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Full Version: How to weather-seal a photo print?
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There's a bloke in Missouri who had the clever idea of scanning the faded and rusty steel fascia in his old Ford tractor instrument cluster, photoshopping the scanned image to make it look like new, printing the image onto photo paper and adhering it to the fascia, thus visually restoring the instrument panel. I have an identical tractor and am in the midst of a restoration (that started out as a few repairs...), this bloke is kindly sending me a photo print to do the same with my instrument panel. His has been in place for about 2 years and he reports a small area where condensation has formed and caused the colour to run.
SO my question for the brains trust is does anyone know of a way to apply a moisture-proof barrier to a photo print without damaging it? My daughter cleverly suggested laminating but unfortunately the edges are visible so that's not going to work. I'm thinking maybe some kind of spray lacquer but hoping there may be some established process.
A friend of mine use to do custom guitar finishes and did a number that were essentially cloth. Once the cloth was in position, he would simply spray with two-pack automotive clear coat. He would build it up until it could be sanded and polished.

I'm not sure if you would need to find a clear lacquer that is UV stabilised, so that the print doesn't fade. Only time will tell on that one I guess.
I made a remote current control for a Miller welder, must be 30 years ago. Was before photo shop and printers were popular. I took the face plate off the welder and photo copied the section that had the current control then trimmed away what I didn't need and laminated it. Think I just trimmed the laminate to the size I wanted with no edges, still looks good but it lives in the shop now.
I would use automotive clearcoat. As Darren suggested, it is UV stabilized and you can apply as much as you want to build up the thickness. Unfortunately it's going to be a bit pricey for a one time use with the clearcoat, catalyst and reducer.

Maybe use a magazine picture and try a few different methods. When i saw this earlier, epoxy came to mind as a possibility.

What's the plane, glue photo on the sheet metal dash panel, then coat. Or have the photo coated and then mount it, dash flat or contoured?

The print is laser and not ink jet?

I figured it is probably best to glue it up and then coat it, as the edges need to be trimmed after mounting so best waterproofed after they are trimmed. The panel is flat, it's the piece at the top of this photo. There's a print for the tacho face as well.

This is how it looked a couple of weeks ago.

I've experienced severe 'mission creep' with this tractor project, started out as a few repairs and has turned into something close to a restoration.

Good idea to experiment on a magazine. Apparently there's a product intended to waterproof maps, might look for it.
As others have mentioned, make sure whatever you use is UV stabilized.
Have you given any thought to the wraps seen on cars. If the guy is sending you a file to print out. You just might be able get the what you need, that route, betting that could be UV safe.

If all you get is a print, photograph it, save as a jpeg, most common file. Get the wrap made that way.
I'll be getting a couple of copies of the print in the mail. Great idea to get it copied onto vinyl film.
(02-16-2018, 05:55 PM)PeteĀ O Wrote: [ -> ]I'll be getting a couple of copies of the print in the mail. Great idea to get it copied onto vinyl film.

The transfer to vinyl is a great idea, I'll need to remember that one.
Not sure about a 'commercial' print but the ones that are processed at your local drug store fade out sometimes.
I made one up for shift pattern of my old Jeep and affixed to the dash covering it with some adhesive film I had laying around.
It lasted about a year.

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