Learn my tips for using decor transfers on furniture. After completing a dresser using milk paint, I knew that I wanted to add a decor transfer.
Decor transfers are large scale images that can be transferred to furniture. They can also be used on canvases, mirrors or even walls. I’ve been dying to try them out and I’m in love with the results.
Tips for Using Decor Transfers on Furniture
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- Finish your piece of furniture as desired. For my dresser, I used milk paint and then sealed it with a coat of polycrylic since milk paint is flaky and pourous.
- Remove any knobs or hardware.
- Lay your furniture on it’s back so that you don’t have to fight against gravity. This also makes lining it up easier.
- Unroll your transfer, but leave the backing on for now. Once it’s placed, there’s no moving it.
- Center your transfer. You can mark the edges with washi tape or painters tape if you want.
- Slowly start un-peeling the backing, pressing down as you go.
- If your furniture is old and uneven like mine was, don’t press down at the seams yet, because it makes the transfer crack.
- Use the stick to rub the transfer down. My transfer stuck well with little effort. The edges needed a bit of help sometimes, though.
- If you have any wrinkles of bubbles, smooth them with your fingers.
- Once your transfer is one, go back and cut any seams with a sharp x-acto knife. Go slowly so that it doesn’t rip the transfer.
- Use your fingers to press down the trimmed edges.
- Smooth out the whole thing with your hands to remove any wrinkles. (I did this continuously during the process.)
- Since my seams cracked quite a bit, I decided to make them a feature instead of a flaw and distressed the edges with sandpaper. This also gets rid of the leftover bits between drawers and helped with the keyholes. (I used 220 grit.)
- Use the x-acto knife to poke holes for the knobs.
- Then, seal the entire piece with 2-3 coats of polycrylic.
- Finally, replace the knobs once the top coat is dry.
I know I say this about every piece I make, but I think this might be my favorite so far…
Tips for Using Decor Transfers
- Don’t expect perfection on an older piece of furniture. The handmade nature of the furniture will make it more difficult to get a perfect transfer. Luckily, these transfers look great distressed for a vintage look!
- Decor transfers are a bit translucent so the underlying color will show through. Keep that in mind when painting.
- I’ve heard that placing your transfer in the freezer helps with adhesion, so try that if you’re working on a hot day.
- The newer decor transfers can be painted for a watercolor effect, which I’m really excited to try.
You might also like:
- How to Paint Furniture White
- Decoupage Furniture with Paper Napkins
- Layered Chalk Paint
- Blended Ombre Dresser
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