Decals - Unders or overs

Kia ora Crew

Just wondering what is best when placing rice paper decals on the deck, is it better to go under both layers of cloth or between the layers? Is there chance of forming bubbles/ non-adherence either way, or does it not really matter?



It matters.  Always do it under.  Mix up a small batch of resin with catalyst if you are using UV resin for the lam.  If you try to do it between, you could end up with a dry lam under the rice paper.  The whole goal of doing it this way is to get a bond between the foam and layers of cloth.  Learned from the best, there’s always a reason they did it that way…  Just my 2c…

…on the DECK you should put the rice paper between the layers, on the first layer if you have more than 2.

I got told to do them under the glass by a guy with alot of experience. 

Lately I’ve been doing them using a patch of cloth on top of the lam.  I’ve been very happy with the results.  It’s an extra step but it’s worth it.

Pictures wouldn’t show the fuzz.  Not high enough resolution to put on the internet.  It is barely noticeable, but under one layer of glass is just sharper than under two or three.

For what its worth, I’m placing them under the lay-up. Lay out the cloth and trim to size. Roll it back carefully and mix a small batch or resin to wet the foam and underside of decal. Plonk it in place and “float” it to right position, extracting any trapped air bubbles. Then roll back cloth and lam.


BTW, is that Raglan as your profile pic?


Cheers! Mart 

If you do it under two layers, it will look a little fuzzy.  If you do it between, it is a little more work, and not as fast.  Lay out both layers of cloth, and roll one back.  Wet bottom layer of cloth and place the logo.  Roll out the top layer and wet out.  In a production seting minutes matter.  In a garage, quality matters more than time.


…hello Everysurfer, the thing is that the logos go (on the deck) onto the first layer due to couple of things: first if you put under 2 layers you do not have any fuzz as you say; seems that you do not know what you say (no offense man) or you are using second class fiberglass (but this is somewhat strange in these times…) or you do not have professional quality tinted logos…

I say this about under 2 layers cause sometimes you lam 3 layers, and like I mentioned in the other comment, still you place the logos onto the first layer, again, talking about the deck (I clarify this because seems that many guessers o not read all the comments…but post anyway). I make a living from building boards and pre internet thingy so if I have fuzzy logos, tiny bubbles, etc  I could not lam 3 layers like many long boards or toe in boards have; plus no more work would arrive here…

And the other factor that s very important is the fact that the bottom lap is somewhat gummy and when you place the first layer, more in case of 2 oz and 4 oz, that layer stick in some places to the lap and if you mess something and try to lift it to put the logos here and there you would finish with wrinkles, creases, etc in the cloth, etc

So quality matters in a custom wshop too.

Please show a photo with your logos to see the possible fuzz or lack of.

Hey Reverb I am pretty crap at glassing so I put mine under the two layers because when the decals go between the layers they tend to move around, go off center.  I would rather put it between as I know this is the go but…any glassing tips to stop the logo moving around under the glass??


When I was putting my logos under the lam job I was having problems with them moving off center and such.  I’m very anal about things like that so now I put them on top of the lam with a patch of 4oz cloth an inch bigger than the logo.  No problems with the logo moving doing it this way.  I also fear bleeding and doing it this way, if I ever do have a problem I would have a reasonable chance of correcting it without messing up the board.

…hello Marsh, in my opinion and in the opinion of almost all the glassers worldwide the DECK logos go onto the first layer, then you put the other layers.

But seems that here there s a confusion with the bottom logos…

It s really more “dangerous” to remove at ONCE the 2 or 3 layers than normally you have on the deck, getting the risk of have the first layer sticky to the bottom lap and messing everything.

I do not know why you get that moving man. Probably because you use too much resin and the logo is very thin. Cut the layers then slightly fold (without creases) or roll the top ones (depends on the logos placement) so you have one layer in contact with the foam then apply resin with small and bit hard squeegee in the area, let suck then you have a very thin “film” of resin (you should have a resin layer to prevent future bubbles after board is done and the hot Sun arrives…), so put the logo on top and pass the squeegee to flatten out; (if you have 6 0z or heavier put another thin coat of resin). No problems with any moving and bubbles that way, that by the way is the normal way.

Then lay out the other(s) layers, smooth out and lam.

On the deck logos go in between layers. I have worked with board builders around the world for over 30 years and have never seen anyone put logos on the foam on the deck, unless there is one layer. If using pigments, it is done with another step on top of lam.

Since 1960, in the era of standard double 10 oz volan glass jobs top and bottom, the decals/lams were always on the foam under the glass.     When properly done,(there is technique involved) they will not shift, move, or migrate.   I’ve observed this method at  G&S, Velzy, Hobie, Hansen, Surf Systems, and Surfboards Hawaii.   If you want to use a different method, go for it. Things change when you get into colored glass jobs.   Decals and Lams on the foam, under the glass, is the method I still prefer.

Since 1960, in the era of standard double 10 oz volan glass jobs top and
bottom, the decals/lams were always on the foam under the glass.    
When properly done,(there is technique involved) they will not shift,
move, or migrate.   I’ve observed this method at  G&S, Velzy, Hobie,
Hansen, Surf Systems, and Surfboards Hawaii. Just a bunch of old farts ,what did they know about anything anyway !!!

Randy’s right on this one.  When I was a kid in the 60’s everbody put them under both or all layers and they looked “fuzzy”  But since the 70’s or 80’s production/industry glassers all seem to be putting them between layers except on opaques or tints.  In that case a football sized patch is layed down over the lam.  Customers and shops are much more anal than they were back then.  They expect sharp logos and graphics and a very high quality finish over all.  If they are between layers they do look sharper and if squeegied properly saturate better, therefore less chance of bubbles.    Marsh —If the lam turns or moves, gets off center;  You are either leaving too much resin under the lam and it therefore floats while you are squeeging or you are pulling too hard with the squeege and moving the lam off center.  If you have trouble centering your lam;  Detemine the middle of the lam and then fold or slightly crease the lam at the middle.  You can see the fold and line it up on the stringer.  The Japanese hate crooked lams.

Everything was ‘‘fuzzy’’ in the 60’s, even into the 70’s and beyond.     Depends on how much a fellow smoked!     Don’t take it personal, it was the times.

Well Kingphin, you can take it from this thread that it doesnt really make a shit of difference for a back-yarder. Under, over, inbetween…what ever. 

Awesome crew, wow much discussion, appreciated.

Being a backyarder doing it for myself I’m not after top production asthetics, just what works and won’t effect the glass job. My issue I’m concerned about is I’m using UV glass for my first few boards and wonderingnig if the glass going off in and around my decal will be enough to set it under the decal. My design is real simple black and white which is mostly clear. Or will I need to mix a small batch of MEKP and paste the decals on the foam, and then glass as normal after that is hardened?

Thanks for the Intel crew, loving this site. Kia Ora

Hey Martymo. No that is not Raglan but one section of another long left hander on the West Coast of NZ. It’s about 3 - 4 x the length of Raglan when it’s all linked up. No need to start packing your boards and buying tickets over here thou, as it doesn’t happen that often, needs a massive southerly swell to really fire up. Chooo!