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How to Polyurethane Pictures on Wood [10 Quick Steps]

I know pictures store your memories, and you want to protect those perfectly. Using polyurethane is a good idea, but like others, you’re clueless too. It’s not that tricky thing to do. All you need is your full attention.

How do polyurethane pictures on wood?

Find a perfect place to work. Then, choose a plain piece of wood and clean it. Select your pictures to attach to the surface. You can draw tiny lines for accuracy. Apply the first layer of polyurethane and give enough time to air dry. Reapply the layer and again air-dry perfectly.

Well, this is just a sneak peek of what I got here. To get more insights follow my lead till the end. 

Why wait any longer? Let’s dive in!

Essentials you need 

The photographs on the wood are lovely to look at. The wooden photos are very durable. To protect photos on wood, learn how to polyurethane them.

You’ll need:

  • A plain wood
  • Paintbrush
  • Polyurethane packs
  • Hand gloves
  • Mask

How to Polyurethane Pictures on Wood in 10 Quick Steps

Polyurethane Your pictures of wood might seem like a lot of work. But I am simplifying with 10 easy ways to complete the task.

Step 1: Find A Perfect Place

It would be best to choose a good spot to complete the procedure. The polyurethane compound and new wood have a pungent odor. It’s possible that you won’t be able to stand the scent. 

Your yard or veranda may be an ideal location for the procedure. 

Furthermore, the blow of the exposed air is required to dry the coatings. 

Step 2: Choose A Plain Wood

To hang your images, use a solid piece of wood. This kind of wood is available in the local market. 

You may also personalize it. Ensure the wood surface is soft, thoroughly brushed, and efficiently positioned in your photographs.

Choose large enough to hold all of your photos in terms of size. Get one that’s a little bigger so you can grasp and hang the frame.

Step 3: Clean The Wood Surface

Clean the wood surface with vinegar and freshwater. Any dust or particles on the wood might jeopardize the whole procedure.

An additional wooden item will cause the image to display. As a result, you don’t want to see anything else in your favorite photos.

Allow for some drying time after washing the wood. Before the effective procedure, it should be entirely dry.

Step 4: Select Your Pictures

Make a strategy for how you want to attach the photographs to the wood. Choose your pictures and select a queue if you have numerous photos to upload.

Photo cleaners may also be used to clean up the images. This sort of cleaner is available on the market. Make sure the photos are arid before applying the coating.

Step 5: Line Your Wood Surface

Make small lines in the woods using a pointed item, such as a pine needle. You must arrange the photos logically.

Be cautious at this step after you’ve applied a coat. There’s no way to alter your mind. When gluing the photos, try to keep the wood out of the air. The wind may blow the pictures.

If feasible, have assistance hold the images in his clean hands while arranging them.

Step 6: Apply A Layer of Polyurethane

Put on your mask since you will be exposed to a smelly chemical like polyurethane. Lather up the photographs, leaving some wood visible.

Use a broad, soft paint brush in this scenario. With a delicate touch, scrape the whole thing. Make sure you’re covering the entire area at the same time. 

Don’t attempt to re-brush the image over and over again. The color and the procedure may harm because of aggressive brushing. 

Step 7: Give Proper Time to Air-Dry

Allow the wood to dry in the open air after completing the first layer. 

Ensure to avoid dust in the air if you are in an open area. If any dirt gets into the image, it will remain there indefinitely and look terrible. 

Wait until the wood has dried out. You’ll have to repeat the process multiple times. As a result, be patient in this regard.

Step 8: Reapply A Coat of Polyurethane

Reapply another layer when the first one has dried. Remember not to run the brush over and over again.

The number of coatings required for your photos depends on the number of photos. It also depends on the condition of the wood.

In general, you’ll have to coat 5 to 10 times until you’re done. Keep an eye on the photo’s hue to check any yellowed areas. If you don’t, you’re on the right track.

Step 9: Air Dry

Allow the wood to dry out in the open air. Don’t use your hairdryer to speed up the drying process. Wait patiently for the photo to dry in the dust-free environment.

Step 10: Finalize The Process

The procedure completes after all of the coatings have been applied. Now, set the frame in an excellent location to express your emotions.

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Safety Maintenance

  • Avoid using a hairdryer to dry the layers.
  • Keep the brush away from the picture simultaneously.
  • Choose an area that isn’t crowded.
  • Make sure the place is neat.
  • A thick layer of polyurethane may make the picture look yellow.
  • While using sandpaper for the wood piece, avoid injuring yourself.


Question: Should I polyurethane all over the pictures?

Answer: Remember that a good polyurethane finish allows you to efficiently run your fingers over the image without touching it or the edges. So plan on applying 10 to 15 coats of polyurethane over many days, depending on drying time between applications.

Question: What are the other uses of polyurethane?

Answer: With polyurethane coats, you may decoupage tabletops, trays, and even bathroom or closet walls. Modern decoupage options include briefcases and refrigerators.

Question: Does polyurethane make wood waterproof?

Answer: Yes, polyurethane protects the wood against water penetration.

Bottom Line

That’s everything I had regarding how to polyurethane pictures to wood. I hope the issue is now apparent to you. 

Follow all the mentioned methods religiously to avoid any kind of hassle. But if you still fail to do so, contact a professional for more details.

Good luck keeping your pictures on wood using polyurethane!