What Is Hydrographics
Hydrographics is also known as water transfer printing, camo dipping, immersion printing and hydro dipping. It is a method of applying a pre-printed design to three dimensional surfaces. Hydrographics can be applied to nearly any object that is made of wood, plastic, glass, fiberglass and metal. If the item can be painted and submerged in water, it can generally be dipped.
Guns, bows, animal skulls and automotive trim are items frequently dipped. First the item has to be prepped and a primer or basecoat is applied. The basecoat is often dependent on the pattern selected by the customer. Some patterns, such as Reaper H2O and Moonshine Freedom camo, allow the customer to select a unique basecoat that will show through and become part of the pattern once dipped. Here is an example of Reaper H2O with a chartreuse basecoat.
The pattern, or film selected is laid on the surface of the water and a chemical activator is applied. The activator turns the film to liquid ink that floats on the water's surface.
The item is then dipped slowly through the ink which wraps around and adheres to the object.
The item is dried and an automotive grade clear coat applied over the new finish. This clear coat can be gloss, semi-gloss or flat dependent on customer preference. There is also a "soft touch" finish that can be applied to firearms. This finish gives the firearm a supple feel making it easy and comfortable to grip.