View Full Version : Decal over shellac

15-07-2020, 02:40 AM

Is there a trick to putting a waterslide decal on a shellac? I did this on a piece of decal on a piece of cut-off from my headstock.

I put down 6 coats of 1 lb cut shellac. I then put 10 coats on top of the decal. As you can see, you see the transparent parts of the decal are clearly visible, and the wood under it is sort of fuzzy. I sanded lightly with 400 grit before putting the decal on...could that be the problem? Or is it just best not to put a decal over shellac?

On the other side of the piece, I sanded to 800, then buffed with a cloth (no wax or cutting compound) until shiny. Will try to put a little piece of decal on that so see if I have better luck....

Simon Barden
15-07-2020, 05:37 AM
You're trapping the sanded shellac under the decal, so what you see under it is going to look different from the clear glossy shellac around the decal. Having it relatively smooth and glossy would be the ideal IMO.

Also, is it a laser or inkjet decal? The outline doesn't look that well defined to me. Also, are you sure that the printer isn't doing the background in a very light shade of grey? I had that problem when trying to do some reversed letter printing and pulled a pdf into photoshop to do the reversing. Despite there being no colour on the design apart from black, the 'white' bits had a slight tint to them. If you are unsure, maybe just stick an unprinted piece of decal sheet on there as well as the test decal print.

15-07-2020, 07:01 AM
Thanks, I thought that might be the problem, although I have not had this problem with the clear coats I have used before. It's definitely not grey in the background, although I am glad to know that is something to watch for!

The decal is inkjet-printed, and then sprayed with an acrylic sealer. It is possible that in my haste to try it out that I nicked the edges a bit with 400 grit sandpaper. Should also be noted that the pic is larger than life-sized. The piece is only 70mm at it's widest, and this was a "reject" logo from a previous project. I always and spray several in the hope that at least one will be good enough to put on the project.

I have another try going on the other side, which I got pretty glossy before putting on the decal. Hoping it will look better.