Can You Hydro-Dip A Paintball Gun? Complete Guide

As an avid paintballer, I’m always looking for ways to customize and personalize my gear. I want my guns and equipment to reflect my style on the field. Recently, I discovered hydrodipping, a process that allows you to add cool graphic prints to surfaces. It immediately caught my interest, and I wondered if I could hydrodip my paintball gun for a unique look.

After doing some research, I learned hydro-dipping is definitely possible on paintball markers with the right preparation and technique. While it’s not quite as simple as dipping the gun straight into a hydro-dipped film pattern, there are absolutely ways to get a durable and quality hydro-dipped finish on your paintball gun with a few key steps.

The first thing I needed to do was completely disassemble my paintball gun. This allows you to only dip the parts you want, avoiding any internal components that could be damaged by moisture. I completely broke down my marker into the individual outer parts I planned to dip.

Next, I sanded and scuffed each part to create a textured surface that the hydro-dip coating could adhere to. This is an essential step; any glossy, smooth surfaces will cause the graphic film to reject rather than grip. A matte finish allows ink transfer.

With my parts prepped, I set up my DIY hydrodipping station. I filled a plastic tub with warm water and laid out my selected graphic film, print side up. After spraying the parts with an activator solution, I slowly dipped each one in the film, watching eagerly as the graphic transferred.

Hydrodipping A Paintball Gun

As a passionate paintballer, I decided to try hydro-dipping my marker for a cool custom look. The process involves dipping objects in water with special hydrographic films that transfer graphic prints.

To hydrodip my gun, I fully disassembled it, then sanded and scuffed each outer part to prep the surface. This lets the film cling better when dipping. I filled a tub with warm water and laid the vivid film print-side up in it.

After spraying my prepped parts with an activator solution, I slowly dipped each one and watched as the film transferred flawless designs. Once dry, I applied a clear coat for protection. Reassembling my hydro-dipped gun, I was amazed by how awesome it looked!

The custom graphics gave my marker a unique makeover. While it takes practice, with the right steps, hydro-dipping can create sick finishes on paintball guns. I had a blast tricking out my gear this creative way!

How To Hydro Dip Step-By-Step

First, I take apart whatever object I want to dip and clean each piece thoroughly. This prepares the surface. Next, I lightly sand and scuff each part to create a textured matte finish for the film to cling to later.

The rougher, the better! Then I set up my dipping station: I fill a plastic tub with warm water and carefully lay the special hydrodip film print-side up in the water. I spray each prepped piece with an activator solution, which prepares it for dipping.

Now the fun part: I slowly dip each piece into the tub, being careful not to create bubbles, and watch as the graphic film magically adheres. Once fully coated, I let the pieces drip dry on a rack until they were tack-free.

Finally, I apply a clear coat sealant to protect the finish and bring out the colors. Following these simple steps allows me to successfully hydrodive with awesome results every time!

Alternatives To Hydro Dipping A Paintball Marker

As a creative paintballer, I’m always looking for cool ways to customize my markers beyond basic hydrodipping. Here are some alternative techniques I’ve tried to uniquely mod my guns:

Vinyl wraps: Applying cut vinyl decals allows you to give your marker any printed design or solid color. The vinyl layers over contours well and peels off easily for changing looks. Plasti Dip spray paint also adheres nicely for a rubberized, coated feel.

Engraving: For a sleek etched look, engraving designs into metal or polymer marker parts works great. I’ve used a handheld electric engraver to add custom names, logos, and more to my gun.

Airbrushing is My favorite way to freely paint markers in any style. Airbrushing lets you fade and blend colors, create graffiti effects, splatter, and whatever else you envision to make the gun truly one-of-a-kind. The results look incredibly artistic.

Ultimately, I suggest trying different approaches when customizing your paintball gear. Simple DIY upgrades like vinyl and engraving can totally transform a marker’s aesthetic. And for unlimited creative potential,nothing beats airbrushing. The possibilities are endless!

How Long Does A Hydro Dip Last?

As an avid hydrodipper, I often get asked how durable a hydrodipped finish is. Based on my experience, a properly done hydro dip using quality products can last for years with proper care and maintenance. The key factors are surface prep, dipping technique, and using the right sealants.

By thoroughly cleaning and scuffing the surface before dipping, you ensure the graphic film can securely adhere to the substrate. Taking care when dipping to avoid bubbles and full submersion of the part will produce a smooth, complete finish. And properly sealing the hydrodip with clear coats formulated for protection makes the graphics more impervious to wear and abrasion.

On my hydro dipped paintball guns that see heavy gameplay, the finish lasts season after season because I followed good prep and dipping methods. The sealant also gets reapplied occasionally for added durability.

As long as you don’t aggressively scrape or peel the hydrodip, it can realistically last 3-5 years or more with proper care. But even when it eventually fades, you can just re-dip it and get it looking as good as new!

Hydrodipping My Paintball Gun At Home: Is It Possible?

As a DIY enthusiast, I wondered if it was possible to hydrodip a paintball gun at home without professional equipment. After doing some experimenting, I’ve found you absolutely can hydro dip markers in your own garage or workshop! The process simply requires a tub of water, some graphic hydrodip film, activator spray, and basic supplies like sandpaper and clear coat.

My first attempts involved fully disassembling the gun, sanding the parts smooth, and then trying to dip them in water with a film on the surface. Without an activator spray, the results were hit-or-miss. But once I used an activator to prep the surface, the film adhered flawlessly when dipped.

While buying commercial hydrodipping kits helps, I’ve found you can craft your own setup pretty easily. Films ordered online have cool graphics for any style. As long as you properly prep and activate the parts, the home dipping process works great.

Applying a clear top coat completes the durable finish. With a little practice, DIY hydrodipping a marker is totally doable for unique looks, even on a budget. The custom results are so worth the effort!

Comparing The Price: Hydro Dipping Vs. Painting Your Paintball Gun

As someone who customizes realistic paintball guns, I’m often asked about the cost difference between hydrodipping a marker versus painting it. From my experience, hydrodipping is the more affordable route for a full-coverage graphic finish.

Professional hydrodipping services charge around $50–100 to coat an entire gun in immersive graphics. The films offer tons of cool printable patterns at reasonable prices per yard. Doing it yourself at home is even cheaper since you just need a hydro-dipping kit, activator spray, and clear coat.

Comparatively, paying an artist to fully hand-paint or airbrush elaborate designs on a marker could cost $2,000 or more. The time and attention to detail increase labor costs significantly. While stunning, custom paintwork is an investment.

For budget-friendly, full-coverage graphics, hydrodipping can’t be beat. The film prints cover intricately in one dip, adhering around every contour. It achieves artistic looks for less.

However, for truly specialized artistic paint effects like fades and gestures, an expert painter may be worth the premium price. It comes down to the design you envision. Either way, upgrading a stock paintball gun into a customized show-stopper is incredibly rewarding!


After learning about and trying hydro dipping on my own paintball gear, I’m amazed by how effective this technique is for creating unique finishes on markers. While it takes some practice, the process is very achievable, both professionally and as a DIY project, with the right materials and preparation.

For creative types like me who want to give their equipment a facelift, hydro dipping lets you customize your gun with eye-catching graphics that really make it your own.

I’ve had a blast experimenting with hydrodip films and activators to transform the look of my markers. If you invest some care into properly prepping, dipping, and sealing the parts, the results can come out looking incredible.

Any paintballer looking to mod their gear should definitely consider hydro dipping as an easy, affordable way to get a one-of-a-kind paint job that makes your marker stand out.

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