How to Sublimate on Wood – Sublimation on Wood

Have you seen people taking their tea from a mug that has their faces printed on the surface? I bet you have without knowing how that is even possible. So in answer to your confusion, let me introduce you to the sublimation process which made that all possible. Do you feel intrigued yet? If yes then let me foretell you that this article is going to be a hell of a lot interesting for you because in this article I am about to tell you all how to sublimate on wood.

how to sublimate on wood

To put it simply, it is a lengthy yet fairly simple sublimation process that you can use to decorate your houses as per your tastes and preferences. Don’t be daunted by the word ‘lengthy’ just yet because, if performed in a series of continuous steps. Sublimate on wood process is not very time-consuming. Now, without any further delays, let’s get straight down to business!

How to Sublimate On Wood

What Is Sublimation?

If you are still new to this form of art, allow me to give you all a brief introduction to what really is sublimation. It is a computerized printing technique through which you can print various surfaces other than paper. You must have seen printed mugs and different wooden ornaments printed with customized images. All these objects are a result of the sublimation process.

The Process of Sublimation on Wood – Wood Sublimation

Following is the step by step guide how to sublimate on wood.

Step # 01: First of all, you need to decide which image you want to sublimate on your wooden plaque. It could be anything ranging from motivational quotes to artistic logos. Design your own or search on internet to find your favorite image and download it.

Step # 02: Once you have the image you want to sublimate on the wooden plaque, you will have to connect that device to your sublimation printer. Another very critical point to bear in mind is that you must use correct inks for this process. You shouldn’t face many difficulties finding sublimation ink cartridges from your nearby stores. It is important because if you use any other ink, you will have to face serious compatibility issues.

Step # 03: When the devices are properly connected and running, you can move on to editing the image to adjust the size and contrasts as per your liking. When satisfied, feed sublimation pages into the paper tray of the sublimation printer and hit print.

Step # 04: Now, arrange for appropriately sized wooden plaques and ensure that they are coated with Polymer Resin. This chemical coating is necessary because otherwise, the sublimation ink will not stick to the wooden surface.

Step # 05: Place the printed sublimation paper facing down on the wooden plaques and adjust the position. Once satisfactorily placed, secure the paper with heat-resistant tape. You might want to skip this step but I suggest you don’t because it will help keep the paper correctly positioned when you put it inside the heat press machine.

Step # 06: Finally, put the plaque inside the heat press machine and set the temperature and timer as required. When the timer runs out, take out the plague and let it cool down for a couple of minutes otherwise, you may end up burning your hand off.

Step # 07: When the plaque cools down, slowly and gently peel off the sublimation paper to reveal a beautiful outcome of all your efforts.


If you are wondering whether you can sublimate all those extra pieces of wood lying around in your garage, then the answer is yes you can do it. However, there is just a small detail that you need to keep in mind. The wood must have a Polymer coating for the sublimation ink to stick to it effectively. Otherwise, you will just end up wasting your time and efforts. So, before you get started, make sure that the wood surface you are about to sublimate has a polymer coating.

Yes, you can definitely use a heat press on the wood directly without the fear of damaging the surface. For flat wooden tiles, you have no need to worry and put them inside the heat press machine to get ideal results. However, wooden ornaments would not be that easy to sublimate but not entirely impossible. You will just have to change tactics and use a different kind of heat transfer machine instead of using a flat heat transfer machine.

Wood sublimation is really a quite simple and interesting process. You just have to get your hands on the essential materials. That is absolutely necessary for this project such as sublimation inks, sublimation printer, heat transfer machine, and wooden plaques. To begin the process, first, print the design on paper using sublimation inks and a printer. Then tape this paper face down on the wooden plaque and put it in the heat press machine for ten to fifteen minutes. After that, take it out and let it cool down before peeling off the sublimation paper.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, I would like to say that I have tried my very best to explain how to sublimate on wood in the easiest way possible. I suggest that you all read the procedure once again carefully before getting started yourself. This little maneuver will help you avoid any mistakes that might lead to a giant loss of money and effort on your part. With that being said, there is nothing left to say than to bid you all the very best!

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