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Hydro Dipping: The Lowdown on Supplies and Equipment

Hydro dipping is a creative way to customize your gear with the look you want. Whether it’s for your hunting pack, your skateboard, your bike helmet, or anything else, this article will give you everything you need to know about hydro dipping. We’ll cover supplies and equipment, find out what makes a great design, show some examples of hydro dipping projects, and more.


What is hydro dipping?

Hydro dipping is a process where you submerge an object in a tank of water with a rubberized coating on it. As the water is pulled away by a vacuum, the rubberized coating sticks to the object. Depending on the thickness of the coating, it will either be textured or smooth.

To understand the process better, let’s say you want to hydro dip your skateboard. You would paint it with a rubberized coating that is colored. Then, you would submerge it in a tank of water that has colorant mixed in with it. With the vacuum, only the parts of the board that are submerged will have colorant on them.

The process is simple but can produce some really great results. If you want to do something more complex, there are other techniques you can use to create hydro-dipping designs. The process is also fairly inexpensive, which makes it even more attractive.


Supplies and equipment

Before you can start hydro dipping, you’ll need a few supplies and equipment.

If you’re new to hydro dipping, we recommend starting with a kit. These kits will come with all the supplies and equipment you need to get started.


What should you buy for your kit?


  • Dye

    : Dyes are the coloring agents that will customize your project. You can choose from a variety of colors and effects.

  • Gun

    : The gun is what you’ll use to apply the dye to your project.

  • Gun Accessories

    : Gun accessories like needles and nozzles will help you customize the design of your project.


What You'll Need


Before you start, you’ll need the following supplies and equipment:

  • A hydro dipping kit. You can find this at your local sporting goods store or online.
  • A design This can be a pattern you create in Photoshop, or something you doodle on paper.
  • A surface This can be anything from a T-shirt to a plastic toy to a piece of metal.


You’ll also need:

  • A container for your dye and stencils
  • An electric drill
  • A sprayer attachment for the drill
  • An air compressor with a high-pressure nozzle
  • A basin or sink for the water.
  • Rubber gloves for protection
  • An extension cord to plug in your air compressor.
  • A surface for laying out your project


Design Ideas

We’ve already talked about the supplies and equipment you’ll need for hydro dipping. But, in order to create a great design, you’ll need some inspiration. Luckily, there are tons of great resources available when it comes to design ideas.

You can find design inspiration online, in magazines, and in books. Find a design that suits your style and the project you want to undertake. And, if you want to find a design that was created by someone else, you can download it for free!

You can also get design ideas from other people. Your friends may have good ideas, or your local hydro dipping shop may have some creative suggestions for you.

The best way to get started with hydro dipping is to start with something simple that you’re passionate about.


Techniques and Tools

There are a few different ways to dip your project. The process starts with a base coat. The base coat can be a solid color or a pattern, and it should be a durable paint that will hold up to the process.

This is followed by a layer of clear coat, which protects the paint from scratching. Next, you want to pick your color from your pattern and apply it with an airbrush. Finally, you apply a layer of clear coat to protect the paint from scratching.

There are a few different ways to dip your project. You can dip it in one piece at a time, dip the whole thing at once, or dip it in sections. Each technique has its own advantages and disadvantages, but one technique may work better for you depending on the item you’re dipping.

For example, if you’re dipping a bike helmet, one technique might work better than the others because of how the helmet is shaped. The same goes for if you’re dipping a skateboard deck or any other oddly shaped item.

It’s important to choose the right technique for your project before starting. And remember to follow all safety instructions when dipping anything!


Making preparations for your design

It’s a good idea to prepare your design before you get started with your project. There are a few different ways to do this. You can design your design in advance and print it out onto a transparency film. Let’s say you want to put a logo on your backpack. In this case, you can open up your logo in Photoshop and print it onto a transparency film.

You can also use a projector to project your design onto the object you want to hydro dip. You may need to use a screen or other object to create the right distance from the surface of the object. You can also use stencils or stamps with ink to create some designs.

No matter what you choose, it’s all about getting your design on the surface of your object in order to get started. It’s important to consider how the design will look on the surface of your object before you start!


Design Your Own Painting

Once you have all the supplies you need, it’s time to start designing your project. You can paint your design on your project or on a paper template. If you want to paint on the project, make sure you allow plenty of time for it to dry completely.

If you want to paint on a template, place it on your object and trace the design with a marker or paint. This is a good idea if you want to see what the design will look like before you dip it in dye. Once you’re happy with the design, remove the template and paint the design directly onto the object.

Fingers are another way to create your design. Simply dip your fingers in the dye, then press them onto the object to create your design with two colors.

Once you have your design planned out, you can start with the dipping process. See below for more information on what to dip in and how to do it.


Tips for Making a Great Design

When designing your hydro dip, it’s important to keep in mind how it will be viewed from all distances. Start from the ground and move up to consider how it will look from 10 feet away, 20 feet away, and 30 feet away.

You want to make sure you can read the design from a distance. You also want to make sure you’ve included a contrast, whether it’s a light background with dark lettering or a dark background with light lettering.

Keep these tips in mind when designing your project, and you’ll be well on your way to a great design!


Make use of contrast colors.

One of the keys to a great design is contrast. You want to make sure that the colors you use are contrasting. For example, you should use a dark color on a light color to really make the design pop.

It’s important to understand this because when you’re designing your own project, you don’t want to use two colors that look similar. If you only have one other choice, try to use a light and dark color that still contrasts, like navy blue and white.

A great way to contrast colors is by using light and dark colors side by side.


Create Depth with Detail and Shading.

Detail and shading aren’t just for paintings and drawings. Detail and shading can also enhance a hydro dipping project. Take a look at the photo below.

This is a hydro dipped guitar. To create the details and shading, the artist started by drawing the design on paper with a pencil. This photo doesn’t show every detail, but it gives you an idea of how details and shading can add dimension to your project.

Then, starting from the outside and working in, the artist goes back and fills in all the details and shading. Remember: your design doesn’t have to be complicated to be impressive—just add some detail and shading and you’ll be good to go!

Lastly, this is what the guitar looks like when it’s done. You can see how much more depth there is when there is detail and shading.


Make Sure the Pattern Fits the Object.

If you want to know how to paint a bicycle helmet, the first thing you need to think about is the pattern. What kind of pattern will the helmet be painted with? A camo pattern? A floral pattern? A marble pattern?

The pattern you choose will depend on the object you want to paint. For example, a camo pattern would look great on a hunting pack, but not so great on a bicycle helmet.

That’s why it’s important to make sure the pattern fits the object you want to paint!


Frequently asked questions about hydro-dipping


What is hydro dipping?

Hydro dipping is the process of submerging a clean object in a bath of water and a water-based sealant. The object is dipped carefully in the bath and removed with a twisting motion, which distributes the sealant evenly. The sealant will then dry and form a protective coating.


What are hydro-dipping supplies?

To start, you’ll need a few different supplies. For example, you’ll want to invest in a good sealant. There are plenty of options on the market with different durability and prices.

You’ll also need a way to create patterns on your object. You can use tape or stencils to create your design, or purchase a hydro dipping kit with a pattern you like.

Whatever design you decide to create, you’ll need to prepare it before you can hydro dip your project. You’ll need to attach it to your object using transfer tape, nail polish remover, or wax remover to coat the back of your design. Then, just dip, twist, and let it dry!


What does hydro dipping do?

Hydro dipping is the process of coating a surface with a polymer resin and then dipping that surface into a dye bath that will permanently bond to the surface. The result is a water-resistant and durable coating that will last for years.

While hydro dipping is often used to customize gear and certain household items, it’s also used to customize and repair things like furniture and cars.

To make a great design for hydro dipping, you need to know how long you want it to last. You also need to know what material you’re going to be hydro-dipping. For example, if you’re going to be hydro dipping a plastic water bottle, you should pick a dye that won’t fade when in contact with the sun or heat.


Can you hydro dip at home?

Hydro dipping is a process that can be done by anyone to customize their game equipment. There are many ways to do it, but the process is easy. You can buy all of the supplies and equipment you need to do it yourself at your local paint store, or if you’re feeling ambitious, you can build your own setup.

The first step is to pick out a design or logo that you want to put on your object. Then, you need to find the corresponding image file of the design, save it to your computer, and print it out on paper.

The next step is to fill up your tank with water and lay the design on the object where you want it to be. You then need to lay down some plastic wrap or tarp on the ground and put the object into the tank.

Keep in mind that if you’re using paint instead of dye for your project, you should use a primer first; otherwise, the paint won’t adhere well to the object.

After around 30 minutes, remove the object from the tank and let it dry overnight. It’s as simple as that! 


Can you hydro dip your face?

It’s possible you want to customize the outside of your body with hydro dipping.

You can’t just take a photo, turn it into a design, and dip yourself in it. There are two ways to do this. The first way is to find a clear mask that covers your whole face and use that as your design. The second way is to get a full-body suit that will cover your whole body or just your chest and arms.

Both options can be found online for purchase.


How do I start hydro dipping?

To get started, you need to gather all of the necessary supplies and equipment (listed below). You’ll also need to find a design to print on your gear.

Once you find a design you like, you’ll need to print it out. The most common printing method is on paper, but there are also specialty printers for T-shirts and other materials. (Check out the printer reviews on this site to see which one might be best for you!)

You’ll then need to transfer the design onto your gear. You can do this with an iron or ironing board, but the more specialized printer is much easier.

Next, you’ll want to cut out the vinyl image with an X-Acto knife or other sharp blade.

Finally, you’ll go through the hydro dipping process, which is outlined below. They can have a lot of fun coming up with their own designs!


How long does the hydro dip last?

Hydro dipping is a low-cost way to customize your gear. The process involves submerging an object in a vat of liquid plastic and peeling it off. The object is covered in a layer of plastic, which dries in about 10 minutes, and it’s left with a glossy finish.

But what you might not know is how long the glossy finish lasts. The answer is that as long as the object remains glossy, the design will remain as well. For items such as skateboards and helmets, this can be as little as a year or two; for objects such as backpacks, the time can be much longer.

For those worried about how long their custom design will last, there are multiple things you can do to make it last:

  • Stick to darker colors and avoid lighter colors (especially on items such as backpacks).
  • Apply a sealant to the finished product.
  • Use spray paint or another sealant with anti-UV for outdoor projects.
  • Keep your design simple.
  • Avoid using designs that include words.

Regardless of your project, if you follow these guidelines, your design will last as long as you want it to!


What do I need for hydro dipping?

What you need for a successful hydro dipping project will vary depending on what you want to dip and the type of design you want to create. A design on a skateboard will require a different set of supplies than a design for a hunting pack.


However, there are a few supplies that are essential for any hydro dipping project:

  1. dye of your choice.
  1. Dyeing container
  1. Dipping container
  1. Dish soap
  1. Glove
  1. Paintbrush
  1. Protective gloves
  1. Gun for dipping in water
  1. Paint tape or masking tape.
  1. Tarp or plastic sheeting.
  1. Drying rack


Can you hydro dip in a bathtub?

A lot of people wrongly assume that you can use a bathtub to hydro dip your items. However, there are two reasons why you should not.

  1. The water is not deep enough. The water has to be deep enough to submerge your item in the dye.
  1. The bathtub is not made to withstand hot temperatures. Soaking your items in hot water for a prolonged period could damage the bathtub.

The next time you want to hydro-dip something, find a place with a deep sink or a commercial-grade tank.


Is hydro dipping permanent?

Hydro dipping is a temporary design that dries after a few minutes and washes off with soap and water. It’s a great way to experiment with designs and find the one you love. And because it’s temporary, you can change it as often as you want.

We’ve found that the best designs are those that reflect your personal style and what you love. So, what do you love? What do you want your equipment to say about you?

If you want something that’s more permanent, like a logo, we recommend getting it printed on a sticker and then using that sticker as your design template. This way, your design is permanent and looks professional.

For more information about the process of hydro dipping, check out our blog post about the supplies and equipment you need. We’ll also cover what makes a great design and show some examples of hydro dipping projects. 


Is hydro dip waterproof?

One of the most commonly asked questions is whether or not hydro dipping is waterproof. The answer is that it depends on the paint you use.

For example, if you are using a polyurethane-based paint, it is not waterproof. But water-based paints are waterproof, so they will work well for your project.

If you want to ensure your project will be waterproof, you can use a protective coat of polyurethane on top of your design after the process is done.

Regardless of whether your project is waterproof or not, you should never submerge it in water. If you do, the paint will peel off.

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