Mod Podge transfer table

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Don’t want to hand paint graphics onto furniture? Use a Mod Podge transfer instead!


This table belonged to our younger son, who chose not to take it with him when he left home. Not being able to throw out any furniture, I painted it a charcoal black and used it in our game room in our old home. And, here it is in it’s second before state.


  • Using my favorite paint recipe, and following my basic furniture tutorial, I painted the legs a pure white. This table got two coats.
  • To do this project, you will need to find a piece of furniture and do the same or you can try it directly on a finished wood piece.


  •  Next, print a reversed French typography graphic that you can find on The Graphics Fairy.


  • And enlarge it using the method that she features here.
  • I used our laser  printer and printed it directly from my computer.


  •  Some of the graphics are missing because home printers don’t print all the way to the edge…
  • You could avoid this problem by having it enlarged at Kinko’s.


  •  so you will need to manipulate it by cutting notches into the sides to align with the edges of the print.


  •  Next, tape them together lining up the print. (Yes, I know that this doesn’t exactly line up because of the missing graphics. I wasn’t too worried about it, as I was going for a very distressed look and felt this wouldn’t be much of a problem. You will see in the end.)
  • This is a picture of the bottom half of the graphics that I used.


  •  And this is a picture of the top half.
  • Notice that this image is very “pixelated”. I chose a small graphic, which I don’t think was meant to be enlarged this much. I really liked the simplicity of this image and wanted to try it anyway. The desk was already very distressed and called for a similarly distressed image. Keeping these objectives in mind, I figured that the “pixelation” would not be noticeable when I finished distressing it.


  •  Place the four sheets in the center of the table, and make pencil marks at the bottom of the paper onto the table, (you can see them where I have the arrows penciled in)


  • and sides,
  • and top.
  • This will help you know where to align the pages in the next step.


  • Next, trace over the graphics on the right side of the paper, using an art brush and Mod Podge.


  •  After covering all the graphics of the top pages with the Mod Podge, turn them over aligning the pages with the pencil marks that you made earlier.
  • Then trace over the lettering with your finger to make sure each letter adheres to the table.
  • Use a flat edged plastic scraper and a rolling pin to touch up any areas that need a little more attention. Be very careful when doing this, as it is easy to tear up the image due to the wet paper.


  •  Let it dry for several hours. I recommend letting it dry over night if you are patient enough to wait that long!


  •  After it dries, wet the lettering with a sponge or paper towel. It needs to be pretty wet.
  • And you might need to keep adding more water as you work.


  •  Using GENTLE PRESSURE, with your finger, begin rubbing the paper away from the print. This is step is pretty neat! The ink from the graphics sticks to the Mod Podge as the paper is rubbed away!


  •  You will continue to rub the paper off until all the graphics are exposed.
  • You may need to do this a couple of times to get rid of all the little paper pieces.
  • Be patient.


  • Let the table dry well. You don’t want the print to be sticky when you go to the next step.


  •  After it is good and dry, sand the graphics so that they look faded and the print looses it’s jagged pixel edge. Be careful here, cleaning up as you go; the ink can smudge.
  • If you do get a smudge, you can “erase” it with the tip of a block sander.
  • Sorry, about this photo. I think something happened with the lighting.
  • After you get it just like you want it, you can seal it with a matte pray sealer at this point if you want to. I will leave my unprotected so that it will distress even more.

I have included a few more room shots…



This photo shows the desk’s heavy distressing. Also, you might be able to see the heart shaped glass knob that I added to the drawer. It was 50% off at Hobby Lobby.


Here it is tucked into its new spot.


Here you can see that it filled in an empty space. And we can’t have empty spaces!!! So much for my minimalist phase. I just can’t help myself!


  • I found a very good article which discusses different transfer methods here. I thought you might like to read it.

Linking to these parties:

38 thoughts on “Mod Podge transfer table

  1. Hi Kristie, opening my emails this morning brought me directly to your beautiful table remake. Just yesterday my friend and I were brainstorming, how to put a phrase on a wooden tray. Thanks so much for sharing each step! This is so helpful and inspiring! I love your blog! Have a wonderful day! Greets, Manu

    • Good to see you again Manu, I love this transfer method. Using it on a smaller piece should be fun and easy. I will be posting another Mod Podge project later this week or early next week. It is a smaller project and takes so little time to complete. Although, this desk went pretty quickly as well; I think you get a great look for the effort spent. Have fun, and as always, feel free to ask questions and let me know how it goes!

  2. It came out beautifully! Love your house!
    Thank you so much for linking up with the Cowgirl up! Linky party. We love looking through each post. We hope you’ll link up with us again next week!

    • How fun Shannon! I hope you enjoy the project and that you just love your “new” stool when you’re finished. I have been using Mod Podge transfers sense I was 8 or 9 years old!

  3. Do you have to use a certain type printer for this to work? I am so excited and want to try this. Thank you so much for the great tut Ü

  4. Hi – wonderful project. I have been researching the different ways to transfer graphics and this is one I should try. Thanks for the clean instructions. Very lovely!! I have a quick questions though. Would you do antiquing (with a glaze) before you did your transfer…or could you do it afterwards…or would that wipe it off?



    • Glazing or antiquing won’t wipe of the graphics. I would antique it after applying the transfer so that the graphics will look aged as well. Test it first, to see how the Mod Podge takes the glaze. It might be that you need to apply a coat of Mod Podge to the entire surface, before glazing, so that the glaze goes on evenly. ~Kristie

  5. LOVE THE TABLE!!! I am wanting to make a House Rules sign out of wood and went looking for a way that I can transfer the words in whole instead of stenciling. I am going to try this and see how it works. Do you think I could print my letters in color, like maybe yellow if it would still work? Thanks for sharing your project!!!

    • Hi Stephanie, It has been a few years since I have used Mod Podge to transfer a colored image, but as I recall, I had no problems with regards to transferring the color. I love your idea! Let me know when you are finished. I would love to see it. ~Kristie

      • I started out small first by doing a “Family Established” sign for above our new foyer table collage, and it worked marvelously!! I will be sure to post the Rules sign when it is done, which hopefully will be this weekend. I decided to not do color so it should work. But I wanted to say a BIG thank you for sharing your wonderful table and giving me the idea and inspiration. Next I want to try the pots. :) My blog:

  6. Hi, Khristie!
    I absolutely love the finished result, you have done such a great job!
    I used Mod Podge several times on different surfaces/different projects but I must do something wrong because I cannot get to transfer only the letters/the writing – I always get a paper contour that really bothers me. Any ideas? Thank you very much.

  7. I too was looking for a way to do something like this!!!! The directions are so clear. Thank you for being so informative. My question is after this is done can stain be put over the lettering without ruining the end look? Thanks again

    • Hi Margaret, thanks for stopping by! I think you can use stain over the graphics, but you should seal it with polyurethane first. Have fun with your project!

  8. Pingback: Transfer a graphic with Mod Podge. | Mod Podge Rocks

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  11. Hi Khristie. Wow, I have tried so many ways to transfer an image onto wood, I can’t even count them. And unfortunately, none have worked at all. I have no idea what i”m doing wrong. Whenever I use a Mod Podge method, I end up being able to see the outline of the paper. It just looks like I’ve stuck some paper onto some wood, not just the image. And I can see the Mod Podge as a creamy white. It never goes clear. I am putting it onto stained wood if that makes a difference. But not Poly’d, just water based stain. I am going to try your method of just Mod Podging the letters instead of the whole paper and fingers crossed it works. I am at the point where I may end up just handpainting the image on, and I would prefer not to do that as it’s so time consuming.

  12. Pingback: French Typography Table » Nicer Than New

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