Can You Sublimate On Wood? (Experts Methods)

Can you sublimate on wood? This is the question of every client who comes to my craft store to get their favorite sublimation prints. Though it is trending nowadays, it is not new to the business at all. Since the time sublimation started, artists have been doing sublimation on wood. 

People are growing more inclined toward decorative and creative stuff these days. They are looking for more creative as well as innovative ways to transform their abstract ideas into something concrete. 

Can You Sublimate On Wood

Also, sublimation techniques are making the rounds in the creative world, and surely you have thought about trying them out as well. One such method you must be skeptical about is sublimation on wood.

Can You Sublimate On Wood (Fully Explained)

Well, the answer is yes. You can sublimate on wood, and all you need is some guidance to have you started. So, worry not and sit tight; in this article, we are going to provide you with proper guidance and everything you need to know about sublimation on wood, techniques, material, and whatnot.

Let’s get started, then.

What is sublimation on wood?

Sublimation is a way that lets you print the design, layout, or anything you like on a sublimation printer. After that let, you transfer the ink into a particular coating, commonly known as ‘polyurethane coating.’ on the wood with the help of pressure and heat.

Sublimation on wood is a wonderful and fun hack for people into decorating. The results it provides are amazing and pretty vibrant.

Materials required for sublimation on wood:

Following are the materials required for sublimation on wood.

● Wood

● Heat transfer paper

● Laminating pouches

● Parchment papers

● Sublimation printer

● Heat press

What type of wood can you use for sublimation?

There are various kinds of wood that can be used for sublimation purposes. The most common ones are listed below:

  1. Maple
  2. Mahogany
  3. Oak
  4. Pine
  5. Cherry

Every single wood possesses its own unique color and grain. This may affect your printed design. We recommend you try printing on different wood till you know the one that works best for you.

how to sublimate on wood (Step-by-Step-Guide)

how to sublimate on wood

After knowing about the materials and the types of wood that can be utilized for sublimation. Let’s move further with the methods/steps that you need to learn to decorate your wood:

Step no: 1

Clean the piece of wood that you are using for printing. Make sure to clean all the moisture off of the blank, as it may ruin your design later. Although it is very much possible to sublimate on the wood without any coating, we will not recommend you do so. This is because it can cost you your efforts, and the design may fade away.

Step no: 2

After cleaning and preparing the wood for sublimation, you now need to prepare the coating. If your wood is already poly-coated, then without any excessive halt, you get on with the printing process instantly. If not, then you might need a laminating machine and paper.

This is a widely popular paper used for sublimation on wood and is used by almost everyone in this domain.

All you need to do is laminate the sides of the wood that you want to sublimate. The shiny side of the paper will be pasted on the top end of the wood you want to sublimate. Now, cut the excess laminating paper.

Step no: 3

After coating your blank with laminating paper. Now you need to print your design. Use a sublimation printer and paper to print out your design. Do not worry about any kind of special ink, as the laminating paper will let the sublimation ink bind to the wood effortlessly.

Step no: 4

After printing the design, place it on the front side down on the side of the wood that you will sublimate. Now, it is time for the design/pattern to transfer to your wood.

Use an appropriate heat and pressure setting for your sublimation ink. Press it onto the sublimation paper with the help of your heat presser. 

Now, wait for a while before removing the heat press. Don’t remove the sublimation paper until the wood cools down. After it cools down, remove the paper and see your design transferred to the wood.

This method produces an extraordinary and incredible design on your wood blanks, and we assure the design will not fade away. Besides this method, there is another method as well for wood sublimation.

Let’s discuss it as well.

How to do Sublimation on wood with Polycrylic Method

This is another method of wood sublimation. Polycrylic is a water-based coating and is easy to apply. It tends to give a smooth finish.

All you need to do is coat your wood piece with this water-based coating and allow it to dry. The drying process can take up to days, and you might need to wait for much better results. 

After the wood is coated, you ought to remove any kind of moisture from the wood and transfer your design to the wooden piece. Using medium pressure is recommended.

One of the major drawbacks of using polyacrylic is that the paper used for transferring the design gets stocked to the wood and might mess up your design. You might need to use water to saturate the paper, and it will come off slowly. After drying up the wood, apply a top coat of lacquer, as it will enhance the colors of your design.


Decoration is something almost everyone is fond of. Always looking for ways to be creative and innovative in many ways. One such way is sublimation on wood, and it is widely popular. 

Sublimation on wood is fun but a little tricky. We have shared the tested techniques that helped us sublimate the wood. From materials to methods, we have covered everything that may help your smooth sublimation process on wood.


Is direct sublimation on wood possible?

Yes, it is very much possible to sublimate directly on the wood. But the results will not be what you desire. The design might fade away which is why it is recommended to coat your wood piece before sublimation.

Is Sublimation on wood long-lasting?

Sublimation on wood is very durable and long-lasting if taken care of properly.

Is the polyacrylic method better than the laminate paper method?

The polyacrylic method is an amazing DIY of sublimation, but it is quite expensive and has its cons. The laminate paper technique is easy as well as cheap and delivers desired results.

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