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Body Decal

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You can apply them anywhere you want - a couple of things to note though :

1) Depending on the design and the colour of the guitar, the decal image may appear opaque and show through some of the background - especially if the decal is going to be quite light.

2) Solid colour vinyl kits like the Bullseye ones on Ebay are fine, theres no need to lacquer over these, and the colour will look solid.

3) With printed decals, unless they are thermally printed you wont be able to lacquer them as the ink used on other types will react.

If you are after something in particular or have any questions e-mail me


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On the topic of decals and hoping DecalShopMike can give me the benefit of his expertise...

I'm attempting to create a finish as below on my Saga HT10.


I've pretty much decided the only way to get the exact blood splatter effect I already have drawn in Illustrator is to use a decal.

Would a decal be suitable for this, I was thinking paint the yellow and black and then apply the red decal on top.

Obviously this would have to be of the clear backed decal type as one could never cut around all the little bitty bits of blood.

The only questions that remain are.

1) How difficult will such a large decal be to apply with no bubbles or wrinkles?

2) Will the red colour, laser printed onto a clear decal, be dark enough to overlay the black stripe or will the black stripe show through the decal?

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OK, couple of points.

If you laser print it onto clear vinyl :

1) you wont be able to lacquer over it without using a specialist sealer on it first.

2) If you dont lacquer over it, then it'll wear off really quickly.

3) You will see the edges of the clear vinyl

4) Laser printing will fade really badly, probably within 12 months as the ink isnt designed to be left in daylight for long periods.

If you laser print onto waterslide decal paper :

1,2 and 4 as above

3) You can only get A4 sheets, so would need two of them and have a join.

5) The decal will be too opaque over the black, you'll end up seeing a big dark stripe going through the middle of the design.

Doing waterslide decals for guitars isnt worth bothering with unless you have a thermal printer - inkjet and laser inks arent suitable, and wont last, they are a pain to lacquer over and will still fade. We can do thermal printing of decals like this, but the printers cost over £5K each, so it isnt something you want to be doing at home really :D

What I would suggest is using a solid cut vinyl decal, with no background or surround - this can be done from one piece of vinyl and all the individual drops and splatters cut out as well - the vinyl will be covered with a clear application tape that holds the pieces in the correct positions relevant to each other, once applied the tape is removed leaving all the blood spots in the correct places. The vinyl wont fade, is waterproof ( sweat proof ) and you can always remove it easily if you get bored with the design.

Or, you can get a negative mask done of the design, lay this on the guitar, spray the red and then remove the mask - downside of this is that you'll need quite a few coats of paint to cover the black.

To be honest, this isnt something I would think about doing as a DIY job as you're never going to get a decent finish. Getting the vinyl decal made isnt goign to cost you much if you have an EPS or AI file to cut from and the results are going to look much better without all the hassle.


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Kind of a weird thought, but some thick red paint in a squirt gun might give a really cool effect for the guitar. You could let it dry, sand back the unevenness where it's too thick, and clearcoat it. You wouldn't get the exact blood spatters, but it'd be very realistic.

By the way, is that sort of a "Kill Bill" saga kit? I like it a lot.

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OK, couple of points...

*snip great and useful post from Mike*


Excellent advice there Mike, thank you.

So would the third option of solid cut vinyl decal with the application backing thingy, would I be able to apply a final clear coat over the top of this to get a nice gloss finish on the whole thing?

Yes it is a bit of a complex design :D But then graphic design is my day job B)

Oh and Skibum yes it is a "Kill Bill" tribute.

It looks great even without the "blood" but getting the blood right will definitely make it look that much more than great.

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You know I watched both Kill Bill films 2 nights ago and the guitar design didnt click with me at all :D think Tarantino is losing the plot though, nowhere near as good as his previous stuff....

Anyway, back to the question - yes you can lacquer over vinyl no problem - its the same stuff I use for bike graphics, and most of those get lacquered - you'd need to build up a few coats to get it all level, but not that much more than using a waterslide.

One thing I thought of if you did want to spray it instead, I could do 2 masks - one a negative with the blood design cut out of it, and then another with the black stripe with gaps where the blood would go.

This way you can spray the black as one layer, let that dry, then apply the blood mask and spray the red - all the design would end up being one layer of paint so you wouldnt need to build up the red to stop the black showing through ( as there would be no black paint under the red anywhere ) - then clear coat the top as normal.

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I gotta admit the two mask approach had occured to me, lining up colour separations was something I didn't think I'd ever be doing again since I left my job as a offset litho printer 10 years ago! :D

The vinyl sounds cool, I've been reading up on it, by solid you mean cut from a solid red coloured vinyl I guess, sound's like that would work nicely, especially with a nice topcoat.

Do you ship to the UK?

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