Waterslide Decal Paper Defined
Waterslide decal paper is a specialty paper that is activated when placed in water. It is composed of a thin film with a backing sheet attached to it. After being printed and sealed by an aerosol sealant spray, the decal in placed in water and the backing slides off and the sticky dextrose on the back of the decal is activated and ready to be stuck to the item of choice (i.e. Yeti Tumbler).
Water slide decals are extremely thin and provide a “painted-on” look that can be printed to a very high resolution. Printable vinyl is thicker and more durable; however, the seams show more than waterslide decals and they are higher profile. Waterslide decals are not recommended for heavy use applications, as they can be scratched or peeled off with mild effort. Most crafters place the decal on then seal over top with a clear casting resin, which make their artwork nearly indestructible. Waterslide decal paper is very popular among custom tumbler creators.
Types of Waterslide Decals and Advantages of Each
There are two different variations of waterslide decal paper. Clear waterslide decal paper has a clear background to be printed on and is useful for white or light-colored backgrounds because the background will be clear and will blend in with the surface that it is being placed on.
White waterslide decal paper is best used on darker backgrounds; however, the white areas of the decal will be displayed in contrast against the dark item. The application process is the same for clear and white waterslide decal paper.
Waterslide decal paper for inkjet printers is different than waterslide decal paper for laser printers. The packaging should tell you which type of printer the waterslide paper is made for, so be sure to buy the correct type for your printer.