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Spray Clear For Headstock Decal


agquake
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Hi all,

I've applied a headstock decal to (you guessed it) my headstock and I was wondering what the best thing to use would be to preserve it. Is there some type of spray clear (nitro or other) that I can pick up at Home Depot or elsewhere? I've never done this before so I'm clueless on how to go about it. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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It depends on what the headstock is already finished with. Many clears are not compatible and will cause cracking. Shellac and standard Home Depot grade Minwax Poly are pretty safe. Regardless, don't lose patience with the fact that it's going to take quite a few VERY thin coats to make it look right.

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I used to use Tru Oil over decals, but switched to Krylon Crystal Clear satin spray and have had much better results. The satin seems to flow better than the gloss version and is closer to what I see on original finishes. Start with a few very light coats, let dry and move to heavier coats. I've found that 3 heavy coats per day for 2-3 days is sufficient, with light sanding between 2nd and 3rd days.

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I used Rustins Plastic Coating and brushed it on over the decal, you can see the result here

The good thing about Rustins is it will not crinkle your decal. I have also used clear automotive enamel, if you use this do about three very fine mist sprays on your decal first, good luck with it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The general idea with Waterslide decals is to mist the decal a few times with the finish before soaking and applying. This helps to avoid the crinkling effect when the clear hits the decal. If you use spray, you want to lightly mist the decal 5 or 6 times before shooting finish coats in an attempt to not effect the decal. Use a spray enamel or low VOC poly as to further aid in this. The earlier poster used Rustins plasticote, this may also be a good choice. When you purchase decals, find out if they are Nitrocellulose/Polyurethane compatible, this will give you a distinct advantage in the future.

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