Most people have got a question in their mind, can you sublimate on the coated or uncoated wood? The answer is yes; we can sublimate the wooden substrates. It is a little tricky, but learning the process will be very interesting for you. The sublimation business is the top-growing business in the world. In the past, we could transfer our designs only to fabrics and coffee mugs, but now we can share our designs with a wide range of substrates, and wood is one of them.
I have been working in the sublimation business for seven years and have transferred the designs to many substrates. In the beginning, due to a lack of knowledge, it was difficult for me to get cheerful and vibrant colors on the wooden substrates, but now I have learned a lot from my experience. Now I am going to share five ways about how to sublimate on coated & uncoated wood. Painted wood, Subli glaze, poly acrylic, thermal laminate, and HTV on wood.
Things Needed to Sublimate on the Coated & Uncoated Wood:
There are many things that we needed to do sublimation on coated & uncoated wood. But it depends on the way that we are going to use to sublimate the wood. The sublimation printer, printed design on the sublimation paper, sublimation ink, and heat press machine are a few commonly required things for every method.
How to Create the Designs Digitally?
Creating the designs digitally is the very first step in all sublimation methods. Many Sublimation printers come with their designing software, so you can easily create designs with them. Still, if you don’t have any specific software, you can create the designs with the most popular software programs like photoshop and coral draw. Whatever you use, make sure you flip your design over because every sublimation print needs to be reversed. This designing process should be the same for all sublimation methods.
How to Do Sublimation on Painted Wood?
First I will teach you how to paint the wood for sublimation from scratch. Sand the wood pieces with fine-grade sandpaper, and get a smooth finish using 220 grit sandpaper.
Now wipe all the sawdust using a damp paper towel from the wood. Make sure that you will get a smooth finishing because if you sublimate on the rough wood, then your image will look dull and weird due to inappropriate heat distribution. Now paint the surface with the roller; you can also use the paintbrush.
After drying the paint, lightly sand against the grain marks and wipe all the dust using the towel. This process is the same for all methods. Your wood is ready to accept the designs from the sublimation paper.
Put the wooden piece on the sublimation paper and secure it with heat-resistant tape. Place it under the heat press machine for 60 seconds at 380 degrees.
How to Do Sublimation on Wood with Poly Acrylic?
Apply the thin coat of water-based polyacrylic over all of the painted wood.
After drying it, gently sand the polyacrylic and ensure that all the air bubbles and specks are entirely off the wood surface.
Cut the printed sublimation paper according to the size of your wooden pieces and secure it with the heat resistant tape.
Preheat the heat-press machine to 385 degrees and use the Teflon sheet underneath the wood block; you can also use butcher paper. Put another Teflon sheet on top of the wood and leave it for the 60s in the heat press machine.
I suggest you do a test before you do an actual project. After opening the tilt of the heat press machine, you will notice that the sublimation paper will stick to the wooden block, don’t worry; it’s utterly ordinary while sublimating with the Poly Acrylic. Take a wet sponge and wipe off the paper gently; no worries, the ink will remain on the wood.
The colors that came out with this process are vibrant and unique. Acrylic paint is inexpensive and provides vivid colors on the wood surface; it is an affordable option if you want to prepare some gifts for Christmas or Halloween. However, it had an excellent color payoff but didn’t provide the shine.
How to Do Sublimation on Wood with Subli Glaze?
Heat your convection oven to 325 degrees. Shake the subli glaze for about one minute and apply the clear coating from about 25cm in a smooth, even motion to get an excellent finishing. After applying the coat, wait five minutes and place the wooden piece in the oven for twenty minutes. Make sure to put your oven in a well-validated area because the wood will give a pungent smell while cooking. The heat will change the paint color from white to a little dark; it is expected, so don’t worry about it. Now your wood is ready for the sublimation. Tape the print onto the wood and place it under the heat press for 60 seconds. Remove the paper quickly to prevent ghosting.
It is one of the easiest methods to prepare wood for sublimation and provides good-quality colors. While the heat has changed the wood color from white to little vintage brown, it still looks fantastic after transferring the designs. You can try this method if you are new to the sublimation business. This is our recommended method of sublimation on wood ornaments.
How to Do Sublimation on Wood with Laminate Prep?
This process is simple and easy, even if you are new to this business. First, cut off the thermal laminate piece and ensure it is significant enough to fit over the wooden part.
The laminate paper has one apparent side and another that is a little opaque; the clear side goes to the outside, and the blurred side goes inside because that’s where the adhesive is. Cover it with butcher paper and put it in the heat press for 30 sec at 380 degrees. Trim around the wooden piece with the x-acto knife. I suggest you use only dry wood for this process. Put the laminated side onto the printed design and use thermal tape to hold it in place; you can also use adhesive spray instead of heat-resistant tape.
Now heat it in the heat press machine for 60 seconds at 385 degrees.
I like this method and have used it for many sublimation projects. It is straightforward to laminate the wood sheets. It provides me with very vibrant colors. If you are considering selling wooden products, this is the best option due to its affordability and excellent results.
How to Do Sublimation on Wood with Holographic HTV?
First of all, cut the Holographic HTV sheet one inch extra to the size of the wood piece that you want to sublimate because the sheet will shrink in size after taking the heat. Use heat-resistant tape to secure the Holographic HTV onto the wood. Place it between the butcher paper and put it in the heat press machine for about 20 seconds at 320 degrees. Now remove the out lamination layer from the wood quickly; I will suggest you use heat-resistant gloves. Next to this, trim the HTV according to the size of the wood. Your sheet is ready for the sublimation process. Put the wooden substrate onto the sublimation design with heat-resistant tape and two layers of butcher paper. Now place it in the heat press machine for 40 seconds at 340-degree temperature.
The Holographic HTV is an excellent method to transfer your designs to the wood. It gives you a fascinating look at the colors.
In the sublimation business selling wooden products is very interesting and profitable. But without proper knowledge, it would be difficult for you. I have shared five different methods to transfer the design to woos. Every way has its benefits; if you want to give a vintage and unique look to your wooden substrates, you can try the first method, but if you are seeking to sell the products, then I will suggest you use the lamination prep method.