Hydrographics FAQ

Here are some of the hydrographics questions and answer we normal see people asking us


Remember to test products received on a couple of small items first!

Our Speed Shapes are perfectly design for this purpose 

  • How long does this process last and is it durable?

The final finish last forever as its a permanent solution similar to your modern vehicle body finish, depending on the products used the protection may vary. We would advice to ask our professionals for the choice or top coats available for your product at the time of booking the parts or ordering our approved raw hydrographics materials.

  • The film melted as soon as I laid it in the water (before spraying activator)?

You missed one of several steps. You need to have a properly taped border. Also, water may have gotten on the top of the film after laying it in the water. Or there was activator left in the tank from a previous dip. After each dip you need to change/recycle  the water AND wipe out the inside of the tank.

  • After spraying the activator some parts of the film melt and some do not?

It is important that when you spray the activator over the film that you spray in a smooth motion, covering the film evenly with activator. We recommend a good quality gravity spay gun to be user at low pressure.

  • After spraying the film spread out too much / melted?

Did you leave only (about) a one inch space between your taped film and the border of your dipping tank on all four sides? If you don’t contain the film it spreads out quickly and ruins the pattern. Also, you may have used too much activator or waited too long to start the dipping process.

  • The print looked great then smeared off?

There could be several reasons for this, all of which are caused by not following the directions. Most commonly the cause is too much activator. Or you sprayed the activator unevenly. You’ll also have this problem if you don’t tape a border around your film and provide the right amount of space between your bordered film and the edges of the container.

  • After spraying the activator on the film MANY air bubbles appeared on the film as it lying in the water?

You may have laid the film on the water flat instead of “in a sling” as described in the directions. Rarely after laying the film in correctly you will see an air bubble appear and most of the time you can dip around that area if it can be avoided.

  • The print looked great on the item after I dipped but had air bubbles/ little holes on pattern

Not enough activator or you didn’t give enough time for the activator to work. As long as you don’t go overboard with the activator this is usually around the 15 – 20 second mark. Bubbles can also be cause by dipping with wrong angle and not allowing the bubbles to escape during the dip

  • How much film will I need for each part?

For a flat piece leave an inch of film around each side of the piece. For a 3-dimensional object (something with sides, corners, or curves) you’ll need enough film to cover the entire surface area of the object plus an inch left over on each side.

  • How do I lay the film in the water?

Hold the film in a sling from opposite diagonal corners and slowly release the film.

  • When, and how long should I rinse my part after dipping?

Wait about 90 seconds after dipping to rinse. Rinse as long as necessary to remove the residue – otherwise your finished product will have an unattractive sticky sheen.

  • I’ve run out of paint, film, activator, etc. Do I have to buy another entire kit?

You can buy additional supplies at our website as you required them in a kit form or single items. Email us with your requirements if you can’t find a solution you need on the website.

  • I’m having a hard time getting a good grip on my item for dipping. What can I do?

Applying masking tape to the bottom of the item to create a handle or make a jig out of plumbing PVC materials as a cheap solution.

  • The part printed great then started to eat into the base coat?

This is  a caused by not using the correct products or process during painting and preparation of the part. It can also be cause by too match activator or chemicals mismatch.

  • How do I know which side of the film to put down in the water?

Wet your fingers and touch both sides simultaneously , the side that sticks to your hand is the side that goes down into the water.

  • Can I touch up a small imperfection?

Yes, spray some activator into a small container. Use a small brush, dip into the activator then rub the brush onto a piece of the film. You can dilute some of the ink from the carrier and dab bit onto the area you wish to touch up. After this procedure wait 24 hours prior to sealing the

  • I’m having trouble working with the film because it’s wrinkled and curling a LOT?

The film needs to be kept indoors in a dry area. Humidity from the air can alter the film. When not in use place in back in the package it came in.  However some films will require a gentle blow while soaking to help them with the laying and absorbing the water evenly.

  • I follow the instruction and FAQ but I am still running into problem.

Contact our technical support for advice at your earliest convenient time.

  • What can be hydro dipped?

Basically any hard surface you can get the base coat   to adhere to you can dip. For example Plastic, Wood, variety of metals, fiberglass or even glass,

  • Is it hard to dip an object?

The process is straight forward; if you can follow instructions we provide with our products, you can dip any object. Also training is available to those who want to take this business seriously or need the extra skills    to develop.

  • Are some parts harder to dip than others?

Yes, depending on the configuration of the part some can be more difficult than others. For some 3 dimensional objects dip one half at a time. Some objects may  require to tape off one side and dip then repeat the process to for the other side.

  • Can I use my own base coat colors?

Yes, as long as it is a good quality automotive base coat you can use it for processing, however to eliminate process issues we always recommend to use our tested and approved products which come with support during the process.

  • Can I use (fill in the blank) paint/primer?

If you have access to high quality, automotive base paint feel free. Yet the raw products we supply is designed specifically for the dipping process. Using off the shelf supplies can yield poor final results

  • How do I paint / prime my object?

With several light coats. Make sure to get complete coverage. Remember it’s recommended to paint your item within 24 hours of applying the primer.

  • Do I have to use special water?

No any water from a clean supply is adequate including rain water.