So there I was, with nothing but a stained, bare wood, guitar headstock. So I fired up Google and began my quest to figure out how to get a professional looking logo on this headstock. After a little research, I found that something called “waterslide stickers” would be my best bet. Clear waterslide stickers paper may be purchased from a variety of sources, and can be printed on by a standard inkjet printer.
So I made my logo in Photoshop, by scanning my signature, and tweaking it for cosmetic purposes. I also added the model designation “KP-1″, for Kaoss Pad 1st attempt. After I followed the directions, I had a sheet of various sized logos to fit to my headstock!
Since I’ve never used waterslide decals before, I decided that I had better practice before trying them on the real thing.
I had a scrap piece of wood that I’ve been testing my paint sprayer setup on, and I figured it would be a good candidate for a trial run. After the first try, following the waterslide instructions, it actually looked pretty good! Ok, off to the races.
Researching waterslide stickers, I found that they adhere best to a lacquer finished surface. So I masked the neck of the guitar so that the overspray didn’t coat the fretboard.
I won’t bore you with the details, but this is a shot of the lightly lacquered guitar headstock. I have to say, the stain tinted it perfectly!
After waiting a few hours for this coat of lacquer to dry, I went ahead and put the waterslide sticker on the headstock. I couldn’t take any “during” shots, as this is a time sensitive process that takes about 2 minutes to complete. Just head over to YouTube and search for waterslide sticker tutorials, and you can find plenty of resources to show you how this is done.
Since water is used to apply this sticker (hence the name waterslide sticker), I waited about 24 hours for the headstock to completely dry. As I’ve learned through the course of this build, water is the enemy of acrylic lacquer! Here’s the [nearly] finished product, with a few coats of lacquer over the sticker. Over the next few days, I’ll have to build up the lacquer surface a bit, so I can sand it level and polish. You see, there is an ever so slight, height difference between the headstock’s wood surface, and the sticker itself. You can’t see it in this shot, but trust me, it’s there.
Here’s another shot of the 3/4ths completed headstock, with logo in place. Let me tell you, after months of worrying about what I was going to do about this particular piece of the project, it actually turned out to be one of the easiest!