I use Rit Dye, Its readily available in most grocery store, craft stores, and Walmart types. You can buy either Liquid or powder form, either work, The powder has more available colors. There is a little extra work adding water to the powder and some difficulty making sure you have just the right amount but its doable.
If you want to remove an existing stamp, nail polish remover works, you should use the non-acetone varieties because they are safer for you. I would suggest using gloves and working quickly as even the non-acetone varities are an irritant and will eat the plastic over time.
Once removed you can then apply your design.
To Mask off the disc I use Vinyl contact paper, Its the same stuff you use to line a cupboard. The cheaper the better and plain or unpatterned makes its easier to draw a design out on. Simple designs you can cut out with a scissors more complex designs with detail, you'll probably want to use a xacto knife, razor blade etc. Once cut out you can apply it to the disc. Here you want to take your time and smooth the air bubbles out, and pay particular attention to the edges as long as they seal nicely to the disc an air bubble underneath in the middle won't hurt. Using the contact paper will give you nice clean lines, there are other methods, wax crayon, elmers glue, but neither makes a sharp edge. You also run the risk of not laying those down as thick as you need to completely protect the parts you dont want dyed.
Once the design is on the disc I warm up the dye. Usually you can use a disposable microwavable container, or stainless steel pot on the stove. I usually bring it to near a boil or a boil and immediately remove it from the heat and let it stand a few minutes. Heating the dye up is two fold, one the disc will take warm dye a little better it opens up the plastic a little. Two, if you are using the powder this will insure full disolution into the least amount of water.
Once the Dye has cooled a little to let handling be viable again I usually transfer it to a pie tin, large enough to hold the disc, they're cheap and disposable. I usually let it set for a half hour to an hour. Remove the disc, verify the color is up to the way you wan it, if not you can let it soak more, or adjust your amount of dye add more powder, etc. You can also do some chemistry to improve the color.
The same nonacetone nail polish remover you used to remove the hot stamp can be used to improve brightness, do not heat this up, especially on the stove, its not necessary and flammable, anyway a small amount can help the disc absor the dye, keep an eye on it though as too much or too long a soak can permantly damage the disc. Rubbing alcohol does this as well but isn't quite as effective. There are other chemical additives that can be used but I haven't found anything else necessary.
After the dyes has taken to your liking be sure to wash it off a few times drying each time to make sure the dye wont bleed over when you remove the masking , whther that be crayon, glue, or the much easier contact paper.
Usually in multicolor designs I spend way more time figuring out the order they should go on and how to create a shading or a ttered effect or whatever. All I can really say is start with a simple geometric design and get comfortable with getting the colors you want and the process of getting nice even lines.
The rest is just equal parts artistic imagination and planning for multiple dyes to prodice multiple colors. With a good mask off you can even "paint the dye on".
I have dyed, Star,Champ,EliteZ,ESP Plastics. Gateway Evolution dyes a little worse than the first 4, The super stupid soft, super soft, and soft varieties the dye doesn't last, it goes on alright but those discs kind of rub off due to their eraser like qualities. Quest Plastic Dyes well, and thats about all I have tried.
Incidently Discraft Ezlite Z hotstamps take a little work to get removed, sometimes I have used paint thinner but work extremely quickly on that.
One final tip. Some new discs should be wiped off fully with Nonacetone nail polish remover as they get kind of oily either from being handled or part of factory storage or whatever, I always wipe them down first.
In Denmark where i'm from you can't buy RIT Dye , but I tried out another product an this is my very first result. I think it works a bit different than RIT, you have to add salt to this product. well I hope I get better results next time...
Acetone is not as bad as you make it out to be. My experience with innova star plastic is that acetone will remove stamps perfectly, help dye bond better, and clean off the hard to remove surface grime and crud. I imagine it would take something drastic like soaking the disc in acetone for 5 minutes or so before it damages the disc.
I dont see this under groups? I tried some dye this weekend and it didnt work. guess thats what I get for not using RiT dye. looking for more info though. like where is the best place to get contact paper or vinyl ? wal mart doesnt seem to carry RiT and I cant find it in grocery stores. the local hobby place was out of the colors I wanted also.
On Sunday Sept. 7th the Flint Town Flyerz Disc Golf Club is sponsoring a DiscArts Festival at Hollywoods DGC in Holly Michigan U.S.A.
There will be 2 catagories to this competition and some cash Prizes!
The First Catagorie will be for new unthrown discs,the entry fee is the Disc itself which will become the property of the Flint Town Flyerz DGC. the prizes are :
1st $35 and a new unthrown Ice(clear uncolored plastic) very dyable disc.
2nd prize $25 and a new unthrown White Star monster(very dyable)
3rd prize $20
The next catagorie is Keeper discs:
Entry Fee $5 with 100% payout to the top 1/3 of finishers and you get you discs back.
There will be a disc dying clinic,I will bring my dye box for anyone to use my colors and some hands on advise on disc dying.
It will be a great chance to see some durable art.
Bring your freestyle discs and/or guts discs for some old fashioned frisbee fun!!
Hope to see you there,
Doug Olson/ xangzuclaws
For further info contact @: firstname.lastname@example.org
okay first off FORGET powdered RIT its useless you cant get the color you can with the liquid
what i do is take the stamp off and any other crud on the disc with acetone (i have done tests) it doesint eat thru star or champ plastic
i have left it puddled in the bottom of a disc for an hour and nothing happened
second i tape a stencil (picture of what i want) to the back of the disc
third put the contact paper on the disc ( i would advise sign vinyl) because its more flexible and elastic and wont bleed as bad as contact paper
fourth i cut out the design now with this technique you must be verry carefull not to cut into the disc but this seems to be easy and fast and if your gentle it wont hurt your plastic
last i mix the dye as i said forget powdered RIT its useless lol
mix your dye 3 parts RIT dye 1 part acetone
next eather paint on the dye with a brush or soak it
i have found painting it on seems to be much better for the simple fact you only need a small amount (a 1/2 full small glass does 1-2 discs)
having done some research and experimentation, I would have to disagree with you DJ. powdered RIT is virtually the same as liquid RIT if mixed properly. some discs work better than others, that may be where you had a problem, not sure.
but there is tons of info out there if you know where to look. but you have to be careful. for example I found the dye that you mix with salt didn't work well on the applications I tried. and that RIT dye works best for me. I also found that you do have to be careful leaving acetone on certain discs for too long.