What is a Rub on Transfer?

October 08, 2019 1 Comment

What is a Rub on Transfer?

Rub-on transfers offer a simple yet gorgeous way of breathing new life into an older piece of furniture.


In this tutorial, Amy Howard discusses ink and full-color transfers, and demonstrates how to apply them to furniture.

Rescue and restore


Amy is a big champion of rescuing and restoring older furniture so that it doesn’t go to waste. The renaissance of chalk-based paint has really helped DIYers rescue and renew “lost” pieces.


If you want to up your game by introducing more creativity and specialty finishes, A Makers’ Studio’s new Ink Transfers and Full-color Transfers are ideal for transforming an old piece into something completely new.


Not just for furniture

Rub on transfers can also be used for other pieces.


For instance, Amy shows us a bread board that is revitalized for the holidays with the help of a handsome ink transfer.


Likewise, mason jars can get a cover of A Makers’ Studio Rescue Restore Paint, followed by a full-color transfer of butterflies and flowers to give them a completely new look.


You can also transfer them onto a glass table top. Or, if you want flexibility, transfer them onto a piece of a glass cut to fit the top of your table, which can be placed there or removed as you see fit.


Composition is key

Using a nightstand recently painted with two coats of Rescue Restore Paint, Amy demonstrates in the video tutorial how to apply a combination of an ink transfer and full-color transfer.


It’s important to think about the composition of the images.


If you just apply an image of a lovely flower, it will appear to be “floating” in a way that isn’t pleasing to the eye.


Using it in combination with ink transfers of classic script handwriting from an old letter in the background helps visually anchor pretty images like flowers and butterflies.


Amy suggests that it’s usually best to put larger flowers at the bottom right-hand corner of the piece, and advises against putting large images right in the center.


Rub on the transfer

Remember that you should not wax the furniture first or use any kind of sealant prior to applying a transfer.


Simply make sure the surface is clean, dry, and dust-free.


Remove the white backing from the Full-color Transfer that you have picked, and lightly press it on to the spot you have chosen. Have some painter’s tape on hand to put on the edges of the transfer to hold it in place while burnishing.


Then, select the Ink Transfer you would like to use, and apply it, lifting a small part of the color transfer so that the ink one is behind it.


Use a piece of wood as a burnishing tool and rub it firmly and quickly back and forth over the ink transfer.

This can take several minutes. Peel it slowly back to see that it’s transferring onto the furniture. Next, burnish the color transfer in the same way.


Once you are finished rubbing, both images will have transferred beautifully onto the furniture. 


And this is just the beginning!


Now consider how you want to fill the rest of the space with other ink and color transfers.

1 Response

Chera Hudson
Chera Hudson

November 25, 2019

Does this only work on wood? Can the ink be sealed afterwards ?

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