O’Shea’s Aqua Dipp

“customizing your lifestyle”

Hydrographic Process


Hydrographic Dipping Process

Our OAD Dipp Kits- DIY Hydrographic Finishing Systems use a process called hydrographics to custom paint and decorate just about anything from hunting gear to car interiors to home furnishings. Hydrographics (also referred to as immersion, water transfer printing, liquid dipping or aqua dipping) is the process of applying decorative film to rigid and semi-rigid products including, but not limited to, plastic, wood and metal substrates.  List of Common Applications Hydrographic finishing provides complete 360° coverage over corners and in the crevasses of the most difficult three dimensional parts. The process typically includes the following 5 steps:

Step 1: Part surface preparation – The surface must be cleaned of all dirt, foreign materials, and surface oils. This is also the time to apply any additional primers, such as our Adhesion Promoter, if you choose to do so.

Step 2: Base coat application - The base color will depend upon the film used. For example: a base color of brown will be required to produce a wood grain image, silver to produce a metal image, and tan to produce the camouflage images.  With a lot of films you can choose a custom base color.  You must allow the base coat to dry before applying the film.

Step 3: Apply the decorative hydrographics film - The film is placed on top of the water in the dipping tank. The film is then sprayed with an activator that is used to dissolve  the film and leave the ink in an oil-like state on top of the water surface.   Next the properly prepared part is immersed into the water, and the upward pressure of the water causes the ink to wrap around and adhere to the item. 

Step 4: The part is washed using clean water to remove any residual ink and activator. The part then is allowed to dry in open air before finishing.

Step 5: Finishing - A clear coat is applied to the finished piece.

Detailed Written Instruction Are Provided With Every Kit

An Instructional 90 Minute DVD Is Included with Every Complete Kit

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