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How To Seal Water Slide Decals (Tips and Information Inside)

Water slide decals are a popular choice for customising models, crafts, and various surfaces with intricate designs and logos.

While they offer a high-quality finish, sealing them correctly is key to ensuring their longevity and durability.

Here is everything you need to know about where to buy decal paper, how to create your own high-quality decals, and how to seal water slide decals for longevity:

How to Seal Water Slide Decals

First of all, some waterslide decal paper does not need lamination or sealing, like our Laserjet Waterslide Decal Paper.

However, traditionally a lot of water slide decals do need sealing so we’re also going to take you through that process.

Sealing water slide decals that require it involves applying a clear coat over the decal after it has been applied to the surface.

This process protects the decal from physical damage, UV light, and moisture. Always start by ensuring the decal is completely dry and firmly adhered to the surface.

Then use a clear acrylic sealer or a varnish suitable for the surface material (plastic, wood, metal, etc.).

Spray or brush on a light coat, let it dry, and then apply additional coats as needed, ensuring each layer is thin to prevent the decal from wrinkling or distorting.

How Long Do Water Slide Decals Last?

The lifespan of water slide decals can vary depending on factors such as the quality of the decal, the surface it’s applied to, and environmental conditions.

Generally, a well-applied and properly sealed decal can last several years.

Indoor items with minimal exposure to sunlight and handling can retain their decals longer, while items frequently handled or exposed to the elements may see a shorter lifespan.

There are no guarantees, but we can tell you without any doubt that the better quality of the decal and how it’s applied does make a huge difference to how long you can expect it to last.

So, practice does make perfect. If you’re struggling to make any decals last from products you’ve purchased from us here at Gecko Paper, feel free to reach out and we’ll be happy to help.

Can You Clear Coat Over Water Slide Decals?

Yes, you can clear coat over water slide decals, and it’s actually recommended to protect and preserve the decal.

Ensure the decal is fully dry and adhered to the surface before applying a clear coat.

Use a clear, water-based acrylic sealer or a clear varnish compatible with the decal and the surface material.

Apply the clear coat in several thin layers, allowing adequate drying time between coats to prevent smudging or dissolving the decal.

Clear coating not only extends the life of the decal but also integrates it more seamlessly with the item’s surface.

Are Waterslide decals permanent?

Waterslide decals are not permanent in the same sense as paint or permanently etched designs.

They adhere to surfaces using a water-based adhesive, which allows for repositioning during application but can also be a point of vulnerability over time.

While they can last for several years, especially when properly sealed with a clear coat, they are susceptible to wear and tear, environmental factors, and physical damage.

Factors such as exposure to UV light, moisture, and frequent handling can affect their longevity.

However, with careful application and proper sealing, waterslide decals can provide a durable and long-lasting finish to a wide range of projects.

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