Custom Water Bottle Surface Treatment – The Complete Guide

custom water bottle

Table of Content

This article will teach you the major kinds of custom water bottle surface treatment. From definition to advantages, we could help you to choose the proper surface treatment for water bottle manufacturing. Let’s dive right in.

What Is Water Bottle Surface Treatment?

In a narrow sense: water bottle surface treatment refers to the surface pretreatment part that we often say, including sandblasting, polishing, etc. Mainly for the surface of the workpiece cleaning, sweeping, deburring, degreasing, descaling, and other operations, to provide a good substrate for subsequent coating processing.

In the broad sense: generalized surface treatment refers to the whole process including pretreatment, electroplating, coating, chemical oxidation, thermal spraying, and many other physical and chemical methods. It mainly refers to the process method of artificially forming a surface layer with different mechanical, physical, and chemical properties from the substrate on the surface of the substrate material.

What Is The Purpose Of Surface Treatment?

Increase corrosion resistance

Some appropriate surface treatments could increase the corrosion resistance of water bottles to extend service life. Many insulated water bottles are made of stainless steel, which could resist common chemicals and beverages. Besides, some water bottle factories would adopt electrolytic polishing to improve the corrosion resistance of the surface. This treatment removes oxides and impurities from the stainless steel surface, making it smoother and more resistant to corrosion.

Enhance decorative qualities

Many insulated mugs use patterns and printing to add a decorative touch. This can include a variety of designs, patterns, logos, text, or illustrations to meet the aesthetic needs of different users. Patterns and printing can make the mug more personal and attractive.

A number of finishes can be used to create special textures and textural effects on the water bottle. These textures can make the water bottle more interesting and unique, adding tactile comfort and aesthetic appeal.

Insulated water bottle finishes can be enhanced with patterns and printing, color choices, textures, and the use of premium materials and accessories. Such finishes can make the insulated water bottle a more individual and stylish beverage container that meets the aesthetic needs of the user and provides a pleasurable user experience.

Increase abrasion resistance

To improve the abrasion resistance of water bottles, you could choose reinforced materials, hardened surface treatments, scratch-resistant coatings, and impact-resistant design. These measures can reduce the occurrence of scratches and wear, and extend its service life.

Common Surface Treatments Of Water Bottles

Spray Painting/Powder Coating

Spray painting is a method of applying paint to the surface of the object to be coated by means of a spray gun or disc atomizer, which is dispersed into uniform and fine droplets by means of pressure or centrifugal force. It can be divided into air spraying, airless spraying, electrostatic spraying, and various derivatives of the above basic forms of spraying, such as high flow low pressure atomized spraying, thermal spraying, automatic spraying, multi-group spraying, etc.

Classification: manual spraying and automatic line spraying.

Subsequent common processes: most processes are available.

Q: How many colors can be sprayed on the same cup?

A: This depends on the automatic line equipment, with several guns you can spray several colors. For example, 4 guns can be prepared at the same time on the automatic line, which in theory allows 4 coats of paint to be sprayed at once.

Q: Why are there problems with impurities and paint loss?

A: The problem of impurities is related to the production environment, whether the pretreatment is qualified, before spraying, there should be touch bottles, blowing bottles, and other processes, there is a clean workshop can greatly solve the problem of impurities. Most of the problems are caused by the lack of baking temperature and length.

Q: How does the color difference occur?

A: The paint is blended from the paint factory and then mixed into the paint factory itself, the paint factory with the same material swatch sample and Pantone color number for the sample color mixing is the most accurate, to the computer draft or other materials as a sample of the actual color mixing, the color will have deviations. In addition, there may be slight deviations between batches of the same color.

Powder Coating

Powder coating is a surface treatment method of spraying plastic powder on parts, which is also known as electrostatic powder coating. Compared with spray paint, the advantages are advanced technology, energy saving and high efficiency, safety, reliability, color, and luster.

Q: Can I spray a single cup with more than one color?

A: Yes, but the color divider is generally more effective, generally spraying single colors more

Q: Can plastic spraying be done as a second process, such as silk-screening, decal, and heat transfer?

A: Theoretically, yes, but it is easy to have problems such as the solidity is not up to scratch. Because the surface of the spraying is often uneven, the above processes generally require a smooth and flat surface to ensure solidity.

Screen printing

Screen printing refers to the use of a screen as a plate base and the production of a screen printing plate with graphics by means of photographic plate making.


Low plate-making costs and fast plate-making, thick screen printing ink, high clarity, good compatibility, and low requirements on the type of primer and the baking temperature of the primer.


The single color that can be operated is a single color, as the manual operation of two or more colors can lead to inaccurate color registration.

Silk-screening is a flat printing process, which leads to great limitations on the shape of the cup, with the largest screen-printing position available for straight cups, while conical, round, and handle types require several attempts to find the largest printable area.

It is not very durable and will wear out after a period of use.

Q: How many colors can be printed on a single cup?

A: Because screen printing can only print one color of ink at a time, from the second color onwards you will need to align the colors according to the position of the first color, the more colors you have, the more the difficulty factor doubles, so screen printing generally prints 2 colors, up to 3 colors.

Q: Why are some silkscreen prints not strong enough and snap off as soon as they are made?

A: The firmness is not good, and the carrier surface is clean, the ink itself, and the final baking temperature are related. In addition, the test method cannot simply be based on the hand buckle, now the more mainstream test method is through the 3M tape test.

Q: How fine can screen printing be done?

A: The fineness of a screen print depends on the material used to make the stencil. Generally speaking, the printer can print as fine as the screen printing plate can print.

Laser marking

Laser marking is a marking method that uses a high energy density laser to locally irradiate the workpiece, causing the surface material to vaporize or undergo a chemical reaction with a color change, thus leaving a permanent mark. Laser marking can produce a variety of characters, symbols, and patterns, etc. The size of the characters can range from millimeters to micron scale, which is of special significance for the anti-counterfeiting of products.

The basic principle: a high energy continuous laser beam is generated by the laser generator. The focused laser acts on the substrate material, causing the surface material to melt instantly or even vaporize, and by controlling the path of the laser on the material surface, the desired graphic mark is formed.


Laser marking is characterized by non-contact processing and can be marked on any shaped surface without deformation or internal stresses on the workpiece.

Laser processing is fast and cost-effective. The laser process is automatically controlled by a computer and requires no human intervention during production.

The precision is equipment dependent and can be in the millimeter or even micron range, with good durability.


The time taken for individual marking is proportional to the size of the pattern area.

Conventional laser marking is colorless.

Laser marking can only be done on a flat surface, not in a roller shape.

3D printing

3D printing is the process of adding material layer by layer through a 3D printer that ‘prints’ a real object to create a three-dimensional object.

To put it slightly more professionally, the software completes a series of digital slices using computer-aided design techniques and transfers the information from these slices to a 3D printer, which uses raw materials to stack successive thin layers one on top of the other until a solid object is formed, hence the industrial term rapid prototyping and 3D printers are also called rapid prototyping machines. As there are various forms of specific stacking, a variety of 3D printing processes have arisen each process is able to print different types of materials, such as the common SLA (laser-cured photosensitive resin forming), FDM (fusion extrusion stacking forming), 3DP (three-dimensional spray bonding forming), SLS (selective laser sintering forming), Ployjet (inkjet forming), etc.


The ink can be printed repeatedly, with thicker layers of ink and a distinct three-dimensional feel.

The same cup can have special parts made glossy and the rest matte, more ways to play with it.

Plastic spraying can also be 3D printed.

Small cup limitations, most cup shapes can be 3D printed.

A true pattern without seams can be achieved.


There are special requirements for the paint and baking temperature, otherwise, the fastness of the surface is very poor. BAUER 3D printing paint, no anti-oil agent, no leveling agent, baking temperature 115 degrees, 20 minutes.

The principle is a mixture of CMYK base colors, which cannot be used for spot colors and are not bright enough.

Cannot be gold or silver.

Higher cost.

Heat transfer printing

Heat transfer printing is a new printing process, introduced from abroad more than 10 years. The process of printing is divided into two major parts: transfer film printing and transfer processing, transfer film printing using dot printing (resolution up to 300dpi), the pattern is pre-printed on the surface of the film, the printed pattern is rich in layers, bright colors, varied, small color differences, good reproducibility, can achieve the effect of the design pattern requirements, and suitable for mass production.

The transfer process is carried out by a heat transfer machine (heating and pressure), which transfers the beautiful patterns on the film to the surface of the product, and the ink layer dissolves into one with the product surface after forming.


Rich colors and patterns of up to 10 colors can be made in spot colors, and over 10 colors can be made in sets.

High pattern accuracy, and fine lines can be achieved, meeting the majority of design requirements

High daily output for mass production.

The limitations of the cup shape are small compared to screen printing, and the conical bottle can be printed on a large area.


High plate-making costs and long lead times.

There are certain requirements for the baking temperature of the primer and the quality of the paint itself. If the baking temperature of the primer is too high and the paint contains leveling agents, the pattern will not be printed or the pattern will not be printed completely. In addition, if the primer is a matt paint, especially if the paint is completely matt, the scrap rate is high.

The high scrap rate of sprayed products with heat transfer, and fastness does not pass the test.

Heat transfer film will be stretched, and the printing pattern will be high and low, if the pattern is full version will have seams or gaps in the situation generated.

Water decals

Water decals, i.e. stickers that can only be used after a water immersion process. It is a new transfer technology that uses water as a carrier to separate the pattern from the backing paper and then transfer it to the substrate, realizing the principle of indirect printing.


Shaped surface applique.

Gold and silver stamping effect.

Vivid graphics, rich and clear colors.


High labor costs and slow production speed.

The baking temperature of the primer is too high, resulting in poor adhesion of the pattern.

Water stains not dried during the application process can cause soiling and lead to some defective products.

The paper used for the decals needs to be inspected and may have incomplete patterns.

Due to manual application, the height of the pattern may vary from cup to cup, which may result in glue marks.

Water transfer

Water transfer technology is the latest digital imaging technology that surpasses any printing technology, its use of special paper made of nano-materials and special environmentally friendly ink, to achieve the printing of images on any solid media, its biggest technical advantage is that it does not require special equipment, is not limited by the media, does not require special supplies, does not require high-temperature heating, as long as you have image input tools (scanner or digital camera), drawing tools (computer), image output tools (inkjet printer), plus water transfer ink, water transfer paper, you can print any image on any solid object, any curved surface as you like, the image is vivid, absolute photo. (As long as you have an image input tool (scanner or digital camera), an image output tool (inkjet printer), water transfer ink, and water transfer paper, you can print any image on any solid object or any curved surface as you wish, with vivid colors and absolute photo quality.

Air dye printing

Air dye printing is a surface treatment in which the pattern on the floral paper is transferred to the cup by wrapping and baking the pattern.

Method of use:

The metal cups are sprayed with primer and placed in a drying oven to dry at high temperatures through hot air.

After the hot air has dried the metal cups are then sprayed with transfer transparent paint and then dried in the oven.

After the transfer of the transparent paint, the white metal cups are wrapped in a circular pattern with patterned paper.

Wrap a fastening cord around the outside of the white metal cup with the patterned paper and dry in the oven.

Remove the string and peel off the pattern.

Clean the surface and the mouth of the cup.

Drawing: a process whereby metal is passed through a die under external force and the cross-section of the metal is compressed to obtain the required cross-sectional area shape and size. Example: lift plates.

Sandblasting: A process in which the surface of the workpiece to be treated is changed by the formation of a high-speed jet beam powered by compressed air, which blasts quartzite, emery, glass sand, etc. at high speed onto the surface of the workpiece.

Etching: By exposing the plate and developing it, the protective film on the pattern area to be etched is removed and the metal is etched in contact with a chemical solution to achieve the effect of dissolving corrosion and forming a concave or hollow molding.

Electroplating: also known as water plating, is a process that uses electrolysis to attach a metal film to the surface of metal or other materials, thus preventing oxidation, improving wear resistance, electrical conductivity, reflectivity, corrosion resistance, and increasing aesthetics, etc. The outer layer of many coins is the electroplating process.


All the above contents are the major kinds of custom water bottle surface treatments. It’s important to note that the availability of specific surface treatments may vary depending on the manufacturer or customization options provided by the supplier.


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