With the clear gloss cured for a full day, I can now apply the decal. The first picture shows the planning stage. Once I have a good idea on where I want the tattoo (decal) placed, I can now dip the decal in some water for a few seconds then take the decal out of the water and let it sit on a napkin for a minute or so. This loosens up the decal from the paper backing and doesn’t completely dissolve the glue that’s on the decal film. When I went to slide the decal onto the skin, the decal fell apart, several decals fell apart… so I took my gloss clear and sprayed the decal sheet and let that set up for a couple of minutes. Once that completely dried, I tried the attempt again, and the clear gloss added some strength to the rather thin decal film. The bad part about this is that the clear gloss added a little thickness to the decal film.
I position the decal using a wet q-tip and once in place, I take a dry piece of napkin and carefully dab out any remaining water under the decal making sure I get rid of bubbles in the surface. Once the decal is firmly on the part, I take a very sharp hobby knife and cut away the excess. With the excess cut away, I bring out Mr Mark Softer. A little note, if you are using acrylic paints, DO NOT USE MR MARK SOFTER as it will discolor the acrylics. Careful application will avoid this, but the stuff is really formulated for all the other lacquer based products that Gunze puts out. If you are using acrylics, use Micro Sol as the decal softening solution.
The decal solution is just placed onto the surface and allowed to evaporate on its own. If the decal wrinkles when the decal setting solution is applied, THIS IS A PERFECTLY NATURAL OCCURRENCE. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO STRAIGHTEN THE DECAL OUT. It will un-wrinkle itself as the solution evaporates. It is very cool to see; but again, you must leave the decal alone and let the setting solution work it’s magic. Once done, the decal will meld nicely with the surface. Now with this decal, I have some defects and wrinkles left over after the decal solution has dried, I just take a hobby knife to carefully cut the bubbles out and then apply more setting solution. Once this is dried, I will apply another clear gloss coat to help seal and help hide any remaining decal edges to make the decal look as if it was painted on.