How to apply lettering to kayak?

I have been thinking I would like to include a name on the 16LT I am building. 

Wondering if there is a cool way to get some cursive script under the finish. 

I have know you can order vinyl lettering various places on line, but wondering if you can put it on the wood before fiberglass?  Or maybe on the epoxy before varnish?

Slapping it on once the varnish is done is not appealing to me, and there is no way I am going to paint it on free hand.

Appreciate any pointers/tips/advice.


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RE: How to apply lettering to kayak?

I would not want vinyl beneath the varnish because you may have adhesion problems.  You can put varnish over paint if you rough up the surface a bit first.  Most varnish has a bit of a brown tint so it would change the color of the paint.  

The best/easiest way is to apply the vinyl letering after paint/varnish.  It is cheap and easy to apply.  It will look good for years and is easy to replace when it does start to look shabby.

RE: How to apply lettering to kayak?

   Or you could try the "rice paper under epoxy and fiberglass" method, discussed a couple of places in this forum, one of which is here:

This is the approach used by surfboard makers - lots of stuff on youtube about it.

Mine turned out nicely - I'll see if I can figure out how to post a picture!


RE: How to apply lettering to kayak?

   Thx for the suggestions, I am intrigued by the rice paper idea, will do some more reserach on that.  Will also keeep the vinyl lettering option in my back pocket in case nothing else works out.  I have ordered those for my fiberglass sailboat in the past and know what's involved there.

RE: How to apply lettering to kayak?

I ordered lettering from You supply them the art - lettering or graphics, it doesn't matter. I sent them a pdf in the font I wanted, generated from MS Word. Then you specify size and color. In a few days I received a dry transfer that you rub onto your hull. I applied a single coat of varnish with minimal sanding over the epoxy before putting on the transfer. Then seven coats of varnish over that. Worked like a charm.

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