Clear coat over decals?

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Clear coat over decals?

  • Im a 47 year old newbie trying to get back in the hobby. Purchased the DVD by Donn Yost, very impressed and helpful. The question I have is do you clear coat over decals? I'm in the process of building an old 70's flopper F\C. Thanks in advance.
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  • Allstar,

                I don't . Some do . The old nostalgia drag cars either had their logos painted on or were vinyl decaled . This gave a raised appearance from an angle.It is a realistic appearance .  If your decals are not laid down perfectly , wherever there is a lip or raised edge , it will most likely form a fisheye once the clear is applied.

     Any debris trapped in the clear is tough to get out , especially if it is in the first few coats . It is easy enough to replace a decal if it is cracked , crooked , etc, without the clear coat. Once the clear coat is on , you are stuck with the results . Another occurance , some types of clear will attack the decal and ruin it .

          I am glad you enjoyed the dvd , follow the steps and it will become a joy to airbrush rather than a chore !

                                                                      Donn Yost

                                                             Lone Wolf Custom Painting

    Contact me at ....
  • I normally paint clear over my decals because I love the look of a smooth car kinda like it had been dipped in a bucket of clear paint. Well that's what my friend Bud tells me!  I don't have any problems painting over decals with clear though there is a few things to watch out for. One is if you have old decals, if you are using old decals it's going to be a good idea to spray something like decal bonder or set to assure they will not do crazy things once you spray your clear on them.  The issue with painting them is you will need to carefully cut them out and set them to the vehicle, if you don't cut them out close to the decal you will have a raised line or cut out the you will be able to see once the clear is applied.  As for worrying about dust and other things that may cause problems when clearing you just have to be careful. Apply your decals and wait a few days! let them set up really good. Wash the body with dish soap to remove all oils then dry with a nice clean towel. Use a tach cloth and wipe it down to remove any dust, take your air brush and blast it off with air and check in a good lighted area for any dust. After this your ready to start clearing. One light coat should do first and let it set for 10 min then repeat this a few times to get the desired result your looking for. Don't worry about dust in the paint, if you get your first two or three coats on before the dust settles in then you should be able to polish it right out.

    If your building a race car of any type they didn't clear over the graphics most of the time and factory stock vehicles sometimes had a glossy finish to the racing stripes and others had a matt or flat finish. You will need to do research on the car your working on if your into exact detail.  

    Good Luck!  

  • Try future Acrylic clear floor wax. I use a " Q - TIP " to apply it, i usually use 2 maybe 3 coats works great for me GOOD LUCK       the CRAZYOLDMAN
  •  It's a matter of taste. For race cars, I prefer the crisp, "no clear" look over the dipped-in-Karo syrup look. But clearing the decals does give the model a more uniform, finished appearance. 

    If you have to remove decals, the best way I know is Scotch 3M tape. You have to pull it straight up fast. With repeated tries, it will usually lift off all the decal bits.

    Using that method, I've actually been able to remove decals that were thinly coated with clear. But I wouldn't count on that working every time. I just got lucky. And one time I sanded off the clear and then Scotch-taped off the decal itself.

    Best wishes for a successful re-entry into car modeling!



  • I do clear over my Bare Metal Foil and decals most the time. Never anything bad... Nice and smooth looking.
  • i am 47 too and getting back into the hobby!  It's a great hobby! 

    I side with topnotch--Future floor polish works great for covering decals.  Its good stuff period... 

     I have never seen it harm paint or decals or anything else I've done--not the same with lacquer clearcoats!  Arrg!!!

     I don't know if you **need** to clear over decals--certainly some 1:1 cars I have seen don't do this, but having protection over them for a scale model that someone might handle gives me piece of mind I guess.

    As far as the PWFFS (Pledge with future floor shine) I usually do 2 coats, about 8 hrs apart.  Brushed on with a pretty heavy brush....Seems to work.  Just make sure the decals are sitting really flat, get rid of any airbubbles in there before you put on the PWFFS or it makes the bubbles look even bigger!

  • I recommend Krylon Crystal Clear acrylic clear. It has a nice gloss, will not attack the decal and works over lacquers or enamels.

    Rob Geeked There is a nasty little four letter word for building something you're not interested in - work. And that's not what we do here. My Photo Album

  • Hey Jantrix, do you decant the Krylon Clear and use a airbrush?

    Greg "Rhino"
  • Greg, although there is a brand new airbrush taunting me from the box, I've not yet gotten into airbrushing. So I've just been warming the paint, and using it straight from the can.

    Rob Geeked There is a nasty little four letter word for building something you're not interested in - work. And that's not what we do here. My Photo Album

  • Thanks Jantrix !  Been doing this "decanting" thing and really happy how well much the better finish comes out. I wasn't sure about the clear on decanting.

    Greg "Rhino"
  • I use Tamiya X-22 clear over Tamiya acrylics and I use several different types of decals from the kit decals to Chimneyville decals, Accu Scale, police decals to decals i produce on my computer, i give them a light gloss coat of acrylic clear followed by a coat of Future floor wax. I get a finish that you can shave in. I like to this to prevent the decals from flaking off over time

  • been out of the model hobby for a while unless you count 1/28 scale r.c., but the other day i was cleaning out some old model paints i had and i had this stuff i got from my uncle way back called micro coat . its a plastic decal overcoat you could of bought from the store in the late 80s. i actually stumbled upon this site and your thread looking for it. it reads on the bottle "makes decal film invisible for the painted on look"  i remember using it and it did exactly that. the stuff i have is micro coat flat so if u didn't want to paint the model and leave that flat primed look you could, or you could clear over it without leaving a ridge. the stuff's a chemical that is only strong enough to eat the clear parts of the decal leaving the color behind. now i've been looking for its and no luck but maybe someone else here has better luck than me.. i did find one from bare metal foil co. but its not the same stuff at least it doesn't sound the same. the stuff i got is from krasel industries inc. . let me know if you find or know of something similar as i am looking too. thank you. and hope i help