I recently did I decal exactly how you want it. These are the steps -
-I used laser waterslide paper and gave it a very light mist coat after the reverse printing, maybe two light coats a few minutes apart.
- Then I waited for that to dry and filled the letters with a silver paint pen. The water didn't lift off the marker when I dipped it, but I preferred to give it another mist coat over the silver. Sometimes when you dip the silver in warm water, some of the shiny silver dots in the paint can lift and stain another part of the decal.
- Then I just applied the decal face down and slid the backing paper off the top
IMO it does not matter whether you use clear or matte lacquer to mist over the decal. When you do a mist coat with clear lacquer, it leaves a grainy textured surface and the coating is too thin to matter. A matte lacquer will also leave almost exactly the same kind of surface. I used a spray can of enamel clear for the decal paper, and finished the headstock with NC lacquer with no issues. Just remember, if you do a heavy coat of clear over the decal, you will ruin it.