How to Screen Print on Wood

Jun 13, 2019 | Cricut Projects, Project Ideas, Screen Printing, Tutorials


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Painted signs with cricut stencil screen printing

Are you looking for a quick and easy way to make wood signs?  In the past, I have used stencil vinyl to paint signs. I would attach the stencil directly to the wood, paint, and then peel up the stencil to reveal the painted design.  Today, I want to show you a method that is so much faster – especially if you are making more than one sign with your design.

You can screen print on wood!  I still use Speedball ink but instead of fabric ink, I use acrylic ink for wood surfaces.

Wood sign painting stencil cricut oracal

THE PROCESS

The process is the same I use when screen printing with craft vinyl on t-shirts. Cut the design on Oracal 651 and attach it your Speedball screen using transfer tape. Using Speedball acrylic ink, squeegee the ink over your design.  Lift the screen to reveal your painted design.  Leave it to air dry overnight.  With acrylic ink,  you do not need to heat set the ink. Once it is dry, it is permanent!

SUPPLIES NEEDED

STEP-BY-STEP

  1. Cut your design (mirror the image) on Oracal 651 vinyl.
  2. Weed the parts of your design that will be in ink.
  3. Attach the vinyl to the back of your Speedball screen.
  4. Line up your screen on your wood and squeegee the ink over the design.
  5. Lift up the screen to reveal your painted design.
  6. You can immediately place the screen on your next piece of wood and repeat the process.
  7. Allow the ink to dry overnight.

For more details (and photos) on screen printing with vinyl, check out my step-by-step guide to screen printing with vinyl.

How to screen print on wood

 

15 Comments

  1. Hi! Thank you so much for this tutorial! My ink is bubbling when I lift the frame from the wood. Do you have any tips to prevent this?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Try tapping your ink jar before you start. This should get some of the air bubbles out of the ink. I also don’t stir my ink because that can add more bubbles to it. Hope that helps!

      Reply
      • It’s not air bubbles in the jar… when you lift the screen off the wood, there are bubbles showing in the letters from the screen. I notice this doesn’t happen on bare wood like your tutorial, but this is happening when I’ve painted the boards. And the boards are smooth.

        Reply
        • It sounds like you dont have any space between your print surface and the screen. The screen should not rest directly against the print surface. It should only make contact when you squeegee the ink.

          Reply
  2. What kind of paint do you use?

    Reply
    • On wood, I use Speedball acrylic ink. You can get it on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2Dyi4fg

      Reply
  3. You said the size of the screen but not the mesh count. I am having so much trouble printing with black ink i have tried 160 and 230 mesh counts. could you please let me know your mesh count?

    Reply
    • I’ve only used Speedball frames which come with 110 mesh count. If you’re having trouble with bleeding, try giving it a little more off contact. I use poker chips or quarters stacked up under my frame so the screen isn’t touching the wood. Then, just use one squeegee of ink! I hope that helps!

      Reply
  4. Do you have different sized squeegees for different projects, or do you use a standard size and swipe in columns?

    Reply
    • I have different sizes. I like to use one that will cover the entire design in one coat. You can swipe in columns but sometimes you may notice a line where the inks overlap.

      Reply
  5. Doe the ink wipe off the wood once it’s dried or do you have to coat it with something to set oy

    Reply
    • If you were to get it wet and scrub, it could start to come off. I usually don’t coat mine since it’s just on a shelf for decoration, but you definitely could add a top coat to seal it.

      Reply
  6. Does the Speedball ink you use dry/cure without heat or a flash dryer?

    Reply
    • The acrylic ink does! Just let it air dry. If you’re using Speedball fabric ink, you need to heat set it to cure.

      Reply
      • What if the wood you are silk screening has an oil based stain on it ? Does the acrylic ink work ?

        Reply

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