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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm at the point in my project of doing color test shots on the decals and I would like to know from those of you that make your own inkjet decals what you use for sealing them prior to applying. I've used Krylon clear in the past but was never really happy with the results. It was more a hit and mis with the stuff. Sometimes they would seal great and other times the ink would want to wash away at the edges; not to mention the edges always looked rough even after the final top coat was applied. Let me know what you use and the results you have had. Thanks for your help :wave:
 

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Thanks Jingles,

Hey Gray,
Are you AirBrushing or Rattlecanning,

All I use anymore for sealing my Decal Sheets is House Of Kolor InterCoat Clear.
It's a light Clearcoat, almost negligible, that artists use for sealing and protecting layers of paint, both automotive and canvas, from one another and mishaps.

Here's a copied section from one of my tutorials here on HT dealing with "Decal Fixative Alternatives"

For coating my Decal sheets as they emerge from the printer I've tried lots of products with good to excellent results.

I started out using cheap Painters Place Enamel #20014 in the aerosol can from the spray paint department at WalMart.
It wasn't bad and only cost 90 cents.

Then I used Duplicolor Clear Lacquer DAL #1695 also in an 11 oz. aerosol can from AutoZone.
This was a better product that dried much quicker and thinner for $4.59.

Recently, for a little over a year I've used DEFT Clear Gloss Varnish in the 11 oz. aerosol can in the Paint Stain Dept at Walmart, about $5.
By far, until now this has been the best and makes the edges of the Decals disappear after final ClearCoat.

However, tonight I tried House Of Kolor InterCoat Clear.
InterCoat Clear is a product used to protect your art as you lay down progressive layers.
It's used to coat an existing layer so it can be taped off without fear of raising the paint.
It's also used as a carrier to lay transparent colors or pearl powders over basecoats.

Well the results are fantastic.
One 1/4 oz. cup filled 2/3 way with a 50-50 mix of InterCoat Clear and RU311 Reducer is enough to coat a full page of Decals.
It dries to an almost negligible thickness in a matter of minutes.
With this InterCoat Clear the edges of the Decals disappear as they are laid down.
The extra control of applying the InterCoat Clear through your AirBrush instead of blasting some other product out of an aerosol can gives you the ability to lay down just the barest minimum needed to seal the ink on the Decals.
The Decal film remains just as thin and pliable as if there was no coating at all.

Nothing is wrong with the DEFT but this InterCoat Clear is giving far better results.

For more info on making your own Decals and other Customizing procedures look through my list of tutorials here on HT,

http://www.hobbytalk.com/bbs1/showthread.php?t=258679

--CadillacPat the UnCustomizer--
Keeping the ZING in CustomiZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Pat. I'm using rattle cans. What is the exact name of the DEFT product you're using? The reason I ask is I can find no refrence to a DEFT varnish on the web except for a DEFT Defthane (platinum protection), but it's in a 13oz can. Also my WallMart is in the middle of being remodeled and the hardware/paint dept is gutted at the moment so I need the exact name so I can look elsewhere for it. Thanks again.
 

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Hey Gray,
I no longer use the DEFT because the HOK InterCoat Clear is even thinner.
But since you're Rattlecanning DEFT Clear Wood Varnish will be your best product.
If you can't obtain any DEFT don't hesititate to use Duplicolor Clear Lacquer from WMart or AutoZone.

Here's a link to the Results page for DEFT Clear Wood Varnish,
This page lists some retailers,
http://search.netscape.com/search/search?query=DEFT+Clear+wood+varnish&invocationType=NSCPBROWSERBOX

Here's a link to the DEFT company itself,
Scroll down to the heading,"Convenient Aerosol Can"
http://www.deftfinishes.com/Trade/Products/details.cfm?ProductID=4

Just lay down enough coverage to get a thin glossy coat on your Decal page.
Cover the page left to right and then cover the page up and down.
It will dry at room temperature in around 2 hours enough to allow using your Decals.
But, you may want to give it 4 hrs just to be sure.

--CadillacPat the UnCustomizer--
Keeping the ZING in CustomiZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks agian Pat. You see the thing is techically DEFT does not make varnishes. They make polyurethane and lacquer finishes although if I remember corectly there is such an animal as a polyurethane varnish. This is the whole reason of why I wanted to know exactly what the can says on it. For instance the page you gave reference to at the Deft site is actually a "Clear Wood Finish Lacquer" and not a varnish. I know I'm probally being a pain in the you know what on this matter but I don't want to screw up on what has takin me days now just to reach the right color shade......I really can't tell you how sick I am of the color orange at this point :drunk:
 

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Thanks agian Pat. You see the thing is techically DEFT does not make varnishes. They make polyurethane and lacquer finishes although if I remember corectly there is such an animal as a polyurethane varnish. This is the whole reason of why I wanted to know exactly what the can says on it. For instance the page you gave reference to at the Deft site is actually a "Clear Wood Finish Lacquer" and not a varnish. I know I'm probally being a pain in the you know what on this matter but I don't want to screw up on what has takin me days now just to reach the right color shade......I really can't tell you how sick I am of the color orange at this point :drunk:
Gray, believe me, no pain at all,
You're talking to a guy who likes to get information exact.
DEFT has undergone some changes in the last year or so.
They've changed their labels since I used it from Varnish to Finish.
I can see where that might throw off Search results.

What has taken you days to reach a desired color of Orange on?
Casting or Decal?
What Graphics program are you using for your Decals?

--CadillacPat the UnCustomizer--
Keeping the ZING ion CustomiZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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Krylon 3x thick let dry good and cut with a EXACTO (use new blade) dont use Scissors use a EXACTO!!!!! never use scissors it leaves rough edges and i am betting thats where yours come from. I have never had a problem with the above. If you have a Airbrush litsten to Pat, i dont like clearing with a AB i paint with a AB and clear with ole 3x thick..

You want to clear the decal with the same stuff you decal the finished casting with i have seen and had it happen to me with bought decals that my clear was to hot ( drys to fast) and it cause the decals i used to CRACK and wrinkle. Really makes you MAD!!!!
 

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Great info from all! Two nights ago I had a paint disaster, and trying my hand in decals for the first time early next week so all this is very timely. Sincere apreciation from all who contributed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks once again Pat. I'll try the Deft Clear Wood Finish Lacquer then.

I have painted the car and I am now trying to make the decal color background match. I've found it to be a far more difficult propostion than it sounds. I've tried the scanner method for both a color swatch sample and the car itself and they both came out far to red so it has now become a matter of trial and error. The graphics were created in Corel Draw, but I've found it far easier to work with Photoshop in creating the color pallet samples than Corel. Corel is just to laborious for quick and simple work as this. This of course leaves me locked into printing the decals with PS. There seems to be a great discrepency between the two programs when printing. Even using the exact same CMYK or RGB info Corel will always print out a little redder. This is no problem since there is no difference in regards to overall detail quality between the two apps. I do think I am very close now. I need to do some seal coats on the final samples and than apply the decal samples to a sample peice to see just how close I am.
 

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Very good Gray,

It's very refreshing to see someone take such a methodical approach to making their Decals.
Few understand that designing, creating and the choosing and matching of colors for Custom Graphics is an intense science that fills up an entire separate world of Customizing along with many hours and evenings of PC time.
I've seen others in the past (elsewhere on other sites) cuss Decals like crazy and now they are scrambling to try and learn how to make them.

Second to AirBrushing my interests now fall into designing graphics.
I'm more pleased with creating decals to enhance a design (casting) that Mattel has already spent hundreds of thousands on that will take that casting to heights it would otherwise never be seen with.
Mattel can only do so much with a casting and be able to sell it for a buck.
But, we, for just a couple of bucks in Decal Paper and Ink, can work wonders.
I've got several body mods on the table but once you begin to design and then realize how good those graphics look when printed out, it gets in your blood.

I buy all my Clear InkJet Decal paper from Papilio.com

Let me finish with a few more words about sealing or ClearCoating the printed Decal Sheet.
The very term ClearCoating when used in discussing Decal Sheets may be a little misleading so let's use the word Sealing.

You don't want to spray a heavy coat of any kind of Clear on top of a printed Decal Sheet.
All you're interested in doing is placing a thin layer of film on top of the Ink and gelatin page to make it impervious to the water it will be dipped in and to protect it during application and sponging.
Sponging is the process of pressing down on a Decal, once in place, to drive out any residual water beneath it and to force it to conform to body shapes.
Do this with a dampened sponge that is squeezed free of excess water.

It's not imperative to lay down a glossy coat of sealant on your Decal Sheet.
I don't always spray much more than a haze of sealant on my Decal Sheets.
If you find that your Decals are bleeding in the water then simply respray the sheet.

Sealing a printed Decal Sheet should not be thought of in the same way as ClearCoating a painted Casting.
For several reasons,
1., The thicker the Clear on the Decal, the thicker you will have to spray your casting's final ClearCoat to level things out and cause the Decal edges to disappear.

2., Thicker Clear on a Decal will be more apt to chip and rag around the edges when cut.
Try to envision what would happen to edges when cutting through a thin sheet of plastic.

3., The thinner you spray the sealant the more readily your Decal will conform to body definition, door jams, fender corners, etc.

4., Thinner coats of Sealant allow Decal Softeners, like Micro-Sol, to work more completely, thoroughly and efficiently.

I use good scissors to cut out my Decals.
A good pair of sharp stainless $10 - $15 scissors, found at Office Depot.
I keep them in my Decal tray and use them for nothing else, nothing else.
I never encounter problems with ragged edges where the Decals are cut because I don't use heavy Clears to seal my Decal Sheets.

I use an X-Acto knife to trim out clear portions of the Decal image that are void of any ink.
Not every little tiny clear part but the larger clear sections that can easily be seen as being unnecessary.
Here's the trick,
When using an X-Acto knife on Decals you need only score through the gelatin film, you don't have to cut all the way through the Decal Paper.
Always slice at a 45 degree angle to make nice clean smooth cuts and of course use a sharp blade that has been used for nothing else.

Finally,
Sealing a Decal Sheet is only for it's protection,
It's your final ClearCoat that will bring the whole Casting and its Graphics to life.

Gray, like yourself and many others, I don't care for Krylon Clears.
The Krylon brand itself has been written about in many threads as causing problems with compatability with other brands of paint.
I've listed enough possible successfull sealants to use from my own experience, that you can stay away from Krylons,--------------or not.

And, Gray,
This is your thread but if you don't mind I'd like to copy the link to my main thread, "CadillacPat's Customizing Tutorials & Tips"
Too much good information is never enough.

--CadillacPat the UnCustomizer--
Keeping the ZING in CustomiZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the tips Pat :) And of course I don't mind if you copy the link to your Tutorials & Tips section, its probally where I should have asked the question in the first place.
 
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