Aside from a business, sublimation printing can be a really fun activity to do. You can do it to decorate your own home with sublimated wood according to your taste and likes. Sublimation printing on wood utilizes a design or image printed on paper with a sublimation printer and imprints it on wood using a certain amount of heat.
Can You Sublimate on Wood? Yes, you can sublimate on wood easily if you have any polyester coating on the wood blank. This is necessary because polymers are required for sublimation and wood does not have a natural polymer coating on them or else, you could use laminating sheets. After that follow the normal sublimation method to complete the process with the heat press.
Further ahead in this article, you will get a crystal-clear idea about wood sublimation and the process followed to achieve perfection. So, stick till the end to acquire the idea.
What is Sublimation itself?
Sublimation is a printing process where a digitalized design or image is imprinted on any kind of polyester product by using a sublimation printer, sublimation ink, and heat press. These are the main components of sublimation printing.
First, the digital design is imprinted on the sublimation paper using a sublimation printer. After that, the polyester product with the printed sublimation paper on top of it is passed through the heat press that permanently bonds the design to the material.
Sublimation printing is much preferred over other methods for printing designs because it is an effective, durable, and less time-consuming method. In some cases, a single sublimation print could last for decades. It always depends upon the quality of the sublimation ink and the effectiveness of the dye-sublimation printer.
How Can You sublimate on wood?
Things Required for Sublimating on Wood
so, can you sublimate on wood? Before getting into this process of wood sublimation, you need to acquire a set of things to set you on the correct path. Without them, sublimating on wood could be massively hard. Items required for sublimation on wood;
- Sublimation Printer, Sublimation Paper, and Sublimation ink
- Laminating Sheets.
- Wood Surfaces.
- Wood sublimation blanks
- White Paint (It depends on you whether you want to use white paint to add to wood.)
- Crafting Knife.
- Wood sublimation Paintbrush.
- Cutting Mat (To keep the workplace from getting messy.)
- Heat Press, Heat Resistant tape, Gloves, and Mat.
Process for Sublimation on Wood
Applying Laminating Sheet on Wood:
When you take out a laminating sheet from the pack, you will see that one side is glossy while the other side is matte.
Now it’s time for the wood sublimation process, take the piece of wood and apply the accurately cut laminating sheet on it with the matte side facing the wood. After that passes it through a heat press with 375F for about 15 seconds to stick it completely to the wood.
Applying the Printed Design:
After you have printed the design on the sublimation paper using the sublimation printer, put it on top of the piece of laminated wood. Now, pass all of them through the heat press process for about 45 seconds at 385F. Do this and you will get the gist of the design you are going to imprint on wood.
Once you are done with all the hard work, now is the time to add innovations to your wood sublimation process. You could sprinkle some wood grains on top of it when it is still hot to give it a more natural look.
When you are done with that, cut the extra edges of the laminating sheets and the sublimation paper. Now, you have your final product in front of your eyes.
Painted Wood Vs. Non-painted Wood
Here comes the white paint that was required for sublimating on wood. First, apply a layer of white paint to the piece of laminated wood slices. Then, take polyacrylic and spread it on the whole piece of wood blanks thoroughly.
Now, let it be for about half an hour to let it dry and cure itself. When it is completely dry, apply a layer of thermal laminating sheets to it and pass it through a heat press at 375F for 15 seconds.
Once you have set your wood blanks up by these steps, take the design printed on the sublimation paper and put it on the wood setting it accurately. Now, take your piece of wood with stuff on it and pass it through the heat press with a constant heat of 385F for a minimum of 45 seconds.
After that take it out and cut the rough edges and sheets or papers sticking out with the crafting knife or a pair of scissors.
With this, you are now done with sublimating your piece of painted wood. Now, compare the sublimation print on painted and non-painted wood side-by-side. You will easily observe that there is a grave difference between both of them. The sublimation design will look a bit artificial and will not blend in with the environment.
On the other hand, the non-painted wood will look very natural and will act as a beautiful decoration that also blends in with the environment of your house. But, everything comes down to the choice of the person. So, I leave the choice to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Sublimate directly on the Wood?
No, you can not sublimate directly onto the wood. This is because sublimation on wood or on any material requires a certain layer of polymers on the material. Naturally, wood does not have a polymer layer. So, laminating sheets or polyester coating is a must for sublimating on wood.
What temperature do I Sublimate on Wood?
The minimum temperature required by the wood to get sublimated without any hassle is 375F, but to avoid any mishaps the optimum temperature for sublimating on wood
is taken to be 385F. Along with it, the time is to be also kept in mind. So, keep the wood exposed to this heat for only about 45 seconds, no more no less.
How do you Sublimate on Painted Wood?
There is only a little difference between the method of sublimating on painted wood and non-painted wood. For painted wood, first, cover the piece of painted wood with a layer of the protective sheet.
After that, apply a lamination sheet to it and follow the process of non-painted wood. The thing important is to keep the temperature between 375 and 380F.
How do You Prepare Wood for Sublimation?
To prepare for sublimation on wood, take polyacrylic and apply it to the piece of wood to be sublimated. Wait for it to fully dry and cure itself. After that, put a layer of laminating sheet with matte side downwards on it. Now, your wood is fully prepared for the sublimation process and you can move forward.
In all, today when wood furnishing is at its peak in the whole world, people all around the globe are always on the lookout to decorate their house’s interior concerning their furniture. So, if you are one of them, you can certainly create your unique designs respective to your mindset.
You always have the option to go for the starting of a business based on sublimation on wood, all you need are some wood pieces, a printer, and a laminate sheet with polyacrylic. So, do not wait for any further and start sublimating your wood now.
Whether you’re using parchment paper, butcher paper, or transfer paper to make all the designs follow the same process to get a suitable quality print. The general rule has the same steps for vinyl, canvas, and glass sublimation.