It is important that read this Decal Application Guide carefully before applying decals to your guitar.
You will need…
Waterslide decals are extremely thin and delicate. We recommend that you read these instructions carefully before attempting to apply the decals to your guitar.
Clear lacquer of your choice
A rigid board
A bowl of room temperature water
1. Sealing the Decal
To seal the decal, firstly attach the decal to a clean dry, dust free board using a small amount of masking tape in the corners, this will keep the decal flat and stop it from curling up.
We prefer to use a low tack decorators tape.
Now apply a coat of clear lacquer, Acrylic or Nitrocellulose is preferred, in a horizontal, side to side motion. making sure the decal is completely coated.
Spray an even coat of lacquer over the decal and allow to fully dry. Apply a further two coats of lacquer and allow to fully cure overnight.
NOTE: Use the same lacquer in Step 4 that was used to seal the the decal.
2. Cutting the Decal
Using a pair of sharp scissors, cut around the decal leaving 3mm to 5mm of excess paper around the edge.
Make sure that the cut lines have no jagged edges, this can cause the decal to tear when positioning.
NOTE: We leave extra space on decal sheets where the design is long, thin or contains text. We advise that you leave around 1cm excess paper on these items to avoid the decals ripping or twisting during application.
3. Decal Application
Before applying the decal, make sure the application area is clean, smooth and free from grease, dust and dirt.
1. Fill a bowl with room temperature water. Distilled water works better.
2. Place the decal in the water and hold it down for 10 – 20 seconds to stop the decal from curling up.
3. Smaller decals can be left in the water for 30 seconds. We recommend leaving larger decals for 90 to 120 seconds.
4. Apply a few drops of water to the application surface where the decal will be placed. Remove the decal from the bowl, with the backing paper still in position, and lay it on the application surface.
5. Gently, start to slide the decal backing from beneath the decal. Hold the edge of the decal whilst continuing to slide of the backing. Once the backing is fully removed, fold it in half and use it to gently smooth out the decal.
6. When your happy with the positioning, lightly dab the decal to remove any excess moisture.
7. Leave the decal in a warm place, to fully dry for 24 hours. DO NOT apply direct heat or leave in direct sunlight.
TIP: Leave the guitar in a flat position to stop the decal from moving.
NOTE: When applying multiple, overlapping or background decals, we recommend applying 2 – 3 decals at a time before sealing them with clear lacquer. This will protect the applied decals from damage when you apply further decals.
4. Finishing the Application
With the decal applied, and fully dried, you must seal the decal onto the surface by using the same lacquer you used in Step 1.
We generally apply 6 to 8 clear coats 40 minutes apart, although each manufacturer will have their own recommendations and application guide.