 x 11)... The larger the decal the longer it must soak in water.  This paper handles clear lacquer or enamel spray paint very well without wrinkles or cracks.This stuff should work perfectly for what you're trying to do.

I use this stuff almost everyday... If you have questions about it just let me know.


thanks. I've bought 5 sheets of decal paper.

before I soak it in water I will need to spray 3 light coat of lacquer so that the ink doesn't run.

am I right on this?

well that worked out ok but the picture doesn't stick to well to the painted wood.

it is flat with no wrinkles and I've sprayed it with 2 or 3 coats of lacquer when blow drying with the heat gun it seem to lift up in certain places. the gun is kept well away from the surface so that warm air gets to it.

I can put my hand directly under the heat gun with out feeling burn etc.

so the question is should I have put some glue on before putting the picture up.

what I'm concerned is that I don't want the picture to lift up at a later date.

so far it has laid flat and I intend to put several more light coats of lacquer on.


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