Using Mod Podge on vinyl Decals
This entry was posted on April 1, 2014.
We recommend using Mod Podge to seal and protect the decals from abrasion damage, and this guide shows more details about using it. You can use just about any paint brush you like but we like the foam brushes. They have a nice even edge, and the price is right! Our bottle is matte finish, but glossy is good too!
Before applying the mod podge, we highly recommend sanding the band with the included sandpaper square. Occasionally there are slick coatings that won't come off with a rubbing alcohol wash and sanding the band takes care of it. You are not trying to remove material, just to roughen the surface.
Sand the entire surface, not just where the decals will be applied to make sure the mod podge bonds to the surface.
This is our definition of a medium coat, and we recommend five medium coats. They don't all have to go on before your child wears the band with decals applied. We recommend you apply the decals, and then apply the first two coats immediately after. The rest of the coats can wait till later.
Only the decals and the around the decals need Mod Podge, but aesthetics (particularly on clear helments) may dictate a uniform application on the band.
Mod Podge in this thickness dries pretty quickly. This picture was taken 5 minutes later.
The thickness we are looking for is when you take your fingernail and scrape along the band until you hit a decal, do you feel a sudden step that catches your fingernail, or does your fingernail keep sliding along?
We find that it is the forth coat that builds the Mod Podge up thick enough that a fingernail won't catch on the edge, and we recommend five coats to be sure. We recommend putting two on the day the decals go on, two the next day, and one the day after.
You have enough thickness when your fingernail keeps sliding and does not catch on the decal edge. While wearing the band, your child moves it against the fabric of bedding, rugs and furniture, and without Mod Podge, that fabric also can catch the decal edges and start lifting them up, breaking off fine points, or sanding the ink off the vinyl. Without Mod Podge protection, damage has been reported to happen with some children in just a few days. We have never had reports of damage from folks who followed the application instructions.
Every week or so we recommend applying another coat.
You will need to remove the Mod Podge and decals if changing designs. I generally is easy to take the Mod Podge off it is built up to the proper thickness. Just work an edge until you can start to lift it up, and it will remove easily in sheets. Mod Podge usually, but not always, removes without damaging the decals.
Mod Podge can be wiped with a wet cloth without it getting sticky or turning to goo, but it cannot be submerged in water for more than a few seconds or it will start turning white and eventually, goo.