Rub-on image transfers are easier than you might think! For today’s project I’ll show you how to add an easy image transfer to furniture. Two of the most popular rub-on image transfer companies are Iron Orchid Designs (which I used in this project, but this transfer is no longer available) and ReDesign with Prima. They both offer quotes, patterns, and even colorful floral transfers.
I found this vintage beauty at an estate sale, marked $50 and then 25% off. Now that’s a pretty good deal! There was quite a lot of furniture there but I restrained myself and only brought this one home.
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Funny story… I was actually supposed to see a different more expensive dresser elsewhere at that time, but the seller was slacking on sending his address and then I saw a sign for this estate sale – so thankfully it all worked out in my favor anyway.
The vintage vanity was lightly sanded to remove some of the shine and then painted in Fusion Mineral Paint in Lamp White – a very pretty pale gray/white mix.
I had heard about this rub-on easy image transfer method and wanted to try it out for myself:
You can order from many different designs – and you’re sent a plastic sheet with inked words/designs. You can cut the plastic to your desired size (I cut a huuuge one into smaller pieces, so I can use the rest on other projects aka save money), then measure and tape it on with Delicate Surface FrogTape so you don’t damage the paint.
The plastic graphic comes with a wooden stick and you rub over the ink repeatedly to transfer the image. After rubbing all over for 5-10 minutes (or longer depending on the size of your graphic), carefully peel away the plastic. If any of the letters stick to the plastic, lay it back down and go over it again with the stick.
I used the FrogTape again to paint some thin stripes on the drawer sides. Be sure to remove the tape while the paint is still wet.
And I replaced the original hardware with new glass pulls (find similar ones online Here) for a more glamorous look overall.
And here she is all finished…
I like Fusion Mineral Paint when I want a sleek, uniform look – it’s not as easy to distress as some other paints. It’s self-leveling and doesn’t require a topcoat, which is awesome.
To help the transfers adhere better though, a topcoat is recommended. I typically use Annie Sloan’s soft wax.
The drawer stripes add that extra surprise touch while still keeping it classy.
Sigh. So pretty.
This vanity makeover is a night and day difference, right?
We brought this to the market but it’s still available, so we’ll be taking it to my new booth at Antiques on Main sometime this week. (Update: It sold quickly from my booth!)
Have you tried this easy image transfer technique yet? Let me know if you do, and what you think of it. (You can see all the different designs HERE.) I have another project using a different one of these graphics that I’ll share with you guys soon!
Update: Here are a few other projects where I’ve used rub-on easy image transfers (find links underneath to see the complete tutorial):
1. This project (you’re already here)
2. Nesting tables
3. Stripes and flowers dresser
4. Music cabinet
5. Trunk with layered paint
6. Tea box makeover
Looks great, Jen!
Just Justin says
Jen- Love this look! I like how you broke up the stencil.
Where do you buy your Fusion Mineral Paint?
Thanks Justin! I ordered the paint because they don’t sell it near me. It’s available on Amazon and Etsy, or you can find a retailer here: https://fusionmineralpaint.com/where-to-buy
are you sure it is the same piece? Just kidding, it turned out so nice and the glass knobs take it up a notch.
Haha! Thank you Jolinda 🙂
Heidi Ackley says
Looks great! Would you share how you prepped this piece for paint, please? I have found those old pieces and the finish on them to be hard to get good coverage. Thanks!
Thank you Heidi. With this type of finish I didn’t have to worry about any bleed through, and Fusion Mineral Paint doesn’t require much prep – just light sanding as needed. I filled a few small marks with wood filler and did a little sanding and that was it!
Marie|The Interior Frugalista says
Beautiful makeover, Jen – quite the difference between the before and after! Pinned. I’ve seen those graphic decals and dying to give them a try. Do you know if they work on glass?
Marie, I have been searching and I can’t find an answer to that. Here’s their website if you want to look or contact them and ask: http://ironorchiddesigns.com (and thank you!) xo
Rose L. says
It is definitely an improvement. Do you put some kind of sealer over it so the letters would not be damaged?
Rose L. recently posted…REMEMBERING A WONDERFUL MAN
Great work Jen, I really love the new look.
It’s always fun for me, as a French man, to see stencil with french words because when I revamp a furniture pieces I try to find stencil with english words. 😉
Ha, so funny Mathieu – I’ve never thought of it that way! 🙂
Looks Great! I looked up the transfer you used but it appears that the one you used was much larger than the 11X14″ on Amazon. What size transfer did you use?
Thank you Vicki! You’re right, mine was about 27×36. That size may not be available on Amazon right now. You can also do a search for Iron Orchid Designs and you might find them on other websites – I always recommend Amazon just because of the free shipping. Hope that helps!
Hi Jen! This dresser looks really good! I was wondering how many coats of white paint it needed? What prep did you do? From my experience that wood and top coat from way back when don’t take paint well. Any advice? Thank you!
Hi Heidi, sorry for the delay in responding. I think I did 2-3 coats of paint, and the only prep was some light sanding and I filled a little gash with wood filler. Fusion Mineral Paint doesn’t require much prep, which is a definite plus!
Jennie from New Zealand says
Fab work. You have a great eye.
Thanks so much Jennie!
Kathleen Walsh says
I love what you did to that dresser ! I wish I could give you all my extra furniture, don’t have room and I pay storage on it. What state are you in ?.Kathleen