Wondering what’s the best spray paint for hydro dipping?  Have you had problems with your spray paint not adhering properly, not providing the right coverage, or even chipping off? 

Choosing the right paint is an important step in spray paint hydro dipping and other hydro dipping methods. Here’s your guide to the best paint for hydro dipping!

rust-oleum spray paints

Why Spray Paint?

The spray paint method of hydro dipping is the most popular technique for the beginner enthusiast.  Spray paints are easier to handle than dropping paint directly onto water.  They provide greater control and consistency in layering.  

However, not all cans of spray paint are made equal.  They vary in ease of use, colors and finishes available, prices etc.  While most of them adhere to all surfaces, some adhere better to certain materials. 

All of the spray paints mentioned here are oil or synthetic based.  Do not use water based spray paints, as these will not float well when hydro dipping.

Best Spray Paint for Hydro Dipping

1. Rust-Oleum American Accents 2X Ultra Cover Spray Paint (link)

The American Accents (or Painter’s Touch) series is not only rated superior over other general purpose paints, but it is popular among the hydro dipping community.  

It has good consistency for floating on water.  Spray it generously enough and it won’t dry on the water before you dip.  And once your object is out of the water, it is quick drying.  

The Paint+Primer formulation makes for robust adhesive quality ensuring it will last long and hold up against all kinds of wear.  It’s great for DIY hydro dipping for beginners.  It even adheres to fabric and resists wear and tear on one of the most popular hydro dipped items which are shoes!  

A gloss paint is ideal for hydro dipping.  Rust-Oleum offers a wide selection of colors under high gloss, gloss, and semi-gloss finishes.  If you are still looking for matte or satin finish, you can achieve that with your clear coat at the end. 

2. Rust-Oleum Gloss Protective Enamel Spray Paint (link) 

Available in 77 colors, this is the best option for metal surfaces as it is designed to prevent rust.  Hydro dippers prefer this for alloy, metal, and wood surfaces.  It can even be used in combination with the spray paint from above, Rust-Oleum American Accents. 

3. MTN Hardcore Spray Paints (link)

MTN’s Hardcore is an amazing synthetic variety of paint and is particularly suited to hydro dipping.  It boasts of intense colors like no other and is available only as a glossy finish.  These are the only two visual requirements from a spray paint when hydro dipping! 

It’s also a high pressure can which will deliver paint at a fast rate, and high volume.  That makes it ideal for beginners and a favorite choice of the pros.  

This is the spray paint used by Dipper Dan on Youtube.  Check out his videos to see what kind of results you can get with this paint. 

As if it isn’t perfect already, MTN’s spray cans come with interchangeable nozzles!  You can use a hardcore medium cap for a wide and defined line or a fat cap for the widest line and hone your hydro dipping skills to perfection. 

However, MTN Hardcore is also a bit more expensive compared to the others, and tends to be harder to find. 

4. Krylon COLORmaxx Spray Paint (link)

Krylon is a household name and widely available across the country.  It’s good for hydro dipping because it’s simply about two things: colors and surfaces.  Krylon’s ColorMaxx is available in 89 colors and adheres to any surface — wood, metal, fabric, glass, ceramic — you name it. 

This is a great starter paint for those new to hydro dipping.  Chances are you might already have some of this (or Rust-Oleum!) lying around at home.  The big button technology allows you to spray comfortably without having to worry about controlling pressure. 

Between these three brands, there should be a spray paint suitable to any one looking to hydro dip, tailored to their needs, and easily available where they are.  As long as your spray paint is oil or synthetic based, your hydro dipping project should go smoothly.  

More Hydro Dipping Paints 

The spray paint method of hydro dipping offers mesmerizing, fluid patterns.  There are more ways, however, to control the fluid patterns and make your hydro dipping results even more awesome. 

SUGGESTED: How to Hydro Dip WITHOUT Spray Paint | 5 Fun Methods

One method (borax+enamel) involves pouring enamel paints directly onto water that’s been mixed with borax.  This is a popular method for hydro dipping guitar bodies.  Another method involves using paints specially formulated for hydro dipping that neither require thinning or using special water.  

Read below for the best paints to use for other hydro dipping methods. 

Best Paint for Hydro Dipping Without Spray Paint 

1. Marabu Easy Marble Paint (link)

These can be used with just tap water!  Truly magical, they’re easy to use, and offer flexibility in terms of where they can be used, and who can use them.   

No aerosols means they can be used indoors without a mask, and by children too.  They’re also non-toxic and safe.  

SUGGESTED: How to Hydro Dip with Acrylic Paint | No Spray Paint Required

These adhere to materials such as paper, and earthenware which all of the above aren’t equipped to do.  This makes it a great practice tool by hydro dipping anything, anytime, anywhere. 

2. Humbrol Enamel Paints (link)

These color rich enamel paints do not have to be thinned when pouring into water mixed with borax.  This advantage is useful for hydro dippers since it spares you the trouble of thinning out colors separately. 

SUGGESTED: Borax Paint Dipping | Ultimate Guide to Swirl Painting

Primer and Clear Coat

Any paint requires a good primer to stick to, and a clear coat to seal the paint in after and offer ultimate protection.  

Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Flat White Primer is the go-to for hydro dipping.  It’s also available in grey, black, and red.

For your clear coat, Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch series has clear options available in gloss, semi-gloss, satin and matte. 


These are the most popular supplies used by hydro dippers and will soon become one of your favorites too.  As with all paints, handle with gloves, and wear a mask in the case of aerosols.  

While all of these should provide excellent coverage, adhesion, and durability, keep in mind your hydro dipping process can have a huge impact on the results.  It may take practice to do it right and in the event something doesn’t work, pick another option and after some trial and error, you should be good to go.

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