Check out your local Crafts store for Decoupage adhesives and finishes.
Most finishing products (varnish and so forth) will attack inks or paper of
photographs. Decoupage products usually don't.
Mod Podge is one brand. Company Plaid also makes a product Royal Coat which
is a bit more expensive. http://www.plaidonline.com /
The problem with Mod Podge, (IMHO) is leveling of product during drying /
curing. Test product 1st. Brush strokes may be visible when cured. Very
wide foam brush is best. Spread a coat on the raw wood, good coverage,
place photo on wood / adhesive, work out any air, apply thin coat on top.
Aside: water based products, usual sponge water and light sanding for fuzzes
3M makes a couple of spray adhesives that artist use for mounting photos. I
use the Super-77 and the Spray Mount can, both can be purchased at Office
supply super stores. Don't use the Photo Mount spray adhesive as it is for
temporary bonding. Follow the directions, spray both, and attach before
dry. (wait until dry for temp bonding.) Test 1st, as solvent in spray may
attack the color of photo, if you printed from PC inkjet printer. Watch
for dust motes, as can cause problems.
When fully cured, get a spray can of Krylon's clear Triple Thick Glaze and
apply a coat on top. (Check out Wal-Mart for cheapest price of Triple Thick
Glaze, but be aware Krylon prices will vary as much as $2,00 per can so shop
around.) Yes, you can purchase just clear Glaze, and apply three coats if
you want. Again, test product 1st.
As always (IMHO), when trying something new, the best option is to try it
with some scrap. Get a chunk of wood, get another picture, put them
together like you did on your clock. Slap on the varnish, and see what
You could take the picture to Kinko's and have it laminated first.
Then, glue it to the clock face. The plastic would offer more
protection than a water-based film finish. This protection might be
needed if the time is set by moving the clock hands with your finger.
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