FAQs about waterslide decals

Compatible with pre-cat or acid-cat?

All decals should have lacquer sprayed over them once they have been applied. Our decals are compatible with most spray lacquers, including pre-cat and acid-cat. They key with any spray finish over decals is to start with very light coats to minimise the solvent content of the finish hitting the decal.

Lacquer formulations can vary from brand to brand so if you're unsure about compatibility test beforehand using a spare decal.

Do I need Microscale decal solutions?

Microscale makes a range of solutions to aid in the making, application and finishing of waterslide decals. They are most useful when applying small decals to highly contoured surfaces, for example when making models. We find they are generally not required for larger decals and those applied to flat, smooth surfaces.

Why are there lines in the metallic?

The metallic print is done with transfer ribbons. Lines appear where there is a slightly overlap in the ribbons when printing. The lines usually vanish once the decal is applied, smoothed and lacquered over.

Can I brush lacquer over them?

No. The solvents in brush-on finishes, along with the friction of brushing, will likely wipe the decal off and ruin it in the process. Only spray lacquers should be used over decals.

Are they compatible with Tru-Oil?

Decals can be applied over Tru-Oil. Applying Tru-Oil over a decal is much trickier - as with any brush on finish it is likely the decal will be damaged or come off as a result. We recommend spraying a sealer coat of shellac over the decal, and then Tru-Oi (or any other brush on finish) can be used over the top.

How should they be stored?

Waterslide decals should be stored in a cool, dark, dry environment. Exposure to excessive moisture can render them unusable.

How long will they last if I don't use them?

Stored properly decals can last for many years.

Can you make a custom design?

We sure can! Contact Us to discuss your requirements.

Can they be put on bare wood?

We don't recommend this. Decals should be applied to smooth, non-porous, non-oily, clean surfaces. Wood should be lacquered before applying the decal.

Can I leave them unlacquered?

We don't recommend leaving waterslide decals unlacquered once they are applied. Waterslides are fragile and intended to be embedded within the finish. Leaving them unlacquered will mean they are easily prone to damage and will likely get scuffed and scratched through day-to-day handling of the instrument.