Sublimation On Wood | Can You Use Sublimation Ink On Wood

Can you use sublimation ink on wood? At least two times a day, I have been asked this question. So I thought, why not answer it once and for all. This will help everyone to learn about sublimation ink usage on wood and the right way to use it as well. But first, let me answer the question straightly.

“ Yes, you can use sublimation ink on wood. Sublimation printing can be done on wood, and you can get awesome results with wood sublimation.”

Sublimation On Wood Can You Use Sublimation Ink On Wood

Sublimation On Wood – Accessories Needed

In order to do sublimation on wood, you would need the following things.

  1. Sublimation Printer
  2. Sublimation Ink
  3. Sublimation or Heat Transfer Paper
  4. Wooden Black – Small Wood Slices as an Example Today
  5. Thermal Laminating Sheet/Pouch
  6. Heat Gloves, Craft Knife, and Heat-Resisting Tape
  7. Heat Transfer Machine

Process Of Doing Sublimation On Wood

Step No.1: The first step toward sublimating the wood is to prepare the design. Fill the ink tanks or cartridges of the printer with sublimation ink.  Then print the image on the heat transfer paper or sublimation paper.

Step No.2: Then place your slice of wood(wood blank) in the laminating sheet and heat press it for 15-20 seconds in the heat press machine to get the laminating sheet to stick on the wooden slice. This step is most important because we can not sublimate on the wood directly, that’s why using the laminate sheet on the wood, and then we will sublimate on top of it. Once laminating is done, cut off the extra sheet from the wood slice using a craft knife.

Step No.3: Once the image is printed on the paper, cut off the extra paper from the printed image with a craft knife. And place the image on a slice of laminated wood.

Step No.4: Then, with the help of heat-resisting tape, tape the corners of the paper with a wooden slice. And put a piece of standard paper on the heat press machine.

Step No.5: Now place the wood slice having the paper attached to it on the paper in the heat press machine. Start pressing it at medium pressure for 120-150 seconds at 385 F. Once it’s done, use a heat glove, remove the tape and paper from the wood slice, and you have done with sublimation on wood.

Tips To Follow Before Sublimating The Wooden Blank

  1. While heat pressing the wooden slice with a laminate sheet/pouch. Place the wooden slice inside it and then place them together in a standard piece of paper or wrap the paper around them. Because while heat pressing it, an extra laminate sheet might mess up your heta press machine. So better to follow this as a precaution.
  2. Don’t heat press the laminate sheet on the wooden slice or wooden blank for too long. 15-20 seconds are enough for that.
  3. Always use high-quality sublimation ink while doing sublimation on wood
  4. You can not sublimate on the wood directly, so make sure to stick the laminate sheet on the wooden blank and then do sublimation on it.


Q No.1: What do you put on wood to sublimate it?
In order to sublimate on wood, you need to put a laminating sheet on it. Simply place the wooden blank in the laminating sheet/pouch, and using a heat press machine, heat press them for 15-20 seconds(that’s enough time for that). Once the wooden blank is laminated, now you can do sublimation on that wood.

Q No.2: How long do you heat press sublimation on wood?
You can heat press sublimation on wood with these settings efficiently. 120-150 seconds at medium pressure at 385 F. These are the most used settings based on my experience with wood sublimation. Although, it would be better if you would check the quality of your wooden blank and see what are the recommended time, pressure, and temperature for that particular blank.

Q No.3: Can you use heat transfer paper on wood?
Yes, you can use heat transfer paper on wood. The reason behind this is that you have already done the laminating on the wood(using laminate sheet/pouch), and now that laminate sheet has made that wood sublimation friendly and enabled you to sublimate on that wood. Thus you can use heat transfer paper on wood.

Q No.4: How do you sublimate print on wood?
Sublimating the print on wood is super simple. The process is almost the same as sublimating any other object. The primary difference and most important step to follow to sublimate print on the wood is to laminate the wood before sublimating it. The laminate sheet will be stuck on the wood, and then that laminated wood can be sublimated with the standard process of sublimation printing.

Q No.5: What temperature does wood sublimate?
385 F is the temperature used for the majority of the wood sublimation.

Final Words

Sublimating the wood is possible, and it has almost the same process of sublimation as doing on any other substrate such as a shirt, photos, or hoodie. The difference comes only with the additional step of laminating the wooden blank before sublimating it. This is an essential step to remember because without laminating, wood can not absorb, or sublimation ink won’t stick to it. Also, there are many places to buy thermal laminating sheets and pouches. You can find many on Amazon, Dyetrans, and places like these.