How to do Sublimation on Wood?

How to do Sublimation on Wood?

You can efficiently perform sublimation printing on wood with vibrant designs and colors. As we know that a polyester surface is suitable for sublimation printing. To sublimate on wood, we need to apply a polyester layer on the printable surface of the wood.

Therefore, we can use sublimation on wood with polycrylic or apply a lamination sheet as its outer side/shiny side is made up of polyester resin. Moreover, we will be sublimating wood with a lamination sheet as it is affordable, hassle-free, and a DIY method. So let us get started.

Materials Required for Sublimation on Wood:

You need six items to sublimate on wood. They are as follows:

  1. Wood as substrate
  2. Lamination pouches
  3. Dye Sublimation/heat transfer Paper
  4. Butcher/parchment paper
  5. Heat Press
  6. Sublimation printer

Procedure for Sublimation on Wood:

Let us go through the procedure on how to perform sublimation on wood:

Step 1:

Cut or get a piece of plywood/wooden board/MDF board as per the design area. You can also buy ready-made samples from sublimation wood blanks sellers. Most importantly, make sure the wooden amount you choose must have a smooth surface and that its thickness accommodates the heat press.

Step 2:

Perform a light sanding at the edges of the wooden piece to smoothen. Then wipe the flat surface and edges with a white cloth.

Step 3:

To achieve vibrant sublimation prints on wood, we need to apply two coats of white paint printable flat surface of the wood. Moreover, we perform this in a step by step manner:

  1. First, apply one coat of white paint on the printable flat surface of the wood. And let it dry for 20 minutes.
  2. Then apply the second coat and leave it to dry for the next 20 minutes.

We perform this step(step 2) before applying the laminate.

Step 4:

Set the temperature on heat press to 365 degrees Fahrenheit and set the time to 90 seconds. That is to say, we sublimate wood at a temperature of 365 degrees Fahrenheit for a time of 90 seconds.

Step 5:

Take the lamination pouch and cut it to fit the size of the wooden board. Most importantly, do not cut the lamination sheet to the exact size. Instead, leave at least 0.125 inches or 1/8th of an inch from all sides of the lamination sheet. That is to say, the lamination sheet must be 1/8th of an inch more significant than the wooden board from all sides. Because the laminate shrinks when heated. As a result, your print will end up having blurred/unprinted edges.

Step 6:

Place a piece of the butcher paper on the pad of the heat press. And then the wood with the printable side up. And then place the laminate over it with the shiny side up.

Next, place the butcher paper over the laminate as you don’t want the laminate to stick to your platen. Set the pressure from medium to firm under the set time and temperature in step 3.

Finally, let them cool off, and you are done with sublimation printing on wood.


The dye sublimation on the Wood or MDF board is too easy to perform. Moreover, laminate on wood after heat press permanently fixes with the print onto the wooden surface.

Further, if you are using polycrlic, you no more need the lamination sheet. Because the polycrylic solution after drying creates a shiny polyester layer similar to the lamination sheet.

Moreover, it may be easy to apply to using a paintbrush than cutting the lamination sheet of suitable dimensions.

Furthermore, if you are to custom print many wooden boards, use polycrylic instead of a lamination sheet.

Written by Davis Brown

Hi! I'm Davis Brown, Head of Editorial Team of HowNest. We are team of researchers, writers and veterans. We publish articles, whitepapers, journals and blogs with full-proof research and proper analysis. We focus on various areas such as eCommerce, industrial operations, corporate management, technologies, and DIY solutions.

Top 10 Epson Sublimation Printer (EcoTank & Wide Format)

Top 10 Epson Sublimation Printer (EcoTank & Wide Format) in 2023

Airline food, airline meal

What’s the Deal With Airline Food?