Waterslide Decal - White Ink Printer for Home Use?


Sr Member
I'm interested in acquiring a printer that can print white decals on clear water-slide stock.

Does anybody know of a printer that exists... that is reasonably priced? From my understanding the go-to back in the day was an ALPS printer, but they're hard (impossible?) to come by in Australia.

Would like to open this up to discussion. I'm sure many of us have come across a situation where we needed to use white decals, but perhaps had to have them custom made...


Master Member
From everything I have ever hear, it has been impossible to print white on clear waterslide decal paper at home. I contacted numerous waterslide paper companies to ask if they could tell me how to do it, and they have all said you need to have them professionally made, by professional printers or silk-screening process.


New Member
Yeah, when you get "professional" waterslide decals from a model kit, they are printed using offset lithography. You can load any color ink you want, white included. For home use, the only method I know is with an Alps printer.

The MD-1000 is the cheapest one. It has a max DPI of 600 and you have have to swap between colors since it only holds 4 cartridge at a time, CMYK or CMYW for example, but it should be good enough. The MD-5000 is better with max DPI of 2400 and can hold all the carts at the same time. Both printers also require a parallel port and windows XP. The MD-5500 was the last one made, it has USB and can work on Windows 7 (maybe 10?), but it is crazy expensive. The other two are usually around $250, $700 USD respectively.

To get around in the past, the one time I had too use a white decal... I printed my decal normally on transparent, then painted the back of the decal white behind my design. Then I relied on Microset to adhere the decal to the surface before setting it with Microsol. It worked perfect, but it was time consuming. That also only works if you have a hybrid color/white design. If your design is all white.... you are just painting at this point.


Master Member
HP has a printer that you can use ghost white ink (I meant toner) ad other manufacturers are starting something similar, but they are not cheap.
For now, the best way is to go to a print shop that can print UV white ink on a flatbed. Usually print shops will have a set up fee and it might not be worth it unless you print a whole sheet (4'x8'). Most, if not all white UV inks contain Titanium powder, and depending on the printer, may have to do 2 passes of white so that there is less translucence. Generally the print shops probably won't have waterslide decal paper.

Unfortunately there currently is no manufacturers that want to remake a version of the ALPS printer. You may be able to buy a used one, but even they're going up in price.

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Master Member
There is no ghost white ink that I'm aware of, it's a toner for certain model laser printers. It's used in place of the black toner, so anything black in your artwork is printed in white.




New Member
I wonder if using white decal paper to print your design and then using a vinyl cutter/cutting plotter to cut/score the paper would work? You’d be handing a delicate decal once wet but could work?


Master Member
I see this thread is about to hit 2 year old, but, someone might still be interested to know.
Back when I was working on my Starcraft battlecruiser, I wanted the base to have a solid white decal over a dark gray. Seeing how white ink is pretty much impossible to have, I tried another way.

It WOULD have gone in this area in the middle.

To do it, I used white decal paper and printed just the outline, but being such an oddly shaped design, I knew it was going to be extremely difficult to cut out, set, and lay down. I actually had 5 on the paper incase I messed up.

All 5 ended up looking like this. I just couldn't get it to lay down right and smooth out. So I had to try a different way.

I ended up masking a little around the edges and painting it all white and then printing the logo as black on clear decal paper. Tried cutting it out to the white part, but edges got messed up a bit, but over all, it did work, just not what I had first envisioned.

I suppose if you have something needed to be white and the design wasn't so crazy looking like mine, it could work with patience.


Master Member
There is another way. You could design the decal on white film and colour the outside areas with as close approximation as you can to the base colour. Its a hit and miss way of doing it, even on black. You'd be going through a lot of decal paper printing out swatches, but at least you'll have a non-see-through white with a close background colour.

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