- Plastic container you do not mind getting dirty and spray paint on.
- Water. Not too cold or too hot.
- Item you want to hydro dip. I used a plastic egg.
- A mask so you do not breath in the spray paint
- Spray paint in various colors
- Clear top coat to protect your piece
- Optional: Since I wanted to hydro dip my entire egg, I also needed a dowl rod or stick, that I hot glued to my egg to give me something to hold my egg when dipping it.
I recommend doing this project outside. It is important to be in a well-ventilated area so you do not breath in the fumes from the spray paint.
Preparing your piece
I started off by hot gluing my plastic egg to a thin wooden stick I had. At first the hot glue did not seem like it would stick well, but just be patient and do not touch it as it dries. Once the glue was fully dry, the stick was secure on the egg.
Tape and clean you piece
If there is a section of your piece you do not want the spray paint to be on, then you should use painters’ tape to tape that area off now. Make sure there are no bumps or bubbles in your tape that the spray paint can get under. You will also want to clean off your piece before you start hydro dipping. Any dirt will leave bumps on your pieces as well as prevent the paint from sticking to your piece.
You can cover your piece with a white primer spray paint, but it is not necessary. The primer will help cover any designs on your item you may not want to show through the hydro dip. The primmer will also help the spray paint stick better to your piece and the colors stand out more.
Temperature of the water
Lukewarm water is best. If the water is too cold, then your paint will become stiff.
Does the type of spray paint matter?
Gloss spray paint seems to work better then matte spray paint. If you decided to prime your piece, then you can use a matte primer, but a gloss spray paint is recommended for the hydro dipping. Matte spray paint tends to dry faster than gloss, which can affect your dips.
How far to spay the water?
If you hold the spray can to close to the water, then the pressure from the spray will just push the water and the paint to the edges of your container. If you hold the spray paint to far way, then then it will not form a thick covering over the water, it will mostly disperse into the air. I tried to show this in my video, but it was a little difficult with the small container I used.
How to dip properly
It is important to dip your piece into the spray-painted water at an angle so you do not get air bubbles under your layers. I did not consider that my plastic egg really likes to float, and thus did not want to go under the water when I dipped it. Instead, my egg tried to float as I tried to dip it, and it did not go in at an angle. So, I was left with air bubbles all over my piece. When my air bubbles dried, they did kind of blend well into the design of my egg. It almost looks like they were on purpose or fitting to the egg.
Dip fast or slow
Try not to dip/lower your piece to fast or to slow. If you dip to slow, then the paint can clump up around your piece, and you will not have a clean smooth finish. If you dip to fast, then the paint can break away and not cover your piece, leaving sections not covered. I panicked a little when my egg was not sinking into the water, and thus I just quickly sunk it into the water. Since I dipped my egg to fast, a few sections did not get coated. Do not worry you can always try to dip your piece a second time. I will discuss how to do this a little later.
Pull away the extra paint
Once you have completely submerged your piece into the water, it is important to remove any extra paint on the top of the water before bringing your piece out of the water. If you do not remove this extra paint, then it will either stick to your piece and clump onto your piece as you pull your piece back through it, or it will pull your paint off of your piece. For some reason my paint was not moving away when I tried to remove the extra. It ended up working out okay, but this was on odd case. I wonder if it had something to do with the cold air and my water getting too cold.
Clean your water between pieces
If you are dipping many different items with different color schemes, then I recommend cleaning your water between dips. This way you avoid any colors from the previous dip contaminating your new dip. Also, you do not want old dry paint sticking to your new piece. You do not have to completely empty out the old water every time, just keep an eye out for floating paint pieces.
Dipping a second time
If you are not happy with the first dip or a section did not get coated, then you can dip it a second time. You will need to let your piece completely dry before you dip it a second time though. There should not be any water droplets on your piece when you go to dip it again. If there are water droplets on your piece when you go to dip it again, then the water will get between the layers, and leave you with an unsmooth finish.
Apply a protective finish
Once your hydro dipped pieces have fully dried it is important to apply a clear top/finish coat to help protect the paint from scratching off. You could use several different things to protect your piece, epoxy resin, or a clear gloss spray paint. I used a clear gloss spray paint to protect my piece. It adds a nice shine and helps bring out the colors more.