Water Transfer Printing

The water transfer printing / hydrographics process

Water transfer printing is a method of applying an ink image to an item as part of a paint system. There are a multitude of prints available, such as wood grain designs, carbon fibre, metal effects and abstract style patterns.

Custom prints can also be designed and manufactured on request for mass production applications.

The water transfer printing process, also referred to as Hydrographics, is a method used to apply graphics that could include wood grain, stone or camouflage, onto the surface of a 3D substrate. Following professional preparation of the component, a base coat is applied and the selected graphic pattern is positioned as a film on the surface of a tank of water.

An activator chemical is then sprayed onto the film so that it partially dissolves meaning that the object can be expertly passed through the surface of the pattern until it is completely submerged into the water tank. Finally a clear coat is applied to meet the customers’ specification.

Complex shaped and large items up to 2m x 1m can be coated using our water transfer printing process. Larger items can also be coated by method of masking and “double dipping”.

Wicked Coatings water transfer printing expertise

Based in Poole, Dorset, Wicked Coatings is one of the largest water transfer applicators in the UK, boasting two fully automated machines allowing us to print multiple items quickly and efficiently at the same time. We also have two manual machines which are mainly used for prototype projects and custom one-off items.

We thrive to be at the forefront of development in the water transfer printing industry in the commercial and domestic global market. We have developed our systems to be compatible within the marine, automotive, aerospace, military and many other market sectors.

How to find us

44 Holton Road

Holton Heath Trading Park



BH16 6LT


01202 622258

Opening Hours

Monday - Thursday : 8.00AM - 4.30PM

Friday : 8.00AM - 3.00PM

Saturday : Appointments Only

Sunday : CLOSED

All visitors must book an appointment prior visiting our offices