Hydro dipping is quickly picking up in popularity. Also known as immersion printing, hydro dripping is a process that allows you to apply color and graphics to almost any type of material.
It is a process that has been used by sporting goods companies and automakers for many years, but it has only been recently been picked up as a hobby by craft enthusiasts.
You can practice hydro dipping at home and use to it make some colorful, amazing creations, but you need to have the right paint to do so.
What are the best paints for hydro dipping? Most commonly, spray paint is used when hydro dipping at home. However, you can also use acrylic paints and oil-based paints made for use on different surfaces. The paint you use will depend on the desired look and finish, but spray paint is probably best for beginners.
The beauty of hydro dipping is that it is an easy enough hobby or painting technique to explore, and you can try out the different paints to see which you prefer working with.
Various Types of Paint
The type of paint you use for the hydro dipping process will depend on the type of item you are dipping, and what effect you are looking to achieve.
Using spray paint for hydro dipping is referred to as spray can hydro dipping. This method is used for “3D” objects (e.g. shirts and hats rather than a piece of paper), and not just for flat surfaces.
Hydro dipping is a great way to use up any old cans of paint you have at home. There is no specific spray paint that you have to use.
You simply spray the paint onto the surface of the water, adding in different spots of color here and there to create intricate patterns.
You really can get so creative with the different designs you come up with!
You should use oil-based paints mainly if you are wanting to hydro dip a flat surface, such as a piece of paper or canvas. Traditionally, this method was used to create a marbled effect.
The oil-based paints are dropped onto the surface of the water and then a pin-like tip is used to swirl the colors together. You could also use a straw to blow the ink around to create patterns and designs. Just be careful not to get to close and suck the paint water in!
You can also use acrylic paint for hydro dipping, but it is not as popular as just using spray paint. You have to take extra care with the acrylic paint to avoid it sinking to the bottom. Use a skewer to pick up some paint and transfer it gently to the top of the water.
Once you have done this a few times you can swirl the paints around using a pin or by blowing through a straw, once again creating a marbled effect.
Hydro Dipping Different Materials
The beauty of hydro dipping is that you can pretty much dip any item. Paper, fabric, glass, wood, plastic, metal, all work well with being hydro dipped.
When hydro dipping items such as plastic, glass, metal, and wood, it is better to use acrylic spray paint. It holds onto the items better, and you are able to fill the space with lots of different colors and designs.
If you are wanting to dip materials such as paper or canvas, you could use oil-based paints. This type of paint tends to work well with paper and canvas, and gives off a glossier finish, compared to the possible matte finish you would get with spray paint.
Using oil-based enamel to dip paper and canvas also allows you to create a marbled effect, which is how the method was originally used.
The 7 Best Paints For Hydro Dipping
To help you choose the best paints for hydro dipping, we have listed the right paints to use, from spray paints, oil-based paints, and acrylic paints.
Now here are our top choices of hydro dipping paints, including a little bit of everything:
|1.||Rust-Oleum Metallic Spray Paint||Oil-based spray paint, metallic finish|
|2.||Krylon ColorMaster Paint||Paint + primer spray, gloss finish|
|3.||Castle Art Supplies Fabric Paint Set||24 3D fabric paints|
|4.||Marabu Easy Marble (Rose Pink)||Marbling paint for dipping|
|5.||Flash Acrylic Paint Set||16 acrylic paints, multi-surface|
|6.||Neon Nights UV Paint Set||8 neon glow paints, for fabric|
|7.||Liquitex Pouring Medium Technique Set||4 acrylic inks, for pouring/dipping|
Remember that the different paints are used to hydro dip different materials, or to give different effects or designs. So figure out what you are wanting to hydro dip, and the look you want to achieve first. Then decide on the right paint for you from there.
1. Rust-Oleum Metallic Spray Paint
Rust-Oleum is a trusted spray paint brand, and with good reason. Not only does it work to stop rust and give a weather and corrosion-resistant coating, but the brand also has some incredible paint colors to choose from.
The spray paint can be used to hydro dip materials such as wood, metal, masonry, concrete, and much more. It has an oil-based formula that provides a durable protective coating, with great rust prevention, and with stunning colors as well.
You can choose from neutral or bright colors or even metallic colors. There is brass, gold, copper, silver, and other beautiful colors to choose from. You can create some of the most amazing designs using metallic spray paints!
Once dipped, it should take around 20 minutes to dry completely. The metallic spray paint contains actual metallic flakes, which helps to provide a shiny, brilliant finish that will really make your hydro dipping project stand out.
With a well-known brand name such as Rust-Oleum, and with such a wide variety of colors and finishes to choose from, you really cannot go wrong with using this type of spray paint for your hydro dipping projects!
2. Krylon ColorMaster Paint
The Krylon ColorMaster Paint spray paint is great to be used to hydro dip plastic, metal, wood, and other materials. You can choose different finishes, from flat, to gloss, to matte, satin and metallic.
Perfect for indoor and outdoor projects, you can use the spray paint to create hydro dipping designs for just about any project, knowing that if it is an outdoor project, the paint will keep it protected.
When the dipping process is complete, the paint will take 10 minutes or less to dry, which is fairly quicker than other spray paint brands.
Using Covermax technology, the Krylon spray paint gives items premium coverage with brilliant color. The EZ Touch Conical Tip of the spray can is designed to give you maximum control, and you can enjoy drip-free and run-free spray painting, without your finger becoming fatigued!
With brilliant color results, easy-to-use spray can, and protective coating, this is a great spray paint to use for hydro dipping. You can really get creative with your designs!
3. Castle Art Supplies Fabric Paint Set
This bright and vibrant set of 24 different color paints will give you all you need to create some exciting and colorful hydro dipping projects!
The paints dry with a 3D effect, which really does bring your pieces to life. While these are fabric paints, they can also be used on wood, glass, and other substrates.
Being quick-drying, it is a pleasure to use these paints for hydro dipping, as there is not much time needed for the item to sit and dry after being dipped. It is also child-friendly and non-toxic, so it can provide a hydro dipping experience for the whole family!
Included with the 24 paints are three bonus brushes, which can be used to create a marbled effect on the water.
4. Marabu Easy Marble Rose Pink
Created to be used for immersion and marbling by hydro dipping, the Marabu Easy Marble Rose Pink paint is the perfect medium to use.
When using this paint for hydro dipping, you can decorate materials such as plastics, fabrics, metal, glass, and much more. You can use the rose pink and any other colors to create marbling effects in a matter of seconds, on top of the surface of the water.
The paint needs to simply be dipped into water and you can then dip your item in as well. The paint dries within 15 to 20 minutes and gives the material a delicate, pretty rose pink color.
There are other colors and finishes in the range, and you can use a few, including the metallic Marabu paints, to create some really stunning designs.
The paint is made in Germany and only uses organic solvents. The 15mL bottle might not seem like a lot, but you only need a small amount for hydro dipping, and you will get a good few projects out of this one small bottle.
5. Flash Acrylic Paint Set
The Flash Acrylic Paint Set offers the ultimate performance across a wide range of crafts and hobbies and works really well for hydro dipping.
With 16 vibrant colors included in the kit, made with high levels of pigment strength, opacity, and high-performance, you get the most out of the colors and paint. Each color is formulated to ensure it remains as bright and vibrant as possible, no matter what medium it is used on.
The wide range of colors in the kit means that you can come up with some great designs and marbled patterns when hydro dipping, and you will be able to complete so many different projects just using this one paint set.
The paints are certified safe and non-toxic, so you can use them on your own or with the family, without worrying about any harmful chemicals or odors.
Once dried, the paints maintain their good elasticity, which makes them great to use on different materials. Plus, the colors are strong and pigmented enough to not fade over time while giving off more color reflection.
There are other options in the range as well, such as metallic color paints, a pouring medium, and fluorescent paints. You can build up a hydro dipping kit with all the different colors and finishes that you could ever need!
6. Neon Nights UV Paint Set
For the most amazing hydro dipped projects, you could use these UV paints. They are fabric paints, but they can be used on other materials as well.
The glow in the dark paint can be used on all different colors and canvases and still be vibrant and bright, thanks to their high opacity and vibrancy.
The high-quality and safe-to-use paints are made to impress and will help bring new dimensions and effects to your hydro dipping projects.
Being long-lasting, the paints can withstand against washing and wear and is a great set of paints to use when you want to hydro dip shoes. The paints will stick to the shoes and be able to withstand regular wear and hold up on the fabric.
With 8 different UV colors in bright neon shades, this set is fun, full of life, and something different!
7. Liquitex Pouring Medium Technique Set
This set of paints has been designed and developed exclusively for flow painting and pouring effects, which makes them perfect to use for hydro dipping and marbling.
The Liquitex Pouring Medium Paints create a smooth, seamless, and strong body of paint when used on a surface, and give a high gloss finish when used for dipping.
Being ultra-fluid, the acrylic paints are made with lightfast pigments, with no dyes, which means the colors will not fade. Once dry, the medium is water-resistant.
Included in the set of paints are three colors, which are yellow, magenta, and blue (tinted green). It is a set designed for pouring art, but the paints are great to use for hydro dipping as well.
The set is a good starter-kit if you are wanting to try to use acrylic paints for hydro dipping, and would work best if you are dipping canvas or paper.
Can I Hydro Dip Without Spray Paint?
Yes, you can hydro dip without spray paint. If you are wanting a similar effect, you can always purchase a hydro dip kit. This is an alternative, and easier method, to doing it yourself. The kits include everything you would need to hydro dip, including a topcoat to maintain colors and designs.
How Long Does Hydro Dipping Take to Dry?
How long hydro dipping takes to dry will depend on the paint you use to hydro dip. However, it should not take longer than 20 minutes. The item should be left and not touched for 20 minutes, to ensure the colors and designs are not ruined.
If you are marbling paper, you may need considerably less time, perhaps as little as a minute or two.
Can I Hydro Dip at Home?
You can hydro dip at home with some acrylic spray paint and a large bath of water or very wide tub/container. There are many tutorial videos online that can guide you through the process of hydro dipping at home. It might take a few tries to get right, but it is easy enough to learn on your own.
Is Cold or Warm Water Better For Hydro Dipping?
It is better to use warm water for hydro dipping, as cold water might ruin the hydro dipping process. The water does not have to be hot, but warm or lukewarm water should be fine to use.
Should I Seal Hydro Dipped Items?
If you want, you can seal your hydro dipped items with a clear spray sealant. This should be easy enough to find in most craft or hardware stores. These sealants can give a matte, semi-gloss, or gloss finish. The sealant you use will depend on the finish you are wanting.
The Best Paint For Hydro Dipping – Review
If you are wanting to hydro dip at home, it is best to use spray paint. Spray paint allows you to hydro dip different materials such as plastic, metal, fabric, glass, and wood. Oil-based paints and acrylics are best used to create marbling effects through hydro dipping on paper and canvas.
Hydro dipping is a fun painting technique to pick up. There are nearly no limits on the items that you can actually hydro dip!
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