Can vinyl or water applied decals/pin strip be clear coated over?
You're taking a chance that the clear coat will lift the decal or cause bubbling. I'd try it on a test piece first if possible.
I'm inclined to agree with Charlie B on this one. I would think different decals would be made of different materials, inks and process. And different paints have different chemicals, solvents, recipes...
We have done it many times on motorcycle gas tanks, side covers, etc. with no problems
ADDED question. Does the edge of the backing sheet of a water transfer decal show when coated over?
My friend who owns a big professional body shop clears over pinstripes all the time. It makes them almost look like painted stripes. I would have to ask if he stripes over the color coat and then clears over the stripe or color coat and then clear, then stripe, and then re-clears.???
Depends on the decal. It can turn milky or dissolve from the solvents in the clear coat. Here is a method found on the net that is pretty clever.
"I learned this trick from an old sign painter: leave the water transfer ON the card, do not cut out the edges yet (if you even need to as some are precut)
now LIGHTLY, and I mean LIGHTLY spray a super mist coat of POLYURETHANE clearcoat (spraycan clearcoats NOT recommended) on the surface of the decal on the card, let dry for a half hour, now another super light coat, and let dry again for another 30 minutes, repeat about four times.
now cut out the decal and stick it in the glass of water and apply to the surface
and let dry for at least 24 hours,..when you paint over that decal, it already has a protective clearcoat on it!
slick trick especially if you get some super old NOS decals that are cellulose based (those melt INSTANTLY if you apply a wet coat over them)"
And some more from Autobody101 forum:
simple one: get some 2ml clear vinyl like for making decals or stickers, trace the EXACT OUTLINE of the water transfer decal.
wet the transfer, and place it on the surface, wait a day, then apply the clear vinyl over it, and clearcoat as you normally would.
the TRICK way: leave the transfer on the paper backing, and cut out along the outside edge, very carefully, as that will be the edge, and it'll show.
now use some double stick tape, and stick the transfer to the end of a paint stick (yes, it's still on the paper backing), now over several days, shoot a LIGHT coat of clear, it needs to dry almost instantly, and hold the gun about 3 feet away, you are just trying to dry mist the decal, LIGHTLY, then next day do the same thing, just ONE COAT PER DAY, do this three times.
now that the transfer has cured clearcoat on the outer surface, place it in a glass of water, and GENTLY and WITHOUT BENDING IT TOO MUCH, slide it off the paper backing and onto the surface, blot dry, and let dry for a day, and then clearcoat as normal
you can also have the graphics shop scan the water transfer, and make a duplicate out of vinyl, and you just stick that on and shoot away, so actually 3 methods
I didn't know you could still get water transfer decals. I haven't seen a new one for many years.
Steve you can make your own water slide decals on an inkjet printer.
steve, the decals I'm thinking of can be found on Vic's 66. A gas pump restoration website.
Most plastic, water-transfer and peel-and-stick decals can be removed with a heat-gun or even a hand-held, electric hair-dryer.
It doesn't make sense to deal with the issue of painting over a decal when it's not particularly difficult to remove it.