On a piece of pine wood, I want to mount a photograph. I stained the wood with Rustoleum cherry stain. It’s dry now and I am ready to mount the photograph. Do I need to put a layer of paper or lacquer down before the photo? It just occurred to me that the stain may bleed through the picture. I was just going to adhere the picture and lacquer over the whole thing.

Also, would it be better to use Mod Podge or a spray lacquer to protect the wood and picture? It is going to have a bottle opener attached.

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


Depending on the type of paper (and more importantly the type of glue you use) the stain will probably attack the paper over a long period of time.

Isolating the stain is a good idea, and I can recommend the following approach.

  1. First give it a solvent-based coat of transparent varnish. This will protect the stain from the outside world and because of its similar composition will bond to it rather well. Let dry.
  2. Now give it a water-based coat of transparent varnish, this will enable it to bond with the next two layers. Let dry.
  3. Now use another coat of the water-based varnish and float the photo paper on it. Let dry
  4. Use one last coat of water-based transparent varnish to encapsulate the photo.

enter image description here

A couple words of warning: test the water-based varnish to make sure that it doesn’t damage your photo, watch out for bubbles and always ventilate!

  • 1
    @NotTheFace if it’s good for you, don’t forget to mark the answer as correct. Jan 24, 2018 at 1:33
  • I was waiting to see if there’s another response first. As soon as I purchase the varnish I plan to mark it. This is definitely not a mod podge project, right? Jan 24, 2018 at 21:15
  • I would worry about the stain. But you know, my suggestion is probably pretty expensive. You could try it with skipping the first layer... Jan 24, 2018 at 23:13
  • 1
    Finished it, blog with how it was done plus link to this question is here: steemit.com/@oceanmoon Feb 5, 2018 at 2:15
  • 1
    BTW, the layered varnish helped so the stain has not bled through - update. Thank you! Jul 31, 2018 at 20:51

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