How to Customize Your Discs by Hydro Dipping

A hydro dipped Innova Beast.

Sometimes the simple one-color discs with a basic stamp just don’t cut it aesthetically, or you want to stand out from everyone else. To add some personality to your discs, consider hydro dipping them; it doesn’t require a lot of materials, money, or time.

WARNING: Although hydro dipping your disc makes it different from others, it is illegal to use hydro dipped discs in tournaments. Rule 813.01 of the PDGA states:

A disc which has been modified after production such that its original flight characteristics have been altered is illegal, excepting wear from usage during play and the moderate sanding of discs to smooth molding imperfections or scrapes. Discs excessively sanded, or painted with a material of detectable thickness, are illegal. Adding a device to make a disc easier to find (for example, a light, ribbon, or chalk dust) is allowed only when night or snow play has been announced by the Director.

So, if you decide to hydro dip a disc, make sure it isn’t one you will use in a tournament. In fact, practice on an old disc to see how it turns out to see if you like it. From there, you can decide which discs to add this treatment to.


Supplies:

  • 5-gallon bucket or other deep container
    • can purchase at Farm and Fleet for $3.49
  • 12 oz. can of spray paint (desired colors)
    • can purchase at Walmart for $4.96
  • Painter’s tape (optional)
    • can purchase at Walmart for $3.92
  • Disposable gloves (highly recommended)
    • can purchase a box at Walmart for $14.99
  • Disc
    • can purchase at various Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, or Play It Again Sports stores, price varies on disc

Step 1: Fill your bucket 4-5 inches of water.

Step 2: If you are using gloves, put them on now. I highly recommend using gloves, or your hands will look get covered in paint. If you don’t use gloves, use DW-40 while washing your hands.

Follow step 2 or your hands will look like this.

Step 3: Shake the bottle of spray paint before using.

Step 4: If you want a certain portion of the disc to remain unchanged, place painter’s tape over desired areas.

Step 5: Spray paint into water until it makes a desirable pattern. Play around with each color and its layer.

Step 6: Hold your disc, one hand on each side, with the stamp facing the water. Slowly press the disc flat into the water until it is entirely submerged.

Step 7: Immediately pull the disc out of the water at the same speed you submerged it. Keep the disc flat as you lift it out of the water.

Step 8: Set the disc face-up on a flat surface to dry for 10-15 minutes.

Step 9: To remove the remaining spray paint in the water–whether you are about to dump the water or dip another disc using different colors–swirl the bottom of the paint can in a circular motion in the water. We’ve also used old hockey sticks, paint sticks, or other unimportant items, but know that whatever item you use will get covered in paint.

Step 10: Dump the water in the bucket outside, preferably. You can dump it in your bathroom or kitchen sink, but if you continue to do this over time, the small bits of paint that the spray can didn’t collect will build up, clogging your sink.

Step 11: After 10-15 minutes, or after the disc is no longer tacky, remove the painter’s tape to reveal the final product!

Now that you have some customized discs, go show them off to your friends on the course.

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