Making Ink Jet Waterlside Decals

Discussion in 'Burnt Fingers DIY Effects' started by Tezuka27, May 23, 2013.

  1. Tezuka27

    Tezuka27 Tele-Holic

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    HI all.

    I've never done this before and have a basic question about making waterlides.

    I'm making this for a FUZZFACE clone I just built. I was going to print it black, like the originals, but I finished the enclosure in a dark blue, almost purple, metal flake and the black just wont read, so I'm going with white inside a dark blue outline. I have no access to a laser printer and I've heard the commercial places (kinko's, etc.) generally won't print laser water slides for you because of the melting issues at the fuser, so my canon ink jet is my only recourse. To get the white, I'm going to print in reverse and fill in the outlines with white paint. The question is, will the necessary sealing coat on the ink jet dyes keep the decal from adhering since the sealed side is the one that will be going against the surface of the enclosure?

    Any thoughts, tips, or advice will be greatly appreciated.

    john
     
  2. Armo

    Armo Tele-Holic

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    Can't see that working. You need some white waterslide paper as opposed to clear or paint the white on the pedal before you apply the WS. Print on on inkjet and then seal with acrylic varnish. Horrible stuff to use. Good luck. By the way if you print on the back it will just float off with the backing leaving nothing but a clear sheet.
     
  3. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    What he said.
     
  4. benderb9

    benderb9 Tele-Holic

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    you can print it as a reverse, I always do, and do your fill on the backside. instead of water on the place your putting the decal I use Testors decal sizing. When the decal is just ready to lift I take it off and flip it over on the paper-right side up. Then move it around on the decal paper to pick up some of the glue that is left as a residue. Apply onto the wet sizing and cover with a soft brush using more of the Testors, let set for a minute or less. Tamp out the bubbles with a tissue and let air dry. When dry and mist on the first two or three coats of clear before going heavy. I cut mine about .25" outside of the decal that way I can concentrate on sanding the edge and not the actual decal to smooth it out. Took longer to write it out that it does to actually do it. Good Luck
     
  5. tjk3052

    tjk3052 Tele-Holic

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    I've gone through this. I've tried white waterslides many times and haven't had much luck, you end up with a white border on the edge of the decal. I've tried white ink and white paint to backfill the decal or paint directly on the enclosure, and you end up with brush marks that show through.

    What works surprisingly great for me is this:
    Cut out a white waterslide, unprinted, which is slightly smaller than your actual decal. Apply it to your box, and this acts as your white backfill for you clear waterslide. It is a nice and opaque white that is waaay thinner than ink or paint. Then print your clear waterslide the solid color with clear areas where you want the white to show through. After several coats of clear enamel, it looks very close to being screen printed.

    I use screen printing now, but this one was done with layered waterslides.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Tezuka27

    Tezuka27 Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the replies, fellas. benderb9, is the decal sizing you refer to their decal setting solution? I think I'll try your method first as it seems the easiest method for me to address this.

    tjk3052, That's a very nice finished enclosure. Your method makes total sense to me and would work great if I was laying down a solid block of color on my clear sheet. However, they're individual letters with dark outlines, and I would have to cut and place each white fill separately, which, for me, would turn into a nightmare and take much longer than the actual build.

    Here's what I'm shooting for, only with white type on a dark blue metal flake.
    [​IMG]

    john
     
  7. pt1911

    pt1911 TDPRI Member

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    Sorry to hijack this thread but tjk that is a great sounding pedal. John at Eclipse showed me it. May have to be one of my next purchases.

    Sent from my SCH-I405 using TDPRI
     
  8. Tezuka27

    Tezuka27 Tele-Holic

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    No problem, pt1911 - not much of a hijack if you ask me ;). It's a good looking box - now you confirm that more importantly, it's a good sounding box.

    john
     
  9. pt1911

    pt1911 TDPRI Member

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    We were wondering did you etch the plexi ?
     
  10. tjk3052

    tjk3052 Tele-Holic

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    Isn't Eclipse a cool store? I didn't even know they existed until recently. The plexi faceplate is laser engraved gold on the back of acrylic and then black backfill.
     
  11. tjk3052

    tjk3052 Tele-Holic

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    John- Here's what I would do.

    Use white rub-on letters from an art or model supply store. They're a pain to apply but look good and are very thin. After that, put the enclosure on a flatbed scanner and scan the face of the box. Now that you have a 1:1 image of the box with white lettering, open it in photoshop and and make your dark outlines. Print that image (just the outlines) onto inkjet waterslides and apply, aligning the dark outlines over the white rub on letters.
     
  12. Tezuka27

    Tezuka27 Tele-Holic

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    Thanks, TJK. I appreciate the thought you're putting into this, but unfortunately, I'm using the fonts from the FUZZ FACE (Stacatto222 and some eurostyle variant) and I'm not going to find those in any kind of transfer type (at least I don't think I can - back in the 70s I could have). If I could, I wouldn't need the dark outlines, as that's only a guide for me to paint in the fill :neutral: :(

    At this point, I think I'm going to go with the clear decal paper, reverse my graphic, print it, seal it, then paint the white fill, seal it again, and try to position it right side up and see if it sticks (even if it just lays there), then bury it in gloss. Colt said that he puts a few drops of Elmer's glue into his water - I assume to help his reversed waterslides stick a little. I may try that. Ideally, silkscreen would be the way to go, but the last time I did any was in 1988 and my supplies, and screens are long gone. Plus, this is just a one off pedal for myself, and hopefully this approach will be the easiest way - certainly cheaper than re-outfitting with screen supplies - I hope :rolleyes:

    If only there was a way to print white ink with an ink jet.

    Thanks again,
    john
     
  13. benderb9

    benderb9 Tele-Holic

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    yep decal setting solution/sizing one and the same they smell the same too...sorta like vinegar
     
  14. pt1911

    pt1911 TDPRI Member

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    Yeah i remember going there as a teenager with buddies who played guitar. Johns a cool guy and the atmosphere is really laid back.

    Sent from my SCH-I405 using TDPRI
     
  15. Tezuka27

    Tezuka27 Tele-Holic

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    Well, so far, so good. Got a sheet printed last night and the detail looks fine to me. Now waiting for it to quite raining so I can seal and try to fill in the white :neutral:. Decided to thicken up the outline a bit to give me a better chance at staying inside the lines with the white. Will post progress when it happens.

    [​IMG]

    john
     
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