SuperCal® Ink Jet Decals - FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions & Answers


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Q
I purchase ink jet decal paper from another company. I am very unhappy with the
results. It just doesn't work as advertised. How do I know that your product is different?
A
Steve Singer, the President of Micro Format, invented SuperCal and
the process of using decal paper with a color ink jet printer.
Unfortunately there are companies who have unsuccessfully tried to copy
the SuperCal system. We cannot be blamed for their failure to make a product
that works!
The SuperCal Decal System works! Try it for your self and compare it to any
other "so called" ink jet paper available. You'll be amazed at the results.

Q
Can SuperCal® Decal paper be used in a Laser Printer?
A
SuperCal® Decal Paper is designed for use in COLOR INK JET PRINTERS.
It will also work in a Laser printers.


Q
I can no longer find Last Step Decal Spray. What should I use
A
We discovered that you can use any clear Urethane Spray to seal SuperCal Decals. It is less expensive to purchase this spray in any hardware store than it was for us to manufacture the Last Step Spray.


Q
I am trying to use your product to print yellow lettering on a black background.
I am not having any luck. When I remove the slide the lettering is too faded
to be able to be seen. What can I do ?
A
The problem you are having is due to the fact that the ink used in color
ink jet printers is transparent. Thus when you put a clear SuperCal Decal
on a dark background, the background shows through the ink making the decal
seem to disappear.
This is the reason we invented the White SuperCal Decal Product.
The white pigment in the decal film acts as a barrier to prevent the color
of the background to show through the decal.

When you make your design, print a black background on the Screen.
Next drop your yellow niumbers on the black background.
Print on the White SuperCal Decal Sheet.
After printing, spray the sheet with Last Step Decal Spray.
When dry, cut around the yellow letters leaving a thin black border.
Place into water briefly and remove.
Wait about 30 seconds and the thin decal film will begin to slide
along the paper backing. Slide into position and let dry.
The thin black background will blend into the background color
appearing as a shadow,

Q
Will SuperCal® Ink Jet Decals adhere to metal?
A
SuperCal® Decals can be used on Metal, Glass, Plastic, Ceramic,
Finished Wood, Eggs, Mylar Balloons, Candles and many more surfaces.

Q
I would like to know how to use this Supercal paper to put on tiles. I am making coasters using 4x4 tiles and I keep getting a lot of bubbles underneath the decal when I put decals on tiles.
How do I go about eliminating the bubbles?
A
I too have had problems putting down a larger decal.
Assuming the tile is white, try using a CLEAR SuperCal Decal.
Print the image as a "reverse image" on the sheet.
After printing, spray with Last Step Spray. Then cut the decal to size.
next wet (dampen) the tile. Place the dry decal sheet face down onto the tile
in the proper position. Now wet the back of the decal sheet.
I use a wet paper towel and blot the water onto the decal paper.
Make sure you wet the entire deal paper. Let it sit for about 20-30 seconds.
The paper backing should begin to slid off the decal,
leaving the decal in position on the tile. Carefully rub on the decal
to remove any air that may be under the decal.
You probably won't have anything to rub out.
This should solve you problem.

Q
Can I put an acrylic coating over SuperCal® Decals?
A
YES. You can place the same coatings over SuperCal® decals as you can over any other water slide decal.

Q
Is there a recommended solvent for removing old SuperCal decals?
The decals are applied to a powder-coated surface, and have not been
over sprayed with any kind of top coat or sealant. These originals are
scratched and I want to put on fresh decals in the same location.
A
I have used a product called "Goof Off".
This product comes in a pink bottle and is water-soluble spray.
It seems to break down the adhesive. The more concentrated product in the
small bottle also works but the spray seems to work best.
It is available in hardware stores.
I think any of the liquid "label remover" products will probably work.

Q
Why are the SuperCal® Decal Sheets so small?
A
SupeCal® Decal Sheets are 5-1/2" x 8-1/2"
There are a few reasons for this size.
Before you can spray, you need to print images over the entire sheet.
Once you spray the sheet, you cannot print any more images.
It is more cost effective to use a smaller sheet - less waste.
This size sheet can be printed using all of the popular color ink jet printers.

Q
How to I print larger images?
A
We suggest that you "tile" the image.
Printing a number of sheets for a larger image

Q
Can I use SuperCal® Decal Paper without the Last Step Decal Spray
A
You must spray the SuperCal® Decal Sheet after you print with a
color ink jet printer. Last Step Decal Spray is actually one of the coatings
which is on the SuperCal® Ink Jet Decal paper.
When you spray, you are sealing the ink between the coatings on the paper
and the coating in the spray.

Q
Can I use SuperCal® Decals on Wood?
A
SuperCal Decals will hold to "finished" wood.
They will not adhere to an unfinished "raw" wood surface.

Q
Can I use SuperCal® Decals on Cloth?
A
No

Q
Can I use SuperCal® Decals on Skin ... like a tatoo?
A
No (and yes) -
Decals will not stick on skin without the use of another type adhesive.
Be sure to check out Super Color® Body Art Tattoos.

Q
Will the SuperCal system work for larger decals
(bicycle or riding toy for 3 year old)?
A
You can print a SUperCal decal as large as the sheet of SuperCal Decal Paper
5-1/2" x 8-1/2". The problem is the same as you would have with any large decal,
sliding the very thin film on to a surface. It can be done.

Q
Can I overcoat SuperCal® Decals once they have been put on an object?
A
Yes .. After the decal has dried, you can over spray with a coating of
Last Step Decal Spray OR with any spray you would normally use over a decal
including urethane spray.

Q
I am having a problem after following the directions for water slip
decal. The decals peel off before or after it is dried. I've tried
following the directions as indicated. What am I still doing wrong?
A
It sounds like you may be leaving the decal in the water too long,
washing off all of the adhesive.
Try this. After you cut around the design ... place the decal in the water
for about 2 or 3 seconds, making sure the entire decal is wet.
Then remove the decal from the water. Wait about 30 to 40 seconds with
the decal out of the water. The decal film will begin to slide over
the backing paper. Now slide into place and let dry.
I think this should solve the problem. Once the decal has dried in place,
you can over spray the project with the last step decal spray.
This will help seal the decal to the surface.
If you are working on a model car ... be sure to mask the windows
before over spraying,

Q
How do I protect SuperCal® Decals from fuel.
I need to put deals on rockets and model airplanes.
A
You can spray SuperCal® Decals with the same spray you would use to protect
any other decal used in this situation.

Q
Can I use SuperCal® Decal on my car (or motorcycle)
A
Yes ... HOWEVER
Realize that the ink used in color ink jet printers may fade from bright sunlight
This is due to the ink ... not the SuperCal® Decal material

Q
Why when I dip the decal in water, the image seems to bleed part of the colors? I love your product, but sometimes seem to have trouble with this. Does it matter how long you have the decal spray, does it get old?
A
It sounds like you have not put enough spray on the decal sheet.
You need to spray the sheet until it has a shine. But be careful not to flood
the sheet. My suggestion is to put on two or three light coats.
Wait a about two to three minutes before applying the next coating.
The sheet should shine when coated properly. Then it will be completely sealed
and will not run when placed into water.
I really don't think it has anything to do with the age of the spray.
I have recently used cans from our first production run manufactured over
4 years ago without a problem.

Q
I know your paper is 5.5x8.5 or half sheet, but what is the A size designation.
My printer does not seem to want me to use custom sheet size and wants the info.
I know it is a standard size paper, but can't remember what it is.
Thanks
A
You mention "A" paper. We sell an A4 paper. This is an international size
... 8.25" x 11.7"
There are a number of ways to print on a 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" sheet of SuperCal Paper.
I happen to use a HP printer. When I design my sheet, I use a regular
8-1/2"x11" setup on the screen. I then place all of the graphics to be printed
in an area up to 5-1/2" from the left edge of >the sheet ... nothing right of
5-1/2". I do the same 8-1/2" down the sheet with nothing below 8-1/2".
Then when I print, I don't change anything relative to the page size.
I put the sheet into the printer (up side down) to the right edge of the feeder
tray. The paper feeds and since there is nothing to print in the areas outside
of the 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" sheet, the printer prints perfectly.

I have been told that some people actually tape the 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" sheet to a
piece of 8-1/2" x 11" plain paper. Then they feed it into the printer after
having designed the graphics in the area in which the sheet has been taped.

Others set the page size to 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" ... design the grqaphics and place
the sheet in the center of the paper feeding tray. You have to also set the
paper size o 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" --- sometimes this has to be done under
"user defined" paper size. You must make sure that the size in the printer
setup IS THE SAME as the size for the page setup.

Q
Reading your FAQ's gave me a great deal of information,
however, I noted when asked about decals for motorcycles you said the
"ink in inkjet printers may fade from bright sunlight."
Would an additional application of "Last Step Decal Spray" help
alleviate this problem?
A
Unfortunately no. We have not found any product that
successfully blocks UV to prevent fading.
I believe this problem will have to be solved by the ink manufacturers.

Q
Can I use SuperCal® Decals to make mugs with photographs
A
Yes ... HOWEVER
Hand wash - SuperCal® Decals are not dishwasher safe

Q
Can I use SuperCal® Decal in a kiln
A
NO
The ink used in color ink jet printers will burn up when put into a kiln

Q
Can I use SuperCal® Decal on Lexon RC models
A
Yes ...
You can place SuperCal® Decals on the inside of the model and then paint
over the decal.
We suggest using White SuperCal® Decals for this application
Print a NORMAL image ... it is not necessary to print a mirror image ...
place the decal printed image up against the surface.
SuperCal® Decals, will hold from either side.

Q
Can I use this product on the headstock of a guitar and spray over it with
lacquer?
A
Yes ... this is an excellent way to put a custom logo on your guitar.

Q
Can I use decal "softeners" with SuperCal® Decals
A
Yes ...
When placing on a railroad car for example
Be sure to put the softening liquid down on the surface first -
then place the decal on to of the liquid.

Q
I bought a Kit SP3076 from a Hobby Shop in Millvale PA.
He said this was for making white decals. I think he made a mistake.......
from looking at your website. Can you tell me if I can make white decals
with this kit or not?
A
Our WHITE SuperCal Decal kit is used for making decals that are placed on
a dark background. It is also used when the decal has white in the image.
The way to make white decals is by printing a block of color on our WHITE
SuperCal Decal Paper, the same color as the surface onto which the decal
will be placed. Place your image and/or letters in the middle of the color block.
After printing, spray with a clear urethane spray. Let dry.
Cut around the image leaving a thin colored border around the image.
Place into water. Slide the decal in place on the project.
The thin colored border will blend into the background color on the project.

Q
WHITE ... How do I print white letter on SuperCal® Decal Paper
A
You cannot print the color white with your color ink jet printer.
For this reason we created WHITE SuperCal® Ink Jet Decal Paper.
To make this product we put a white pigment into the decal film.
To print WHITE LETTERS and NUMBERS
-- or to print graphics which have white areas --
on the screen create a block (rectangle). Next color the block the same color
as the color of the surface on to which you will be placing the decal.
Next type the words on top of the colored block.
Make the words white on the screen.
If you are drawing a graphic, place it on top of the colored block.
Next, print on WHITE SuperCal® Decal Paper. After you spray, cut around the image
leaving a small colored border around the "white" letters or graphic.
When you slide the decal onto the surface, the colored border will blend into
the color of the surface, appearing like a small shadow.

Use WHITE SuperCal® Decal Paper when printing photographs which will be put on
any surface other than white.


Q
Hi, I've recently purchased white supercal decals and wondered if it's
possible to get photo realism with a high quality epson printer? I was told by a photographer that the printer will only print as good an image
as the paper will allow. Is the Supercal paper as capable as the the
photo paper for high quality images?
A
Just like high quality photo paper, SuperCal Decal Paper has been coated with
special ink jet coatings so that you can print the highest resolution photos
using your color ink jet printer. The photographer was partially correct.
While the printer will only print as good a quality as the paper will allow ....
the image will only be as good as the ink jet printer can print.


Q
Hoping you can help me resolve some problems.
I own an Epson 2200 and followed all directions, including glossy paper setting, highest photo quality, etc.
My images are blurred, and the rollers are pulling the ink off as it goes thru.
A
SuperCal Decals were first introduced back in 1998.
At that time and for the next 4 years ... SuperCal Decals worked great on all color ink jet printers.
Over the past year to year and a half all of the ink jet printer companies have contined
to change their ink configurations to a point where some of their inks ONLY work with their
specific brand paper. Since the ink in the various models are all different and continue to change,
today it is difficult to determine which products work with which inks.
Unfortunately my only suggestion is that if you have one available, try a different printer ...
preferably one from a different manufacturer.


Do you have a question which needs to be posted?
Please send us an e-mail
FAQ@supercaldecals.com



SuperCal® is registered in the United States Trademark and Patent Office.

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Micro Format, Inc. ~ All Rights Reserved
Wheeling, IL 60090