Sublimation printing is a great way to create unique and customized designs on various substrates.

But can you sublimate on stainless steel? The short answer is yes! But you will have to add a polyester coating before sublimating. Read along to find the reasons for this and how you can apply a coating to stainless steel for sublimation.

This comprehensive guide will go over the steps you need to take to sublimate to stainless steel. We will also discuss the benefits of sublimation printing on stainless steel and some of the best ways to use this versatile material!

Can You Sublimate Onto Steel?

Can You Sublimate Onto Steel

Yes, you can sublimate onto the steel. But when it comes to sublimation on steel, you need to keep a few key things in mind. 

First, sublimation inks only adhere to polyester. If you want to sublimate onto metal, the metal must first have a polyester coating. 

There are various ways to do this, but the most common is to use a powder coating. Once the metal has been properly coated, you can proceed with the sublimation process. Keep in mind that the results will vary depending on the metal you’re using.

For best results, it’s always recommended that you test out the process on a small area before moving on to the entire project.

How To Make Sublimation Coating For Stainless Steel

How To Make Sublimation Coating For Stainless Steel

There are a few different types of coating that can be used for sublimation on stainless steel. 

The most common type of coating is powder coating. This coating is applied as a powder and then cured using heat. Powder coating is very durable and provides a sound barrier against oxygen and moisture. 

Another type of coating that can be used is e-coating. E-coating is applied as a liquid and then cured using an electrical charge. E-coating is also very durable and provides good protection against oxygen and moisture. 

Finally, PVD coating can also be used for sublimation on stainless steel. PVD coating is applied as a thin film and then cured using a high-energy ion beam. PVD coating is skinny and does not provide much protection against oxygen or moisture, but it provides a high-quality image.

Once you have applied the coating, allow it to dry completely before beginning the sublimation process. This will ensure that your stainless steel piece comes out looking its best.

How Do You Sublimate Stainless Steel In The Oven?

Sublimate Stainless Steel In The Oven

Sublimation is turning a solid into a gas without passing through the liquid stage. Sublimation can be used to print images onto stainless steel tumblers. 

The first step is to place the tumbler in a medium vacuum seal bag and tuck the bag’s opening inside the tumbler. Next, place the tumbler in a convection oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-7 minutes. 

When the sublimation is complete, remove the tumbler from the oven and remove the bag and sublimation paper. The image will now be printed onto the stainless steel tumbler. 

Can You Do Sublimation On Stainless Steel Tumblers?

Can You Do Sublimation On Stainless Steel Tumblers

Sublimation is turning a solid into a gas without passing through the liquid stage. This can be done with several materials, including stainless steel. 

To sublimate on stainless steel tumblers, you must use a sublimation printer and sublimation inks. The printable surface of the tumbler must be coated with a polymer that allows the ink to bond to the steel. 

Once the design is printed onto the tumbler, it is placed in a heat press heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This causes the ink to turn into a gas and bond with the steel. The result is a permanent, high-quality image that will not fade or wash off over time.

How To Make A Sublimation Tumbler?

How To Make A Sublimation Tumbler

If you’re looking to add a personal touch to your morning cup of coffee or tea, sublimation tumblers are a great option! With sublimation tumblers, you can easily add your own images, artwork, or text to create a one-of-a-kind design. Plus, sublimation tumblers make great gifts for family and friends! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to sublimate a tumbler.

First, you’ll need to gather your supplies. For this project, you’ll need:

  • A sublimation tumbler
  • Sublimation paper
  • A sublimation printer
  • Heat resistant tape
  • A heat press or oven

Next, you’ll need to design your tumbler. If you’re using an image, make sure it is high resolution and saved as a JPEG file. Once you have your design ready, print it onto sublimation paper using your sublimation printer. Then, cut out your design, leaving a small border around the edge.

Now it’s time to prepare your tumbler for sublimation. Start by cleaning the surface of your tumbler with a lint-free cloth. Then, use heat-resistant tape to secure your sublimation paper onto the tumbler. Ensure that the design is centered and there are no air bubbles under the paper.

Once your tumbler is ready, it’s time to sublimate! Set it to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place your tumbler on the platen if you’re using a heat press. Cover with another piece of sublimation paper or Teflon sheet and close the press.

Sublimate for 60 seconds, then open the press and allow the tumbler to cool. Preheat it to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place your tumbler on a cookie sheet if you’re using an oven. Cover with another piece of sublimation paper or Teflon sheet and bake for 60 seconds. Then, turn off the oven and allow the tumbler to cool inside.

Once your tumbler has cooled, peel back the sublimation paper to reveal your design! If any areas didn’t transfer correctly, simply reheat the tumbler and try again.

If you are looking for a unique and customized gift, consider sublimating on stainless steel. It is easy to do, and the results are stunning. Just follow the steps outlined in this post so that your product turns out beautifully. Have you tried sublimating on stainless steel before? What was your experience like?


Can you sublimate on metal?

Yes, sublimation can be performed on metal. The metal will need to be coated with a sublimation-friendly material for the sublimation process to be successful.

Can you make a Sublimation Tumbler in the oven?

Yes, you can make a sublimation tumbler in the oven. You will need to preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and then place the tumbler inside for about 10 minutes. Be sure to check on it periodically to ensure it does not start burning.

Do Sublimation Tumblers Need Sealing?

While sublimation printing does not require a sealed sublimation tumbler, it is recommended to protect the image from fading.

Watch: How to Sublimate the 16 oz. Stainless Steel Tumbler

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Can You Sublimate On Cotton?

Can You Use Sublimation Ink On Heat Transfer Paper?

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