When I read about Citrasolv on a blog (see below for link), I was very excited. The idea that I could design anything I wanted and transfer my artwork onto wood, without messy stencils and paint, was very appealing. I tracked Citrasolv down at a nearby nature food store. Then, the bottle of Citrasolv sat on my shelf, unused, for a year. So much for my excitement. Recently, I was trying to figure out what to do with a cool piece of wood I had come across. It was originally the top of a rickety plant stand and had a unique shape. I unscrewed the top and painted it green with accents of white. I knew I wanted it to be a sign of some kind, but for a while I didn’t know what to put on it. Inspiration struck, in the form of a friend’s Christmas card. I decided to dust off the Citrasolv and use it to transfer the Irish Blessing onto the wood.
I experimented with Citrasolv once and was pretty excited about the results. I set the poem up on the computer. I flipped it, so it was the mirror image, and printed it. To do a Citrasolv transfer you need a laser printer, not an inkjet. I positioned the printout on my sign, taped it down so it wouldn’t move, and applied the citrasolv to the back of the paper with a cotton ball. Using a spoon, I rubbed the back of the paper, trying to rub the entire poem.
Everything was going smoothly until…yuck. The words started to blur. The ink was bleeding. All the words were blurry. It was a mess. I was so disappointed. I cleaned it off and realized I had to touch up the paint before trying again.
One my second try, things worked a little better. Only a few spots began to blur. Some areas came out light, because I didn’t adequately rub everything, but I like it, it gives it an aged look.
Tips for doing Citrasolv transfers
- Use a laser printer
- Don’t do the whole poem at once. It’s easier to work in sections.
- Rub every section of your design.
- Don’t use too much Citrasolv.
- Raw wood works better than the smooth surface of acrylic paint.
For more on citrasolv transfer read the post that inspired me.