How To Transfer Letters On To Wood Without Using Stencils
I wanted to learn how to do this myself so I thought I would share this very simple technique that anyone can do.
Obviously, you could buy some paper stencils, like I used here on my farmhouse sign but I really wanted to experiment and learn something new.
This technique is used often to transfer images, letters or numbers to make wooden signs without using stencils or a fancy cutting machine like the Silhouette Cameo. I decided to give our file cabinet (which is made of wood) a rustic industrial look by transferring letters and numbers to the front drawers.
Let me walk you through how I did this step by step.
Here are the materials you will need:
Printer (I use the Epson inkjet printer)
Computer with Microsoft Word, Paint, Illustrator or any other basic software. You can use the free version of Canva or Pic Monkey to pick out the font you like. If you are transferring an image or quote you can just google it and see if it shows up. You
Optional Sanding Sponge
Step 1: Open a new page in your software program such as Microsoft Word, select a font and font size that you want to use depending on where you are transferring the letters too. You can also google lettering fonts perhaps in the quote that you are looking for or an image you would like to transfer. For my numbers and letters, I googled stenciled letters and numbers and enlarged them by zooming in. They were a little blurry when I printed them but that wasn’t an issue.
Step 2: After you print this out, then you will take your pencil and just scribble back and forth on the back side of the paper making sure you have covered the edges of the numbers and/or letters that you want to trace on the wood. Keep in mind if you have chosen a more intricate font or image you will want to cover the entire image so that all the little details will transfer over.
Step 3: Using masking tape or painters tape, tape the design on your piece of wood or furniture so that the pencil markings are touching the surface.
Step 4: Now, you will trace around the numbers, letters or image that you want transferred to your surface. In my case, I traced around the letters “N” and “O”. Be sure to press hard enough so that the markings will show on your surface.
My lines were faint. I am not sure if you can even see them in this photo but I was able to see the outlines of the letters “N” and “O” well enough to paint them. I repeated the process with my number “2”.
Step 5: Next, you will paint your letters, numbers and/or image whatever color you want. I used Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Graphite.
Don’t worry about it being perfect. A light sanding with a sand sponge/block when it dries completely will make it look more natural.
It is as simple as that!
I had chalk painted the entire file cabinet (before transferring the letters and numbers) with Annie Sloan’s Paris Grey chalk paint and sanded down the edges to give it the worn and rustic style since we are making over our traditional office to a modern rustic industrial design. It brightened up the plain and very average looking file cabinet.
Honestly, I wasn’t planning on keeping the file cabinet for the new office makeover but it does serve a very functional purpose holding all our files. After adding the half moon pull handles, I like it more than I thought I would. We decided it will stay around for awhile.
Come back to see our office makeover. I think you will like it!
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