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Iod Transfer to Metal Tutorial

I’m often asked “What surface works best for adhering an IOD transfer?” Or “Can you apply an IOD Transfer to Metal?” And although I have applied many transfers to wood and metal, I can’t say one works better than the other it is just a matter of surface prep and then surface sealing for what ever your surface is. You need to use what works best with the surface you’ve attached the transfer to. Make sure you clean the metal surface really well before painting or adhering the transfer. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to guarantee there is no cleaner residue on your piece. Let it dry before painting and in-between coats of paint.

  • IOD Decor Transfers Seeds
  • Antique French Flower Bucket
  • iod redoute 4 transfer
  • IOD Transfer
  • Antique French Flower Bucket

The above gallery is a collection of IOD transfers to metal. The buckets were first painted with 2 coats of either Fusion Mineral Paint or Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint. All of the buckets were sealed after applying transfer with two coats of a clear top coat [water based] in this case Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint Top Coat.

IOD Transfer on a Metal Ceiling Tile

This Iod transfer to metal project however showed itself challenging. First off it was already painted and some of the paint was chipping. I chipped off all the loose paint and made sure the remaining paint, which had a matte finish, was sound. Next problem it is a sculpted tile with several raised up frame like designs. The transfer had to go in and out of the raised parts and still look like a straight line of script.

Some lines were’t so difficult but some of the lines of script on the Le Petit Rosier Transfer had to be cut into strips and then applied individually. The crackling on the Redoute’ 4 wasn’t intentional but I love it! After all the transfers were applied and I made sure they had adhered completely, I sealed the whole piece. I used Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paints Clear Tough Coat because it has worked so well in the past and that is what I had opened!

  • iod transfer on metal

Here are some of the before and after photos to show the actual details of the before tile and the steps along the way. I think the Redoute 4 is still one of my favorite transfers after-all Gardenhouse Studio was once a flower shop!

Use the Products That You Have

I know I may be shooting myself in the foot but I think sometimes we buy too many products. We’re looking for the perceived perfect product and sometimes retailers are so zealous to sell their product they insist you buy something from them.

You do need a top-coat to seal this sort of piece. Miss Mustard Seed’s Clear Tough Coat is a water based acrylic sealer which worked perfect for this application. If you have a favorite sealer on hand already, why not use it.

Always test your methods on a small corner or sample. But how about using up all those small opened cans of product we all have sitting around in our work spaces first as an environmentally sound practice. [I am assuming here that you have safe products to work with if not you should discard of them in the way the manufacturer suggests on the label.] Enough of my rant!

IOD Transfer on Metal. Florals and Script depicting a French Botanical Print on a Metal Ceiling Tile

I hope you found this post to be informative. Why not leave a comment and let me know what you think. As always if you have any questions or if I can help with anything drop a comment or use the contact link above.

Happy Creating,



  1. Love your pieces!💞 I am excited to try some metal pieces with my iod transfers. Thankyou!💞 Carolyn

    1. Thanks for stopping by be sure to share in the Gardenhouse Studio FB page.

  2. I love your designs. I just painted some galvanized metal flower buckets and was about to add IOD transfers but the instructions say to seal before adding the transfers. I used chalk paint. Yay or nay?

    1. I have the same question re: sealing chalk or mineral paint on metal before or after transfer.

    2. I seal my chalk paint and milk paint projects before and after the transfers. I haven’t had any problems since adopting this practice.

  3. I love what you did here. I have both of those transfers and wanted to use them on the lift top of a desk but the words are much wider than the surface .It looks like you may have run into that as well .How did you make it look right?

    1. I cut the transfer to fit and continue to cut and make lines of text till it is complete. It is tedious but worth it.

  4. Loved the whole process explanation. Clear and precise. And end result…fabulous!

    1. Thank you so much Carol. I love the way this piece turned out myself and I’m sure one of my customers will find a home for it too!

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