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Decal Application Instructions:

The design(s) are printed on a specially coated paper, a carrier (cover-coat, which disappears during the firing process) is printed over the design that allows the print to slide off after wetting.

  1. For best results clean the ware to be decorated before applying the Waterslide Decal transfers. The decorating surface must be clean and free from any grease, dust or dirt particles. This is to ensure proper firing and bonding between the decal and the surface/substrate. Any dust, dirt or chemical on your substrate will have an unwanted effect (blow outs) on the fired product.
  2. Carefully cut around the printed design (if provided on a full sheet) OR each decal will slide off the paper individually.
  3. Fully immerse the decal transfer in a shallow pan of clean cool water and soak for about 10 -15 seconds, so the paper is completely wet. Remove from the water and wait for 60 – 90 seconds or until the decal can be released from the backing paper (do not leave in water!).  Warm water can be used for molding the decal on irregular surfaces. The decal should easily slide away from the paper – avoid soaking the decal too long, otherwise it may release itself from the backing paper causing adhesive not to work and difficult to handle.  The soak water should be changed frequently to reduce impurities and water soluble gum that builds up in the water.
  4. The decal can now be applied to the ware (as printed, face up) in a couple ways.Method #1: (For Very Large Decals) Apply decal over the object face-up, and slip out the backing paper from underneath. Adjust the positioning of the decal on the ware/substrate and remove water using a rubber squeegee. (We recommend using a red potter’s rib you can purchase from Laguna Clay.) This is accomplished by patting down from the center toward the outer edges until all excess water has been removed and wrinkles and air bubbles have been smoothed out.Method #2: Remove 10 to 12 decal sheets from the pan and place them face-up on a coupe plate or shallow dish. Slide decals off the paper with a finger (do not “pick or lift”) and apply each individually to the ware. Straighten the decal and remove water as described in Method #1.
  5. When all of the decals from the top sheet have been removed from the backing paper, discard the backing paper and begin using the decals from the next sheet.
  6. Finish by wiping the top of the decal with a damp lint-free cloth(or paper towel) to remove any residual water. This is a very important step because water can leak back down under the decal. Using an external heat source, (ie, a heater) can help with a quick dry time, and less chance of water sneaking back under the decal.  When properly applied, a decal will not slide around on the ware; check thoroughly for air or water bubbles to avoid blowouts during firing.
  7. Allow decorated pieces to dry thoroughly. Allow to dry for at least 2 hours in a warm area or overnight before firing to allow all moisture to evaporate as any moisture left behind will cause blowouts in the design during firing.
  8. The transfer is now ready for firing. Allow sufficient spacing between your wares, to allow heat to circulate.
  9. Please make sure substrate is clean…remove all water and air between decal and substrate using a squeegee and do not RUSH to kiln, allow adequate time for decal to dry before firing….skipping any one of these steps will result in “blow-outs”.



Firing Temperature:

These temperatures are by no means absolutes and we therefore suggest that you request samples to try on your wares under your conditions.  Firing conditions and substrates will vary and will have varying results.

Always test fire one decal before production

Lower firing is for Glassware applications. 520º – 580º C (968º – 1076º F) or Cone 022 / 021

Holding peak temperature 10 – 20 minutes (longer depending on conditions and equipment)

Higher firing is for Ceramic/Porcelain applications. 735º – 770ºC (1360º – 1420ºF) or Cone 017.

Holding peak temperature 10 – 20 minutes (longer depending on conditions and equipment)

Highest firing is for In-Glaze (food safe) applications. 1186º – 1218ºC (2167º – 2225ºF) or Cone 5.

Holding peak temperature 10 – 20 minutes (longer depending on conditions and equipment)

For best results, allow decorated ware to thoroughly dry before firing.

Start kiln with lid cracked open about 2-3 inches until kiln reaches 750º (venting), at that point close lid completely.  When kiln reaches desire temperature, let kiln hold that temperature for 20-30 minutes before shutting off (soak cycle).   Let kiln slowly cool. This procedure should take 6-8 hours to complete. Under optimum conditions, the firing cycle should be slow and well ventilated.

We do not assume responsibility for damages cause by misfire and or application.

Please note that we cannot take responsibility for the lead and cadmium levels of the ceramic/glass decals when fired.  Unless otherwise stated, please DO NOT decorate on surfaces that come in contact with food or drink unless they are In-glaze decals.  Please see our regulations page.  If decals are used on food-bearing surfaces, we strongly suggest that the products be tested to comply with FDA and state rules.

Give us a call at 562-434-2711 or email us at [email protected]

Art Decal Enterprises

With over 72 years of experience. let us help you choose quality decals