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Clearing homemade decals

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#1 cobra


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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:46 PM

Had a little discussion with some friends about how to best protect homemade inkjet decals. Some say the spray in the decal kit is safest because it's compatible with the decal paper and other say to clear with the paint your going to clear the car with since it's more compatible with the final clearcoat. I'm confused and could use the boards advice. TIA.

#2 Foxer


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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:14 PM

Most decal paper wants an acrylic clear. This protects the ink from dissolving in water.

#3 Swamp Dog

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:27 PM

i agree with the acrylic clear...

#4 CadillacPat


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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:10 PM


I have to tell you emphatically NO to all the above answers.


There are a variety of Aerosols and Automotive products that best seal Decal Sheets when they emerge from your printers.

The operative word here is Fixative.


Here's a copy of something I ran on the Internet about 9 years ago,



“Decal Fixative Alternative”


For coating my Decal sheets as they emerge from the printer I've tried lots of products with good to excellent results.


I started out using cheap Painters Place Enamel #20014 in the aerosol can from the spray paint department at WalMart.

It wasn't bad and only cost 90 cents.


Then I used Duplicolor Clear Lacquer DAL #1695 also in an 11 oz. aerosol can from AutoZone.

This was a better product that dried much quicker and thinner for $4.59.


Recently, for a little over a year I've used DEFT Clear Gloss Varnish in the 11 oz. aerosol can in the Paint Stain Dept at Walmart, about $5.

By far, until now this has been the best and makes the edges of the Decals disappear after final ClearCoat.


However, tonight I tried House Of Kolor InterCoat Clear.

InterCoat Clear is a product used to protect your art as you lay down progressive layers.

It's used to coat an existing layer so it can be taped off without fear of raising the paint.

It's also used as a carrier to lay transparent colors or pearl powders over basecoats.


Well the results are fantastic.

One 1/4 oz. AirBrush cup filled 2/3 way with a 50-50 mix of InterCoat Clear and RU311 Reducer is enough to coat a full page of Decals.

It dries to an almost negligible thickness in a matter of minutes.

With this InterCoat Clear the edges of the Decals disappear as they are laid down.

The extra control of applying the InterCoat Clear through your AirBrush instead of blasting some other product out of an aerosol can gives you the ability to lay down just the barest minimum needed to seal the ink on the Decals.

The Decal film remains just as thin and pliable as if there was no coating at all.


Nothing is wrong with the DEFT but this InterCoat Clear is giving far better results.


--CadillacPat the UnCustomizer--