Thursday, September 3, 2015

Easy Graphic Transfer Tutorial On Wood {Moldy to Frenchy Chic Table}

My hubby barely lifted an eyebrow when I picked up this table at an estate sale.  He did lift an eyebrow, but that was about it.  Yeah, even I thought twice with all that mold... but the price was right!

At just $3!  I wouldn't have paid a dollar more.  But three dollars was in my budget.  And it was sturdy.  And had nice curves.  And was a four tiered little side table and I JUST CAN'T TURN STUFF LIKE THAT DOWN!!!!  I sprayed it down with a bleach cleaner and got all the crud off.  Then I was lucky enough that the top layer of finish came off with a metal scraper.  Woot!

I went to my favorite website for graphics - - and picked out a french coffee design.  Make SURE if you're printing anything with words, you print it backwards!  The furniture transfer graphics have the reverse print option so thanks Graphics Fairy for making it easy for challenged folks like me! :)  I cut a piece of freezer paper to the size of standard typing paper, and very carefully put it in my ink jet printer so the image prints on the waxy side.  Yes, you really can do that! (

DO NOT try this with a laser printer, you will RUIN IT!)

BE CAREFUL WITH Y OUR NEWLY PRINTED PAGE!  The ink is wet.  I take great care in placing the design face down in the middle of my raw wood surface and rubbing very firmly with a hard object (like the back of a spoon) until I think I have covered every bit of ink.   And then I do it a few more times just to be sure!  Just be careful not to SMEAR!   If you're careful, you can lift a corner and peek under to see if it's all coming off okay.

Then just add some polyurathane or whatever wood sealer you'd like and you're good to go!  I use Minwax satin finish, and sand it lightly between coats.

I also painted the rest of the piece with an aqua blue color that I think might have been leftover from my little girl's bathroom makeover. (I say I think because I have about a dozen different greens and blues and everything in between and I forget to label what I did where....)  Any yoo hoo, I dissolved plaster of paris in hot water and added it to my paint since I always like to work with chalk paint, but am too cheap to buy my own.  No priming needed when going that route!  I used my sander to quick touch all the edges and go around curves for a distressed shabby chic look.

Who knew that ugly "before" piece could be so stinkin' cute?!

A side by side look of it's sad state to it's happy state:

Here is a quick photo tutorial of the image transfer to pin for later:

And if you haven't checked out my new favorite Etsy shop who also happens to be my newest sponsor, 
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You'll LOVE IT!

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See other projects I've used this method on:


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  1. Hey Kammy - this is great! I love it! I see a lot of the graphics on top of paint, but not much just on the natural wood, it's gorgeous!

  2. I love your makeover! It is so beautiful. I would have had a hard time passing it up for $3 too. I tried the ink transfer with waxed paper and didn't have much luck, but I'm going to try it with freezer paper to see if I can get it to work cause this looks awesome!

  3. What a great project!!! I love how you left the top shelf natural but painted the rest of it. I want to try to do the transfer on one of my tables!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

  4. I LOVE how this turned out, so pretty & for only $3!

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista

  5. Your $3 old piece turned into a lovely piece of art. Thanks for sharing. because of you I am now armed with yet more education and ideas of how to work old pieces.
    come see us at

  6. Kammy, you did a beautiful job on this shelving unit - love the color and the graphic. Pinned

  7. Fabulous tutorial, great piece! :)

  8. So cute, Kammy! Great tutorial too -- thank you for sharing! Cynthia

  9. I love projects like this! There's something just plain awesome about the transformation from ugly to chic and fabulous. So happy I found your blog. xoxo :-)

  10. Kammy, what you have there looks like an antique spool table/shelf. untouched and just cleaned up it would be worth about $500.00 easily. But, you are like me, refinishing to make it pretty and useful for your own home and not reselling it. It is still worth about $75.00 or more. What you did was unique and very eye catching. I like your web site.

  11. Kammy, what you have there appears to be an antique spool shelf/table. Untouched and just cleaned up, it would be worth about $500.00. However, you are like me and like to change and make things look pretty to use in the house and not for resale. It is worth about $75.00 now, and still a great deal. I like how you redid it and I like your site. You have lots of nice ideas.

  12. Such a great idea! I cut my wax paper to the size of a standard sheet of print paper, but my printer won't seem to recognize it? It keeps telling me the printer is out of paper, even when I put a sheet behind the wax paper to try and fool it. Are you attaching the actual wax paper to the regular paper somehow? Thanks!

    1. Hi Kylene! So weird that even after trying to trick it with paper it wouldn't work... So what I used to always do was actually tape it to a regular piece of paper and that worked great. Or my friend used spray adhesive if I remember correctly to stick the freezer paper to it for stability... but wait... are you using wax paper or freezer paper? Because wax paper is a lot flimsier than actual freezer paper... that might be the issue. Although I know people have used regular wax paper before.... I just always use Freezer paper as it's thicker. Hope that helps!

    2. Okay so my first project, looks I used spray adhesive on freezer paper. Been awhile and I forgot what I did! You can see it here:


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