Waterslide decal paper is an amazing product to work with. The versatility of it is astonishing and the possibilities are endless. Not only does it broaden your crafting abilities, it is very user friendly. There are only a few common mistakes to avoid that will help make using waterslide easy for you.
Printing on the wrong side of the paper: I know this seems obvious but if you are new to waterslide paper you may not know what the right and wrong side is. Always print on the Shiny side of the paper.
Not sealing your image: When you print onto waterslide the ink is laying on top of the paper if you do not seal it, the ink will run off your paper when you place your decal into the water to activate the adhesive. Spray your image with three coats of an acrylic based clear spray paint to avoid having this problem.
Sealing with the wrong product: It is best to seal your image with a clear spray paint that has an acrylic base. I find that Rust Oleum 2X clear, as well as Rust Oleum Crystal Clear enamel are good options.
Placing in the wrong temperature water: It is best to place your decal into room temperature to lukewarm water. The colder the water the longer it may take for the adhesive to activate and warm to hot water may activate the adhesive faster; however, faster is not always better. Placing your decal into too warm/hot water can over activate the adhesive making it feel a bit slimy and you decal paper a bit flimsy. Using a cooler temperature water such as room temperature or lukewarm water is ideal for a better outcome.
Removing decal too soon: to avoid this, test your decal before removing it from the water. With your finger and thumb gently rub the top of the decal against the backing of the decal. If its edges and center of the decal slide with ease it is ready; if it does not slide with ease let it sit a bit longer and try again.
Removing entire decal from the backing to apply to your project: Be careful when doing this as it can cause your decal to curl onto itself. Once your adhesive is activated and your decal is ready to be applied place the backing of the decal flush with your project and slide it from behind the decal allowing the decal to fall straight onto your project from the backing.
Over working your decal: Over working your waterslide decal can cause cracking and tearing. To avoid overworking it have placement lined up before sliding it off the backing onto the project. You will also want to make sure that your project has some water on it to allow the decal to glide on smoothly. Never force your decal off the backing and always make sure you have enough water to work with.