12 Ways to Achieve Awesome Paint Jobs with Hydro Dipping

Art & Sculpture Craft & Design

There are many names for this process. Marbling, dipping, dip art, hydro dipping, and more. While some aspects of the process may vary, all of these have the same basic core. A paint or colorant of some kind is suspended on water, then an object is dipped through it, allowing the surface tension to wrap the paint around the object.

This process can be made easy, or difficult, depending on how much control you want over the final result, but for all of them, it sure is fun to watch.

Enjoy these tutorials showing many different ways to use this technique in your home.

Small scale “dip art”

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This example shows how to do some fairly quick and messy dip art. The process on this one doesn’t look that impressive, but in the final shot of the glasses you can see the result is pretty nice.

Deer skull dipping

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If you’re going to decorate with skulls, you might as well spice them up with a bit of paint, right? Here you can see that adding a base layer can really make the dipped paint stand out.

Paint Swirl art

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This video is particularly fun to watch simply for the process of adding paint to the water. The results are quite nice as well. You may want to turn down your speakers a bit though.

Spray paint and water trick

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Using strings to drop your item through the paint is a pretty good tip.

Homemade camo dipping

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Adding a nice organic looking camo pattern to your gear is pretty easy with this method.

Spray paint samurai

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There’s a great tip in this video: You can use a straw to deposit drops of color for more control.

Swirling an Oneida

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When you want to paint something that is really oddly shaped, dipping can make it much easier.

Custom guitar pedal

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No two dips turn out identical. This is really nice when you’re working with custom products.

Swirling a guitar

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Make that guitar really stand out on stage with a fancy swirl job! Here you can see that enamel paints of various types can be used.


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It really is amazing just how easily you can add a cool finish to something like a guitar with this method.

Swirl painting a jackson guitar

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Note how the person dipping the guitar rocks it back and forth as he dips it. This adds sideways lines to the finished work.

Hydro dipping motorcycle parts

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This process is so easy, you could re-paint your bike every year after it has been through a rough summer!

6 thoughts on “12 Ways to Achieve Awesome Paint Jobs with Hydro Dipping

  1. Scott Tuttle says:

    pretty neat. someone needs to hack up an inkjet printer to put images down on water you can dip into.

  2. Luis Humberto Balam Gonzalez says:

    Good!.. Water pollution!

  3. Locality says:

    does anyone know the method to do this safely on skin?

    1. Shaggy says:

      Just find a paint safe for skin that floats on water.

    2. Brandy Prince says:

      Fingernail polish, maybe? I’ve used this method, to create cool nail designs, for years. In the Cos world we call it the water marble technique. Just make sure your water is room temperature, pick your colors, then drop them in by drops, use a tooth pick to swirl it around or create a design of your choice, dip your object in, remove paint/polish that’s still floating at the top, away from the object, then pull your object out of the water. You could also probably use a latex body paint, as long as you aren’t allergic to latex, and a stick bigger than a toothpick, depending on how big of an area you’re trying to dip… Just an idea……… look up water marbling nail tutorials on youtube for a more detailed how-to..

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I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. email me at caleb (at) make.co or You can find me on tiktok, talking about my animals at TikTok

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