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Clear Over Decals


DoctorLarry
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Lacquer based clear can have an adverse effect on decals if applied to heavy. he first coat of clear should be misted on. Test on a spare decal if not sure. I've had great luck with both Tamiya spray can and 2-part airbrushed clears over decals.

Mike

 

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Ok Larry here is my expertise as an automotive painter. What causes decals to wrinkle? Answer is the paint that is under the decal. When you decal over a enamel or lacquer paint you are putting a solid item(decal) over a product that will move when new solvent hits it. When you clear over the decal the solvents from the clear get into the color coats. They creep under the decal causing the decal to wrinkle. The only foolproof method to clearing over decal I’ve found is this. Prime and paint your model. Allow to dry and put one thin smooth coat of 2k clear over the color. Allow to dry a day or so. Decal and allow to sit overnight. Put one to two more thin smooth coats of 2k clear over you decals. A 2k hardened clear will not allow the solvent creep to occur.As with anything I’m sure if you hose it on like a maniac it could cause trouble. I’ve done this method over decal from Cartograf all the way down to homemade with no failures yet. Over 100 race car builds.

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2 hours ago, DoctorLarry said:

I think some of you have posted that you clear over decals. Is that the case or will a lacquer-based clear lift the decals or cause them to distort?

Future will not hurt decals at all from my experience. And I have'nt found it to yellow them with age either.

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Thanks, Tim I too have painted my share of cars and motorcycles but was not considering the solvent reaction to the underlying paint. I was more concerned about solvent reaction with the decal film itself. I use lacquer on these models because it dries quickly and can still be color sanded and buffed even though it does not last like a catalyzed finish will. It will dull out over time and as you noted with the putties, since it dries by evaporation rather than chemical cross-linking it shrinks as the solvents evaporate. Since I have already decaled the car, I may try the floor finish route or just leave it alone.

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53 minutes ago, DoctorLarry said:

Thanks, Tim I too have painted my share of cars and motorcycles but was not considering the solvent reaction to the underlying paint. I was more concerned about solvent reaction with the decal film itself. I use lacquer on these models because it dries quickly and can still be color sanded and buffed even though it does not last like a catalyzed finish will. It will dull out over time and as you noted with the putties, since it dries by evaporation rather than chemical cross-linking it shrinks as the solvents evaporate. Since I have already decaled the car, I may try the floor finish route or just leave it alone.

If you go easy like others have said it should be ok. The future thing to me seems over rated. If something like winded gets sprayed near it it’ll get messed up. In my house you never know what stupid will happen!?

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20 hours ago, DoctorLarry said:

Thanks, Tim I too have painted my share of cars and motorcycles but was not considering the solvent reaction to the underlying paint. I was more concerned about solvent reaction with the decal film itself. I use lacquer on these models because it dries quickly and can still be color sanded and buffed even though it does not last like a catalyzed finish will. It will dull out over time and as you noted with the putties, since it dries by evaporation rather than chemical cross-linking it shrinks as the solvents evaporate. Since I have already decaled the car, I may try the floor finish route or just leave it alone.

The only thing about not clearing it is that the decals might lift and curl up in the future. Pun not intended. The floor finish will definitely not cause the decals to lift and curl up. 

 

 

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22 hours ago, MarkJ said:

Future will not hurt decals at all from my experience. And I have'nt found it to yellow them with age either.

Same here. I have an all-white ‘90 Kodiak Lumina built in ‘99 and cleared with Future and there’s no yellowing yet. 

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Regular decals were fine, The foil 28 on the doors did not like it. I found another set of decals on EBAY and ordered them. I'll just use the door decals and not clear them. I may experiment with acrylic rather than lacquer clear. It may not cause the same issues.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't know why anyone would do this since real race cars don't clear over their graphics.  Decals that are applied correctly will not wrinkle over time.  I have had kits on my shelf for 20 years that have never had issues with the decals.

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47 minutes ago, baycolony said:

I don't know why anyone would do this since real race cars don't clear over their graphics.  Decals that are applied correctly will not wrinkle over time.  I have had kits on my shelf for 20 years that have never had issues with the decals.

I build early cars that graphics were mostly painted aside from contingencies. I also have a lot of custom Alps decals made. They scratch very easy. I like the look and protection clear provides. Aside from that real race cars don’t use water slide decals either. Some decals will discolor and or peel up even if applied properly. I don’t have to worry about it. That why I would want to do it.

Edited by yellowsportwagon
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49 minutes ago, baycolony said:

I don't know why anyone would do this since real race cars don't clear over their graphics.  Decals that are applied correctly will not wrinkle over time.  I have had kits on my shelf for 20 years that have never had issues with the decals.

I'm not so worried about the wrinkling as much as the yellowing and the peeling off.  A good coat of clear over a model at the end  improves the whole look of any model, and keeps it looking good for many years into the future. No pun intended.

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I've used lacquer clearcoat and basecoat on plenty of models and types of decals. Key is as mentioned above to use very light dust coats initially. I've used automotive clear lacquer and duplicolor - airbrushing the automotive clear is better to prevent any yellowing after time.  I build up several dust coats over time before starting the sanding/clear/sand polish routine.

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I'll put my 2 cents in here. Alps printed gold decals plus Testors Clear Glosscoat = wrinkled decals. Been using Future brushed on ever since. However, I have never been brave enough to wet sand OR polish ANY of my paint jobs. (seems too risky to me)

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The clear did cause some crazing of the foil decals on my Olds. The clear film decals did fine. Thanks for the tip about putting clear film over them. I ordered a new decal set and will replace the foil 28 numbers on the side but now I know better.

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11 hours ago, Bills72sj said:

I'll put my 2 cents in here. Alps printed gold decals plus Testors Clear Glosscoat = wrinkled decals. Been using Future brushed on ever since. However, I have never been brave enough to wet sand OR polish ANY of my paint jobs. (seems too risky to me)

Agree on using Future brushed on over decals. Been using it for over 50 years, and paint and decals still look great. No chipping or yellowing. Highly recommend it.

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9 hours ago, magicmustang said:

Agree on using Future brushed on over decals. Been using it for over 50 years, and paint and decals still look great. No chipping or yellowing. Highly recommend it.

It is good at keeping BMF down too.

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