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MMD > Archives > July 1999 > 1999.07.13 > 11Prev  Next

Dry Transfer Decals
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  I have yet to have any difficulties with transfer decals
like the ones sold by Decals Unlimited.  I find that they lay quite
flat, are thinner than varnish-type decals and are therefore easier
to 'hide'.

What do I mean by 'hide'?  After I apply the decal, I put a few more
coats of finish on the piece.  In fact, I apply enough finish so that
when I'm done with the job, the wood looks like glass, and there is no
evidence that there is a decal under the finish when looking at the
piece from the side (or across the top of the piece).  Naturally, this
requires careful sanding in between coats and you do have to develop
a feel for the finish so you don't burn through to the decal.

The largest transfer decal (approx. 14" X 7") I ever worked with is
on the inside of the top of a player belonging to a customer in Boston
The decal was custom made at a cost of $350.00, so I was quite anxious
when it came time to apply it to the piece.  Starting in the center and
working out, I burnished every tiny square millimeter very methodic-
ally.  Then I burnished it again, just to be sure.  I can tell you
I was sweating as I started to lift the paper away from the decal.  But
it all went exceptionally well, and I wiped my brow and breathed a sigh
of relief.  To view the results, see

And for a view of all the pictures of the resurrection of the instru-
ment, you can view each photo separately in the sub-directory at

I will agree with those who say that the gold color isn't gold enough,
but can you imagine how expensive the above decal would have been if
it was a varnish type decal?  I shudder at the thought.  I really like
dry transfer decals.


John A. Tuttle

(Message sent Tue 13 Jul 1999, 12:46:19 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Decals, Dry, Transfer

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