HTV on Wood 101: Exploring the Beauty of Heat Transfer Vinyl on Wood Craft
Since the debut of HTV or Heat Transfer Vinyl, crafters seem they can’t get enough of it! Why wouldn’t they? It’s a true creative marvel. And I’m 100% sure that you’re also one of them! Otherwise, you wouldn’t be exploring this blog.
I know! You’ve already tried HTV on shirts and are now focusing your creative eye on another medium-Wood.
Wood is not the first thing that will pop to mind when one talks about HTV artworks. It’s usually shirts, towels, mugs or canvass bags that are commonly associated with it. But this stops today!
We dedicate this entire piece to the unpopular idea of using HTV on wood.
There are several reasons why this beautiful avenue has not been fully explored. It could be just a plain case of not knowing or you probably knew about it, but you’re just clueless on where to pick your starting point.
No more guessing!
Regardless of the reason, we are here to be your lighthouse in discovering this alternative route on using HTV.
HTV & Wood: A Creative Combo Can you use HTV on Wood?
Before going any further, once and for all, let us settle this inquiry; Can you use HTV on wood? The answer is a roaring YES! You can definitely apply HTV on wood.
For quite a long time, vinyl decals and paints have been the ultimate go-to materials when working with wood. But these methods have flaws that irk users. For Vinyl decals you need to prepare the wood to get the ultimate stick and using paints could be a messy process.
These are some key reasons why using HTV on wood is a great option for your desire to venture into wood crafts.
- Wood can withstand heat, so it’s a suitable medium for Heat Transfer Vinyl projects. You can actually use heat press straight on it.
- It consumes lesser time than painting and involves lesser process than adhesive vinyl (sanding wood, sealing, etc.)
- HTV is crafted to last and stay. It has the same appeal as paint and it doesn’t peel off like vinyl.
- There’s a wide selection of colors and styles. From the glow-in-the-dark HTV to Glitter HTV, you’ll never run out of options!
Now that we are confident that Heat Transfer Vinyl works well on wood, it’s the right time to immerse ourselves in this fun and creative process. So, if you’re ready to create your first wood artwork, dive below.
Into the woods, we go…How do you get HTV to stick on wood?
Applying Heat Transfer Vinyl on wood is pretty much the same as adhering HTV on shirts or any other fabrics. So, if you’re already well-acquainted with the procedure, then this process will be a walk in the park.
As your starting point, you can create your cut file or you may prefer to purchase a ready-made design of your liking on online stores. The same goes with wood; you can just order a pre-sanded piece of wood if you wish to engage in a lesser process. However, if you’re someone who likes to do everything hands-on, then you wouldn’t mind this next step. If you want to use natural wood, we suggest that you sand it first. You also need to ensure that the surface is free from tiny splinters and uneven patches, so in this way, HTV will stick better on the surface.
You got your HTV and wood ready; all you need to do now is press it on wood!
There are different ways to go from here. Considering the scope of your woodcraft and the type of wood you’re going to use, you can either use equipment like home iron, easy Press, or heat press machines, depending on what’s available for you to use.
How to Apply HTV on Wood using Home Iron
If you’re still saving for your first Easy Press but still eager to try wood projects, then this one’s for you. Although not really intended for applying Heat Transfer Vinyl on wood or any fabric materials, you can get an outstanding result with a home iron with the proper knowledge and precise application.
Home irons are a great alternative when you use thick woods that prevent the platens from closing and long woods that won’t fit on a heat press.
How to apply HTV on wood.
- Clear your workspace of any unnecessary objects. Best if you do this on a solid surface, considering that you’re going to apply pressure.
- Since you can’t precisely set the temperature, your top option here is to place it on “cotton.” This setting works for most standard HTV.
- Place the Heat Transfer Vinyl on the position you wanted it to be applied, and then add a layer of the cover sheet to prevent iron from unwanted gunk. A tea towel, parchment paper, or pillowcase would do the job.
- Press each portion of HTV for about 8-10 seconds with just the right amount of pressure.
- Check if the design has fully adhered to the surface. If not, repeat the same process till the vinyl sticks to the wood, then lastly, peel away the covering sheet.
- To ensure that the HTV is successfully sealed, simply add parchment paper on top of the wood again, then quickly run over the iron again.
Home iron is a beginner-friendly and budget-friendly option for beginners to start their first DIY wood project. But if you have an Easy Press, check the step-by-step guide below.
How to Apply HTV on Wood using Easy Press
Easy Press exists because of its one job- to transfer your vinyl to your chosen medium, which in this case-wood.
The success of this process ultimately relies on setting the right heat, finding the precise time, and applying the right pressure. Hold your horses! You don’t need to leave just to google it, for we’ve taken the time to curate it just for you. Check out this guide from Cricut:
Circuit Easy Press Temperature And Time Chart
|Heat Transfer Vinyl||Temperature||Time||Pressure|
|Regular HTV / Metalic||300°F/ 150°C||40 Secs||Firm Pressure|
|Regular HTV Mesh||300°F/ 150°C||40 Secs||Firm Pressure|
|HTV Glitter||300°F/ 150°C||40 Secs||Firm Pressure|
|Glitter Mesh||300°F/ 150°C||40 Secs||Firm Pressure|
|Holographic HTV||300°F/ 150°C||40 Secs||Firm Pressure|
|Holographic Sparkle||300°F/ 150°C||40 Secs||Firm Pressure|
|HTV Patterns||300°F/ 150°C||40 Secs||Firm Pressure|
|HTV Designs||300°F/ 150°C||40 Secs||Firm Pressure|
|Smart HTV||300°F/ 150°C||40 Secs||Firm Pressure|
|Smart HTV Glitter||300°F/ 150°C||40 Secs||Firm Pressure|
|Smart HTV Holographic||300°F/ 150°C||40 Secs||Firm Pressure|
Here’s how you do it with an Easy Press:
- Place a mat or towel under the wood to prevent the surface from heating up.
- Preheat your wood for a couple of seconds. Add a Teflon sheet or parchment paper to the surface of the wood before warming it up.
- After preheating the wood, place the vinyl where you want to put it. Add a protective sheet.
- Input the time and temperature on your Easy Press and firmly press it.
- Once done, slowly peel off the carrier sheet. If the HTV doesn’t fully adhere, redo the pressing until the design finally sticks to the wood.
- To seal the vinyl, add a Teflon sheet or parchment paper. Press with similar heat but just half the time. Cool it for a while, and finally, your woodcraft is beautifully made!
How to Apply HTV on Wood using Heat Press
The process of using a heat press machine is basically the same as with an easy press. You have to stick to the recommended procedure and learn the right temperature and time settings applicable to the type of vinyl you’re using.
The trick when using a heat press is to use thin wood because thick ones prevent the platen from fully closing, which might affect the final result of your project. The great thing about this, though, is you can simultaneously press the HTV onto the woods as long as they fit on the bottom platen. Just leave enough space between them.
HTV on Painted Wood
There are more possibilities in using HTV on wood that one can explore. If you want to take your wood art to the next level, or you simply want to add a different vibe, you can try out Painted Woods.
Here are just some helpful tips that you can do before applying HTV:
- If you’re using rough wood, I recommend that you sand the surface first.
- Let the paint dry for at least 24 hours to ensure that the HTV will indeed stick.
Transferring a design on painted wood involves a slight adjustment on the recommended settings. Here’s what you need to know if you like to use HTV on painted wood.
The first thing you need to know is that applying heat on the paint can lead you to unwanted results, so you need to use a cover sheet to protect whatever heat source you are using from unfortunate gunk and not overheat your HTV. Best if you use non-stick heat pressing sheets.
There’s no exact way of telling the required heat settings for painted woods because it greatly depends on factors like pressure, type of paint, and wood condition. Your best option here is to go lower than the recommended setting for the type of Heat Transfer Vinyl you’re using. It may take a little while, but if you’re patient enough, you’ll end up smiling for a stunning result.
Sealing HTV on Wood
The use of wood sealers depends on the purpose of your project and the type of wood you will use. We all know that this process is meant to provide longevity and strength to the wood. If your woodcraft is intended to be displayed outside or be exposed to extreme weather conditions, then it is a must for you to seal your design. An acrylic spray sealant is enough to do the job.
But it would help if you were mindful that there are wood sealers that can cause HTV to peel off, so it is in your best interest to spend a little time researching this.
How about using sealing wood before putting the vinyl? This process is usually done when you are working with stained wood. Dive below to find more about this.
HTV on Stained Wood Do You Need to Seal It?
If you prefer natural-looking wood, then stained wood is a perfect fit for you. If in case you’re wondering if HTV will adhere to stained wood, then the answer is YES! However, you need to take an extra step here when working with stained woods: SEALING!
Wood staining produces oily residue that causes HTV to peel off the surface. Sealing the stained wood with water-based Polycrylic and curing it for at least 24 hours will ensure the HTV adheres longer, if not permanently.
Venturing into the creative process of woodcraft is such a satisfying experience. It provides us an avenue to create something marvellous out of just a chunk of wood. Even more so, it gives you the power to create distinct wood art pieces that represent your creative soul. So what are you waiting for? Go on let the world see the beauty you create using HTV on wood.