Hydro Dipping Process

How To Hydro Dipping: The Complete Transfer Printing Process

Hydro Dipping Process

Hydro Dipping Step 1: The Surface Cleaning for Base Coating

What you need to prepare for base coating are grease and hydro dipping dip-kit. Before base coating, you need to make sure that the item is very clean which is made up of grime and water. Hydro dipping dip kit comes with a Scotch pad and a piece of either wet or dry sandpaper with 800 grits on which can be used to lightly scuff the part you are dipping so that the primer can be bonded with the part. This is essential.

Also , don’t forget to wear latex gloves to clean the part , which could avoid any grease from your hands dipping on the base . In this process , you are not allowed to touch items to be printed . This is to prevent any grease from getting onto the item from your fingers , which affects the result of the painting reaction .

In order to wipe the item thoroughly without any remaining dust/debris prior to priming , the tack cloth is highly required instead of the regular wiper . This will leave your item very clean and be ready for the next step in the hydro dipping process .

Hydro Dipping Step 2: Priming and Base coating

The primer should be ready to apply after all prepares . We provide all kinds of primers , including white , black and other colors . Shake the can vigorously for 2-3 minutes before applying a light dust coat . Next, Wait for 10 minutes and then apply a slightly heavier coat . Wait another 10 minutes , and then apply what should be your final coat . Do it gently to avoid the reaction as the solvent evaporates meeting painted item .

If the item still isn’t evenly covered , then continually add coats until it is evenly covered . Then , Wait for one hour for the part to be fully dry before moving on to the next step . Onto the next step in the hydro dipping project , Any primers can be removed completely with dry sandpaper which is in hydro dipping kit .

The next step in the hydro dipping process is applying the appropriate base coat . supply the color we recommend to your film if there is one . If the film has transparent parts in , you will be supplied with the paint color you have chosen . The paint we provide in the aerosol cans is automotive base coat paint . This is high-quality paint , which works well with the primer and films, performs well out of the aerosol can .

Hydro Dipping Step 3: The First Drying for Hydro Dipping

In order to avoid applying too much once , you should begin with small coats . Ten-minute drying after the coating is required . Dry the coat for 10minute (60℃-200℃, the temperature setting depends on the material) in drying oven or tunnel till its at least 80% dried before moving into the next step of the hydro dipping process .

Hydro Dipping Step4: Dipping

This is without a doubt that our favorite part of the hydro dipping process. Before hydro dipping , you need to start the heater of your hydro dipping tank for 30-90minutes and check the water temperature controller. You should prepare your items and cut the suitable size hydro graphics film when the water temperature is up to 25-30℃.

The item is now nearly ready to be hydro dipped in your hydro dipping film pattern. Use the masking tape provided “back tape” to the edge of your item. Leave the tape overlapping over the edge of the item . This helps that when the film breaks away during dipping , it will break on the tape. Which means that any problem occurs on the tape , but not the edge of your item.

If there are any areas with water rushing through where hydro dipping applied in , tapes should be applied to these films as well. This stops the hydro dipping pattern being pulled and distorted when water rushes through these areas.

after water warmed to 25-30℃ , lay the hydrographic films without bubbles of air and water between the film and the water trapped on the water. The film will be spread out and fill the surface area of the water after you apply the hydro dip activator. So use a tub that is approximately 10-15mm slightly bigger than the piece of film you are using.

Pinch the film‘s corner with wet your finger and thumb. The side that adheres to your finger is the water-soluble side and this side should face down in the water. Leave the film on the surface of the water for 45-60 seconds (the time depends on the film) before applying the activator.

Shake the activator spray can and slowly pass it over the film. Dip your item through the hydro dipping pattern with 45 degrees , when the film looks very glossy and acts like liquid on the surface of the water.

You can adjust the dipping angle (regular angle is 45 degree).

Hydro Dipping Step5: Rinsing or washing

After hydro dipping , you take your item out and rinse with clean water for five minutes in your hydrographic rinse tank until the residual PVA being washed away and the item is no longer slimy to touch as well.

Hydro Dipping Step6: Drying For Removing The Water

After rinsing , you can put the items into the drying oven or drying tunnel for removing the water about 20-30minutes. Certainly , you can put them outside if sunshine is sufficient.

Hydro Dipping Step7: Top Coating

After rinsing your hydro dipped item and leaving air to dry , you can apply the top coating. Again , shake the aerosol can be 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 reacting 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 it to dry for 15 minutes. After this whole process , you can start building up heavier coats applying to a final wet whatever is in smooth gloss , satin or matte type.

carbon fiber hydrographic dipping film TSTH104

What is Hydrographics

What is hydrographics

Hydrographics: Novel and versatile surface decoration technology

Hydrographics , also known as hydro dipping, water transfer printing, water transfer, hydrographic printing, immersion printing, hydro printing, aqua print, hydrographic dipping, water dipping, or cubic printing, is a method of applying printed designs to three-dimensional surfaces with liquid and some chemicals.

Application of Hydrographic Process:

The hydrographic process can be used on metal, plastic (PVC, PP, PE, PET, ABS, ACRYLIC, and so on), ceramics, fiberglass, glass, rubber, hardwoods,

The Hydrographics dipping process is extensively used to decorate items that range from entire all-terrain vehicles and car dashboards to small items like bike helmets or other automotive trim.

Hydro dipping films can be applied to all types of substrates including plastic, fiberglass, wood, ceramics, and metal. For the most part, if the item can be dipped in water and can be painted using traditional techniques then the hydro dipping process can be used.

In the process, the substrate piece to be printed first goes through the entire painting process: surface preparation, primer coating, First Drying, Hydro Dipping, Washing(Rinsing), second drying, and top coating(clear or matte), last drying.

After painting but before top coating, the part is ready to be processed. A (polyvinyl alcohol) PVA hydrographic film, which has been gravure-printed with the graphics image to be transferred, is carefully placed on the water’s surface in the hydro dipping tank.

The clear film is water-soluble and dissolves after spraying the hydro dip activator. Once hydro dipping is begun, the surface tension of the water will allow the pattern to curve around any shape.

Any remaining residue is then rinsed off thoroughly by a rinsing station or hydrographics rinse tank. The ink has already adhered and will not wash off. It is then allowed to dry.

Quality Factors in Hydrographics Dipping:

The quality of hydrographics dipping depends on many factors, such as high-quality clear PVA film, ink, the printing plate, base coating, top coating, clean surface, hydro dipping skills and method, hydrographic activator, and good quality hydrographics tank with heater and water recycling.

Quality Hydrographics Film:

TSAUTOP Hydrographics film is made by the high-quality PVA film imported from Japan, a thickness of 35-40μ, high-quality quality durable, and consistent ink with UV resistance, printed by 8 colors gravure printing machinery, High definition pattern.

TSAUTOP has the most popular hydro dipping patterns in stock, such as the skull, flame, carbon fiber, camouflage, cartoon, wood grain, stone, metal, abstract, and flower.

Customization and Options:

All types of water transfer printing film have more than 20,000 patterns including all China hydro dipping patterns, we also are authorized by Liquid image, so you can get all Liquid Image hydro dipping patterns from TSAUTOP.

If you need some authorized patterns of American brands, such as kryptek , muddy girl, real tree, true timber camo, you can contact TWN Industries and dippros.com. If so, you can do hydro dipping without copyright risk.

In these patterns, carbon fiber hydro dip, camo dipping, hydro dipping skull patterns, flame dip film, wood grain hydro dip, Hunting Camo Hydro Dip Film, Animal Print Hydrographic Film are welcomed by hydro dipping man. Furthermore, TSAUTOP develops 30 new hydro dip designs per month and can customize your hydro dipping patterns in 7-10 days.

Besides TSAUTOP can supply various sizes (A3, A4,0.4,0.64M,1M,1.27M) of blank hydrographic film for the inkjet printer, you can use this printable hydrographic film for printing your hydrographic designs.

Activator Importance:

As we know, the hydrographics film has many types, so the activator is not changeless.

TSAUTOP can supply hydrographic activator sample for DIY hydro dipping and water transfer printing activator formula for starting hydro dipping. We can guide all customers to compound hydrographic activators.

The adhesion is a result of the chemical components of the activator softening the base coat layer and allowing the ink to form a bond with it.

One of the most common causes of a failure to achieve adhesion between the two layers is a poorly applied activator. This can be either too much activator being applied or too little. Quality activator is one of the most important elements in producing high-quality, professional hydrographic printing.

So hydrographics is a magic printing technology that is applied for customized design, personalized products, car tuning and styling, furniture decal, cosmetic packing, building materials, shoes, fashion articles, and so on.


Hydrographics has more and more reference fields, so it has broad market prospects. TSAUTOP hydrographics will support you to make more money from hydro dipping business.   Please contact TSAUTOP freely.

How to Hydro Dip Shoes?

How to Hydro Dip Shoes?

Do you want a unique pair of shoes? Do you feel your shoes are always the same and not fashionable enough? Personalization has become a trend in the current global market, and hydro dip technology provides more options for this market. It can transfer patterns to various materials, including leather, plastic, etc. This article will introduce how to use hydro dip to create a pair of shoes just for you.


Before you start, you need to prepare the following materials:

Water Transfer Printing Process

1. Clean the surface of the object to ensure that there are no contaminants on the surface.

2. Spray the corresponding color of primer on the surface of the shoes to ensure that the pattern can better adhere to the shoes.

3. Cut a hydrographic film of appropriate size and lay the film flat in a hydrographic device with a water temperature of 20-35 degrees.

4. Spray appropriate activator to fully dissolve the film.

5. Immerse the shoes in the water at a 45-degree angle. The water pressure will make the pattern cover the surface of the shoes without bubbles.

6. Rinse excess residue on the surface of the shoes and dry thoroughly.

7. Spray topcoat to protect the pattern on the surface of the shoe and make it look like new for a long time.

Frequently Asked Questions and Solutions

During the operation, you may encounter some common problems, such as the pattern being blurry or unclear, the pattern not adhering or adhering unevenly, there are bubbles in the pattern after transfer, etc. So how do we solve these problems? Here are some common problems and solutions:

1. The pattern is blurry or unclear:

Possible causes of the problem: inappropriate water temperature, insufficient activator, hydrographic film quality issues, etc.
Solution: 1. Make sure the water temperature is controlled between 20-35 degrees Celsius; 2. Increase the amount of activator; 3. Use high-quality hydrographic patterns.

2. The pattern does not adhere or adhere unevenly:

Possible causes of the problem: The surface of the object is not clean, the activator is sprayed unevenly, the water temperature is too high or too low, etc.
Solution: 1. Keep the surface of the object clean; 2. Spray activator evenly; 3. Control the water temperature.

3. There are bubbles or pores in the pattern after transfer:

Possible causes of the problem: uneven spraying of activator, uneven surface of items, too high water temperature, etc.
Solution: 1. Spray the activator evenly; 2. Use sandpaper to polish items with rough surfaces in advance; 3. Control the water temperature to avoid bubbles or pores.

How to Care for Transferred Shoes

1. Avoid humid environments: Try to avoid prolonged exposure to humid environments.
2. Regular cleaning: Use a clean cloth to gently wipe the surface of the shoes and avoid using strong detergents.


Hydro dip technology provides a new avenue for customized products. Water transfer printing can show your style and personality on shoes. Get started on your hydro dip shoe project with this guide.

If you encounter problems during the water transfer printing process, please contact us in time


How Much Does Hydro Dipping Cost

How Much Does Hydro Dipping Cost?

How Much Does Hydro Dipping Cost?

How Much Does Hydro Dipping Cost

What Is Hydro Dipping?

Hydro dipping, also known as water transfer printing, is a decorative technique that applies intricately designed patterns to three-dimensional objects. A PVA film is laid in a water dipping tank, and the object to be transferred is slowly immersed into the water at a 45-degree angle. This process allows the pattern to adhere to the surface of the object. Hydrographics films are versatile, suitable for various materials, and ensure color durability without fading, making them ideal for embellishing a wide range of items.

Factors Affecting The Cost Of Hydro Dipping

If you are considering embellishing items through hydro dipping, it’s essential first to contemplate the associated costs. The cost of Hydrographics is influenced by various factors such as the size of the object, surface complexity, and materials used. Different factors can result in varying costs, so it’s crucial to gain an understanding of the specific expenses involved when hydro-dipping different items.

Tsautop has outlined several key factors that influence the cost of hydro dipping. Let’s take a closer look at what these factors are.

Type of Item Being Dipped

● Size and complexity of the item: The cost of flooding is greatly affected by the size of the object. Larger items require more material during the flooding process, resulting in increased costs

● Material of the item: Items of different materials have different requirements for pre-treatment, primer and topcoat, which affects the cost.

Design and Film Choice

● Standard vs. custom designs: The cost of choosing existing films is low, but if it is a customized pattern, it involves processes such as plate opening and proofing, and the cost needs to increase.

● Quality and pattern complexity of the film: Choosing high-quality film and complex pattern design will increase the cost, but the effect will be better.

Preparation and Finishing

● Surface preparation (cleaning, priming): Spraying primer can mainly improve the adhesion between the film and the product. The cost of different primers is also different.

Types of finish (matte, gloss, clear coat): Different topcoats have different costs. High-quality topcoats can better protect the surface and extend the service life.

Location and Service Provider

● Cost variations by region: Labor costs and price costs are different in different regions (urban, rural).

● Differences in pricing among professionals vs. DIY kits: Although the quality of professional operations is guaranteed, the service fee is high; DIY is low-cost but requires learning and mastering by yourself, which takes a long time.


Hydro dipping can decorate various items with different patterns, making them truly unique. However, before engaging in hydro dipping, it is advisable to research to understand the associated costs. This will enable you to have a clear idea of how much the Water Transfer Printing process is likely to cost, ensuring that you are well informed about the anticipated expenses.