There are several techniques to dye disc golf discs. Rare Discs has scoured the internet far and wide to find the best techniques for beginners to start out. Further experimenting can result in some cool patterns, colours and mixes. But for now, here are the basics!
We’d love to see your work! Send us a Tweet @RareDiscGolf, tag us on Instagram @RareDiscGolf or post it on our Facebook Page!
WARNING: These instructions use industrial strength dyes that have a strong scent. Always use in a ventilated area. NOT FOOD GRADE. DO NOT CONSUME. Will stain clothing. skin and other household items. Use of proper PPE, such as gloves and a respirator, is highly recommended. NOT FOR CHILDREN. DO NOT ALLOW CHILDREN TO USE.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- A Premium Disc Golf Dyeing Kit, from Rare Discs
- This kit includes dye, stencil vinyl and 2 premium quality disc golf discs
- A pie tray or pot large enough to fit the disc flat
- Acetone (or high strength nail polish remover)
- Shaving cream, lotion or white glue
- A craft knife, masking tape and tweezers
- Eye droppers and tooth picks
- Glass jars for mixing dyes
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- Thoroughly clean the disc with dish soap and a soft cloth first.
- Acetone and a cotton ball can remove disc stamp if desired.
- Acetone burns through plastic: do not use plastic containers, plastic paintbrushes or other plastic items.
- A stencil cutting machine can be used for detailed stencils.
- Combining multiple techniques makes super unique discs.
- It is only possible to go darker with disc colors.
- Become familiar with a color wheel to figure out what color work best together. Opposing colors will mix into brown/grey.
- The stencil covers the part of the disc that WILL NOT be dye and when peeled away will show whatever color is underneath.
- Make sure to wash off all acetone from the disc after application. This stuff is strong and can melt plastic if left too long.
- Sell your dyes on Rare Discs when you’re done!
Technique #1: Stencil Hot Dip Disc Dye
This technique is best for solid colours and detailed stencils with straight lines.
Click here for an in-depth guide. Otherwise, here are the basics.
- Draw stencil onto stencil vinyl. Cut out vinyl with craft knife. Do not press too hard to avoid cutting through backing. Use masking tape to transfer vinyl to disc, careful to prevent bubbles. Remove excess vinyl.
2. Mix well: 8g dye with 100ml acetone. Combine with 900ml of warm water.
3. Heat to approximately 150°F (65°C). Pop any bubbles.
4. Lay disc face down so it does not touch the sides of your pot.
5. Allow to sit for 5 – 10 minutes depending on water temperature. Remove, and rinse under cold water.
6. Repeat, if necessary, to darken color.
7. Peel vinyl while warm to reveal the disc color underneath! Peeling while warm will allow the glue to release easier and have less cleanup on the disc afterwards.
Note: Hot dip dye mix can be reused. Store in a glass container. ALWAYS USE VENTILATION WHILE DYEING!
Some Additional Tips
- It is possible to dye multiple colors using the hot dip dye technique. For 2 colors, start with black. Peel off the stencil vinyl to reveal where on the disc you want to dye black.
- Once satisfied with the darkness of the black dye, remove the vinyl wherever you want to be the second color and clean the disc with some acetone to remove gunk.
- Dip the second color. The black will only be slightly tinted.
- Remove remaining vinyl.
Alternative Technique for Advanced Coloring
Mix 20ml acetone and a pinch of dye, and paint them directly onto the stencil for a “watercolor paint-like” appearance. Allow to dry and repeat to darken. Peel stencil once complete.
Technique #2: Splatter and Swirl with a Lotion Bed Disc Dye
This technique produces beautiful abstract splatters, swirls and cosmic like clouds.
- Fill base of pie tray/bucket with lotion being careful to avoid bubbles. Any cheap lotion can be used. For example, we use a cacao butter lotion found at a department store for $2 a jar. Alternatively, standard shaving foam works as well! Make sure to wash the disc thoroughly with dish soap and warm water before proceeding.
- Using stencil vinyl, mask off any part of the disc that you do not want to be dyed.
- Optional: If you do not want the disc stamp, put acetone on a paper towel and wipe the stamp away before proceeding.
- A good wipe with acetone and the paper towel will help the dye set better. However, be careful, as acetone will damage the stamp and disc if left too long.
- Basic Technique: Mix 20-50ML lotion with 1/4 TSP dye. Sometimes, less dye powder is better depending on intensity of color desired. Add enough lotion that no more dye powder remains and the dye mixes thoroughly. For best results and ease of placement, store dyed lotion in squeeze bottles (similar to condiment bottles).
- Apply dyed to lotion using any mix of squeeze bottles, eye droppers, a natural hair paint brush, paper towel or any mix. Start with the lightest color and use a separate eye dropper for each color.
- Alternative Technique: Gently dust the dye powder directly onto the lotion/shaving cream base.
- Optional: Use toothpick to swirl the dye for fun patterns until satisfied with the design.
- Tip the disc to a 45° angle and slowly roll the disc into the bed.
- Keep it in the dye bed for about 6 – 12 hours depending on plastic type. We usually keep them overnight! Store in a warm place. Some plastics take 24 hours or more to absorb dyes, although the warmer it is the faster absorption occurs (plastic is porous; pours expand in warmth and contract in the cold).
- Try alternative colors and patterns for more fun results.
Some Advanced Techniques
- Paint the disc with mixed acetone, a thickener, dyes and a paint brush. Combining painting and stencil dyes can make some unique full color artwork.
- Use a record player or lazy Susan to spin the disc. A natural hair paint brush can paint consistent colored rims. Spin the disc and gently press the paintbrush against it to create a smooth even look. This technique uses a mix of acetone and dye.
- Do multiple colors with hot dip, masking and layering.
Show Off Your Work!
Tag us, tweet at us, and send us some pics. We want to see what you’ve created. Also, if you want to sell your dyed discs, we offer sales by consignment through our Disc Golf Marketplace. Partner with us today to sell your disc golf discs.