Jump to content

Do you Clear coat --after or before-- DECALS?

  • You cannot reply to this topic
11 replies to this topic

#1 adabiri2


    MCM Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 48 posts
  • Location:Charleston WV
  • Full Name:Ali Dabiri

Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:14 PM

Just wanna get some suggestions.  Never tried it before clear coat, got a sheet of contengency stickers comin from SLIXX decals.  Heard they were goin out of business, shame!!

#2 Swamp Dog

Swamp Dog

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 758 posts
  • Location:South Louisiana
  • Full Name:David Rose

Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:22 PM

sometimes i clear coated over my decals and sometimes i don't..but i always put them on with micro set..

#3 cobraman


    Crazy 'bout Cobras!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,546 posts
  • Location:Arizona
  • Full Name:Ray Kurn

Posted 09 January 2013 - 02:59 AM

I clear after. Slixx has decided to stay in business I believe.

#4 Exotics_Builder


    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,098 posts
  • Location:NW Suburban Chicago Area
  • Full Name:Gerry Paquette

Posted 09 January 2013 - 04:45 AM

I would do both. decals work better on a gloss surface and clear on top after the decal seals it in


As do I.  The clear coat before gives you the ability to polish to a smooth surface to avoid silvering.  The clear coat after protects the decals.  I have decals degrade on older models where I didn't clear over, in particular, white colors yellowing.  I would clear coat even contigency stickers as it would not be that noticeable if you apply a thin layer.  And many modern race cars have wraps.

#5 High octane

High octane

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,477 posts
  • Location:Midwest
  • Full Name:Nick

Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:46 AM

I use clear coats BEFORE applying my decals as there's no need to protect them from rain, snow, sleet, hail, or ice as I keep my built models in a display case in the house. Modern race cars use wraps, but I build 60's race cars and wraps were not available then.

#6 Harry P.

Harry P.

    MCM Ohana

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 23,600 posts
  • Location:NW suburban Chicago
  • Full Name:A mere layman...

Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:17 AM

This is a QUESTION, not a tip or tutorial. It should have posted in the QUESTION AND ANSWER section.


Is this really that hard to understand?

#7 Tom Geiger

Tom Geiger

    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,511 posts
  • Location:Exton, PA
  • Full Name:Tom Geiger

Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:35 AM

I usually don't clear at all.  For most of my building I usually have weathered surfaces or at least used vehicles where clear coat would be an unrealistic shine.  


One thought on clear coats, regarding both decals and Bare Metal Foil, is that the clear coat gives everything the same tone. In real life, the paint, the chrome (even the difference between chrome and aluminum / pot metal trim) are different.  Many decals on cars actually are stickers that sit on top of the paint and have more of a matte finish on them. I remember one time seeing a Nascar car that had everything buried under mile deep clear that looked totally unrealistic.  So I would be doing my decals and BMF after my clear coat.

#8 MsDano85gt


    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,429 posts
  • Location:Gulfport, ms
  • Full Name:Daniel Conway

Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:43 AM

It can go both ways I put decals on my finished paint, on some kits (molded in color kits)I place all my decals then shoot some clear over everything makes the plastic shine and protects the decals

#9 Mike_G


    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 723 posts
  • Location:Springfield, Oregon
  • Full Name:Mike Graves aka "the infamous Captain Reverb"

Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:28 AM

If your color coat is smooth there's no need to clear before decaling

#10 Longbox55


    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,830 posts
  • Location:Danville Il
  • Full Name:Bill Burmeister

Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:25 PM

 I remember one time seeing a Nascar car that had everything buried under mile deep clear that looked totally unrealistic.  

That could depend on what era and whose car is being replicate, and what specific race it was intended to run at. Before the wraps became popular, it was not uncommon for teams to clearcoat over the sponsor and contingancy decals at the superspeedays (mainly Daytona and Talledega). This was to seal down the edges of the decals to allow for smoother airflow, and to prevent them from getting pulled up during the race. One team I know did this was RCR. I will agree, though, that a mile deep clearcoat  would definitly be unrealistic on a racecar.

On another note, if you're building any of the recent Round 2 releases, the decals have a flat finish, so if you want shiny, you just about have to clear over them.

#11 CadillacPat


    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 771 posts
  • Location:Houston
  • Full Name:Pat Parker

Posted 12 January 2013 - 08:17 PM

If you lay your paint down smooth and correctly your Decals will apply and adhere correctly without any silvering.

If you Clear before you lay down Decals they will appear to float above the surface of the paint.



#12 Mooneyzs


    MCM Ohana

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,154 posts
  • Location:Gilbert, Arizona
  • Full Name:-Chris

Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:57 PM

Count me in with the ones who clear over their decals. I have never had any trouble with my clear affecting the decals. Then again I am using automotive urethane clears.