Clear coating over decals, possible solution and ?'s

cls74

New Member
May 24, 2008
43
0
0
Springfield, IL
I just received my decals today and think I found the solution for a gas resistant clear coat. A product called Spray Max 2k. It is a 2 part catalyzed clear coat that comes in an aerosol can. You have to burst an inner bladder to activate the hardener, have read nothing but good things on it in my searches. Kinda pricey, even more so to pay hazmat shipping online, but hoping to find it locally in the morning.

For those that have used it or any other clear coat for that matter, does the factory black paint on the tanks react adversly to clear coating? Once this brand of clear coat is activated it has to be used in 24hrs or less, hoping to avoid wasting my time and money if possible. I really don't want to repaint the tank, but if I must, so be it.

Second question would be about the decals. They are a grayish black on a reflective white vinyl. Was wondering if anyone has cleared over a reflective decal? I'm hoping it will still retain it's reflective capabilities when all is said and done.

Thanks for any information and/or advice
 

Ghost0

New Member
Mar 7, 2008
764
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Bellingham, WA
You should have no problem with the decal as long as the paint won't attack the ink on the decal. I use 2 part clears as well but automotive urethanes. If you are worried about the decal this is what I do. Since your 2 part paint will last 24 hrs in the can, I would lightly fog on the first 2 coats of clear. To do this keep the spray about 2 feet from the tank and spray one very light coat, it won't look good but you are just trying to seal the ink on the decal. Let it dry for an hour or 2 and repeat. Once you have these two or three fogged on coats and they are dry, then you can start laying down your glossy coats. You should have no problem with the stock tank paint. Just make sure you scuff it with scotchbrite or 600 sandpaper and degrease with rubbing alcohol or some automotive paint degreaser.
 

cls74

New Member
May 24, 2008
43
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0
Springfield, IL
Just thought I would update this thread now that it is finished.

I went ahead and took the tank down to bare metal and primed it. Once primed I put the decals on using a hair dryer to help smooth wrinkling and masked over. I used an exacto knife and traced the edge of the decals before painting. I was hoping to use a couple layers of paint as well as the clear coat to achieve a smooth surface. Once painted I removed the masking tape and started the clear coat. The decals didn't turn out completely smooth so it wasn't a total success, but all in all I am happy with the end result.

used the flash on this one to try for reflectivity:


same side without flash:


Skull from ebay epoxied to gas cap:


Right side of tank:


These are 2 weeks after paint and I have intentionally and unintentionally got gas on the surface. So far so good, clear coat hasn't faded or dulled.
 

eDJ

Member
Jul 8, 2008
530
0
16
Wayne National Forest
In the past I've seen special decal coatings that were used to apply over a decal and seal it.
Then a clear coat could be applied over that within 24 hours so that it would all dry clear and
even. Decal makers, silk screen shops and Sign & Screen supply companies will likely have
something suitable.

Next to that find an old sign shop and talented lettering painter. There are still many around in
the trade. There are a couple industry trades magazines with "Signs of the Times" in Cincinnati, Ohio
being one of the oldest. You can find shops near you thru them.

If you want a "Gold Leaf" job get ready to shell out some REAL MONEY. But there are Faux Gold
substitutes for real gold that will serve as acceptable substitutes. Decals are probably the most cost
effective way to go and a decal sealer may be necessary so the paint doesn't interact with it.
 

A_DangerrX

New Member
Jun 19, 2009
18
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0
Connecticut
Nice job on the tank!
Just for the record, I've had really good luck with good ol' Rustoleum on the gas tank... the cap of the tank was always leaking, and that "Flat Black Protective Enamel" I had the tank painted with never came off. Even their new stuff with the metal flakes in it seems to hold up pretty well.