Applying decals

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by fendrguitplayr, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Strat-Talk Member

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    I swapped out a rosewood neck for a USACG maple neck and I have a replacement decal.

    Should I apply a clear satin lacquer over the decal ?
     
  2. 62stratfan

    62stratfan Strat-Talk Member

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    Any model aircraft builder will tell you that decals should be applied on a glossy surface in order to adhere well. Try to use the same type of glossy finish (poly over poly or nitro over nitro) on the headstock face. Mask it off first. It should take only a couple of coats to make it very glossy. After you apply the decal, finish the headstock face with the same finish as the rest of the neck to match. You may have to polish out the line left by masking, but it shouldn't be to difficult.

    Good Luck
    62stratfan
     
  3. sinnerboy61

    sinnerboy61 Strat-Talk Member

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    spray a good nitro/poly coat on the headstock.
    buff the headstock, apply decal, let it dry over night.

    next day spray "dusting" coatings over the decal at first, at about 45minute intervals so that it dries good. 3 coats should lock in nicely. If you want a more modern look, where the decal's edge isn't apparent, continue with coats untill the decal is buried.

    Not too quick though.
    Too much laquer at once can cause it to bubble up.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Strat-Talk Member

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    The neck and headstock have some really nice birdseye and flame and I want to keep it visible and not cover that.

    The neck already has a clear satin laquer coating on it.
     
  5. 62stratfan

    62stratfan Strat-Talk Member

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    Clear coats shouldn't hide the birdseye, but if you apply the decal onto the satin finish the decal may silver. Silvering is a frosted effect that appears when air is trapped betweeen the decal and a non-glossy finish. If your decal silvers, it'll be very apparent, especially around the clear edges and looped letters like the "d" and "e". Worth considering.

    Best,
    62stratfan
     
  6. Stratopastor

    Stratopastor Strat-Talk Member

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    If you are wondering where to pick up some clear coat just go to www.stewmac.com
    They have an Aerosol "Nitro" that is good.
    It has a decent "Fan Nozzle" tip on it. Some people even use it to spray whole instruments. With nitro you must put "Thin Coats" not just a couple thick coats. Sinnerboy knows what he is talking about !
     
  7. fullerplast

    fullerplast New Member!

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    Spraying over a decal is not necessary unless you "just want to" for some reason. The vintage Fender decals were always over the finish until the late 60s. If you have a reasonable quality decal, clearcoating over it is totally optional.

    There also is not a huge reason to refinish your headstock either. You indicated it is already finished in a clear satin. I don't forsee any trouble with the decal.

    I'm not disputing anything written here, I'm sure the forum members have done this a time or two, as I have. What they say is true if you choose to clearcoat it, but please understand you don't have to. I wouldn't want you to go through trouble if you don't need to. There's always a potential for birds-eyes, sand-throughs, and other minor disasters.

    You probably wanyt he headstock to match the rest of your neck as well.

    Good luck!
     
  8. sinnerboy61

    sinnerboy61 Strat-Talk Member

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    I've never tried the stew mac nitro, but I really really like the nitro aerosol cans that ReRanch puts out.
    From vintage Fender colors to Gibson colors, Reranch will take care of you.
    That's what I use anyway..
    www.reranch.com

    [​IMG]
    That's their Sonic Blue, with no clear coat.