Making Your Own Custom Decals Pg.#7
After the mucilage sheet is completely dry, do not cut the decals out from the sheet until just before you want to apply them. This due to the fact mucilage paper attracts moisture. If the decals are left together on the master sheet, it will be less likely to curl and distort. As a mucilage page is handled, it must not be bent or creased. This will cause the decals to crack, and break apart.

If you notice cracks in a mucilage sheet, simply apply one additional coat of polymer to the decals, remembering to brush only in one direction. Allow adequate drying time if recoated.

When cutting the decal free from the mucilage page, be sure to trim closely to the image of the decal. Use of a razor sharp hobby knife is highly recommended as it will help prevent "burrs" from occurring across the cut paper edges. Use of a cork back stainless steel ruler will prevent the ruler from slipping as you stroke the knife down the edge of ruler. Making single stroke cuts will prevent damaging the image edges you are cutting close to. Care should be exercised to prevent moisture from contacting the mucilage paper prior to desired application time. Neatness will reward your efforts!!!

I want to discuss decal handling for a moment. After you have cut the decal from the mucilage sheet, cutting relief cuts within the decal image may increase the decals ability to lie down smoothly, and evenly. Be careful not to cut too far into an imaged area, as it is easily distorted and not easily reconstituted if it begins to break apart. Practicing this process is recommended because you do not want to be repeatedly reapplying decals and incurring unnecessary frustration on a scale airplane. A correctly applied decal will float on surface and be easy to press down with a Kleenex to absorb excess moisture. Removal of this moisture is necessary as when it evaporates, it will leave a frosty clear spot under the decal. Correctly applied decals are completely invisible when clear coated with clear paint.

Applying the custom decal is simple, yet requires patience. The custom decal is thin, very thin for a reason...so the carrier will be all but invisible when the decal is top coated with clear paint. Always place the decal in a container of water that is at least 4 times the size of the decal, yet it need not be any deeper than one (1) inch. A one (1) inch deep Tupperware container is an appropriate size. This will provide adequate room to grasp and maneuver the submerged decal paper with tweezers. Water temperature should be warm! This is important, keeping the decal pliable during the soaking phase. Water will soak in faster if warm. Allow adequate time for the water to soak in...yet, if left too long, the mucilage will dissolve and render the decal useless without slip and necessary adhesive to remain on aircraft surface.

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