Let’s start at the very basics. Make sure your surface is clean and dry. A quick rub down with a lint-free cloth should do the trick. If there is any dust it will prevent the transfer from adhering to the surface.
Never apply a transfer over a freshly waxed surface. Remember wax is meant as a finishing touch and can be used over transfers but never under. If your surface is waxed it needs at least either be cleaned with mineral spirits or allowed to cure for at least 30 days.
Wait at least 48 hours after painting before applying for a transfer. Some paints suggest waiting 5 to 7 days for cure time so be sure to follow their instructions if the cure time is longer.
Use painters tape to secure the transfer in place while you burnish it.
Do not let the sticky side of a transfer touch anything but the surface you wish to adhere to. If you’d like to see how it might look, then do a trial run with the backing still on the transfer. Once you place the transfer you have committed to that spot. Pulling it up will ruin the transfer.
Carefully unroll your transfer when you pull it from the tube. Avoid a windy area or rooms with a fan blowing. If unrolling a large transfer feels a little intimidating our small Decor Transfers are packaged flat on three separate sheets making them easier to work with and great for little hands eager to help out.
If you made a mistake and part of a transfer stuck to a spot you don’t want, you will not be able to salvage the transfers. However there are two methods our BAs have used for removing it. You can first try some duct tape. Put the sticky side on the transfer and pull up. This generally only works when a transfer has only just touched the surface and was not rubbed down. Otherwise, the next method is to sand it down. You may need to reapply paint in that spot.
To create an aged, weathered look lightly sad the transfer after application with a 220+ grit sandpaper remember to start gently. You can always distress your piece more, but you can’t go backward.
You can layer transfers! When you really get into furniture upcycling you find that you will have lots of left over bits and pieces. A creative way to use them up is to layer them together into a unique design.
Pair multiple transfers on the same piece. You can use parts from one design and parts from another to create something truly unique. An easy pairing for the budding artist new at mixing and matching would be a transfer with text paied with a floral transfer. An easy go-to that is always a winner.
What do you do if your transfer design gets a little damaged? This can happen when part of it sticks to something it shouldnt. And any experienced furniture upcycler can tell you that somtimes no matter how careful we are, it can happen. This is where layering can save the day. Depending on your design you can cut out a section on one side and layer in where the damage part is.
If the damage is a little smaller and you have a steady hand a set of acrylic paints and a paintbrush can fix the spot right up.
You don’t need to seal your transfer but if you really want to we suggest a water-based polyuathane. Do not use an oil-based sealant. They do not pair well with our transfers. You can also use wax.
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