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Wednesday, 09 September 2015 13:13

Guitar rebuild Part 05 - Adding a waterslide decal to the guitar headstock

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Waterslide decal application Waterslide decal application

What we tried to achieve here was a very clean matt headstock. Black decal on white. We wanted the logo to be applied in a way that you can't see how it was applied.

First we cleaned the headstock and sanded it to be perfectly smooth. It then got a few layers of white spray paint. This white paint layer was then sanded until it was also perfectly smooth.

This is the surface to which we added applied the waterslide decal too.

Once the decal was dry (the waterslide has a water based glue bottom and needs to be perfectly dry otherwise it will lock in water) the process of layering gloss lacquer can start.

The transparent laquer layers take time. it is vital once again that each layer or lacquer dries completely before the next. Especially before staring the sanding.

Lacquer always leaves a ridge or depression between two joing areas as it dries. Because we wanted there to be no marks or difference between the decal and the rest of the lacquer the layers had to be high enough to be able to sand so far down as to make the indent flush.

A few things about waterslides:

  • They are usually transparent
  • You an get different types, ones for lazer printers and ones for inkjet
  • Like with most transparencies designed for computer printers you can't print white or any vivid light colour to lay over black. You will have to find a differnt way of creating a white on black waterslide. (Some more expensive printers do print white and there is no reason they can't be used)
  • On the inkjet type you need to lock in place or seal the printer ink as it is water based. If you don't it will run when putting the waterslide into the water.
  • It is vital the waterslide is absolutely dry before spraying it after applying otherwise it will lock in the moisture and probably fain in the future.
  • Always use the same lacquer to seal the ink as you will to lacquer the final product for transpancy consistancy.


how to laquer over waterslide guitar decal

How to lacquer over waterslide guitar decal




waterslide decal on guitar

The final product.  A very nice matt finish guitar decal using waterslides. You can also keep it gloss if you wish.

Last modified on Wednesday, 09 September 2015 14:44

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