It’s hard to find a unique and exciting sport like disc golf, which has grown in popularity in recent years. It can give players a chance to incorporate exercise, have more fun, and make new friends.
As a disc golf player, I have seen numerous players dyeing their disc golf discs in their favorite colors and looks. But why do they dye the disc golf discs? Is dying a golf disc necessary? How to dye disc golf discs, anyway?
The truth is that dyeing disc golf discs can increase a player’s personal mark in the game and increase their winning chance. If you want to learn how to dye a disc golf disc, follow the information in this post to discover more.
Disc Dyeing Process Basics
The main purpose of dyeing disc golf discs is to create a personal mark in the game. For example, you can play disc golf in a unique color, and the other players can recognize your golf discs.
Meanwhile, some players dye disc golf just because they love the color and want to add more aesthetic and fun to the game. Customizing the discs to your preference will give you more excitement and increase your chance of winning.
However, it’s essential to carry out a careful plan, including the dyeing methods, your desired colors, and how you are going to dye the golf disc. It will help you save tremendous time and avoid staining your clothes or equipment.
My favorite method is putting the disc golf discs on the pie tins, which can absorb the dyeing material when it falls off. It would help if you prepared a clean spraying water bottle, plus a dry and clean towel to wash your golf discs.
Don’t forget to prepare and put the essential tools nearby, like a knife or scissors. I will discuss these preparations in the following sections.
What Discs Are Best To Dye?
Before proceeding to the dyeing method, you have to note that not all types of golf discs can be dyed. You can apply different dyeing methods to suit a certain golf disc material and texture.
The plastic base of most disc golf cannot retain the extensive dyeing color for long, which will slowly fade away after one or two weeks. Therefore, dyeing is not recommended for plastic types like Innova DX or Discraft.
Meanwhile, some ideal golf discs for dyeing are Innova Star or Discraft ESP, which are made of premium opaque plastic materials. They can absorb the dye easily and retain the dyeing layer for much longer.
The other options, like translucent plastic (the Innova champion, for example), will also work well with dyeing. It can retain the color for longer, though the dyeing adsorption could be better.
However, you should start out with some cheaper golf discs first if it’s your first time dyeing golf discs. Also, note that the dye material will drop more on the curved flight plates.
Select Your Disc Dyeing Method
The critical step is choosing a dyeing method that suits your golf disc design and material. Over many years, the industry has discovered various effective dyeing methods and mediums (dyeing materials).
Here are some ideal methods I experienced carefully, which all deliver great results. However, you have to ensure that it suits your golf disc materials and design before proceeding.
Shaving cream is one of the most accessible and affordable dyeing mediums used for golf discs. This is also my recommendation for beginners. I will instruct you in more detail on using shaving cream to dye golf discs.
Stencil dye is one of the most favored and popular golf disc dyeing methods used by many famous disc golf players. It allows you to dye the golf disc with personalized icons or images.
For the stencil dye, ensure to use high-quality and premium contact paper, flatten the stencil, and remove its air pockets using credit cards. If you use low-quality contact paper, your golf disc will suffer a lot of bleeding.
Spin dyeing can create very sophisticated and beautiful disc golf patterns, but there are better options for beginners. Spin dyeing requires spin equipment and moderately good painting skill to achieve your desired images.
Lotion, Conditioner, or Shampoo
Lotion or shampoo is an ideal substitution if you don’t have shaving cream in your house. These mediums feature the same dyeing process, and they can deliver wonderful dyeing patterns.
As its name suggests, drip dyeing means dripping the mediums on your disc golf to achieve your favorite images and patterns. The more creative and artistic you are, the cooler the images.
If you want to create an abstract drip pattern or design, using a squirt bottle is recommended. Though you can totally make a mess, the bottles help distribute the dye more evenly rather than using a paintbrush.
Hot glue dyeing is very straightforward, and it can help you get a beautiful dyeing pattern on the golf disc’s surface. However, the art won’t look very sophisticated and somewhat simple.
I have tried using low-end golf discs several times for dyeing, and they all suffer from bleeding effects. Therefore, carefully consider your golf disc material and choose a suitable dyeing method.
You have to plan your desired design and how you want to add it to the golf disc before dyeing. Hot glue, splatter, or spin dyeing can help you get sophisticated patterns very quickly.
You should carry out a few tests with your desired images when using dyeing methods like stencil dye. If I want to dye colorful patterns, I use a paintbrush to cover the disc’s external areas.
If you still fear the dye pooling up and bleeding under the covering decal, there’s some magic to do with your medium. My preferred method is using a submersion medium (a heated mixture of iDye Poly and water).
What’s The Best Dye To Use For Golf Discs?
Besides the common mediums found in the house, you can purchase a high-quality dye manufactured solely for dyeing disc golf discs. An excellent example is the worm dye made by CS (a dye manufacturing company).
This medium is an ideal match for bright and neon-color dyeing patterns. Another great choice is the rit dye manufactured by Rit DyeMore, which is a favorite choice of many artists and professional golf disc dyers.
However, my top recommendation is always the mediums produced by ProChem or iDye Poly, the two most reliable golf disc dye producers at the moment. The advantages of their products lie in the high-quality bright colors.
Among all these dyeing materials, I have tested all of them, and iDye Poly always delivers the best results. However, a mixture of iDye Poly and water is still not enough if you want to dye golf discs made with translucent plastic.
After mixing iDye Poly with water, you should heat the mixture to dissolve its powder thoroughly. Adding some chemicals like Acetone also helps the dye set in more efficiently (in a ratio of 3:1 between Acetone and water).
Getting Ready to Dye Your Disc
One surprising mistake many beginners make is forgetting to clean their golf discs before dying. Cleaning the disc golf discs is a must since the debris and dirt build-up on them will ruin their perfection.
In addition, a dirty surface cannot hold the dyeing layer for long, and you’ll end up ruining your disc’s beautiful appearance. Here are some easy and efficient methods to clean golf discs before dyeing.
- Rubbing the discs with alcohol: Alcohol can clean the dirt very efficiently without ruining its plastic surface and texture.
- Acetone: It carries a higher cleaning capacity than alcohol and can wipe out more stubborn stains. However, be careful because acetone is very flammable, and it may ruin the plastic if you leave acetone for a long time.
- Brake cleaner: It’s a perfect balance between alcohol and acetone, which cleans the disc surface very effectively without burning its plastic texture.
No matter what cleaning chemical, you use, always clean and dry the disc thoroughly to prevent these chemicals from affecting the disc plastic. Also, don’t apply too much force on the disc golf disc.
Just use a cotton ball and gently rub the cleaning chemical on its surface, or you will leave permanent marks on the golf disc surface. This precaution should be prioritized on susceptible golf discs like Prodigy 400G or the Innova Star.
Lastly, don’t forget to remove the stamps (printed designs and letters) from the golf disc surface. You can keep the stamps to combine them with the dyeing patterns.
However, if you want to create a unique dyeing image of your own, it would be best to remove all the stamps. Acetone is an ideal solution for this job, but don’t apply too much force again.
Dyeing Your Disc Golf Disc
Dyeing disc golf is a skill that gets better when you do it many times. However, it should not be too big of a problem if you follow the guides and prepare carefully.
After determining the best dyeing method and cleaning your golf disc, it’s time for the most exciting part. I will discuss the basic processes, and the beauty of the dyeing patterns depends completely on your skills.
If you are not ready, I recommend you watch and discover more instruction videos or resources to improve your skills. Now let’s jump straight in.
Here is a summary of the tools and mediums you’ll need for this method:
- iDye Poly, water, and shaving cream
- A large bowl
- A plate large enough to put the golf disc on
- Tools like a spoon, a ruler, and a Scissor
- A dropper and two plastic cups
Step 1: Preparing The Shaving Cream Base
Put your shaving cream into the prepared mixing bowl and add water. Mix the mixture thoroughly until it reaches a consistency of a milkshake, which is not too thick or watery.
Then, cover the plate with that shaving cream mixture. Just gently pour the mixture onto the plate at a slow speed to spread it evenly and not spill the mixture. Level the mixture using a ruler and a pie tin.
Step 2: Make The Dye Mixture
Open your iDye Poly and remove its color intensifier from the box. Use the scissor to cut its side and get the dye. Then, fill shaving cream into the two plastic cups and add a little iDye Poly and blend the mixture thoroughly.
Each cup equals a color, and you can get as many colors as you want. For example, if you want five colors, prepare five plastic cups and fill them with the iDye Poly color you like.
The colors will always look lighter after you apply them to the golf disc. Therefore, the colors in the plastic cup should be a little bolder than you desire.
Just use a small proportion of dye and add more if it runs out. I guarantee that you will need to use more iDye Poly in the future, so store and save it for the next time.
Step 3: Design Your Dyeing Patterns
The next step is designing the dyeing patterns on lines in the mixture. After you dip the disc into the dyeing mixture, the lines and patterns will get flattened and become wider.
Therefore, ensure to put the lines further from each other. A dropper will help you fill the disc with the dyeing patterns quickly, and you can use more than one dropper for dyeing multiple colors.
Step 4: Add More Detail To Your Design
You can use a toothpick to spread the colors and make your dyeing patterns more sophisticated. Ensure to use a different toothpick for different colors, or it will ruin your designs.
Remember to clean the toothpicks thoroughly before dipping them into another color, or you can use more than one toothpick.
Step 5: Dip Your Disc Golf Disc Into The Dyeing Mixture
Spend time finishing and completing your desired dyeing patterns on the mixture. Then, slowly dip the golf disc into the mix until it lies beneath it.
Ensure that the disc’s position is in the middle of the designed pattern’s center point. Dipping at a slow speed is critical because it allows your disc to absorb the dyeing material.
After the golf disc has been secured, leave it undisturbed for between 6 and 8 hours, depending on the type of plastic.
Step 6: Remove And Clean The Disc
After 6 to 8 hours, gently remove the golf disc from the dyeing mixture. You should ensure that the disc has completely absorbed the dyeing patterns, or it will be ruined when removed.
Then, gently clean the disc using water to wipe out the shaving cream and recheck your design.
Tips To Apply Dye Using Your Selected Dye Method
There are some other alternative methods to apply the dyeing mixture on your disc golf disc. The paintbrush may leave some mark on your golf disc surface, but it delivers the most precise patterns.
Meanwhile, using a soaked piece of fabric can reduce the bleeding effects and deliver a neater design. If you are adept at dyeing, use a squirt bottle to save time and get a convenient stencil dye.
The bucket method is useful when you want to completely change the disc’s color. Though I mentioned that the dyeing time should range between 6 and 8 hours, you should rinse it quicker when using Acetone.
The 1:3 Acetone and water mixture can damage your golf disc surface if you leave it for long. Therefore, the ideal time should only be 3 or 4 hours. If you want to dye even quicker, increase the ratio of Acetone in the mixture.
Cleaning Your Dyed Disc
Cleaning the dyed disc is very simple, but it’s an indispensable step. If you leave the disc without cleaning, the dyeing chemical will slowly damage its surface and plastic texture.
The first step is rinsing the dyed disc in cold water briefly (1 or 2 minutes). Ensure that its surface is free of any vinyl, hot glue, or fabric left from the dyeing process.
Then, clean the golf disc gently using tap water, and let it air dry for around 15 minutes. You can rewash the golf disc with dish soap to retain its dyeing color for longer, but this step can be skipped.
Common Mistakes When Dyeing Disc Golf Discs
Dyeing golf discs is like an art, and one small mistake can ruin your result. Besides the typical errors like forgetting to clean the disc or not allowing enough rising time, you should avoid these practices.
Don’t Use Brown Color
The brown color is included in many golf disc-dyeing materials, but it’s not my recommendation. Brown is generally hard to spot on the ground, and it doesn’t combine well with many other colors.
Unless your disc golf has a completely contrasting color where brown can mix well, it’s best to not use brown in dyeing your disc. Also, avoid mixing many colors together that can create contrasting color tones.
Avoid Reusing Dyeing Beds For Too Many Times
Some people use the dyeing beds to dye many discs more conveniently. However, the dyeing beds will slowly fade and become less vivid over time if you reuse them too often.
Using Low-quality Dyeing Materials
Maybe I don’t need to say this, but always use high-quality dyeing materials produced by reliable manufacturers, especially when you want to dye an expensive golf disc.
Low-quality materials won’t retain on the golf disc surface for long, thus wasting your time and effort. In addition, they carry the risk of ruining the disc’s plastic texture and beautiful surface.
Spending time creating your own dyeing patterns and making the golf disc more beautiful is such a fun experience for any disc golf player. A personalized disc golf disc of your own is much more valuable than those bought in stores.
Though softer plastic can absorb the dyeing mixture very well, it cannot retain the dyeing colors for long. Meanwhile, harder disc golf discs are much more challenging to dye, but the colors take longer to fade.
Lastly, it takes a lot of time and failure before you can master this craft. I hope that the information in this post can give you some basic insights on how to dye disc golf discs.
If there are any further questions, don’t hesitate to comment and tell me. With this post, you can create beautiful disc golf to impress everyone and increase your performance in the game. Thank you for reading!