A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Hydro Drip Shoes

Do you want to know how to hydro dip shoes? It is a process that requires some patience and time, but the outcome is worth it.

Hydro dipping your shoes can give them an entirely new look with just a few hours of work. If you want to change up your favorite pair or add some flair for the season. Read below for instructions on how to do it yourself at home!

Hydro Dipping Defined

Hydro Dipping is a water-based coating applied by submerging parts into liquid dye, which then permeates into the material’s pores. The process starts in a large basin or a tub using an air compressor to force out any bubbles formed during the submerging.

Once the part is wholly submerged and given adequate time to saturate (drying time), remove it from the solution and dry—experiment with sanding to get various effects and colors.

There are different ways to hydro dip your shoes. In this article, we will discuss Vinyl, Spray Paint, and Acrylic.

How to Hydro Dip Shoes with Vinyl

The first thing you will need is a pair of nice-looking kicks that are clean and in good condition, ideally black or white, as these are the easiest to paint on. Then you will want to wear some protective clothing such as old clothes or gloves so that you don’t have paint on your clothes.

To get started, you will need to gather a couple of other things such as:

  • Decal Vinyl – (the design or picture you want to put onto your shoe) Make sure it is smooth and easy to apply because if not, how well it sticks and how good it looks will be affected.
  • Plastic Shoe Trees (Plastic) – The plastic shoe trees will help protect and prevent the paint from cracking. They also make sure air isn’t trapped inside the shoes, so they dry faster.
  • Bottle/s of water
  • Air compressor – Use this to blow out any bubbles that may be inside your shoe; this is important so you don’t get tiny little spots of extra paint on your shoe.
  • Spray bottle with water for finishing (optional).

Now that you are all ready to go, it’s time to start painting! Decide how big and how far apart the design is going to be. Then it’s time to start applying them onto your shoe.

Using the vinyl as a stencil, put it over the part of the shoe where it should go and spray the opposite side with water. This will help achieve a nice smooth application.

Once you have sprayed the opposite side, get your air compressor and start blowing out any bubbles present in your shoe, do this as much as possible to avoid getting spots of different colors.

Keep spraying water over the vinyl stencil until it is entirely covered by paint. Make sure to lift the vinyl part with paint so it doesn’t get wet, or else you might end up with some bleed-through areas where the paint will show up on another layer of colors.

How to Hydro Dip Shoes with Spray Paint

Spray painting is very similar to how you would do it with vinyl, besides a couple of changes.

  • To start, you will need some light gauged wire (or something else thin and flexible) and super glue.
  • Next, make sure your shoe trees are on and that they have air holes in them so the paint can dry.
  • Sand any bumps and deformities that may appear on the shoe because they will become apparent once painted.
  • Next up, you want to get your spray paint, grab your wire and make sure there is a nice thick layer of super glue on one end (well-smoothed out).

Now that you have finished painting your shoe, let it sit for an hour. So the glue has time to dry, and you can take off the shoe trees. After that, all you have to do is clean off any glue remnants on your shoes, so it looks nice and neat.

How to Hydro Dip with Acrylic Paint

The key to painting with acrylic paint is how well you plan how your design will look and how long it takes. Acrylic paints are very water-based. So they will begin to show through the base layer once they start to dry (bleed-through). If there is too much paint, it will bleed through the layer below.

Some Tips on How to Hydro Dip at Home

There is no golden rule on how to do this at home better. Follow all the basic steps discussed above to get it all done. To have fun is something you must not forget. Nothing is as exciting as doing it with the gang at home. You can add this to your activity with the kids too.

Your imagination is your limit when it comes to choosing colors and designs. Just don’t forget to add extra care, especially when doing this with the kids. Some ingredients may be harmful to them. Your guidance is a must.


Hydro dipping, a process that uses water and dye to create custom designs on objects like shoes is an exciting new trend in the DIY world. It’s fun for beginners of all ages because you can do it at home using inexpensive materials. You need to know what technique to use depending on what object you’re hydro dipping on and follow our tips so your design turns out perfect!

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