How to Transfer Images to Stone or Metal Using Acrylic Matte Medium

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A three-dimensional surface can take on a new look with the right superimposed image. This technique will allow you to transfer a photocopy or printed image with virtually no equipment.

Things You'll Need

  • Brushes
  • Spray Polyurethane Finish (if Using Metal)
  • Stones Or Metal
  • Acrylic Matte Medium
  • Photocopy Or Printed Images
  • Pan Of Water

Prepare the Surface

  • Choose your stone or piece of metal. Keep in mind that an image will show up better on a light surface.

  • Prepare the surface: Wash or wipe it down; scrub it if necessary to remove loose particles. Degrease it with rubbing alcohol if necessary.

  • Coat a metal surface with two coats of spray polyurethane and allow it to dry fully (to seal the surface and prevent it from rusting).

  • Coat a stone surface or sealed metal surface with two coats of acrylic matte medium and allow it to dry fully.

Prepare the Image

  • Coat the image side of a high-quality photocopy (color or black and white) or an image from a newspaper or magazine with six to eight coats of acrylic matte medium. Make sure you don't get any medium on the back side of the image.

  • Allow it to dry for 24 hours.

Transfer the Image

  • Soak the coated image in lukewarm water for several hours or overnight.

  • Remove the image from the water.

  • Place it on your work surface, image side down.

  • Rub the paper backing off the plastic-like surface gently. The toner of the photocopy image or ink from the printed image should stay embedded in the plastic-like surface of the acrylic matte medium while the paper rubs away. (You may need to do this partly in the tray of water.)

  • Coat your stone or metal with a layer of matte medium.

  • Coat the side of the image from which you have just removed the paper with a layer of matte medium.

  • Lay the freshly coated surface of the image onto the freshly coated surface of the stone or metal and smooth it out.

  • Allow to dry at least an hour.

  • Use acrylic medium to create a seamless, smooth surface (for example, to smooth over the point at which the transferred image meets the stone or metal) and to coat.

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