Waxing Nostalgic

In a recent post, I blogged about transferring French Typography onto wooden furniture using wax paper- this week’s High Five For Friday! Yup-regular old wax paper- the old-fashioned kind we used to wrap our sandwiches in for our tin lunch boxes-is suddenly all the rage again.Sandwich wrapped in wax paperSo I thought I would give the wax paper transfer method currently posted on my D.I.M. Pinterest page a try, since I am working on some new pieces. Coach found this cute little old pine telephone table that I thought would work nicely.

Telephone Table Before

(This one’s from the olden days, folks, when we had those gadgets attached to the wall called telephones, with an attached cord so you had to sit down to talk on them and use loads of paper books with names and addresses and phone numbers in them : )…

Wax Transfer Phone Image

Here are the steps:

1. Cleaned and steel wooled. It hardly had any finish on it so no sanding needed. But I made sure that the inside was clean as well. Nothing worse than opening up some cute, vintage refinished piece only to inhale the strong odor of musty cigarette smoke.

2. Added 2 coats of Annie Sloan French Linen paint. Love the soft color and the flat finish.

Telephone Table Painted

3. Got some wax paper (this pic shows parchment paper which apparently works as well, but I haven’t tried that yet)

Wax papers

4. Find a picture- I got mine from the Graphics Fairy- and print it in your REGULAR INK JET PRINTER!! Not a laser printer, apparently that just melts the wax. Make sure when you go to settings you reverse it for the transfer process prior to printing. Cut the wax paper to the same size as a regular sheet of copy paper. Slowly feed the wax paper into the printer, being careful not to let it wrinkle or crease. Once printed, allow time for it to dry so it won’t smear when you lay it down on your piece.

Wax Paper in Printer

5. Dampen (NOT WET!) the furniture so it will accept the ink. Center the wax paper, print side down, on to your piece of furniture.

Wax paper transfer on table

6. Now just start rubbing all over the design, pressing firmly. I tried two methods of transfer- the credit card- which I found had too sharp of an edge to really press.

Wax paper transfer with credit card

The back of a spoon-perfect! Rub the image until  it is completely transferred.

Wax paper transfer with spoon

The harder and longer you rub, the darker and clearer your image will be. You can carefully pick up the paper and check underneath as you go along, but just make sure you put it back exactly in the same spot- otherwise the image will appear blurry. Allow to dry (about 5 minutes)

7. Finish with a coat of Annie Sloan Soft Wax.

Wax paper French Typography transfer

8. Since we no longer have giant phones and tons of phone books, I discovered a cute new storage place for my Ipad!

Wax Paper French Typography Transfer

TGIF everyone!! So happy to finally have some nice sunny weather-NOT!!! Susan


  1. Have you ever tried this on canvas? I am doing a painting and want to transfer some writing to a few spot on the painting. Thanks for any input you may have.


    • Hi! I haven’t but I have seen others do this on fabric with an iron. The issue I would see is that canvas typically has sizing on it which may not accept the ink. Check out graphics fairy.com. She has lots of posts with transfers of all kinds.


  2. can this method work on burlap? Also, I think the parchment paper would be better because it is already a little stiffer than wax.


    • You know, I have tried it on burlap, as I have seen others post photos of that. But I have to tell you that it was a big fail on my part. The burlap kept getting jammed in my printer, no matter how much I pressed it down. Then all the inkjets were smeared and I had to remove them and clean them multiple times. I wouldn’t recommend but I know other folks have had a lot of luck with it.


  3. I tried this but just could not get it to feed into the printer.. crazy paper jams. even when hand feeding, even with taping to a piece of printer paper… no such luck.


    • Hi Jamie- I have two printers. One that I absolutely cannot use wax paper with (which is a quite expensive Canon photo printer) and one that works great (a very inexpensive HP Deskjet 2430.) The best technique that I have found to be the most successful is to use double sided tape and attach to a sheet of white copy paper. Make sure the edges are very clean and straight. I think that some printers are just to “finicky” to use the wax paper because it has a coating on it.
      I have also used freezer paper, which is a little thicker and not quite as flimsy. Perhaps give that a try? Good luck!


      • go figure I have a HP photo printer as well! lol I haven’ given up on this endeavor but I’m going to have to try a couple of different ways! Or maybe just buy transfer paper lol.

        I’ve seen where mod podge is used and that is just a mess haha.. I have tried it twice and its not a good solution!


  4. would this work on paper?? I made a picture frame with musical sheet and I will like to add some word over it , do you think I can use this method??


  5. Once the image was applied to the wood did the ink not smear when you waxed it? That’s what happened to me:(


  6. Having a senior moment here… bare with me. Do you feed the design and wax paper in the copier at the same time? Feeling very dumb…


    • lol- not a dumb question! The design is whatever you create or download on your computer. Usually I print from my Paint program, but lately I have been using my photo editor called Pic Monkey. Just prepare the design however you want it to look, then put your paper in the printer and print away! The wax or freezer paper just takes the place of the piece of copy paper in your printer tray. By the way, if using wax paper, I find it is a little easier to handle if you actually tape it to a piece of copy paper to give it more weight and feed through the copier easier. Just make sure you put the paper in the tray correctly so it prints on the wax paper and not on the copy paper (mine is print side down) Hope that helps! By the way, love your email address : )


    • chris aka monkey says:

      too funny my computer whiz daughter is sitting next to me as i read this and i asked the same question and she gave same answer lol xx


  7. I am excited to see this so simple and very inspiring.It will help me over my creative block


  8. Sally Harms says:

    I’ve tried this and it works great. I taped a piece of computer paper to the wax paper which makes the “feed” process much smoother and easier.


  9. About wax paper,will it work on eather side?🌸


  10. would this work on glass??


    • I am not certain, but I am thinking probably not. If you go to another blog “In My Own Style”, or The Graphics Fairy, and search there, you
      may have a bit of luck. Both of those blogs have quite a lot of transfer information. Good luck! And if you are successful, send me a photo
      and info to share- I am sure you are not the only person curious about this!


    • Anonymous says:

      There are instructions for transferring onto glass using Leslie Riley’s TAP (Transfer Artist Paper), and also wood. She has a book out that explains the process – but you can also google this.


  11. Great tutorial, and I have to say, I will give it a try. I found you on the Before & After DIY Link up. New follower!!! Cant wait for more tips. :)


    • Thanks! I always try to be clear and thorough in my tutorials so my readers can understand them easily! If you go to my home page and type in DIM in the search box, there are some other projects you might like as well.


  12. I’m not sure I would ever do this–well, never say never–but I showed a few women at work and they were all gaga about it.


  13. I have never tried this method yet.I have tried it with fabric and it works.I definitely will be doing this on furniture. Thanks for sharing.


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