Step by Step Hydro Dipping Click here to view our complete range of dip kits which include everything you need for your dipping project! Here is a step by step guide to the hydrographics or hydro dipping process. Follow these instructions for your Dip Kit.

Hydrodipping Step 2: PRIME

Next in the hydro dipping process you want to apply the primer. We provide a good all round primer which is suitable for most substrates. After shaking the can vigorously for 2-3 minutes apply a light dust coat. Wait 10 minutes and then apply a slightly heavier coat. Wait another ten minutes and then apply what should be your final coat. Avoid rushing when applying the paint as it can create a reaction as the solvents evaporate and the paint is chemically bonding to the item. If the item still isn’t evenly covered then continue adding coats until you are satisfied it is evenly covered. Any runs can be removed once dry with the sandpaper supplied in your kit. Onto the next step in your hydro dipping project. Wait for 15 minutes at 20 degrees c for the part to be fully dry before moving on to the next step.


Make sure the item is very clean and free from dust, grease, built up grime and water. The Dip This hydro dipping Dip Kits come with a scotch pad and a piece of 800 grit wet/ dry sandpaper which can be used to lightly scuff the part you are dipping. This creates a mechanical key so that the primer can form a bond with your part. Clean the part and wear gloves to avoid getting grease from your hands on it prior to painting and applying your hydro-dipping print. Now put a pair of the latex gloves provided on. From this point forward always wear gloves when touching your item. This is to prevent any grease getting onto the item from your fingers which can affect how the paint reacts and cause problems with the dipping. Using the tack cloth provided wipe the item thoroughly to remove any remaining dust/debris prior to priming. This will leave your item very clean and ready for the next step in the hydro dipping process.

The next step in the hydro dipping process is applying the appropriate base coat. We supply the colour we recommend with your film if there is one. If the film has transparent parts in then you will be supplied with the paint colour you have chosen. The paint we supply in our aerosol cans is Max Meyer automotive base coat paint. This is high quality paint which works well with the primer and our films and performs well out of an aerosol can. As with the primer, avoid applying too much in one go. Build up with small coats to begin with, allowing ten minute drying intervals between coats. Allow the part to fully dry for one hour before moving onto the next step of the hydro dipping process.

This is without a doubt our favourite part of the hydro dipping process. The item is now nearly ready to be hydro dipped in your hydro dipping film pattern. use the masking tape provided to “back tape” the edge of you item. Leave the tape overlapping over the edge of the item. This means that when the film breaks away during the dip it will break on the tape so any problems occur on the tape and not the edge of your item. If there are any areas that will allow a lot of water to rush through when hydro dipping apply the making tape to these also now. This stops the water rushing through and pulling the hydro dipping pattern, distorting the print in these areas. With your water warmed to 30 Degrees Celsius lay your film on the water making sure no bubbles of air get trapped between the film and the waters surface. The film will want to spread out and fill the surface area of the water when you apply the activator so use a tub that is approximately 10-15mm bigger than the piece of film you are using. Wet your finger and thumb and pinch the film in a corner. The side that sticks to your finger is the water soluble side. This side goes face down in the water. Leave the film on the surface of the water for 60 seconds before applying the activator. Shake the activator spray can and slowly pass over the film. When the film looks very glossy and acts like liquid on the surface of the water it is ready. Dip your item through the hydro dipping pattern making sure no parts hit the surface flat. You can adjust the angle of your item part way through the dip if needed. Then take your item out and rinse with clean water for five minutes until the residual PVA has been washed away and the item is no longer slimy to touch.


The end is in sight. After rinsing your hydro dipped item and leaving to air dry you can apply the clear coat. Again, shake the aerosol can provided vigorously for 2-3 minutes. It is very important to apply very small dust coats of lacquer over the print to begin with. Applying a wet coat immediately can cause the lacquer to react with the print and make it distort. Apply a very light dust coat and leave to dry for 15 minutes. Then apply another light coat and leave to dry for 15 minutes. Now you can start building up heavier coats leading to a final wet coat to create a smooth gloss finish.
For more information about hydro dipping or to get a quote from us to dip your item please use the contact form here.

Perfect preparation prevents p@*! poor performance, and this is never more true than with hydro dipping. Make sure the item is prepared correctly to avoid disappointment in the end. Back-tape off where the pattern finishes with masking tape, wherever possible so that the hydro dipping film isn’t breaking at a crucial part. Fill in any large voids to stop the water rushing in and warping the hydro dipping design around it. Sand, clean and paint your item in an appropriate primer, and base coat prior to . The base coat is a big part of some hydro dipping patterns as they have a lot of clear parts in and it affects the hue of the finish on solid colour patterns. It is usually best to use a complementary base coat colour so you can touch up any tiny blemishes with ease.

For a list of frequently asked questions and answers please read our hydro dipping faq page.

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