How to print on wood using dry rub film and white water slide decal paper

Printing onto wood at home using an inkjet or laser printer

It depends of what type of wood, its surface and whether or not its painted white or a light or dark shade.

                                Dry Rub on Decal Film (Rub Onz)

Dry Rub Film is a Decal Film that does not require any dipping into water or spray sealing of the print. All that is required is the dry rub product and your home inkjet or laser printer. This product works on both printer types.

Ideally, your surface will be flat, smooth and either painted white or a light shade of wood.

White painted wooden surface work brilliantly with this product as the white provides the same type of background as a regular piece of paper would so you can print almost anything that you want and its going to look really good when you apply it to the surface.

      drub rub on film - clear rub onz

Here you can see that I've printed some red roses onto some A4 Dry Rub Decal Film and have transferred the image onto a wooden coaster. As the shade of wood is nice and light the colours and transfer looked really good and the design was flush to the surface and had a hand painted effect.

When thinking about designs dry Rub Onz work best where you have no areas of space and on solid designs (like the rose) where you can easily cut close around the edge. On the rose above, just the rose is a printed film.

If I were going to create a dry rub film decal of just text for the above coaster, I would size the text up so that it fitted onto the coaster and then cut a square out of the film just a little smaller than the coaster itself.

This is so that any clear areas of space looked the same colour, IE, the entire face of the coaster is either clear film or print with just the small edge of the original wood showing around the outside. This generally looks better when writing text.

                 making dolls house accessories

Due to not needing any water, dry rub film is great for wood, card and paper projects.

Its popular in miniature modelling for creating any type of text, image or picture to place onto small wooden blanks, home made signs and to bring home made wood projects to life.

Its also popular for making special card toppers for card making and for scrap booking.

                 What's the Dry Rub product and how do I use it?

Dry rub film comes in two parts. A clear print on film side and an adhesive sheet of the same size.

1) Text, images and designs are printed onto one side of the dry rub film in reverse / mirror image.
2) Take the adhesive sheet and remove its paper backing.
3) Place the sticky side of the adhesive sheet and place it over your designs.
4) Give it a quick smooth over with fingers and thumb.
5) Cut your designs out.
6) Peel off your adhesive sheet side to reveal a sticky design.
7) Press your sticky design into your surface and start rubbing its top.
8) After a short while a top film will start to become loose.
9) Using a craft knife or similar catch the corner edge of the top film and peel it away to reveal your printed design, now flush to your surface area.

If required, you can now give your design a spray coat of clear varnish spray to provide a protective cover for your decal.

                dry rub on film rub onz



Printing onto dark wood or darker painted wooden surfaces

White Water Slide Decal Paper

When the surface is darker we have to switch to the White Water Slide Decal Paper. It depends on your design as to whether or not this product will work perfectly for you.

White Water Slide Decal Paper retains it solid white background in the same way as a regular white piece of paper so any areas of your design that does not have print on it will remain white.

One easy way to check to see if your design is suitable for the White Water Slide Paper is to print it onto a regular piece of paper, cut it out and see how it looks. If it were a decal, would you be happy sliding it onto your projects surface?

               how to print onto wood

Have a laser printer?  CLICK HERE for White Laser Water Slide Paper


  • Hello, yes, because the dry rub film is a plastic film, the ink from an inkjet printer can take longer to dry than a laser printer, around 2 hours.

    Christopher Tailby
  • Hey Chris, the dry rub film takes a little longer than regular decal paper for the ink to dry. 1 hour should be enough, over night even better.

    Mr Decal Paper
  • I’m trying to use the dry rub paper with an inkjet printer. It prints ok, but after sitting a half hour, the image still smudges when the adhesive layer is stuck to it. How long does the ink need to dry?


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