Ever NOT seal water slide decals?

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Mike S.

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What are the risks of not sealing water slide decals? Do they errode off?

I’m very happy with my glossy color coats and my decal applications on my current builds, and I’m afraid of ruining the finished look. In my experience, adding a clear “gloss” makes the finish dull or “less glossy”. Sometimes even “milky.”

On plastic models, I’ve had decent results with Future, but it’s still less glossy. But if opinions sway me to seal the decals, I’ll probably use Future just over the decals locally.

Thanks!
 

les

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A clear topcoat helps prevent damage tot he decals and also helps seal them onto the rocket (if the topcoat extends onto the main rocket and covers the edges)
 

afadeev

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What are the risks of not sealing water slide decals? Do they errode off?
Waterslides are very fragile, and will discolor, crack, or lift off the surface when exposed to humidity/water.
I always clear-coat over mine.

I’m very happy with my glossy color coats and my decal applications on my current builds, and I’m afraid of ruining the finished look. In my experience, adding a clear “gloss” makes the finish dull or “less glossy”. Sometimes even “milky.”
That can happen, especially with older waterslide decals.
But it's either that, or having them flake off the surface. Pick your poison.

HTH
 

pteachtricia

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My water Decal keeps coming off when I wash it after putting it in the oven. Is there something I can do that they stay permanent?
 

samb

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I've used the floor care product formally known as Future on most of my model rockets. I like the "tough acrylic protection" more than the long lasting shine. But I can't say that I've experienced a decrease in gloss that the op mentioned. And the tough protection is really relative after all. A little scuff resistance is all I ask. These are flying models that will never look the same after the first flight.
 

neil_w

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My water Decal keeps coming off when I wash it after putting it in the oven. Is there something I can do that they stay permanent?
Wash it? Put it in the oven? You'll need to provide some more detailed information so we know what you're actually doing there. What kind of decals? What's the application?

PS Welcome to the forum!
 

pteachtricia

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Wash it? Put it in the oven? You'll need to provide some more detailed information so we know what you're actually doing there. What kind of decals? What's the application?

PS Welcome to the forum!
Good Afternoon,
I coat the decals 3 times, I let sit 30 minutes each. I cut them out and put them in room temperature water. I place on a mug. It sits 3 hrs or longer. I put in oven on 230 for 15 minutes. Then I let sit. When I gave them to people, they washed it and the decal came off. What am I doing wrong? I am using the injet waterslide decal paper.
 

pteachtricia

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Wash it? Put it in the oven? You'll need to provide some more detailed information so we know what you're actually doing there. What kind of decals? What's the application?

PS Welcome to the forum!
Good Afternoon,
I coat the decals 3 times, I let sit 30 minutes each. I cut them out and put them in room temperature water. I place on a mug. It sits 3 hrs or longer. I put in oven on 230 for 15 minutes. Then I let sit. When I gave them to people, they washed it and the decal came off. What am I doing wrong? I am using the injet waterslide decal paper.
 

dr wogz

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Good Afternoon,
I coat the decals 3 times, I let sit 30 minutes each. I cut them out and put them in room temperature water. I place on a mug. It sits 3 hrs or longer. I put in oven on 230 for 15 minutes. Then I let sit. When I gave them to people, they washed it and the decal came off. What am I doing wrong? I am using the injet waterslide decal paper.
you are putting home-made water slide decals on a coffee mug?
 

dr wogz

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Uhm, coffee mugs & the like are typically screen printed or pad printed. Not water slide decals.

Water slide decals are meant to go onto items that will see very little wear & tear, and especially not a 'wash cycle' (remember, they went on with water, and water will re-activate the glue; therefore the decal will lift & easily be rubbed off)

Put the decals on a mug, but then don't use the mug. (use it for pens & pencils, a plant, screws, etc..) Or, you could try sealing the decal with varnish. But that too will likely start to flake & peel off.

If you want a mug with your own design and to be used, best to go to a company that does promotional items like 4Imprint or Vista-print

You might also get away with a vinyl sticker, something waterproof.. (again, 4Imprint or Vista Print or Staples..)
 

neil_w

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Uhm, coffee mugs & the like are typically screen printed or pad printed. Not water slide decals.
Mugs are an application that I have seen shown on waterslide how-to videos. I was trying to confirm that @pteachtricia was not talking about a rocketry application. I'm sure, though, that there are different considerations for decals on mugs than for rockets (obviously).

There are waterslides intended to bake on, which I assume would be more durable but I'm not sure of the details. What variety are you using exactly? Were they washed by hand?

This video:
Talks about bake-on decals, still says no microwave and handwashing only.

Basically, this is a very different application than we're used to talking about here, so most of us won't have proper experience to give you really good advice.
 
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samb

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Good Afternoon,
I coat the decals 3 times, I let sit 30 minutes each. I cut them out and put them in room temperature water. I place on a mug. It sits 3 hrs or longer. I put in oven on 230 for 15 minutes. Then I let sit. When I gave them to people, they washed it and the decal came off. What am I doing wrong? I am using the injet waterslide decal paper.
This time of year is notorious for off the wall posts. The usual suspects are model rocketeers with cabin fever waiting to go outside and fly something. Decals on coffee mugs is an outstanding addition to our rich tradition. Thanks and welcome the ROCKETRY forum ! :)
 

Jim Green

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When I put a waterslide decal on a rocket I let it dry (not in the oven) and then spray it with SprayMax clear epoxy glamour coat in a rattle can. Amazon is one place you can find it. I have not tried putting it in a dishwasher but it has held up in a rainstorm at a launch. That method might work for coffee mugs too.
I also use that SprayMax on colored fiberglass body tubes to bring the color out to a nice glossy finish.

Jim
 

jrap330

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My water Decal keeps coming off when I wash it after putting it in the oven. Is there something I can do that they stay permanent?
What do you mean wash it? You soak in water and try to slide it onto rocket. Wash It...there goes adhesion.

But yes lack Brant II and Custom Elite...kits where over 15 years old, trouble with decals sticking and unfortunately BBII, they tore apart. So my BBII looks like terrible.
 

jrap330

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What do you mean wash it? You soak in water and try to slide it onto rocket. Wash It...there goes adhesion.

But yes lack Brant II and Custom Elite...kits where over 15 years old, trouble with decals sticking and unfortunately BBII, they tore apart. So my BBII looks like terrible.
Forget my reply.. a coffee mug question to a rocketry forum. You expect a decal to last on a ceramic mug that will get handle aggressively and wash daily. Like everyone said go to a commercial house that does mugs, they are NOT water slide decals. And still after so many years, washes the print goes away.....every mug I received has gone "blank"
 

pteachtricia

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When I put a waterslide decal on a rocket I let it dry (not in the oven) and then spray it with SprayMax clear epoxy glamour coat in a rattle can. Amazon is one place you can find it. I have not tried putting it in a dishwasher but it has held up in a rainstorm at a launch. That method might work for coffee mugs too.
I also use that SprayMax on colored fiberglass body tubes to bring the color out to a nice glossy finish.

Jim
Thank you! I will try it.
 

neil_w

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Thank you! I will try it.
That stuff looks great but is not listed as food-safe. I don't know what clearcoats are out there that *are* food-safe and also suitable for this application.

I am guessing that this forum is not the best place to get the right answers to your question.
 

Back_at_it

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Defiantly should clear over waterslide. I do a lot of restorations and I see waterslides crumbling from normal handling. I don't do do waterslide anymore but when I did I made sure to clear over it. Otherwise you're looking an just a few months until the start to come off.
 

caveduck

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I don't mind hearing about somewhat "off-label" uses of products with rocketry applications. Half of the useful things I find are stolen from other activities. Papilio, which is my favorite decal supplier, has quite a bit of information and products related to putting decals on mugs and dishes. If we're ever to get a white-ink-capable printer again, it will probably come from a business area like that, and not ours :). And I'm totally OK with people asking the rocket community about things we might be expected to know about.

On the original topic, I usually don't put any clear over decals, just the Future/Pledge stuff, which is removable. There are a lot of acrylic clears out there that turn yellow in just a few years. Krylon regular clear and Testors Glosskote are/were especially terrible. The UV resistant acrylic clears are better (I like Papilio UV clear so far, used it on a couple of test models about 5 yrs ago and they are still OK), automotive urethane clear is king of the hill but super expensive and a serious health hazard as well. The automotive stuff would have a fair chance at holding up to dishwashers; it's designed to go through carwashes, though with not quite the same level of heat.
 
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