Best Spray Paint For Hydro Dipping: Reviewed For All Shoes

Metallic Finish
  • Prevents rust and corrosion for enhanced durability
Highly Rated
  • Durable Covermax technology
  • Dries in 10 minutes or less

Hydro dipping is an effective alternative to traditional painting methods, especially if your next painting project calls for a unique, multi-colored finish.

Though spray paint products are abundant, not every product you come across will be best for this particular painting technique. It’s important to know which products will give you the best results from start to finish.

We’ve taken time to research and find the best spray paints on the market for hydro dipping.

For most painting projects, it’s often necessary, and the best practice, to apply multiple coats of paint. However, with hydro dipping, you can achieve full-coverage with a single pass through the water.

Hydro dipping requires minimal materials, most of which you’ll most likely already have on hand. Aside from an oil-based spray paint, you’ll also need a pair of protective gloves and a container that you don’t mind getting paint residue in. To create your own pattern with multiple colors of spray paint, you can use a wooden paint stick. 

Many do-it-yourselfers turn to this technique as a way to paint shoes and other difficult shaped objects. Because of the nature of this painting style, you can fully submerge an item and ensure that paint sticks to the hard-to-reach cracks and crevices.

The spray paint on the water's surface will cling to the object that you dip into the water immediately. When you pull the item out of the water, you will see that it is fully coated in paint.

Hydro dipping is a time-saving and inexpensive technique that makes each new project different from the last.

Advantages for Using the Hydro Dipping Technique

Improved Look

Hydro dipping can revitalize an old item by giving it a new and improved look. Do-it-yourselfers are in full control of the paint pattern for the final product and add as much or as little spray paint as preferred.

To see the best results, we recommend priming painting surfaces so that the paint can absorb into wood, plastic, and other materials.

Heat Resistant

A heat resistant spray paint improves the durability of any hydro dipping project and is crucial for long-term use of an item. Depending on the material that the technique is used on, you might also look for spray paint products corrosion-resistant.

Scratch Resistant

The type of spray paint you use for hydro dipping affects how resistant the painted item is to scratches and gradual wear-and-tear. After customizing a project, the last thing you want is to find that it isn’t as durable as you expected. This won’t be an issue with excellent quality spray paint, especially when you also use a sealant spray. 

Complete Covering

One of the main perks of hydro dipping is the way this technique allows for full-coverage of any object without multiple coats. Regardless of an item’s size or shape, hydro dipping can be far more effective than other painting methods that require more time and energy.

Permanent Color

Once an item is painted via hydro dipping, the paint seals to the surfaces. To make sure that the paint won’t chip, it's always a good idea to use a sealant spray after the paint fully dries. This guarantees the longevity of the paint so that the color will be just as vibrant years later. 

Choice of Many Patterns & Styles

When using this hydro dipping technique, it’s possible to create marble, tye-dye, or other abstract patterns. Creating your own design is easy to do. Simply take a wooden painting stick and move it through the water until you form a pattern that you like.

6 Best Spray Paints for Hydro Dipping Reviewed

1. Rust-Oleum 249127 Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover

On Sale Today
Rust-Oleum 249127 Painter's Touch 2X Ultra...
  • Ideal for use on interior/exterior surfaces...
  • Oil-based formula is low odor, resist chips...
  • Dries to touch in 20 minutes and covers up to...
  • Durable formula provides excellent hide and...

Colors Available


Dry Time

20 minutes



Can Size

12 oz.

The Rust-Oleum 249127 Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover is at the top of our list of best spray paint products for hydro dipping.

This oil-based spray paint can be used for indoor and outdoor projects alike, which gives do-it-yourselfers the chance to take on various painting projects. Because this spray paint has an oil-based formula, it is chip-resistant and forms a strong protective paint layer on any object.

This spray paint is well-suited for wood, plaster, metal, masonry, and unglazed ceramic surfaces. Not only can you use the hydro dipping technique on multiple materials, but this Rust-Oleum product also offers full-coverage with a coverage area of up to 12 square feet.

The can itself is designed with features that improve your comfort throughout the hydro dipping process. Key features include an any angle spray and a comfortable spray tip, so you can work on a project for as long as necessary without discomfort.

2. Rust-Oleum 249131 Universal All Surface Spray Paint

Rust-Oleum 249131 11 oz Universal All Surface...
  • Works on virtually any surface including...
  • Oil-based formula with excellent adhesion...
  • Fast drying formula dries to the touch in 30...
  • Prevents rust and corrosion for enhanced...

Colors Available


Dry Time

30 minutes



Can Size

11 oz

While some other models in this review can be used for hydro dipping plastic, the Rust-Oleum 249131 Universal All Surface Spray Paint stands out as the best option for this type of material.

Do-it-yourselfers can purchase this Rust-Oleum product in any of the 18 color options, which is especially beneficial for hydro dipping with multiple spray paint colors. You can easily select the colors you like and incorporate several color options into your hydro dipping project.

Instead of using spray cans from multiple brands, you can guarantee the quality of the final appearance by selecting different versions of the same Rust-Oleum 249131 product. This model is oil-based and also creates a durable surface that isn’t prone to rust or corrosion.

Not only is this spray paint excellent for plastic, but it can also be applied to wood, metal, fiberglass, concrete, and many other materials. With a 15 square foot coverage, you won’t have to question whether you’re getting your money’s worth.

3. Krylon K05160107 ColorMaster Paint

Krylon K05160107 ColorMaster Paint + Primer,...
  • For use on plastic, metal, wood and more
  • Perfect for indoor and outdoor projects
  • Dries in 10 minutes or less
  • Durable Covermax technology for premium...

Colors Available


Dry Time

10 minutes


Gloss, flat, matte, metallic, satin, semi-flat, and semi-gloss

Can Size

12 oz

Krylon has a strong reputation as a brand that produces great quality spray paint products, and the Krylon K05160107 ColorMaster Paint is a testament to this public perception.

One of the main benefits of purchasing this 12 ounce spray paint is that it can be found in a range of finishes and colors. Whether a hydro dipping project calls for a specific color scheme or style of finish, it’s guaranteed that you will be able to find the type of spray paint you’re looking for.

This Krylon product has a speedy drying time at 10 minutes or less. However, after using the hydro dipping technique, it’s always recommended to wait a full 24 hours before using the painted object.

If you’re looking for versatility in your spray paint, this product can be used on indoor and outdoor projects. The spray paint will cling nicely to plastic, metal, wood, and more materials.

4. Rust-Oleum 284678 Stops Rust Spray Paint

Rust-Oleum 284678 Stops Rust Spray Paint,...
  • Weather and corrosion resistant coating...
  • Oil-based formula provides a durable...
  • Dries to touch in 2-4 hours and covers up to...
  • Excellent resistance to abrasion, fading and...

Colors Available


Dry Time

2 to 4 hours



Can Size

12 oz

Spray paint products with oil-based formulas are best for hydro dipping, but the best option that we’ve found on the market is the Rust-Oleum 284678 Stops Rust Spray Paint.

This spray paint is one of the most durable options for indoor and outdoor projects. Painted surfaces are resistant to abrasion, fading, and chipping, and this will extend the lifetime of any item. The oil-based formula is also designed to be weather and corrosion-resistant, which gives you more freedom to adapt the hydro dipping technique to various surfaces.

Whether painting on wood, metal, concrete, masonry, or another material, this is a great quality spray paint option to choose. The dry time takes about two to four hours, and the spray can itself has a coverage span of up to 15 square feet.

All things considered, the Rust-Oleum 284678 is among the best products available today for a durable and full-coverage finish.

5. Hydrographic Film Hydro Dipping Aerosol Activator

Hydrographic Film - Water Transfer Printing -...
  • Hydrographics Film - Water Transfer Printing...
  • Ground Shipping Only to Lower 48 Continental...
  • Same or 1 Business day shipping.
  • Please Note If you Purchase an Activator with...

Colors Available

Translucent Only

Dry Time




Can Size

16 oz

When it comes to hydro dipping, an activator spray can significantly impact the overall look of the final painting project. The best hydro dipping paint activator that we’ve found is the Hydrographic Film Hydro Dipping Aerosol Activator.

Activators are commonly used with hydrographic film and applied to the film’s surface before dipping an item into the water. When it comes to spray paint hydro dipping, you can apply this activator product after adding as much spray paint as you want to the water. 

This aerosol activator is effective with one pass over the spray paint in the water. Keep in mind that the number of activator spray coats that you use can impact how vibrant the color ends up being. As a general rule, more passes of an activator spray can give the final project a glossy and even foggy appearance.

If you want to make sure that your hydro dipping process is successful, this activator is a great product to invest in.

6. DIP APE Hydro Graphic Aerosol Spray Can

Hydrographic Film Activator - DIP APE Super...
  • DIP WIZARD Activator is the only Activator...

Colors Available

Translucent Only

Dry Time




Can Size

16 oz

The most trusted and best brand hydro dipping paint activator is the DIP APE Hydro Graphic Aerosol Spray Can.

The DIP APE brand is known for creating the highest quality aerosol activators. Whereas some other activators can fade the colors of ink or spray paint, this isn’t the case for this product. This activator is great for creating an even coat and won’t clog regardless of how often you use the product.

You will see great results with only one pass of the activator spray. If you’re looking for a product that will help the spray paint cling to any material, using this activator can have a significant impact on the hydro dipping process from start to finish.

Depending on your location, you may view it as an advantage or disadvantage that this product is only available in the continental U.S. However, if you’re able to get your hands on this activator product, we highly recommend doing so.

What Materials Can Be Hydro Dipped?

  • Plastic
    During the hydro dipping process, spray paint will adhere to plastic material as long as it’s included in the spray paint product’s list of applicable materials. It’s also important to prep the surface using a primer spray.
  • Fiberglass
    Fiberglass is a durable material that can be well-suited for hydro dipping. Be sure to verify that the spray paint you choose is designed for this surface type.
  • Wood
    It’s best to hydro dip wood material after prepping the wood by sanding the surfaces and applying a primer coat. This will help the paint absorb into the pores in the wood.
  • Ceramics
    When it comes to ceramics, most do-it-yourselfers find the most success when working with unglazed ceramic surfaces.
  • Metal
    Metal is a material commonly used for hydro dipping. We recommend cleaning the surface using isopropyl alcohol and using a primer that is especially suited for metal material.

How To Do Hydro Dipping?

  1. 1
    The first step is to prepare whatever surface you’re working with. A light sanding and coat of primer can go a long way in helping the paint adhere to the material.
  2. 2
    Next, you will need a deep container that you can fill with warm water. It’s important to choose a container that is large enough for you to submerge the item you want to paint.
  3. 3
    Set the spray paint products you will use closeby and take turns spraying each color into the water. The paint will cling to the surface and disperse as you add more paint.
  4. 4
    Before you dip an item into the water, make sure that you are wearing protective gear like gloves and a mask.
  5. 5
    Set the hydro-dipped product to the side to dry and apply a sealant coat.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can you hydro dip without spray paint?

Yes. You can always opt for hydrographic film, which comes in various patterns and styles if you choose not to use spray paint. 

Is hydro dipping permanent?

Hydro dipping is a painting method known for being long-lasting, but to ensure the longevity of a painted item, it’s crucial to prep and seal the item.

What are the best colors for hydro dipping?

The great thing about hydro dipping with spray paint is that you can combine any colors you want to create a unique final product.

What can kids hydro dip?

Kids can hydro dip toys, whether plastic or wooden and a variety of other household items. There is so much potential for do-it-yourself projects that kids can participate in.

Can you hydro dip with acrylic paint?

It’s recommended to use oil-based paint for hydro dipping because most acrylic paints are water-soluble. 

How do you fix a bad hydro dip?

If a hydro dipping project doesn’t turn out how you want, you can do a second hydro dip after sanding the surface.


If you’re looking to add a customized and unique touch to your next project, hydro dipping is a great technique for doing just that. With the right prep and follow up care, a painted item will be as vibrant as it will be durable.

The best spray paint product for this painting method is the Rust-Oleum 249127 Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover, but our review includes several top-rated products that have also proven to be worth your time and investment.

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