Decal coverage

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Decal coverage


Post by jd222 » Wed Aug 30, 2006 4:48 pm

hey guys- on my water transfer decals on my freshly painted 59 flh oil tank, what's the best way to seal/protect them without eating them up? I heard I should not go back to the painter to clearcoat, but use a shellac or varnish or some such. Anybody know what to use and where to get it? Thanks

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Re: Decal coverage


Post by panache » Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:12 am


here's what I know about water-transfer decals... Most people apply them directly to gloss paint. That's a mistake, as these decals won't stick well to gloss -- irrespective of whether or not you give them 2 coats of clear after you stick 'em on. The paint should be *lightly* and carefully sanded with 1000 grit or rubbed with ultra-fine scotchbrite (not the kind you'll find under the kitchen sink -- go to a paint store and get the white ultra-fine scotchbrite pads). This will take off the gloss and leave a semi-flat finish and flatten out any orange-peel (which might cause the edges of the decal to chip). Now, apply the water-transfer decal to that -- it'll have a good texture to grab onto without any orange-peel to lift any of the edges. After the decal has had plenty of time to completely dry out -- apply 2 light coats of clear to the oil tank. That will also restore the gloss to the paint." onclick=";return false; carries clearcoat in spray cans (something like $14 a can). I suspect you can also go to an auto paint store and get clear in spray cans as long as you're not in Kalifornia. Hell, they can't even sell BBQ starter fluid out here anymore. I'm not aware of problems with clear eating water transfer decals. A good shellac or varnish could work equally well.

I've currently got a '64 FLH oil tank that I'm re-applying decals to. Those decals did have a few coats of clear over 'em, but the edges of the decals were chipped. There was a bit of orange peel on the paint, but the main problem was that the decals were applied to the gloss paint. I could easily take off the decals by laying a rag soaked in hot water over 'em for a few minutes, then use my fingernail to pop off bits 'n pieces around the edges -- then repeating the proceedure. I think it took all of 20 minutes to remove each decal. Not a scratch on the paint. I'll be sanding the tank with 1000 grit and reapplying new decals.

It'll be interesting to see if anyone recommends a specific clear, shellac or varnish for water-transfer decals.

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Re: Decal coverage


Post by Skip » Fri Sep 01, 2006 3:43 pm

I put one on my tool box and used the clear in a can that you spoke of and it worked great...clear came from "MEGA-LO-MART"...$8 a can...Skip

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