Find answers to your most asked questions.

Is Hydrographics coating or printing realistic?

It’s very realistic, because the quality of films and products that we use is so high. You can achieve the look or effect of many materials such as wood, stone, marble, carbon fibre, animal fur/skins and metal.

What type of items can be dipped?

A wide variety of flat or 3-D shapes and manufacturing materials (plastics,all alloys and metals, glass, fibreglass wood, etc.) can be decorated with Water Transfer Printing technology.

Does the Hydrographics process damage my item?

No, there will be no damage to your item. However, it may need to be sanded at some point in the process.

What can’t be covered with Hydrographics coatings?

The materials and items that we can’t cover with Hydrographics paint coatings include: • clothing / fabric / textiles

• gel-based items

• entire electrical / mechanical items

• cardboard- / paper-based items

• anything bigger THAN 3m (that’s how big our tank is)

• anything that will heat upwards of 165 degrees celcius.

If you have an item you’d like to ask about, and you’re not sure if we could cover it, please contact us and we’ll let you know what’s possible.

How is the Hydrographics film supplied?

Hydrographic film comes in rolls of 50cm and 100 cm wide.

How long does the process take from start to finish?

It all depends on the complexity of the item being processed. For example, a dashboard for a car can take approximately 90 minutes of total “hands-on” time to complete (this does not include unattended time like drying/curing). The process can be sped up with Infrared Heaters.

How do I get the items to you?

We are located in Bicheno, Tasmania. You can personally bring your items to me.
SILKY TRANSPORT, cart daily from Hobart to Bicheno, weekdays. 0418387057
CALOWS COACHES, cart daily from Launceston, St Helens and Bicheno, weekdays. 0363762161 or 0400570036

What kinds of designs or finishes can I get on my item(s)?

We have an almost unlimited supply of designs, patterns and effects. From our fun and wild Flames, Skulls and Sports to our nature-themed Florals, Trees and Animal patterns, plus our architectural-themed Wood, Stone and Metal effects, and loads more besides, you will be spoiled for choice. Or if you’re feeling creative and you’d like to use your own photo, drawing or pattern, you can supply that to us and we’ll transfer it onto the item of your choice.

Is it safe to apply the coatings to electrical or mechanical items?

Yes, we cover a wide range of electrical and mechanical items – or at least the parts and covers and casings that can be safely removed and dipped. Once completed and dry, they can be safely reattached to your item.

What is Hydrographics coating or printing?

Hydrographics, also known as water-transfer printing, hydro dipping, cubic printing or liquid printing, is a way of applying printed designs to three-dimensional surfaces. The process utilises a water-soluble film that contains the printed designs. Once an activator has been applied, the film dissolves and leaves the ink on the surface of the water. Now, the item can be immersed into the water and the ink wraps around it. It is then washed and protected with a 2K clear topcoat.

Is Hydrographics durable?

Yes. Some of our biggest customers are automotive manufacturers who demand the highest standards of quality and durability on their products. The ink from the Hydrographics film is very durable itself. However, a protective clear coat needs to be applied to protect decorated items to ensure that they last for years.

Can I get my car interior refinished with Hydrographics?

Yes, in fact this is a very popular use of Hydrographics coatings. Without realising it, you may have seen Hydrographics coatings already in cars that have luxury wood-effect dashboards, gear sticks and other trim. We can also provide luxury coatings for aeroplane interiors, so that you can achieve the look of metal, stone or wood without the resulting cost or weight.

Is it safe to apply the coatings to kids’ toys, even ones that can be chewed?

We wouldn’t recommend coating kids’ toys or eating/drinking vessels with these paints.

Can items that are not correctly printed be reprinted?

Yes, items that are not decorated to your complete satisfaction can be reprinted, using the process described in the previous answer.

How much does it cost to get my item(s) coated?

Water Transfer Printing is an advanced yet cost-effective process, which overcomes problems faced by traditional printing methods, such as conversion coating, screen printing, transfer printing, and hot printing. The actual price for your item(s) depends on a few factors such as: • the size of the item(s);

• the condition of the item and whether it will need to be professionally cleaned or to go through our Blasting process for example (e.g. for a corroded car part);

• what kind of coatings you’d like ;

• how quickly you need the work to be carried out;

• which pattern you’d like / whether you’d like to supply your own. 

We’ll give you a quote when we’ve assessed your item, and we will always be fair and reasonable. Please note - all prices are based on new items with limited or no preparation required. Items that require additional preparation will be priced accordingly

What if I want a different design on my item in the future? Can the coatings be removed?

Yes, that’s no problem! The decorated piece needs to be sanded and painted again. After that, the piece will be ready again for the printing process, with no harm whatsoever to your item. Then we simply apply your new design.

I have a business and I need to have multiple items coated. Is this possible?

Yes, we cater for businesses and manufacturers as well as for individuals. No job is too large or small, as long as any items (or the coatable parts of the items) can fit into our 3-metre-long tank.

What is the maximum temperature a processed part can be exposed to?

If the process is done correctly, parts decorated using Water Transfer Printing will withstand temperatures up to 165°celcius. This means that engine valve covers, intake manifolds, and plastic engine covers can all be decorated and will withstand the residual heat coming from the car’s engine.

How scratch resistant is the final product?

We use only 2K clearcoats which are as durable as the clearcoat used on high quality automotive exteriors. It is extremely resistant to scratches and debris.

What can you cover with Hydrographics or water transfer printing?

We can cover most 3-dimensional materials including wood, metal, stone, carbon fibre, ceramics, glass, plastic. Basically, if the part can be submerged safely in water, it can be covered using Hydrographics coatings. That means a huge variety of objects, from furniture to vehicle parts, car and bike parts, electronics, home fixtures such as worktops and bathroom suites, and even aeroplane interiors.