Tips on applying waterslide decals.

Discussion in 'General Discussion About Old Bicycles' started by ZE52414, Dec 31, 2017.

Tags:
  1. #1 Posted Dec 31, 2017

    Cruisin' on my Bluebird

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,691
    Likes Received:
    2,723
    Location:
    Peoria, United States
    So here in a bit I'm going for my first attempt on waterslide decals on my iver tank. Any tips would be great. I've heard this could get real tricky real fast. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. #2 Posted Dec 31, 2017

    I live for the CABE

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,768
    Likes Received:
    1,737
    Location:
    Niles, California
    I'll post here what I tell folks that buy my decals:

    Cut out the decal, paper and all, till you have an irregularly shaped piece of the paper with the decal on it. I don't trim too, too close because I don't want to mess with corralling little bits. But cut away the paper you aren't going to use.

    Follow any instructions you have for the soaking very closely. The ones I make take only around 10 or fifteen seconds in the water, and it seems like the decal holds together better that way. Then place the decal - backing paper and all - in position and slide the paper out from under it, gently holding the decal itself close to where you want it to be.

    You kinda have to manage the whole thing with one hand while pulling out the paper with the other - I found it works well to slide about an eighth to a quarter of an inch off the backing and onto the position first, then withdraw the rest of the paper, while gently holding the decal film itself in place

    You can't move it around too much after that. Some, but not a lot of play, enough to get everything straight and in position. I like to have a wet, medium (1/2 inch flat watercolor brush) brush to use to gently smooth out any bubbles. And that's it.
     
  3. #3 Posted Dec 31, 2017

    Cruisin' on my Bluebird

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,691
    Likes Received:
    2,723
    Location:
    Peoria, United States
    I appreciate the info. I will try exactly what you said! Wish me luck!! :)
     
  4. #4 Posted Dec 31, 2017

    Riding an Alexander Rocket Bike

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    18,321
    Likes Received:
    16,911
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Great info! Thanks!
     
    ZE52414 likes this.
  5. #5 Posted Dec 31, 2017

    Finally riding a big boys bike

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2017
    Messages:
    243
    Likes Received:
    642
    Location:
    Monroe, Ga
    You can also use a product called Solvaset. It helps decals conform to not flat shapes. Apply with a soft brush . Resist the temptation to touch if decals look like they are puckering up. They WILL smooth out. Used it for years on model cars with great results.
     
    ZE52414 likes this.
  6. #6 Posted Dec 31, 2017

    Cruisin' on my Bluebird

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,691
    Likes Received:
    2,723
    Location:
    Peoria, United States
    53644816077__A3FC6ABD-0F85-41CE-A61B-B576194FC688.JPG This tank is just there long enough to find a OG one :).

    Decals aren't perfect, but aren't ripped or torn so that's a plus :). Thanks for the good advice!
     
    barracuda, Rides4Fun and Kramai88 like this.
  7. #7 Posted Dec 31, 2017

    Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Messages:
    7,295
    Likes Received:
    4,678
    Location:
    Central Arizona
    I'll add a little to barracuda's instructions. I use warm water and never soak more than the 15 seconds. After soaking I set the decal down on the countertop for a minute and then I make sure the decal has completely separated from the paper. If you can move the complete decal slightly on the paper it's ready to install. If the complete decal does not slide on the paper let it set a little bit longer and it will eventually release. Trying to install a decal that has not completely released will result in a broken/split/cracked decal. In my experience, over soaking is bad and will cause the clear to cloud up so don't over soak, just let it sit on the countertop until it's fully released.
     
  8. #8 Posted Dec 31, 2017

    Finally riding a big boys bike

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    478
    Likes Received:
    1,297
    Location:
    Sand City, Ca.
    The 1/2" flat Watercolor brush is a must have......
     
    hoofhearted and ZE52414 like this.
  9. #9 Posted Dec 31, 2017

    Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    Messages:
    4,256
    Likes Received:
    1,361
    Location:
    Minneapolis, United States
    solveset should always be part of the program,it will take out the air bubbles and increase adhesion,reduces alot of errors,saves you from have to mess with it causing damage,its like using grease and wax remover when painting
     
    ZE52414 likes this.
  10. #10 Posted Dec 31, 2017

    Finally riding a big boys bike

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    412
    Location:
    Belleville, Canada
  11. #11 Posted Jan 1, 2018

    Finally riding a big boys bike

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2016
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    552
    Location:
    North Carolina , Albemarle, NC, United States
    May I add my .5 cent's worth. ALWAYS use a container that is long/wide enough so the decal can lie flat and not force it to curl up, thus resulting in a visit to the third circle of hell...
     
    ZE52414 and hoofhearted like this.
  12. #12 Posted Jan 1, 2018

    Finally riding a big boys bike

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2016
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    552
    Location:
    North Carolina , Albemarle, NC, United States
    Never heard of that before - thanks!
    Here is a link for ordering.
     
    hoofhearted likes this.
  13. #13 Posted Jan 1, 2018

    I live for the CABE

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,317
    Likes Received:
    1,382
    Location:
    York, United States
    Decal tip for OLD decals. They usually deteriorate with age and when you try to apply them, the break up.

    If they haven't yellowed (on the clear parts), I use an airbrush to spray 1 or 2 light coats of Krylon clear enamel onto the decal. (spay bomb into a cup, and pour contents into the air brush bottle).

    When dry (a few hours at least), I use an Exacto knife and cut around the decal to remove as much of the clear carrier as possible, then apply as normal.

    The clear will increase the thickness a bit so don't over due it, just enough to keep the decal together. I've salvaged many old decals using this method but spraying directly from the can usually results in a too thick coating and can damage the decal.
     
    bikemonkey and hoofhearted like this.
  14. #14 Posted Jan 1, 2018

    Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Messages:
    6,403
    Likes Received:
    4,369
    Location:
    Elysium Fields
    Good advice from everyone.
    I use soft Q-tips to position & also to absorb the water and smooth out any area
    that needs it.
    Think like a surgeon and work gently.
    Remember that there is only so much time to make corrections.
    As it starts to dry any change or repositioning may break the decal.:)
     
    #14 2jakes, Jan 1, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
    morton likes this.
  15. #15 Posted Jan 2, 2018

    I live for the CABE

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,317
    Likes Received:
    1,382
    Location:
    York, United States
    I too use the Q-tips. Get them at the local pharmacy for about $8 a thousand. They have about a 4" wooden handle and the cotton tip on just one end. Work well with decals and I find them very useful for cleaning out bearing races and other pia areas that need to be cleaned. Dip the end in solvent and you can easily clean out those areas, or any part that has thick grease in hard to reach areas. I also shave off part of the cotton end and use them to clean siphon tube and other areas on my airbrush. .
     
    2jakes likes this.