Image Transfer onto Claybord™
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Image Transfer onto Claybord™

Transfers are one of the hottest things in painting and collage. This is a very easy and successful way to do transfers, and Claybord™ is perfect for direct transfers, unlike canvas.
Uses Recycled Items: No
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Material List

  • Claybord™ Panel, 16"x20" (1/8")
  • Color copy to transfer (sized and reversed)
  • Golden® Soft Gel Medium
  • Gesso – White
  • Rubber Brayer
  • Water Container
  • Magazines
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush – 3" Foam or Bristle
  • Scratchbord™ Tools

Project Instructions

Step 1 First, select an image for the transfer. Re-size the image to fit the Claybord™ panel. Flipping the image is necessary because in the transferring process, it will print in reverse. Therefore, use a copier or computer to create a mirror image so that the image is positioned correctly once it has been transferred. Once your image is reversed and re-sized, then print the image on a color copier.

Step 2 Next, use a 3" foam brush to apply white gesso to the Claybord™ surface. If you find that the gesso is too thick, you can dilute so that the consistency is that of heavy cream. This layer should be evenly applied and thick enough so that it does not dry quickly, as you will have to adhere the color copy while the gesso is still wet.


Step 3 To position the image correctly on the panel, place the image face up on your work surface and then lay the gessoed Claybord™ (gesso should be wet) face down into position onto the image. Then, apply pressure to the back of the panel so that the image sticks to the gesso. Once it is adhered, turn the panel over.


Step 4 Using a rubber brayer, roll from the middle of the panel outward to the sides using medium pressure. This pushes out any air bubbles and achieves a flat, even bond. Go over the entire image thoroughly with the brayer or it can result in an uneven or poor transfer. Make sure you are not pressing too hard. Applying too much pressure can squeeze the gesso from the Claybord™ surface and your image will not transfer.

Step 5 Allow to dry overnight.

Step 6 Once the gesso is dry, slowly remove the paper by dipping your fingers into water and gently rubbing the paper off the surface. This part of the process generally takes two or three passes with water to remove all of the paper lint. Be extra careful with the edges of the image so that you do not peel or rub the ink away. For best results, start rubbing from the center of the panel outward and in one direction only or the edges of the image might peel up. Do not be afraid to re-wet the area if the paper is not rubbing away. After the first pass, allow a few minutes for the surface to dry slightly. This makes it easier to see where the paper lint is still on the image. These areas will look “faded” or “dull”. When finished, the transfer surface will feel consistent and smooth.

Step 7 There are many different uses for image transfers. Because the surface is Claybord™, you can paint, collage, print on, or even scratch into the transfer with Scratchbord™ tools. This project uses collage on top of the transfer. We cut out shapes from magazines to make red lines and curves over the transferred image. We used Golden® soft gel medium to glue the magazine collage pieces to the transfer. To finish, brush on Golden® soft gel medium over the entire artwork to seal it.


You can transfer one image or many -- it is up to you. Be creative. You can layer them if you like, do them one at a time or all at once.

Craft Notes

Crafted for Michaels by Dana Brown.