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Instructions and tips on how to spray clear coat/varnish on media like waterslide decals, stickers but also for other applications.

We often receive questions from people who suffer from various problems while finishing materials. A major problem with clearcoat is that people do not know how to apply it. Although you can read information about the distances to be used there's no information about how to use it on decals/inks.


With inkjet decals, there is a change that the ink dissolves the ink or breaks the decal. These problems can also happen with sticker materials. In this "How To" we take as example a sheet of decal paper but it can be applied with many other sheets or projects. We generally us Motip clear coat spray but also acrylic lacquer with a spraygun or airbrush using a compressor. The description is based on the way i learned it from an automative painter.

 - Use clearcoat in a well vetilated room between 15 - 22/25 degrees,
 - Apply the coat in two or three layers in about half a hour.
 - Place the sheet on a stable, dust-free surface, and hold it in place with masking tape.
 - It is easy to spray while the sheet is flat and approximately on waste height.
 - Spray the first layer from a 30-35 cm distance in a light mist. The first strokes in the length and after a few minutes the second stroke in the width.
 - Before layer two, you must feel if the coat is sticky, like thick syrup. Use a sample piece.
 - Layer two you spray from a bit closer while applying a good coat spraying in the length of the paper.


In general the sheets is now ready, you can spray a third layer just like layer two but now moving in the width. Again wait till the previous layer is sticky dry. When you are in a bit of rush you can use the decals after a hour of drying. However you better let it dry several hours.


Extra tips:

 - Despite the fact a lot of clear coatings are  acrylic/water-based, the spray contains solvents and are still harmfull to human and nature.
 - Always use proper protection such as goggles, gloves and a respirator. (dust mask will not help)
 - Be careful with the sprays in rooms with heaters, the spray is explosive. 
 - Don't be too shy with the clearcoat, a normal fully covering coat is generally thinner than a protective film.
 - You can spray your object again without problems. If the coat is fully dried then first scuff it with a 2000 grid wet sandpaper.
 - Be careful that you do not scuff through your previous layers or even the decal.


We hope this information is enough to help. If you still have any questions please feel free to ask per e-mail or our contact-form.