Clear Coat Over Decals

Raymond_B

Hobbyist
This might be a dumb or obvious question, but I am curious does clear coating over decals extend the life of the decal? I want to say sure! Obviously being protected under the clear extends the life, but what about the adhesives of the decal itself? Also to clarify I am talking about factory decals.

Here's why I am asking, I have a 1995 F-150 Ford Lightning. From the factory they had a Lightning decal on each side of the bed. I eventually want to have mine repainted and really love the SPI single stage black, but what to do about the decals? I have actual Ford NOS decals squirrelled away.

Here's what they look like stock, you can't tell in that pic, but they are also reflective.

d9tdBc4.jpg
 

Barry

Paint Fanatic
Staff member
They usually will clean with 710 or index and spray, done it for year's and you will have full adhesion.
 

Raymond_B

Hobbyist
Of course, clear over decals help but not always possible to do.
Thanks Barry, I have even thought about asking someone to try to just paint the lettering in a more discrete way and "ghost" it in as I am not really worried about the reflective and I would like it to be more subtle.
 

MJM

Promoted Users
This is a good thread. I had a similar question with regards to painting over stickers. Not to take over the OP's thread but, is there a certain type of sticker that should be used, vinyl faced or ???

Thank you,
 

Barry

Paint Fanatic
Staff member
This is a good thread. I had a similar question with regards to painting over stickers. Not to take over the OP's thread but, is there a certain type of sticker that should be used, vinyl faced or ???

Thank you,
That's a great question, and I don't know the answer.
With that said, I only heard of one car decal that got screwed with clear, and I think it was on a Chevelle.
The manufacturer said the batch of his material and took care of it right away. He did have a few complaints.

We sell some high-end bike people, and they have a lot of decals and one problem years ago by a new company in the market.
 
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Jim C

Oldtimer
most decals are printed vinyl. there is no problem clearing over them. i do it all the time. if its a real high quality oem decal then i will usually run a grey scotchbrite over it to prep it a bit since it will have clear laminate over it. any other decal i am unsure of, i will mist a little adpro on it then go right to clear.
 

MJM

Promoted Users
most decals are printed vinyl. there is no problem clearing over them. i do it all the time. if its a real high quality oem decal then i will usually run a grey scotchbrite over it to prep it a bit since it will have clear laminate over it. any other decal i am unsure of, i will mist a little adpro on it then go right to clear.

This is encouraging. How much wait time is needed after base coat to place the deal and clear over it?

A fellow down the road from me painted his 64 Savoy last year. I stopped in to take a look and he was getting ready to pull the vinyl sticker he had cleared over. It had spots all over it. Ask me if I knew what might be causing it. I told him his paint hadn't flashed completely. He used a single stage, them cleared over the single stage enamel, then cleared over the sticker.He pulled the sticker off and tried again, with the same results.

I think he needed to wait a few months for that single stage to dry, and I didn't like the idea of him clearing the single stage.

Anyway, I'm considering using a few decals or sticker for the car. What I will do is buy a few extra stickers and do a test panel off the car to see how it works.
 

MJM

Promoted Users
i have never waited to that degree. i have usually installed next day then clear.
Okay, that's good to hear. I take it your stickers where placed on two stage paint, not single stage enamel? I guess what happened to his stickers is perhaps the adhesive used was not compatible with solvents.
 
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