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 , 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.

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 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 rinsing station or hydrographics rinse tank. The ink has already adhered and will not wash off. It is then allowed to dry.

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.

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

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

All types of water transfer printing film has more than 20,000 patterns include all China hydro dipping patterns, we also are authorized from 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 7-10days.

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

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 activator.

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 a 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 material, 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.

Hydro Dipping FAQ: The Key Points Of Hydro Dipping

Pretreatment on Products Before Hydro Dip

Surface cleaning without grease or other impurity is vitally important to a successful hydro dipping process.

Experiences show many hydrographic failures come from poor pretreatment of the products.

Detailed requirements on pretreatment as follows:

1. First inspect the products if there is obvious impurity on the surface of the products. Polish the surface with 800-1000mesh sandpaper. Carefully don’t polish too hard to leave scrapes on the surface.

2. Touch the products if the surface is smooth. If the surface is rough with a sandy feeling, polish it again.

3. Observe the products if there are oil stains , dust or other impurities on the surfaces. Remove the oil stains or dust by proper methods. For example , remove the dust with a clean rag or the stains with a suitable solvent.

4. To remove the inferior pattern from the hydro dipping process , you have to use the special pattern remover. Or if the area of defects is small , you can use 800-1000mesh sandpaper to remove the defects and trim with a paint brush.

5. The products must keep clean after pretreatment.

6. The products must keep dry after pretreatment. Use an air dryer Or blower to remove the moisture on the surface of the products. Or just leave the products in a clean and dry place (air-dry).

7. Place the pretreated products in a clean and dry location for the next process step.

The Operation Points of Hydro Dip

1. Before dipping, the products must keep clean and free from static electricity.

2. Ensure the water surface clean. No residue and activator on the water surface. Cleaning the water surface through turning on the water pump for flushing the residue, then remove the bubbles of the water with the dividers slightly and slowly.

3. You have to distinguish the right side of the hydrographic film before dipping. Some hydrographics film the face side is matte, some face side is glossy, if you put the reverse side of the hydrographics film on the water, the hydrographics film will not work, you can not dip anything. So you can dip some water with one finger and touch a little corner of the hydrographics film, you can feel one side sticky, so the side is the right side and towards the water. Do not let water drop to the other side when filming. So you put the film on the water with a dry hand and keep a 30-40degree angle with the water surface. Pull the ends of the hydro dipping film from one end of the hydro dipping tank to the other to avoid air bubbles. If there have some bubbles or film curling , you can remove the bubbles slightly by hand or blow it away by the spray gun. Pay attention to damage the hydro dipping pattern.

When to start to spay the activator

The timing for spaying of activator is also a trick for successful water transfer printing. After the film laying on the water , spraying activator has no fixed time, because many water transfer printing films have different activated time depending on the blank hydrographic film , the ink , and the water temperature. The common time of spraying activator is in 45-90 seconds.

So , you have to observe the change of film. When the film is spreading flat with light glimmer. Let’s start to spray activator now.

Another way to determine the time of the spray activator, you can spray little activator to the corner of the hydro dipping film, the sprayed corner

will turn to a layer like thin oil on the water without wrinkles. Let’s start to spray activator now.

How much activator spraying to the film

This is something of skill or experience. We just run the spray gun crosswise from left to right or from the top to the bottom lengthwise.

Spraying activator only one time, don’t repeat on the activated surface, because this will disturb the pattern. The distance of the gun to the water surface is 30-40cm. The liquid flow of spray gun need to be adjusted to maximum, the speed of running spray gun must be slow. The usual amount of activator is 1 liter of activator to activate 30-40sqm hydrographic film by hand.

How does hydro dipping work

1. Cutting the suitable size dip film, ensure the film can cover the whole article surface. Not too big or too small for saving your film.

2. Pay attention to the dip angle (30-45degrees), ensure that the contact area of the object with water is minimal.

3. Attention the wave direction especially the pattern of wood grain. Or you may decide to turn the film 90°or 180° on the water. The dipping is a continuous one-step procedure, no stop during the dipping process to ensure do the best dipping.

4. when the product dipped into the water, shaking it gently in the water and remove the floating film remains and take it in a tilted angle.

Do not allow the product to fall down.

5. When you finish dipping, check if there is any defect on the pattern(bubbles or cracks).

This may give you an idea for an improvement on next dipping. If the remains stick to the product, rinse it away with water.

How long to change the water in the hydro dipping tank

The water in the tank must be maintained at a certain level.

In hydro dipping process , the water is not only used as media to give pressure for hydrographic dipping it also can wash away the remains.

The water needs to change if you find the water is sticky or there are bubbles or lots of remains floating on the surface.

How to wash after hydro printing

1. Take care not to touch the product by finger just out of the water. The ink layer at this time is very fragile, any touch may damage the just coated pattern.

2. The purpose of washing is to remove the sticky layer on the surface. Do not apply too heavy pressure for washing.

The heavy water pressure may damage the just coated pattern.

3. After washing , touch the product by our finger . If you feel sticky on the product , please wash again.

The sticky layer must be thoroughly washed away, or the adhesion for the finish coating will be a problem.

4. You may also need to wash the other side (uncoated side) of the product because usually this side also needs to dip for another pattern or apply the finish coat.

How to deal with the defective product by trimming

1. Before the finish coating, the defected pattern need to be trimmed. The trimmer should prepare the same hydrographic film , activator , suitable tools such as paintbrush and sandpaper for such purpose.

2. Use the paintbrush soaked with the activator to erase the defected area.

3. Trimming is only carried out on defects of the small area. If defects on the large area are found.

This should remove all pattern or cover the whole surface by painting.

4. The trimmer should each product before delivering to products to the spray booth.

5. Remove dust or impurity on the trimmed products. Place the trimmed products in a dry and clean place. Which are ready to move to the spray booth for top-coating.

How to reworked defective products

  1. Instructions on dealing with inferior products before finish coating
    1.1 If a pattern s locally damaged you can try to mend it by cutting off a piece of film and dipping again
    1.2 If a total pattern is damaged, you have to remove the total pattern with sandpaper or solvent and dip again.
  • 2. Instructions dealing with inferior products after finish coating
    2.1 If local defects such as dust points  or drippings appear on surface finish, polish the local surface with wax
    2.2  If the whole finish surface is a failure(dripping and primer penetration in the larger area). the finish has to be removed with the solvent for renewal.

How to dry the dipped products after dipping and top coating

  1.  The temperature setting is essential for the baking process. The baking temperature depends largely on the material of the product , the product may be deformed or degraded under elevated temperatures.
    2. The temperature setting for drying dipped products after washing.

thermoplastic and nonmetal products: less than60℃;

metal products: Max180℃, because the primer cannot stand higher temperature;

If the products are coated with two component PU paint as a primer , you should observe exactly the paint manufacturer operational instructions. The purpose of drying after washing is no other than to remove moisture from the products

3. Curing temperature for top coating:

The baking temperature and time depend on the nature of the finish coating. Finis coat or transparent lacquer or varnish has two types:

baking type and non-baking type.

Please follow the manufacturers instructions for curing time and temperature.

The dip painting method for top coating:

The top coating is a kind of transparent varnish. Paints of a different type may be used for the finish: two-component PU paint , one-component lacquer, baking lacquer gloss, and matte.

The instructions on the finish coat application:

1. Preparation: the amount of transparent lacquer prepared depends on the number of products.

2. Prepared lacquer must be filtered with 300mesh nylon screen.

3. Spray booth must be clean, free from dust. The floor and the floor around the spray area must be wet to prevent dust from flying over in the air.

4. Never touch or allow any object to touch the uncured surface.

5. The operator must clean the spray gun before leaving the shifting job.

How to properly use and maintain the spray gun

  1. Clean the gun with activator before the operation
  2.  The key for a successful dipping process: a. the right time (when the film is totally soaked and softened) for spraying;

a. The amount of activator applied on the film. So you have to adjust the adequate spraying amount, not too less or too much.

b. You need also adjust the air pressure , activator flow and the width of fine spray.

c. Lower air pressure results in less activator spray and vise verse.

d. Move the gun at an adequate speed not too fast or too slow.

e. The amount of activator is related to the expansion of the film (ink layer on water). In general the bigger expansion , the higher amount and vise verse.

f. On larger spray area (or larger film size). there must be 1/2 overlap between each passage of gun move.

This can prevent the porous defects caused by activator volatility.

g. The newcomer may use wat as the activator for training purpose. After training.,the gun has to be cleaned with the activator

or it will get rusty.

How to do Quality Control and Packing after finishing

paint dipping process

  1. The checker should timely find the problem and report to process technician to reduce the losses to the maximum.
  2. First check if the product is clean and dry.
  3. Then check the pattern if there are holes(porous points)and cracks on the pattern.
  4. Check if the trimmed surface is clean and the wave color is the same as the sample.
  5.  Check if there is dust, dripping and peeling on the paint.
  6. The passed product can deliver to packing.

The reason and solutions for defects in the transfer

printing process

1 Pitting , porous holes, small bubbles or rough surface on transferred pattern surfaces.

Reasons:

a. Poor spray booth environment dusts in the air. Dust on products and film surface.

b. The water surface is not clean: floating impurities and remains.

c. The film did not lay evenly on water. Bubbles exist between film and wat surface.

d. Water temperature is too high. The compressed air is not clean , the air is mixed with moisture oil and other Impurities (the film ink would not

be fully activated and there are water drops and oil drops on the film).

e. Not enough activator sprayed or unevenly sprayed.

f. The activator evaporated too fast: activating time is not enough. The film ink has not been activated to oily state(ink peel on the

pattern: During the transfer printing process , the wat should be expelled from between the product and ink.

The not fully activated ink may hinder expelling of water).

g. The dipping angle(normal 45°) is not correct or dipping too fast. That caused bubbles and water drops enrolled in between the product and the pattern ink.

Solutions:

a. The spray room must be clean. Spray wat on the ground to prevent dust from flying over.

Clean dust from product surfaces and work table.

Do not allow dust falling on ink surface.

b. Wipe with a scape the remains away from water surface
c. Pull the hydro dipping film gently from one end of the tank to the other at an angle of 45° (to remove any impurities and bubbles on water)

d. Check the water temperature. Experiences tell 25℃-30℃ is a right temperature , Install a water separator to the air compressor.

Disconnect the spray gun tube and clean away moisture and oil drops inside the tube to ensure cleanness of the compressed air.

e. Adjust air pressure , atomization value to increase activator flow. Ensure there is 1/2 overlap between the spray passages (never spray repeatedly on the film) . On a fully activated ink layer.you may find oily light glimmering.

f. Change the activator from the fast-dry type into slow-dry. Adjust the spray gun to increase activator flow. Reduce the gun moving speed.

Wait until the pattern ink fully activated to oily state.

g. Adjust the dipping angle to 45ºLower the product down gently and slowly to hydrographics tank so as to remove air bubbles from between the product and ink layer.

2. Obvious winkles and overlaps at corner position

after dipping Reasons.

a. Water temperature is too low. (This causes the film not fully soaked or softened)

b. Soaking time ( the time of film laying on water ) is not enough ( this causes the film not fully softened.

c. Too early to spray activator to the film(This causes the tension of the ink layer and that of the ground film is not equal.

The ink layer is shrunk with wrinkles on surfaces)

e. The patterned ink has not been activated to oily state ( This causes the ink peel to appear on pattern surfaces )

Solutions:

a.Raise the wat temperature to about 25℃-30℃

b. Leave the film on water longer ( the soaking time is about 120″ at 25℃ water temperature ). To see if the film is fully soaked or not , you may make a small test as follows: spray activator on a corner of the film. If the sprayed area appears no wrinkle and it is slightly stretched , then the soaking time is ok.

c. Do not spray until the film is completely softened and the surface tension is OK uniform.

d. Do not dip until the film ink is completely activated.

3. The pattern layer peeled off and the ground layer appears: the pattern wave is blurred; the waves appear broken; the pattern appears different in wave color shade.

Reasons:

a. Activator sprayed too much ( Over applied activator will cause slipping between the ink layer and the ground film. The of the pattern will be distorted because of such slipping ).

b. The primer is too hard or over-cured ( The over-cured prime is resistant to activating effect and reduces the surface between the ink layer and the ground material and will lead to the pattern deformation from slippage and shrinkage ).

c. Soaking time too long ( The ground film will be dissolved because of too long soaking time. Then the ground film losses function to support the ink pattern. The resultant pattern will be distorted or appear broken and over-stretched.

d. The air flow of spray gun is too strong ( The air flow blows the pattern disorder ).

e. Activated time too long. ( An over-activated ink pattern is floating and moving on water and the resultant picture on the product is blurred, unclear ) .

f. The solubility of the activator is not enough. The film ink has not been fully activated. ( This may lead to discontinuous pattern waves and over-stretched pictures ).

g. Dipping is not correct ( This may lead to pattern shade and color difference )

Solutions:

a. Adjust air pressure and atomization value to reduce activator flow.

b. Choose the right primer. Adjust the hardness and curing of the primer.

c. Reduce the soaking time ( 120seconds at 25℃ water temperature ) to ensure the film is not over-dissolved.

d.  Adjust air pressure of the spray gun. The air flow should not be so strong as to blow mess of the pattern.

e. In general, dipping should start in 60 seconds after activator spraying.

f. Change the activator with higher solubility. Anyway, the solubility of an activator should not be adjusted too high)

g. Dip correctly. The correct start position is always where activator spray starts first and dipping at 45°(This is to ensure uniform waves and color shades of the pattern ).

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Do you have MOQ?
Ans: Yes, for all abroad orders, the MOQ is 50 Square meter or 10 rolls by quantity.

Q2. How about your free samples?
Ans: Yes, as one of the largest inkjet media products manufacturers in China mainland, we are able to serve you our free samples for your test!

Both sheets and rolls are available!

A4 size: 5sheets at one time in free. 5 sheets packed into plastic bag with a sticker , 4R/A6 size or another size (3R,13X18″ etc) also available , Sample quantities more than 20 sheets you need to pay, our sales will tell you in advance , Freight collected, you can ask for your sales to draw back freight while you place an order.

  • Roll size: 1 square meter at one time in free. one roll packed into the carton with a sticker.
  • Another size like 17″, 24″ etc also available , to save freight we do not suggest this size for abroad sending .
  • You need to pay us as length more than 10m, our sales will tell you in advance.
  • Freight collected, you can ask for your sales to draw back freight while you place an order.

Q3. How much for the freight?
Ans: It depends on your area, we used UPS/DHL bulk service, it had a 40-45% discount as normal UPS express service.

Q4. Can you accept online payment, like Paypal?
Ans: Yes , with the development of international business, more and more customers intend to make payment online.
In China mainland , few factories accept online payment but accept T/T or L/C such traditional payment methods
only. Now, we accept it!

Also , we have an online store , you could click here to visit our online store to make a purchase online!

Q5. How about my goods packing? Can I use my logo or own packing?
Ans: Yes , you can. we are one of the pioneers who are able to serve various packing solutions ( professional OEM packing service ) in early times.

You can click here to learn more about our OEM packing service.

As for the bulk , we used pallet packing for your order.

Pls , click here to find our bulk packing solution.

Q6. Can I get your samples locally?
Ans: Yes, you can own our samples locally , you could email us your area , then we will notify where and who you can contact to get samples.

Q7. Do you have a discount for large quantities?
Ans: Yes, we have such sales policy. It not only depends on your order quantity but also the item you booked.

Large quantities could apply our distributor in your region , contact our sales to know more.

DIY hydro dipping for rim hubs

How to hydro dip at home?

The complete guide for DIY hydro dipping

DIY Hydro dipping is a fantastic way to decorate any 3D item which can be submerged in water without harm. While there are many companies specializing in hydro dip art for large items (e.g. cars interior, airline interior, yacht, RV interior, and sports equipment), it’s possible to do the DIY hydro dipping process on your own with a home size hydro dip kits.

DIY hydro dipping for rim hubs

Step 1. Using a Hydro Dipping Kit

Purchase a kit. Look it online for a home hydro dip kit, which helps you to transfer a specific print or design onto a 3-D object (that can be submerged in water without harm) without specialized equipment. In general, companies making these kits will offer an assortment of designs to choose from to customize your kit. Basic home hydro dip kits should include:

Step 2. Choose a suitable container.

hydro dipping tank for water transfer printing

Most DIY kits do not come with a container to be used during the dipping process. So choose a watertight plastic, glass, or aluminum container which is deep enough to fully submerge the object you are dipping. It should also be long and wide enough to leave 5-6 inches (approximately 12-15 cm) between the edge of the container and the object.

 

Step 3. Prepare the item.

Make sure that the item you are dipping is free of dust and debris. Spray the item with the primer provided in your kit, enough to coat, but not enough for the primer to run. Apply 1-2 light coats of the base coat spray provided in your kit, and leave the item to dry for one or two hours.

Before applying the primer and base coat, use masking tape to block off any parts of the item that you do not wish to have an image printed on.

Step 4. Size and cut the film.

Measure the size of the object you wish to cover and add 4-5 inches (approximately 12-15 cm) on each side. Cut the film accordingly. Make sure that the film remains dry during this process, as getting it wet could cause the image to warp.

Place masking tape around the edges of the film to keep it from rolling.

Step 5. Set up the container.

Fill the container with hot (but not boiling) water, approximately ¾ of the way full. Carefully pick up the film and bring the opposite sides together, holding it like a sling. Place the bottom of the sling onto the middle of the surface of the water, and slowly bring the sides down to place the film flat on the water.

Step 6. Let the film hydrate and apply the activator.

Use your phone or a stopwatch to ensure that the film dissolves for sixty seconds. After the sixty seconds, spray the activator provided in your kit evenly over the film. Once coated, the film should take approximately 5-10 seconds to turn into liquid ink on the surface of the water.

  • When the film is fully activated it will have a distinctly glossy appearance and will expand to fill the entire surface size of the container.

Step 7. Dip your item.

Hold your item at a 45-degree angle and slowly submerge it into the water. Once the item is fully submerged, even out the angle by pushing it down towards the ink. Keep your movements fluid for best results.

  • Put on gloves before dipping your item. If they are not supplied in the kit, purchase a pair before starting the whole dipping process.

Step 8 Rinse the item.

Slowly remove the item from the water by rinse tank. Hold the item lightly and carefully, and avoid rubbing its surface. Rinse it under cold water immediately for approximately 3 minutes to remove any PVA residue.


Step 9. Apply the top coat.

After air-drying the item, apply an even coat of the aerosol top coat spray provided in your kit. Let the item air dry before applying the second coat. Continue the process until the finish is to your liking.

If you are interested in water transfer printing or you want to know more about our products , please contact us for more  details .