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Tips & Tricks

Clearcoating over our decals


Over the years, we have received a couple inquiries about clearing over our decals, so we inquired with a local body shop to get some details.
The short answer is, yes - our decals can be cleared over, below are the details. More or less, the important things to note are to use a high quality Urethane clear and to use a very thin first coat over the decals.

Paint procedure and Clear Coating Graphics:

Only use high quality PPG or BASF automotive Urethane type clear coat paint.
The following steps are a guideline to follow.
**** Consult a local professional paint shop for more information.

1. Paint base coat color(s). Some base coats are more than one color to achieve a certain look.
2. Apply one layer of clear coat to bond to base coat color. This is to be done while the base coat is still tacky. (a bonding issue).
3. Let paint and clear coat fully cure. Cure times depend on air moisture content, temperature and paint chemical composition. (Professional painters use more or less hardener in the paint to speed or slow the cure time.)
4. Wet sand the entire painted surface to create the proper smooth surface. An 800 grit wet paper will provide a good smooth surface, but not too smooth, thus allowing clear coat paint to bond properly.
5. Clean surface and apply decals/graphics. (as per instructions)
6. Clean surface after decal application. (no water spots, oil or fingerprint residue)
7. Spray on your final clear coat multiple layers to completely cover entire bodywork surface and decals. Take care when laying down multiple coats of clear. The ideal thing is to lay down one overall thin spray for your first coat. The first coat is an important step, consider this a sealer coat. Pause for a break after the first coat and allow a little extra time for this sealer coat to cure to the limit, (do not not allow to fully cure). This allows the clear to seal and bond properly to the decals. Then continue with further layers of clear. Laying down multiple layers of clear after the sealer coat can go more quickly. Pausing between each layer, with each coat never fully cured. Each coat must remain tacky to provide proper bonding. Too much paint at one time is almost always a disaster and especially during the first sealer coat stage.

***Again consult a professional painter if needed.