Question: If varnish decals are supposed to be so durable, why do they seem to have to be replaced so often after "normal" use? Raleigh is not the only make that had problems wth varnish decals, Schwinn also!
It has also not yet been discussed that varnish decals can deteriorate when mixed with non-enamel paints - ie polyurethane paints like Dupont Imron or PPG Chromacolor. These paints can cause a chemical reaction from the catalyst chemically reacting with the decal while the paint is still curing up to one month after the paint application. Solvent based enamels which can take a long time to cure after painting can also cause a chemical reaction with varnish decals. If a frame has been painted and allowed to cure for several weeks, then you could consider applying the varnish decals... but there are no guarantees the decals will last!
The point is that if a vintage owner wants the hassle of applying original varnish decals, so be it and kudos if success is achieved applying them.
However, these are not easy to apply and they probably have only one set of originals - so does a one take a chance without prior experience? I wish them good luck!
Jim Allen wrote:
> Steve's description below of the Raliegh decals was true only for Raliegh's
> The varnish is not used to topcoat the decals. It is used as the adhesive to
> hold the decals to the frame. The excess varnish around the decal is then
> removed. The only time the varnish is seen is when the last coat of ink on
> the decal is clear and extends beyond the colored ink on the decal and is
> only seen on light colored frames in that instance.
> Varnish when applied correctly is a very tenacious glue, the decals won't
> come off easily once it has dried.
> Brian's description of the application of the decal is very good, and you
> SHOULD take him up on his offer of some scrap decals to try first.
> Jim Allen
> firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> > Hi Scott,
> > I am not sure that you want to go with clear varnish or varnish decals
> > because they varnish changes color over time and discolors the original
> > decals. Water transfer decals may be a better choice...
> > I own Raleigh frames where the decals became ruined over time (30 years)
> > because the factory clear varnish dulled the paint finish and weakened
> > the decals. Any attempt to remove the varnish removed the decals also.
> > Clear varnish for a topcoat is circa 50s - 70s and better paints that
> > can be custom matches and topcoats are currently available if this is
> > going to be a complete repaint. However, it depends on how close to
> > the original you want to get...
> > Regards, Steve Neago
> > aka Questor
> > scott davis wrote:
> > > I'm restoring an old Benotto and would appreciate any
> > > suggestions for applying varnish decals, including the
> > > best type of varnish for this. Thanks Scott