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Satin finish and decals

Started by Doug.Oaks, April 13, 2009, 01:56:13 PM

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The unlettered tank cars have a nice satin finish. Is it advisable to cover it with gloss for the application of decals, or is it smooth enough as is?


Kevin Strong

I've had good luck putting decals over a satin black finish.

The process is the same. The Heisler was the stock Bachmann finish, and I've put them over Krylon semi-flat (satin) black with equally good results.



Paul W.

I agree with Kevin, I have also had great luck with applying over a factory finish. After I add the decal, I do add on a clear coat finish to protect it.

Good luck
Happy Steamin'


Jon D. Miller

Agree with Kevin and Paul.

The CD&StL logo is a water slide decal.  The large LPS is dry transfer.  Both were applied to the car right on to the factory finish.  Then given a light overcoat of clear satin finish to protect them.

One of the "Enthusiastic Children"

Poster Child (unofficial & uncompensated)


Something to look at is Walthers, Microscale, Testors, and Floquil/Polly Scale, all make decal setting solvents which pretty much literally melt waterslide decals into the paint.

And, yes, satin or gloss paints are better for applying decals.
Flat paints under microscope have surface kind of looks like sandpaper in order to break up reflections. That is why decal film often "silvers" when applied over flat paints - film only sitcks to the high points.

Those clear flat, satin, or gloss overcoats are indeed good ideas.

Something else to do after waterslide decal dries is to take damp cloth to wipe off any excess adhesive around decal.
When all esle fials, go run trains
Screw the Rivets, I'm building for Atmosphere!
later, Forrest

Loco Bill Canelos

Works fine on satin finish, but I do use more setting solvent than for gloss.
Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway-Missouri Western Railway
Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
Colorado RR Museum-Brakeman-Engineer-Motorman-Trainman
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!