What is a Water decal?

What is a water decal?

Water Decal is a fairly easy technique of transferring a print (or an image) onto any hard surface: wood, metal, glass, plastic or wax.
All you really need is sharp scissors and a bowl of water.

 

Wikipedia describes Water Decals as following:

…it is a plastic layer that has printed on it an image that can be moved to another surface upon contact, with the aid of water.

The word is short for ‘decalcomania’, which is the English version of the French word ‘décalcomanie’. The technique was invented by Simon François Ravenet, a French engraver who later moved to England and perfected the process he called “decalquer” (which means to copy by tracing); it became widespread during the decal craze of the late 19th century.

Water slide decals are thinner than many other decorative techniques (such as vinyl stickers) and as they are printed, they can be produced to a very high level of detail.

Water decals can be used on basically every reasonably smooth, non-porous surface – from metal, glass plastic and wood all the way to a polished wax (i.e. wax candles) or a soap.

We started using water decals professionally during vintage furniture customisation and makeover jobs we used to undertake for Touch the Wood – Shabby Chic Furniture Restoration.

We mastered technique of print transfer on furniture and we know that this is one of the best method giving the best, crisp quality of print.

 

 

Try it yourself – make your own water decal

Quoting Wikipedia again:

Until recently, water slide decals were professionally printed and only available in supplied designs, but with the advent of printable decal paper for colour inkjet and laser printers, custom decals can now be produced by the hobbyist or small business.

And here we step into action: you can buy blank water decals for your own DIY projects from us. Creating one is fairly easy, you can have a look at our online tutorial on this subject.

 

 

Some examples

Below you can have a look at few examples of water decals in action – all the graphics were created and applied by us.

 

Example of our Blank Water Decal Paper Sheets Print Transfers in action - Shabby Chic nest of tables with French 'Vins and Spiritueux' transfer
Example of our Blank Water Decal Paper Sheets Print Transfers in action - chest of drawers no #001 with victorian clock face grafic transferred onto top of it.Example of our Blank Water Decal Paper Sheets Print Transfers in action - Shabby Chic nest of tables with French 'Haute Couture' transferExample of our Blank Water Decal Paper Sheets Print Transfers in action - Shabby Chic nest of tables with sack of grain transferExample of our Blank Water Decal Paper Sheets Print Transfers in action - Shabby Chic nest of tables with French 'Queen Bee' transferExample of our Blank Water Decal Paper Sheets Print Transfers in action - chest of drawers #002 with a print of Corset EmilyExample of our Blank Water Decal Paper Sheets Print Transfers in action - single table with Jn Giraud Fils, vintage perfume maker from France advert