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Applying a waterslide decal?to finish up my custom job.


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#1 harrumphicus

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:03 AM

I've got a custom waterslide decal and some micro-sol solution on order for my strat project guitar, but I have no idea how to go about applying this. Anyone have any experience/insight on how to apply the decal or how the micro-sol works?

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#2 CrazyCal

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 04:18 AM

I've done this lots, but my method is self taught, and therefore may not be technically correct. The first attempt came out wrong, the slide stayed white and looked awful.
Then i bought a neck from an e Bayer who had done a lovely job. I mailed him and he was a very nice and helpful fella.
I wasn't sealing the wood, before applying the transfer. The instructions said i didn't need to, but my new friend new better.
The method i now use is; Seal the wood with a varnish or similar, soak water slide for about a minute. Remove from backing and apply to head stock, allow to dry and spray over with a cellulose lacquer.

#3 harrumphicus

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 05:29 AM

I heard that in the 60's and 70's Fender didn't lacquer over their headstock decals - seeing as how I don't have any lacquer (or more importantly, a safe place to apply the lacquer since I'm currently living on a warship) do you think it would be safe for a couple months? Or could I maybe wax and polish over it after it dries? I really can't have any aerosols or finishing materials onboard.

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#4 CrazyCal

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 06:57 AM

The lacquer makes the water slide paper go transparent. Otherwise it looks like you've printed the decal on white paper, and stuck it on. There may be another way of doing it. This is just what I do.

#5 Grandpa FrankyZ

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 07:50 PM

Wait till you get back home, and then apply it, if you don't lacquer it over, it could start to peel off.

#6 harrumphicus

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 10:33 PM

From the description of micro-sol on the site I'm using ( sentinelcustomgraphics.com - no affiliation, just posting for future reference), it dissolves the decal to the point where it actually becomes part of the finish.

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#7 CrazyCal

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:07 PM

I'd be interested to hear how that works, because it sounds a good idea.
My original instructions told me that coating, first with Turpentine would do that , but it didn't work.

Edited by CrazyCal, 19 April 2012 - 11:20 PM.


#8 dadfad

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 05:13 AM

If you decide to put on the decal and leave it on without a clear top-coat until a better time to spray a clear finish, don't wax or wax and polish it. The wax will prevent the top-coat from adhering properly when you do spray it.

I've used decals before as well as clear-coating restored hand-painted or stencilled logos, etc. Spray several very (stress: very) light coats, allowing each to dry thoroughly before doing another one. Spray from a distance so that the coating is almost semi-dry when it hits. (Less chance of deteriorating, dissolving or running the decal or touch-up.) After several of those very light coats (when you know the decal/touch-up has been completely covered and is thoroughly dry), then you can apply a heavier coat or two (or more if required to "bury" the decal) which will then blend in with those lighter coats for a smoother glossier finish. And, if you do want or need to polish it, rub it out or wax it after that, let it completely dry thoroughly (as in a week or two) before you do.

B/t/w... Whenever you put a new finish on a guitar for whatever reason, you might always want to make sure the solvent in the new finish is compatible with the old one in some out-of-the-way place, like under the pickguard, etc.

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#9 harrumphicus

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 10:31 PM

I've decided to go an alternate route and try a method I just "invented". I'm going to scratch the design into the finish in a kind-of cross-hatching pattern and use a black grease pen and rub it into the scratches. Wipe away the excess and voila! I tried it out on a tiny bit of wood under my pickguard and it works well. The scratches are filled pretty smoothly, and it wipes away clean.

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