I recently started searching for the best ways to get my home ready for fall. Apart from Halloween decorations, none of the available seasonal decorations worked for me. So, I started looking for ways to build what I envisioned. That’s when I stumbled upon applying heat transfer vinyl (HTV) on painted wood.
During my research, I also found many crafters and DIY enthusiasts have questions on how to apply and if you can apply HTV to wooden and painted wooden surfaces.
Drum roll, please? Why yes you can! Let me show you some tricks I learned along the way when applying HTV to a painted wooden design.
HTV is often used in clothing, and its application to wood is a more recent development. HTV comes in rolls or pre-sized sheets. HTV has three layers: the backing, the finished vinyl, and the carrier. The carrier layer is shiny, and I need to keep track of where it is through the process of applying HTV on wood or painted wood.
Additionally, it’s crucial to consider the wood I use to place the heat transfer on. If I want to put my design on a piece of painted wood, I need to adjust my heat cycle. Otherwise, I’ll ruin my paint job when applying my design.
Materials and Supplies I used
• Cricut DS file found in my resource library: **Free File**
• Wooden shapes (found at Target Dollar Spot)
• Cricut Explore Air or Cricut Maker
• Non-Stick Heat Pressing Sheet **Must have when applying heat to a painted wooden surface**
• Acrylic Paints (green, red, orange, and gold)
• Martha Stewart Multi-surface paints in Linen, Pearl “Tiger Lily,” Chalkboard “black & gray,” Metallic “Copper”
• Washi tape (optional)
The first step in applying HTV on wood is choosing a design. I provided several options in the resource library I’ve prepared, so I picked from those.
Be sure to mirror your design. I always double-check with an Iron-On project that the design is orientated correctly since it would go on backward if it is not mirrored. Then I made sure I had all my materials lined up so that I could add the HTV to the painted wood easily.
I started with my Cricut Everyday Iron-on sheet placed onto my Cricut green mat (shiny side down). Then, I loaded the mat and sheet into my Cricut Maker using the load mat button. From there, the Cricut Maker cut my design for me with a few quick clicks. It’s so much easier than doing it by hand. Then I have the Maker unload the mat so I can start weeding.
Weeding is the process of removing the excess material surrounding the design before putting the HTV on wood. When I weed, I typically start from a corner on the backing side. I go very slowly, so I don’t tear my design. If desired, there are special weeding tools that make the process easier.
Applying HTV to Painted Wood
I always place my work on an iron-safe firm surface, not a folding ironing board, since I need to apply firm pressure during transfer. ◀ PRO TIP
As my Cricut Easy Press 2 heated up, I lined up my design on my painted wooden shape. From there, I double-checked my heating settings against the Cricut webpage.
Since my wood was painted, I needed to deviate the heat settings a bit to put my HTV on wood without ruining my paint or overheating the HTV. ◀ PRO TIP
It is extremely important to place a non-stick heat pressing sheet on top of your design before setting the easy press onto your project! ◀ PRO TIP This will prevent any paint from getting on the bottom of your heat press and will help keep the paint and HTV from over-heating.
Be sure to check out the end of my video for this project where I mention different paints I used and the differences they had with the HTV. ◀ PRO TIP
I did my design heating in multiple, shorter cycles of 315 degrees for 30 seconds, then found I needed 15 more seconds on some of the painted wooden shapes. (This will vary depending on what type or brand of paint you are using) After letting the design cool (approx 20 sec) to a manageable temperature, I peeled the carrier off for remarkable results.
My Video: HTV on Painted Wood
Need more help? Check out the Cricut help page!
I worked with wooden shapes I got from the Target Dollar Spot to create fall masterpieces for my Fall Tiered Tray.
I could use these steps with many other types of wood too. For example, if I had an old piece of wood I was turning into a key holder, I could transfer a beautiful antique key design onto it just as quickly.
The limits for HTV on wood and painted wood are everything you can imagine!
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Create with Love!♥!
Have you seen my GAMER T-Shirt using HTV? (Great GIFT idea) Find it here
Professionally done. So creative. Look forward to seeing more great ideas.
Thank you for the wonderful comment ♥
I used black acrylic paint on my wood and used a regular iron set to wool (300 degrees) for 40 secs as it said on cricut site. My paint became discolored. What did I do wrong? When I did this on wood painted white and used parchment paper to buffer from the iron, it worked great. I’m so bummed because I was on a roll. Do you think that when I seal it, the discoloration will be a non-issue?