"Perfect" alignment with waterslide decals

Frequent question about finishing your stompbox: painting, etching, clearcoating, lettering, etc...

"Perfect" alignment with waterslide decals

Postby zilla » 09 Aug 2014, 02:40

What I've been doing for the last year is printing out my artwork on plain paper and again on a waterslide. I use the paper printout to mark all of the holes on the enclosure, drill it, and then apply the waterslide.

The problem is that sometimes, despite my best efforts, the paper template shifts a bit and the punched holes are not perfectly aligned, or when I am applying the waterslide, the decal stretches or deforms a bit and the labels end not misaligned with the holes :(

Has anyone tried to put the waterslide on an underlined box, coat it with clear, bake it, and then drill it and possibly clear it gain after drilling, or will this completely destroy the decal?

Any other hints for not getting the waterslide to deform when applying?

Thanks
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Re: "Perfect" alignment with waterslide decals

Postby rockitdog » 15 Aug 2014, 13:35

Its kind of the way I do it. I really dont think I have the best way, but it seems to work in this order.

dry paint followed by the waterslide decal with crosshairs printed in the design for drilling locations. Once the decal is on and dried, I lacquer a few coats, once thats dry I drill the holes. Havent had any problems with the drill damaging the decals or the lacquer.

The only thing I would suggest being careful of is decal distortion and not letting the paint dry long enough. I apply mine very carefully and quite stroke it lightly, using a "dish scraper" (Piece of hard nylon) to smooth out any air bubbles. But be careful, if you press too hard with the dish scraper, you might distort the decal. Just be gentle. I have also had issues with the lacquer at times. If your paint isnt completely dry, and you dont shake the lacquer can enough. The acetone in the lacquer can cause the finish to "bubble" which looks terrible. I have has more success with this using metalic paint. I have found that for some reason, some colours are more prone to that than other. I have always had issues with orange and yellow. I now let them dry for 3 or 4 days.
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Re: "Perfect" alignment with waterslide decals

Postby zilla » 23 Aug 2014, 16:29

Man, I don't know why I haven't done it that way in the past... I guess I always assumed that because the waterslide was so delicate that it would be turn up by the drill bit.

I did my first attempt at waterslide first then drilling and it worked like a charm! :applause:

Thanks for the tip!
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