Oct 01

Water Transfer Printing At Home

Transfer printing is quite popular these days. This printing method offers an easier way to update the look of practically just about anything – from boats to trucks to mugs to hunting equipment. You can either purchase a ready-made design to transfer to the object of your choice or you can also make your own design right in the comfort of your home. Before, heat transfer printing was the method of choice but these days, more and more people are getting interested in water transfer printing.

More often than not, water transfer printing involves using custom water slide decals in applying images to flat and hard surfaces. This kind of decal needs to be exposed to water so you can peel it from its protective backing (which is made of paper), just like its name suggests. You can either purchase ready made water slide decals or you can also make one at home. If you are after a unique design, you might want to customize your own decals.

There are different things you will need in making water slide decals at home. The things you will need include a graphic design or desktop publishing software, a printable water slide decal paper, printer, cardboard, decal fixative spray, scissors, water, container, towel, decal applicator squeegee or rubber spatula, paper towels, resin sealer, mask, and gloves.

The first thing you will need to do is to select an image you will use for your water transfer printing project. You can either scan a photograph or search for a picture on the internet. You will then need to make the necessary adjustments to the image so it can properly fit on the surface where you will be placing it. Then, you will need to print the design into the decal and apply four coats of decal fixative spray on it. Let it dry and cut it our. You will then need to place it in warm water for about 20 to 45 seconds.

Now you are ready for some water transfer printing. Simply place the decal on the preferred surface, slide it from its paper backing to the surface, and position it well with wet fingertips. Sweep it gently with a squeegee or rubber spatula to keep it free from having bubbles. After the transfer is complete, apply a resin sealer on the design so you can save the design from cracking, fading and peeling.


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