Wax Paper Transfer Cheese Tray

How do you like my fancy fromage tray?

This was once a butt-ugly 70s metal and wooden tray purchased at Goodwill. But I saw potential in it and decided to buy it and spruce it up.

Before: Isn’t it ugly?

I decided to spray paint the metal tray with chalkboard paint. A couple of coats did the trick. (Remember to spray paint in a well ventilated area — not in a closed garage like I did!)

Next up, I painted the wooden tray with a couple coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White. (FYI, I buy my chalk paint from Total Bliss.) Then, I put on a coat of clear wax and sanded the wood to distress it. Looking much better already. (Don’t you just loved my organized workspace?)

The next step is definitely the coolest and one I wasn’t sure would work, until I tried it. And this technique was so very easy, that I’m itching to use it again on another project. Oh, the possibilities.

Inspired by several projects I’ve seen around the web, including this one, I created a wax paper image transfer. I used regular old Reynolds Cut-Rite Wax Paper and my trusty inkjet printer to do this. I’ll explain exactly how in just a bit.

First things first, though, I had to find an image to put on the tray. I found just what I was looking for — a vintage French-style frame — at the Graphics Fairy. I imported the image into my graphic design software. I used Silhouette Studio, the software that came with my Silhouette Cameo, but you could use any design program, I think Word would probably work, as well. From there, I added the word “Fromage” to my label. (I used the font Zapfino.)

Then — and this step is very important — I flipped the entire image horizontally to create a mirror image to print. Most software programs can do this quite easily. Just look for “flip image” or “mirror image,” Also, the Graphics Fairy usually has a transfer image for all of the graphics on her site. (Since I was adding text to my image, I had to do this step manually.)

Next, I trimmed a piece of wax paper to 8,5 inches by 11 inches to fit in my printer. I’d read online that some people had trouble feeding the thin wax paper through their printers. So, I taped my wax paper to a piece of plain printer paper. BIG MISTAKE. This just jammed up my printer.

On the second go-round, I removed all the paper from my printer tray and slid a piece of wax paper in there. I chose “transparency” as my paper type, hit print and held my breath. It worked like a charm. The wax paper didn’t jam or wrinkle as it came through my printer.

You have to work quickly and carefully through these next several steps because the wet ink on the wax paper will smear!

I wet the center of my wooden tray slightly. (You’ll get a darker transfer if you wet the wood slightly. Just run a damp washcloth over it. You don’t want it too wet or the ink will smear.)

Be careful that you don’t move the wax paper at this point. It will smear if you do.

Use a credit card to transfer the image to the wood. (I think you could also apply pressure with your fingers to transfer the image.) Again, be careful not to move the paper and smear your image.

Carefully lift the wax paper off the wooden surface. The ink on the wax paper is still wet and it can smear your project if you’re not careful.

I’m generally a midnight crafter, so I let this tray sit overnight so the ink could dry and cure. When it touched it the next morning, I got a little ink on my fingers. So, instead of topping the wood with a coat of Annie Sloan paste wax or polycrylic as I would normally do, I sprayed it with a coat of clear matte acrylic sealer. I did this because I was afraid I would smear the image if I brushed wax or another sealer over it.

Here’s the finished tray, after I sanded and distressed it a bit more and added the sealer.

Then it was time for a little wine and cheese party. I pulled out a few varieties of fromage from the refrigerator and labeled each on the board with chalk. Very fancy, huh?

Linking to Wow Us Wednesday on Savvy Southern Style


— Atta Girl Amy

4 comments on “Wax Paper Transfer Cheese Tray

  1. Oh my this is such a fabulous trick! The tray is beautiful, too! I had no idea you could do that with wax paper, genious! Thanks so much for sharing this at our party this week! Hope to see you again this week!

    Take care,

    Trish @ Uncommon

    • Happy to participate. Your apothecary jars, which I spied on Pinterest months ago, are my favorite-ever Pinterest project. I use them for every holiday. They are so versatile. I hope to share some photos soon of how I’ve used them for Easter.

  2. Such a great transformation, and thanks for the tips on doing the transfer. I have a couple of cutting boards that I picked up at Goodwill that could use a similar update. Thanks for linking up.

    • I need to get back to our Goodwill to see if I can find some more items to use this technique on. It was so easy and fun. I’ve already decided that I need to buy another roll of wax paper to keep next to the printer because I’m always borrowing the one from the kitchen!

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