Motorcycle Tips
Carbon Fibre

General Tips



Decal Solutions
February 28, 2001
Use decal solutions such as Microscale's Micro Set & Micro Sol, Gunze-Sangyo's Mr. Softener, etc. on decals that must conform to complex surfaces. Such as the tear drop decals that goes on the convex surfaces.

Always use the same paint brush for applying decal solutions. Otherwise you will contaminate the solution with paint or other contaminates that could stain your decals or paint job.

Here is how I use Microscale's Micro Set.

  1. Apply Micro Set where decal will be located to prep the area.
  2. Apply and position the decal.
  3. Use edge of a paper towel to suck out access water and decal solution from under the decal. Reposition the decal now if necessary.
  4. Apply Micro Set on top of the decal.
    Note: I use Microscale's Micro Sol (stronger solution) at this step when applying decals on highly irregular surfaces. Like seat decals that go on the textured seat surface. Or for decals going over complex surfaces like the tear drop decals on the Yamaha Roadstar's fuel tank. Micro Sol is very potent stuff so I only use it when absolutely necessary.
  5. Allow the decal to solution to it job. Any wrinkles you see will smooth out on their own. Do not touch or try to move the decal since it will be soft and easily deformed or damaged. After several minutes, I sometimes roll a water moistened cotton bud (Q-Tip) over the decal to help it hug the surface. Be care as the decal is quite fragile before completely dry. 
  6. If there are any air bubbles under the decal, puncture the bubble with a sewing needle and apply some more decal solution to the bubble. 
  7. After the decal has dried, you should wipe off any residue with a damp cloth or cotton bud (Q-Tip). Wipe from the center of the decal towards the edge so there is no chance of lifting the edge.

Handling Decals
Submitted by Jason
When I soak my decals, instead of just dropping them into the water, I cut a little extra paper past the decal, and use my self-locking tweezers to hold on to the extra paper. It works wonderfully for me.

Storing Decals
I always open my shrink wrapped kits to check the contents of the kits. After opening the decals are now exposed to humidity which over time can activate the glue. To prevent this from happening I put all my decals in "Zip-Lock" bags and then in clear sleeves in a 3-ring binder for protection.

However, I've recently been reconsidering the practice of storing ALL my decals in one place. If something were to happen to the binders I'd lose everything and have stacks of decal less kits. I've started returning the decals w/Zip-Lock bags to the kit boxes to peace of mind.

Wetting Decals
Rather than simply dipping the decals in a cup of water, Jörgen Stendahl (JS) told me the he uses a shallow tray containing a sponge and fill with water. Just lay the trimmed decal face up on the sponge and the water will soak into the paper backer releasing the decal. It works wonderfully and no more fishing for decals in a cup of water.

Contact Coaster
Last revised on: March 2, 2004
Copyright © 1998-2003, Kenneth W. Hartlen. All rights reserved.

Home - News - Tips - Gallery  - Workshop - Kits - Links - What's New? - Site Index