Airbrush Changing Colors

Airbrush changing colors will cover changing colors in your gravity feed or bottom feed airbrush covering both water based paint and solvent based paint. To those experienced with airbrushing technique this might be old hat but for those new it can be a perplexing situation when it comes to changing colors in your airbrush. This just becomes second nature after you have been airbrushing for awhile, no airbrushing tricks here just solid info for those new to airbrushing.


paper towel


First we’ll start off with where do you spray the color you are not going to use and or the cleaning solution. The most obvious way is to just spray the extra color or cleaning solution out into a paper towel. This solution can be pretty messy and not very healthy way to go about ridding of the color or solution.

 Airbrush Table Top Cleaning Station

Iwata cleaning station


A far better solution is to purchase a airbrush cleaning station like the one pictured above made by Iwata. This cleaning station not only keeps that spray off contained within an easy to clean vessel but also acts as an airbrush holder. Using a cleaning station should help you keep your studio area clean and is a healthier situation by keeping that over spray from floating around your studio. Cost about $20.00 as of 11/08 for this Iwata cleaning station.


airbrush cleaning station


airbrush cleaning station


For those of you on a real tight budget you can make your own cleaning station from an old Clorox type plastic jar like the one pictured above very easy.


airbrush cleaning station 3

Pop the top off, stuff some paper towels inside, put the top back on and there you have your cleaning station.


cleaning water based paint


Ok now we know where we are going to be spraying all that unused paint and cleaning solution so let’s move onto checking out the fastest way to change colors. In a bottom feed airbrush like this Iwata Eclipse BCS the most efficient way is to have Fast Blast bottles are set up containing different colors.

This can be done with both water based paint and solvent based paint as long as the Fast Blast bottle is solvent proof. Ideally for airbrushing T Shirts it’s best to have at least three airbrushes one for black, one for white and one for all the colors you will be using.

Get done with one color simple unplug the color and flush the airbrush and plug your next color into the airbrush.


cleaning water based paint


With a bottom feed airbrush like this Iwata Eclipse BCS airbrush you would unplug your fast blast bottle of color and simply plug a fast blast bottle full of Airbrush Cleaner into your airbrush. Iwata and EZ Air both make excellent airbrush cleaning products that are best to use in your airbrush for cleaning. With your fast blast bottle plugged in spray your cleaning solution into your cleaning station until it sprays clear.


airbrush water based paint


With gravity feed airbrush like this Iwata HP-CS airbrush and water based paints you’d spray the remaining color into your cleaning station. Add some airbrush cleaning solution into your color cup than using a small paint brush clean the sides of your color cup and spray the cleaning solution into the cleaning station.


solvent based paint


If you are using solvent based paints instead of airbrush cleaning solution you would use reducer or lacquer thinner to clean your airbrush of the old color when changing colors. With a bottom feed airbrush like this Iwata Eclipse BCS you’d have a fast blast bottle containing reducer or lacquer thinner, plug it in and spray into your cleaning station until you spray a clear solution.

With a gravity feed airbrush like this Iwata HP-CS airbrush and solvent based paints you clean your color cup out with reducer or lacquer thinner much the same way you would with water based paints but use reducer or lacquer thinner instead of airbrush cleaner.

I hope you found this helpful, Don Johnson


Below is m short video on making your own airbrush cleaning station.

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