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I got this idea when I knew I would have to wait for my truck decal wrap. I was all pissed when I knew I wouldn’t have the money but I really wanted some graphics on my ride so I came up with this. Now this is not a trial an error DIY I have been doing custom Die cast and decaling for going on about 5 years now and in that time I have worked out all the issues with paints, decal paper, clear coats. And all the other fun stuff. Some paints work better than others some clears react with the decal paper and paints and sometimes Murphy law prevails over all!!

This DIY is based on my years with working with common store bought paints and clear coats. I have never used professional paints and clear coats as I didn’t have real access to them. So if you chose to you my direction with your own items it’s all good. Plus I ordered and used a secondary gas door and not my primary. So if you chose to do this DIY I would get a second one. Saves you the trouble if it doesn’t work and saves me the headache of getting flamed by you on the boards!!

Thanks to phatnblazinrida for having one to sell to me!! Props up dude!!

Know a couple things and the supplies you need:

1)First know the image you want to use.
Very important as I bounced back and fourth on the ones I was going to use and for the most part that is what took the longest to do. The actual time to do this takes about 3 hours from start to finish. I rate this as a 7 only because rendering an image to print clean is very time consuming.

2) Tools of the trade:-Fine tweezers and possibly medium to large size tweezers. To help move the decal around your chosen area without getting any fingerprints on the paper. And the medium to large for the “If” factor

3) Decal paper. the stuff I used is a water slide Clear inkjet decal paper. There are 2 types of decal paper to use. Clear and white.

Clear will ONLY be visible when applied to light colors such White, light yellow, light blue etc. Much easier to work with but the down side is it cannot be used over darker colors. Your printed image will not show up

White is meant to be used over any color paint. It can cover over blacks, blues, greens any color really, the downside to this poop is that it’s thicker than clear and is not as easy to use as the clear. Clear being easier to use in that clear decal paper can be somewhat stretched if you cut the image too short and need cover a bigger area. White you cannot or at least I haven’t had much luck stretching white decal paper.

I am not going to get into the paper much as I have a huge FAQ/DIY on decaling and I will give links, to cut down on the length of this DIY.

4) Good graphics editing program (can anyone say Photoshop CS3?)

5) Printer (inkjet or laser)

6) Clear coat (your choice but I would recommend an automotive clear to finish with)

7) Extra gas door (optional…if you have the balls to use your primary without a fall back plan…. decal away!!)

8) General supplies: masking tape and scissors

That’s about it for what you many need.

Get Inkjet or Laser decal paper here:
Decal Paper :: Kustom Rides

That site has all info you need. Plus they have many cool paints such as 95% reflect ability chrome paint (Mirra Chrome), Candies and Pearl paints. It is man heaven!!! Tell them Exokutioner sent ya!! Lol

Here are some links to the finer points of decaling:
Diary of an Exokutioner (decaling 101)
diary of an exokutioner (decalling 102)
diary of an exokutioner (decaling 103)

If you have any more question on the decal paper email me….we’ll do lunch!!

Just a quick note
Now again I want to mention like I did with the DB drawer install that this procedure works for me. If you find this as a helpful guide and or direction that’s cool. Whatever items and supplies you have at your disposal go hard and use them. Best part of customizing is being able to use what you have rather than having to jump out to the closest AutoZone and or Lowes to get poop. (In Canada I don’t have either off!!) I love to see what I can use around the house to do my jobs.


Gas door Graphics

Step One: Image rendering/editing

I use Photoshop for all the imaging and photo editing I do. I have spent countless hours rendering images for decals for my custom Die cast work.
I started with Photoshop 5.5 and never looked back. There are other great image editing programs but I love this one.

Here is some of my work done with Photoshop:

More images here:
exokutioner - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The key to decaling for me is a good clean image. So when you are deciding on what image to use be sure it’s the highest quality as possible. Like a desktop or high res image. I have fond that scanning images is good as well. I have scanned many comic book covers with very good results. Photoshop has many options to resize and clean images sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do and how much time you spend rendering an image it just wont print clean, IE pixilated, graining and in some cases looks like a VCR filtered copy of older 70’s porn. And I am not joking!!
Just be sure that any image you use isn’t going to be larger than the print size.
Fig 1.0

Q: I know the question you want to ask is why all green tones?
A: 1-Camo metallic. 2-I though a colored image would be too much.

Now Murphy’s Law can prevail here in that sometimes making an image larger doesn’t affect its print quality but rather than rely on luck just be sure. Making an image smaller doesn’t affect the print imaging in fact most of the time it helps. It might all sound a little pretentious but you’ll see what I mean. Now the above image was my first choice but when it printed it came up with pixilation on all the major lines and just looked real bad so I dumped it for this one:

Fig 1.1

Now I made a couple changes and a lot of affects were added to this image. Many filter such as Gradient overlay (basically for a 2 tone background), Opacity (for ghosting the image 40%) and a couple more that gave me what you see above.

AS you can see Photoshop has and infinite number of options for editing an image as seen here in Fig 1.2 and Fig 1.3

Again I don’t want this DIY to get too long so I will leave imaging editing and rendering at that….I could go on for hours!! If you have any questions please contact me and will help the best I can!!

Step Deux: Prepping image for application.

Now this is what we have....
Fig 1.4

This is important step to applying the decal. if the image is not sealed to the paper as soon as you put the decal in the water the ink will run of and you will have a clean basically f*cking wasted piece of decal paper. To seal the image on the paper a couple thin but even shots of clear coat will work. I suggest 2 coats.

This is what use:
Krylon Triple Thick Crystal Clear Glaze Clear coat

Now I have used this for years and the Krylon has proven to be the best for covering the paper and sealing the image in place. I have yet to see it react with any paints, has a great "wet" gloss to it and it dries quickly and you can work with the decal in as little as 20 to 30 mins. I do recommend you use it in that time or wait to clear it till you know you are ready to decal. If you clear it and leave it for more than 24 hours the clear will fully harden and then it will just flake off. It won’t ruin your image but it is a pain because it all has to come off at that point. Good rule of thumb is if you apply the clear use it in the next 4 to 6 hours.

Sometimes on rare occasions I have encountered some issues with the ink running and just weird stuff happening. Such as blemishes, pin mark discoloration and over all imperfections. Sometimes the clear will uncover printing imperfections so be sure before you print that you clean the printer and do test prints. I say again do test prints!!! You can never do enough test prints and it will give you ideas on how the image will look and help to fix any issues that you can see on the screen. Even before I am pretty confident and I print on the decal paper I always print on a photo paper sheet just to be sure. That is the closest you can get to what it would look like on decal paper and will give you a pretty good impression of how it will turn out.

Step III: Gas door prep

I am not going to get too detailed about this as I think we all know what needs to be done here. Basically I masked off the back and sanded the front and sides to bare metal. Then a couple shots of grey primer, sanding between coats then 3 shots of white primer for a nice white background. I use clear decal paper so the background has to be white so your image will show. Just to be sure I then let it sit for 12 hours as per the paint instructions. The white primer I used said that I could work after about 1 hour but it also said the primer completely cures after 24. The primer used was just a store bought spray bomb that I have used on numerous occasions for my die cast work. Again use what you know. Always good to trust ones own instincts.

Step Four: Decal Application

Now to be sure we have a good fit for the door its time to trace on the image and size it to the door. I used a clear or in this case a yellow sheet of overhead projector paper or plastic. works great and props to my beauitful wife for thinking of it!!
Fig 1.5

Once the clear sheet is centerd to the image to your liking just simply trace it out.
Fig 1.6

Fig 1.7

Now we are ready to apply the decal to the door. at this point you have this?
Fig 1.8

Once you are happy with the position you need to get a flat surface that can hold water so you can lay the image flat so that the whole decal gets fully saturated with water. I used one on the wife's baking pans. Thanks Honey!!

OK Now be sure that you have all the tools you are going to need. Tweezers small to move the decal into place of the door and possibly large to take the decal out of the water, Remember the "If" factor?
Fig 1.9

Once in the water give the decal about a minute to seperate for the backing.
Once you can see it start to seperate take in out and place in on the door. Dont let the whole decal seperate from the backing, it will make it easier to move the decal around on the door. be sure to put some water on the door face just so the decal will move easier than if it were dry.
Fig 2.0

As seen in Fig 2.0 line up the decal as best you can then just pull on the decal backing.

Now the pain in the butt part. To be sure no air bubbles for have a good light soruce around you and start to look at it from all angle to be sure. i used a little squeegie thing I got for fathers. its for wiping off the excess water from your box after a wash. This thing worked great and i am sorry i dont have a pic of it.

Now we have laied down the decal and for the most part it looks good


Fig 2.1

So to fix the fact that my beauitful lovely sexy wife cut the decal too small we have to do some stretching. this is why i like the clear decal paper. as it very pyable. So now all we need to do is with dry fingers gently but firmly push the decal towards the edge and you will notice it slowly start to move. now if you coated the decal paper twice with the krylon then the image should be cool and shouldnt rub of when pushing. DONT WORRY the decal paper is pretty tough and will stretch. it may take some time but be sure the decal stays moist. if it dries up a little you risk ripping the image when pushing. remember moist surface dry fingers.

Once all the edge are covered and air bubbles are out just be sure to give it a once or 5 time over just to be sure. good lighting or sunlight helps here. once it drys all the mistakes, bubbles and imperfections come through so just be sure because there is no going back from here. You have about an hour or so to go back and fix any issues. Just simply water down the decal again and you should be able to move and or fix an problems

we are almost done......!!
Fig 2.2

Step Five: Clearcoating door.

Now that we have apply the decal and it is dry, 1 to 2 hours from now, you are ready to clearcoat and seal the decal onto the door.

Fig 2.3

Be sure that the clear coat you use can hold up to the elements. I have never used the Krylon for anything other that my diecast and those are not exposed to anything but dust and maybe sunlight. I used a spray bomb automotive clearcoat I bought from a place called Canadian tire (Like a Pep Boys or CSK Auto Store). Because I have never used this stuff I tested how it would react with the Krylon and it. no issues I could see so I sprayed away.

I went with 2 light coats, waited about 30 mins between coat as per instruction, they hit 2 more coats this time going on thick. the 2 thick coat i did after 24 hours. At the time of this DIY it hadnt dried so i dont have any pics of the final product but if the mods would be graceous enough to just leave the DIY open til the weekend I will post up a picture of the finished product!!

Thanks for the view thats it, any question hit me up at:
[email protected][/quote]
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