can you really re-use an I.O.D. paint inlay?

Now that I’ve been playing around with the I.O.D. paint inlays a bit more, I thought I’d share some of the results I’ve gotten while attempting a 2nd use.

After all, I know that many of you have shied away from purchasing them because they are really rather pricey compared to both transfers and stencils, particularly if you only get one use of each.  So if you’re splurging on one thinking that you’ll definitely get two (or even three) uses out of it, I want to make sure that your expectations are realistic.

First up, if you plan to save a paint inlay for a 2nd use, you’ll want to remove the wet carrier sheet from your first project gently, taking care not to tear it.  Then lay it out flat somewhere to dry back out.  Once dry, return it to the original packaging with the protective tissues that came with the original packaging in between the sheets.

The used paint inlay will have picked up some of the paint that it was used over, as you can see on the two sheets on the right, below …

For reference, the above photo shows an unused sheet of Rose Chintz, one that was used over Kudzu (the green) and one that was used over Sea Glass on the far right.

Here are the results of that first experiment.

The book on the top is the first use of the inlay, and for comparison, the book on the bottom is the 2nd use of the inlay that was used over the Sea Glass.  These books were both painted in Drop Cloth before adding the inlay.

As you can see, the result after applying the used inlay is noticeably more faded, like well worn chintz fabric that has been washed over and over.  I actually rather liked that result on the book.  I did expect to see a little of the Sea Glass color transferring back off that sheet and onto the book, but it definitely wasn’t noticeable.  Also, I should note that the inlay was a bit more flimsy the 2nd time around and I wasn’t able to remove it from the surface without tearing it, thus making it unusable for a third go around.

Flashing forward a few months after the book experiment, I used the Gregory’s Catalogue paint inlay on this bench

and then later I re-used just a small section of it on this wood tote.

As you can see in the photos, the first use of the inlay produced a black image, while the 2nd use of the inlay is somewhat faded resulting in more of a grey image.

Also, as I mentioned in that post, once again I was unable to save the paint inlay when I removed it from the tote because it tore quite easily after a 2nd use and thus did not come off in one piece.

More recently, I decided to re-use some of the Rose Chintz over a darker color, Dixie Belle’s Kudzu.  This time I re-used the sheet that had been used over Kudzu once before.

Here are the results.

Again, I got a very faded 2nd use.  But since it’s over a dark color this time, the inlay is really rather hard to see.  This is probably not the look any of us are going for.  Therefore, I think it’s safe to say that you can’t count on re-using a paint inlay over a dark color.  You’ll want to stick to lighter colors for any repeat use.

The second problem I’ve run into when it comes to re-using an inlay is that I typically cut them up to fit the piece I’m using it on.

Now I’ve got an oddly shaped, used section of inlay.  I could only re-use this on something the same size or smaller, where I can trim it down again.  What I’m finding is that I have a pile of oddly shaped, used pieces of inlay that I may or may not be able to find a use for.

So that’s also something to keep in mind.

In the end, salvaging that watering can was easy enough.  I painted back over it with a fresh coat of Dixie Belle’s Kudzu and then applied a new section of the Rose Chintz inlay.

I have to admit, I think the Rose Chintz looks gorgeous over dark colors, including black.

I’m still willing to use it that way even if I have to use a brand new sheet each time.

To recap, you can’t always get a successful 2nd use out of a paint inlay, so keep that in mind when deciding whether or not to purchase one.  It may be a one time deal.  That being said, they really are fun to use once you get the hang of it (click here for my post with full step by step instructions on how to apply a paint inlay).

In fact, I’m just finishing up another piece with one of the newest I.O.D. paint inlays, so be sure to check back next week to see how it turned out.

In the meantime, have you tried re-using the paint inlays?  If so, leave a comment and let us know how that worked out for you.

8 thoughts on “can you really re-use an I.O.D. paint inlay?

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I luv DB Drop Cloth and have a larger project that I’ve been contemplating with Rose Chintz…but wondering about that cost factor if the inlay isn’t as routinely reusable as some Youtubers share.
    I always luv your posts and the things your creative eye brings out of those ‘tired’pieces…Thank you for also giving time & energy to share your process.


    1. You’re welcome Corey! As for your larger project, if you were planning to re-use the Rose Chintz on the same piece as the initial use, you would notice a definite difference between the first use and the second use areas, which could look kind of odd. Then again, you could get creative and work that difference into your plan too. Either way, the Rose Chintz with Drop Cloth is a gorgeous combo!


  2. I’ve been looking at inlays for a while debating if i should give it a go…thank you for such detailed review Linda- it’s very helpful! I didnt even think about 2nd problem you mentioned – oddly shaped pieces…Hmmm… It’s rather no for me for now, but i can’t wait to see your next post!


  3. definitely great info! like the look, but think i will stick with stencils. fun to experiment though…… you always do a super job of both the projects and (as Lucy says) spainin’!!


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