Lately I’ve noticed several of my favorite furniture artists writing about leaving their comfort zone. This week’s project with furniture transfers definitely falls in that category for us. We were surprised in the end how easy it was to use water slide furniture transfers and the end result is fun and pretty.
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My daughter wanted to paint a desk chair purple and she wanted flowers on it. Not exactly what we would have chosen, but we like to give her creative reign when we can. I also happened to have a gorgeous floral transfer sitting in our workshop that I hadn’t had the courage to try on anything yet.
You may recall a few months ago we shared with you a chalk paint harvest table makeover. Along with the stunning antique table, we got six cute pine chairs. The chairs were a bit small and not in keeping with our dining room decor but we kept them “just in case”. So when our kids requested new chairs for their rooms, the old pine chairs were called into action.
I always find furniture transfers are hit or miss. Either they are stunning and work with the style of the piece or they are really, really terrible. Since I always fear the latter, we don’t use furniture decals very much. But since this chair was for our daughter and she wanted flowers, we decided we’d give furniture transfers a go for this project. Below we give you the step-by-step instructions on how to apply transfers to furniture.
The process – how to apply furniture transfers
Our daughter painted the chair herself using a mix of Fusion’s Twilight Geranium and Raw Silk. You can read more about how to get the perfect paint finish here.
For this project we used a beautiful floral transfer from Etsy. The Prima Re-Design decor transfers are lovely, but they are expensive and, frankly, sometimes a bit overused. This design from DIYShabbyChic.com cost us about $15 CD, including the shipping from the UK.
This particular type of transfer is applied by water slide, not rub on (known as “water slide furniture transfers”). It has a shiny film top and a paper backing.
Step 1 – cut out the design
Using sharp scissors, cut around the outside of the image as closely as you can. Ok, the scissors don’t really have to be sharp but I hate when I can’t get a nice, crisp cut on something!
Step 2 – wet the furniture decal
Immerse the decal in a tub of warm water. The edges will roll up, that’s okay! Leave the decal in the water for approximately 30 seconds.
Step 3 – place transfer on furniture
Wet the surface of the furniture and place your water slide furniture transfer where you want it to be. Drip a little more water on the top of the decal.
Step 4 – slide paper out from under the plastic film
Gently hold the plastic film at the top and slide the paper out from underneath the film. The image is on the film and will remain as you slide out the paper. If this paper is not slipping out easily, add more water.
Step 5 – smooth out the water and ripples
You can use a squeegee or the slippery slide of the paper you removed from the transfer, to gently push out all the water from under the furniture transfer and smooth it out.
Step 6 – dry and seal
Let the furniture decal completely dry and apply a water based top coat to protect it. This top coat works well for us.
Easy, peasy! If our 3rd grader can do it, you can too!
My daughter is thrilled with her new desk chair. The water slide furniture transfer looks lovely and definitely adds charm and interest to the chair. My sister is an artist and could probably paint something lovely like this by hand, but for those of us who don’t have that talent, furniture transfers are a great way to add beautiful images to furniture.
Do you like the look of furniture transfers? Do you find them easy to work with? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!