How To Hydro Dip With Acrylic Paint

How To Hydro Dip With Acrylic Paint


Hydro dipping, also known as water transfer printing or hydrographics, is a fun and creative way to apply patterns or designs onto various objects using water and acrylic paint. This technique allows you to transform everyday items like phone cases, shoes, or even car parts into unique pieces of art. If you’re eager to try this exciting DIY technique, this article will guide you through the step-by-step process of hydro dipping with acrylic paint.

Materials You’ll Need

Before you start hydro dipping, gather the following materials:

  • Object to be dipped (e.g., phone case, shoes, car part)
  • Acrylic paint in various colors
  • Large container with water
  • Craft sticks or stirring rods
  • Masking tape
  • Clean cloth or towel
  • Clear spray sealant (optional)

The Process

Now that you have everything you need, follow these steps to hydro dip with acrylic paint:

Step 1: Prepare Your Object

Clean the surface of the object you want to hydro dip thoroughly. Remove any dirt, dust, or oils from the surface, as they can interfere with the adherence of the paint.

Step 2: Prepare the Paint

Pour your chosen acrylic paint colors into separate containers. Add water to thin the paint slightly, creating a consistency similar to nail polish. Stir the paint gently with a craft stick or stirring rod until it is well mixed.

Step 3: Apply the Base Coat

Apply a base coat of acrylic paint onto your object using a paintbrush. This coat will serve as the background color for your hydro dip design. Choose a color that complements the other colors you plan to use. Allow the base coat to dry completely.

Step 4: Prepare the Water Bath

Fill a large container with enough water to fully submerge your object. The water should be at room temperature for best results. Securely attach small pieces of masking tape to the back of your object, creating handles for easy dipping and removal.

Step 5: Create Your Design

Working quickly, drop your desired acrylic paint colors onto the water’s surface. Use a combination of colors to achieve a marbled or swirled effect. Feel free to experiment with different techniques, such as using a toothpick to create patterns or gently blowing on the surface to disperse the paint.

Step 6: Dip Your Object

Hold the taped handles of your object and gently dip it into the water, submerging it completely. Be sure to dip straight down and avoid any twisting or rolling motions. Once your object is submerged, carefully remove it from the water, allowing any excess paint to drip back into the container.

Step 7: Rinse and Dry

Rinse your object under running water to remove any remaining paint residue. Use a clean cloth or towel to pat it dry gently. Avoid rubbing as it may smudge or remove the design.

Step 8: Apply a Sealant (Optional)

If you want to protect your hydro dipped object and give it a glossy finish, consider applying a clear spray sealant. Hold the sealant can approximately 6-8 inches away from the object and spray a thin, even coat. Allow it to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


Hydro dipping with acrylic paint is an exciting way to transform ordinary items into eye-catching works of art. With a few simple materials and the steps outlined in this article, you can try this DIY technique and explore your creativity. Remember, be patient and don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors and patterns. Happy hydro dipping!

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