Hydro dipping your own pair of Vans is a fun way to personalize your footwear. One of the most unique ways to personalize a pair of Vans or other sneakers is by hydro dipping them.

Three pairs of lace up sneakers. One pair is a pink, orange, and white marble, one is pink and blue marble, and the third blue and yellow marble. Annotated Contents

The year before last, my twin youngest children completed high school. So that's why it's plural:) Before going away to college and a church mission, they spent the majority of the summer at home.

They were both working full-time jobs, so they were beginning to feel "bored" around the middle of the summer and were looking for ways to pass the time until they could finally leave town.

Three pairs of lace up sneakers. One pair is a pink, orange, and white marble, one is pink and blue marble, and the third blue and yellow marble.

They experimented with tie-dying tees, making home movies, and making "cool" items for their upcoming college dorms. There was always a new craft on the kitchen table when I got home from work.

person in a blue hammock wearing blue and yellow hydro dipped vans

Our Step-by-Step Guide to Hydro-Dipped Vans

When my son hosted a sleepover for his friends, I heard a lot of "commotion" one night. When I went outside to see what they were up to, I found out they were spray painting vans shoes. I thought it was a neat concept, so I shot a video of it to share on Instagram. When I posted it to my Instagram story, my direct messages exploded with people wanting answers.

Pink orange and white marbled hydro dip vans on a piece of white foam.

My son finally let me film him dipping another pair of vans a few months later. I'm going to explain what he did and why it worked today.

blue, yellow and aqua hydro dipped vans on white table

My son's shoes are the ones in the above photo that are blue and yellow. After six months of use, he posed in this photo. The longevity of this method is evident.

Not all of the credit for this goes to me. He made sure everything was "organized." I'm aware that hydro-dipping shoes isn't something brand new. What he did was this: If you are new to hydrographic dipping, we have a lot of advice to share after having dipped nearly ten pairs of shoes.

pink orange and white vans drying on a red vans shoe box outside

The entire procedure has also been captured on film. It's linked to in the post's instructions and is also available on YouTube.

Many of you are mothers of preteens and teenagers, and I know how difficult it can be to come up with activities for them. Assisting you in that regard, I hope this is somewhat useful.

Three pairs of lace up sneakers. One pair is a pink, orange, and white marble, one is pink and blue marble, and the third blue and yellow marble.
blue and yellow hydro dipped vans being held in hand
Mortenson, Melissa
Use this inspiring guide to put your own spin on your vans. Master the art of hydro dipping your footwear.
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  • 1 pair One night my son had his friends over, and I noticed a lot of “commotion Possible to wear other types of fabric footwear; white is recommended.
  • 3 cans Spray Paint from Rustoleum pick hues that are wildly dissimilar from one another
  • Tape for painters
  • Shopping Bags, Made From Plastic can also use newspaper, but we think this is a fantastic way to recycle plastic grocery bags.
  • Promptly Stir Stir your drink with a metal or silicone skewer. Do not make the mistake of using a wooden stir stick; the paint will inevitably cling to the stick and ruin the swirl effect.
  • Take off your shoelaces before you get started. Put paper towels or old plastic bags inside the shoes.
  • Protect the shoe's tongue and any other plastic surfaces by taping them over with painter's tape. We didn't protect the soles with tape; if you don't want them stained, you should, too.
  • The first step is to carefully read the spray paint bottle's instructions and safety warnings. Do your work outside, preferably in a well-ventilated area. For your own protection, read and follow the spray paint bottle's instructions.
  • The paint "congealed" too quickly and did not produce a good dip when the temperature was too low. If the temperature is below 50 degrees, I would not suggest working on this.
  • Put in as much water as you can into a tub
  • It's time to paint the bathroom, so let's get started. It'll be visible above the surface of the water, or "float."
  • Each paint color was sprayed in its own section of the tub rather than on top of the other, and the results were much more pleasing to the eye.
  • We also discovered that using three colors of spray paint was more effective than using two. Two-tone footwear can be achieved by including white paint in the design.
  • You can make a neat design by stirring paint around in water with a stir stick.
  • Dip the shoe's sole into the water and then pull it out by its heel.
  • You need to take your time when dipping and taking off your shoe so that the paint has a chance to stick. Don't walk around with your shoe in the pool Just insert it and pull it out without any bending or twisting.
  • Leave the shoe overnight to dry on a shoe box or other box. Make sure the shoe's exterior is completely dry before removing the paint.
  • It may take a day or two for the shoe's interior to completely dry out. To speed up the drying process, you can stuff the shoes with regular newspaper.
Painter's tape can be easily trimmed with a utility knife to cover just the plastic overlays of your shoes. Make sure it's not too chilly, as cold water will prevent the paint from sticking. If the water is too cool, try leaving it out in the sun for a while.   As a result, we did not apply any sort of post-event shoe sealing. The sandals lasted the entire summer with heavy use from my son. For the most striking effect, pick hues that are strikingly dissimilar to one another. You shouldn't be afraid of vivid hues.    

White orange and pink hydro dipped vans drying in the sun on a shoe box after being dipped. White orange and pink, and blue and pink hydro dipped vans drying in the sun on a shoe box after being dipped. navy and pink hydro dipped vans on white table blue and yellow hydro dipped vans being held in hand

Hydro-Dipped Vans: Advice & Frequently Asked Questions

Some things to keep in mind My teenagers are adults, so they went out and bought the spray paint on their own. Because of this, they were able to handle the majority of the project management by themselves. It's just good sense to use caution and not leave younger children alone to do this. Be sure to use all necessary safety measures, including reading and following the instructions on the spray paint can.

Have the shoes held up well? Have you had to go through the extra step of sealing them?

We didn't prime them or give them a topcoat to protect them. Don't wash them right after dipping them; instead, give the paint time to dry. Excellent durability was maintained. My son wore his all summer long, and it did wonders for his appearance. He's been using them for a while now, as evidenced by the hammock photo, before and after.

Must you always wear Vans?

No Substitute any pair of white shoes you like. Although we have not tried it with competing brands, I suppose it could work if the shoes are white and made of fabric. The rubber soles of these shoes are not dipped. Painting a sneaker? Tape the rubber outsole with painter's tape so that you can dip only the areas you want to paint.

Can the type of paint make a difference?

Before now, we've only used spray paint for these experiments. But the paint has to be able to float on the water's surface, so a slimy residue must be left on top for the trick to work. The light weight and ease of application of spray paint makes it ideal for this purpose. Nothing was tried with ink.

Were you using a specific brand of spray paint?

Lowe's is where we purchased the Rustoleum Gloss Protective Enamel that we used. Although I have not personally tested it, my educated guess is that other brands should yield the same results. To get a more eye-catching result, use spray paint in bright colors.

Can you double dip if you miss a spot?

Is this true? My son and his pals made some shoes, and the soles dipped again. This wasn't a particularly appealing sight. The heels of the pink and orange shoes we made for the video had to be dipped twice before they stopped looking white. It served its purpose admirably, and nobody could tell that it had been dipped in bleach twice. It's best to avoid re-dipping the shoes, so be mindful of the angle at which you submerge them. If you must double-dip, try to do so in small increments of the object you are hydro dipping.

How many coats of paint should you spray into the bathroom's bathtub

We learned the hard way that a lot of paint is required. Greater than you may realize Cover the water's surface completely. In addition, you'll need to move quickly because the paint will start to stick to the tub if you don't.

Should the water be replaced between each dip?

Instead, let the paint adhere to the bathtub with the help of your swirl stick. It will gradually accumulate. It's safe to go for another dip and spray once the water has cleared. Your bath tub will forever smell like paint. Make do with a bucket or old tub

How does this differ from hydrographic mapping?

Hydrographic printing, also known as water transfer printing, is a method of printing in which a three-dimensional surface is dipped into water to transfer an image to it. The main difference is that we are making the print ourselves through marbling spray paint as opposed to printing an image or complex patterns (like camouflage, wood grain, or carbon fiber). There are a variety of hydrographic films available for purchase online if you're interested in hydrographic immersion printing (and kits are readily available, just like this one).

Is it only shoes that can be dipped, or are there other restrictions?

That's right, but we only tried it out on footwear. It seems reasonable to assume that the same method could be used for a wide variety of different kinds of 3D objects. Still, you may need to do some experimenting to get the hang of it. Hydro-dipping would also be fun with the following items:

  • 1
  • A World Globe
  • In a canning jar
  • Bows
  • Glass of Water

Even More DIY Shoe Ideas:

The Easiest Way to Personalize Your Favorite Pair of Chuck

Transforming Sneakers Through Fabric Modification

Blue and yellow hydro dipped vans being held in hand on the top and on the bottom white vans being dipped into a pool of pink and blue spray paint.