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Decal Application Pic/Tutorial

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Musiclogic, Aug 6, 2010.


  1. Thanks!!
     
  2. rogerb

    rogerb

    Aug 31, 2010
    I did a poly satin finish on the headstock. However, you have to apply a waterslide decal on a gloss surface otherwise you get 'silvering' or air trapped underneath, looks like crap at some angles. So for a satin headstock lay down gloss, decal, then satin on top.

    I think I used satin to mist the decal like in the tutorial, but that wouldn't probably matter as you adding lots of satin coats on top anyway.

    Great tutorial.
     
  3. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Actually Roger you don't have to apply a decal to a gloss surface, and most decals will grab a dulled surface much better, I always dull the surface with 600-800-1000 to get the surface smooth and with enough teeth to keep it from releasing prematurely.

    Thanks for the nice words.
     
  4. rogerb

    rogerb

    Aug 31, 2010
    Sanding may be the key there, I just sprayed and laid. I did about 10 tests! Here is what a gone wrong looks like, waterslide over satin no pre-sanding, at a certain angle, just for reference. Final 'on bass' version I used acrylic gloss first then built up with acrylic satin after, that didn't have the silvering effect.

    I should have just followed your procedures, would have saved me a lot of time. Yours are much nicer of course.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Well hopefully it goes better for you next time. My procedure came from years of doing. I learned from one of the best repairmen in the country, and refined my style from there. Good luck
     
  6. xring

    xring

    Sep 16, 2003
    Ohio
    Question. I followed this tutoral on my first bass and it came out great. In my enthusiasam on my 2nd (same type of bass) I sanded the headstock, and instead of misting the wood a couple of times, I had a brain fart and went straight for the decals. It was almost a disaster as they didn't stick well, but I salvaged them. I'm up to about a dozen coats of deft nitro, and have been sanding, but the complete area under the Fender decal is whiteish looking. It looks horrible. I don't know if it's air or the raw wood contrasting with the laquer on top. So can this be expected to blend, or should I just count on having to strip it and start over? On the first bass, there was also this milky look about the size of a dime that did totally disappear after a short time, but that did have the laquer base coat. Can this be salvaged?:crying:
    Thanks!
     
  7. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Sounds to me like you didn't let your decal dry completely before spraying, and you've got some water trapped in there.
     
  8. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    If I am understanding this correctly you applied the decal directly to wood, and sprayed your lacquer afterwords. Without a sealer coat applied first, it is going to look different under the decal, because the lacquer slightly changes the color of the wood.

    Sorry to say, but I think your only option is to start over or live with it.
     
  9. xring

    xring

    Sep 16, 2003
    Ohio
    That's what I suspected. I'll sand it lightly each day and see if something magical happens. That's what happens when you're in a hurry I guess.
     
  10. Bassmanmike1

    Bassmanmike1 Sittin' In Limbo

    Jan 13, 2011
    Cool, CA
    Sweet! This tutorial is just what I needed. I have a decal coming for my Aerodyne build. As I have not applied a decal since my model car building days, finding this was quite timely. I printed it and put it in my painting book on my workbench. Thank you so much! I'll post pics when it's done.
     
  11. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Yeah, usually the haze of adhesive that is on the decalcan remain milky, and as said above will discolor the wood, So this is definitely a possibility. Something similar except with raised grain was how I learned to sal the wood and sand with 600 or 800 to get a good grab but also a smooth decal to spray over. Good luck whichever you choose to do.
     
  12. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Very cool, glad it helps
     
  13. xring

    xring

    Sep 16, 2003
    Ohio
    I finally had time to strip the front of the headstock, and apply 3 coats of laquer before applying the new decal I had to order. It looks 1000% better, and all I have to do is keep spraying and sanding. I suspect it will come out even better than the 1st bass. It is MANDATORY that the wood gets laquered prior to applying decals. If I can do this, anyone can...:D Thanks for a great thread.
     
  14. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    No problem.

    And yes it is mandatory to have finish on the wood, it provides a smoother surface and the water will not effect the surface during application.

    I posted this thread because I learned what works through many years of doing restorations, and am glad when people can follow the steps laid out and get a nice result, this is the reason I post these.
     
  15. pot roast anyone?
     
  16. Can waterborne finishes be used?
     
  17. diegom

    diegom

    Jun 18, 2008
    I know, zombie thread, but I just had to get this out of my system!

    Why is it that Fender refuses to reissue a 70s Jazz Bass with bullet truss rod and BIG FONT decal? That seems to be what most decal people are doing, replacing the little-font decal with the big and proud JAZZ BASS.

    Am I wrong?

    Diego
     
  18. PDX Rich

    PDX Rich

    Dec 19, 2014
    Portland, OR
    A good time to bump this thread as I have several tap handles in need of my logo. Thanks for this!!!
     
  19. PDX Rich

    PDX Rich

    Dec 19, 2014
    Portland, OR
    So I picked up a couple cans of Deft clear gloss rattlecan lacquer as suggested in this thread, for the purpose of following this excellent tutorial. My project will be taking these tap handles that I have made for my cidery and applying our logo via an inkjet printed waterslide decal.

    Currently, the tap handles are sanded to 320 with no finish. My plan is to get a base finish prior to decal application and final finishing.

    A couple questions:

    - Should I sand to a higher grit before beginning lacquer application (I only have experience with hand-rubbed Tru Oil and other varnishes)
    - How many coats of the lacquer should I apply prior wet sanding and beginning the decal process?

    Thanks!

    image.
     
  20. shrigg

    shrigg Beta Tester for AudioKinesis Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Traverse City, MI
    Nice work! 320 should be okay as long as there are no scratches that didn't get sanded out. You can shoot one coat of lacquer, let it dry, then apply the decals followed by additional coats. I always like to hit the bare wood with a coat of shellac before any lacquer, that will liven up the wood color and figure.
     
    PDX Rich likes this.