Airbrush Paint And Air Pressure

Airbrush paint and air pressure covers matching the consistency of your paint with the air pressure required to atomize the paint best varies with the type of airbrush you are using and type of paint you’re spraying.

*Before airbrushing any type of paint please think safety and keep yourself healthy by wearing a respirator with the appropriate filters for the particular paint you are spraying. Keep your family, co-workers protected from any paint fumes, vapors. Spray safely by always working in a well ventilated area.

When airbrushing it is important to match the consistency of the paint with the air pressure that produces the best results. The trick of course is to adjust your air pressure according to the viscosity of your paint. The thicker the paint the more air pressure you’ll need generally to atomize the paint correctly.

Thick paints commonly used in airbrushing are textile colors like Createx, Wicked Colors, ETAC, Aqua Flow, craft type paints and most artist acrylic paints. Before we go further a word about craft paints, artist acrylics and trying to use them in your airbrush. Paints made for use in an airbrush the pigments are ground finer than the pigments in craft, artist acrylics generally. You’ll find using paint made specifically for airbrushing is much less hassle to use than craft, artist acrylics.

A good rule is to thin your paint to the consistency of milk. There are exceptions to this rule like when airbrushing T Shirts with airbrush textile colors. Use the appropriate thinner for the paint you are spraying. Water, distilled water for water based paints, reducer for water born paint like Createx’s Auto Born, appropriate base maker or reducer for automotive urethane’s (please refer to the manufactures tech sheet).

Siphon feed airbrushes require slightly more air pressure to spray paint than a gravity feed airbrush and will handle thicker paints much better.

air pressure gauge


Once you find that sweet spot where the air pressure is just right to correctly spray the paint you are using take note of that pressure so you’ll be all set to go next time. When setting that pressure next time you pick up your airbrush be sure the trigger of your airbrush is fully depressed and watching your gauge to set the pressure. If you don’t have the trigger depressed you’ll find yourself adjusting it again soon.

Hopefully the video below will explain PSI relating to airbrushing in a easy to understand manner.

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