What you will need to get started airbrushing I put together for those of you brand new to airbrushing and for those of you who have been out of airbrushing for awhile.
It’s common for me to hear from folks who at one time tried their hand at airbrushing and become so frustrated during the learning process they gave up and put the airbrush away until just recently when they decided to give airbrushing a try once again. Our network of web sites, forums and Airbrush Technique Magazine where created to help anyone interested entire the world of airbrushing, custom painting easily.
Below is a list of supplies and equipment you’ll need to get off to a good start in the world of airbrushing no matter what it is you want to airbrush.
Airbrush Technique Magazine publishes FREE basic airbrush lessons, tutorials to get you up to speed with the basics of airbrushing, custom paint on the following web sites. howtoairbrush.com and howtocustompaint.com . The airbrush information, lessons, tutorials contained on those web sites will help you become accomplished enough with your airbrush so you’ll get more out of the airbrush technique articles published in Airbrush Technique Magazine. With a little practice and the support of Airbrush Technique Magazine web sites and the magazine support forum there is no reason anyone can’t learn how to airbrush.
These days the most commonly used airbrush for auto art, custom painting motorcycles, helmets, fine art, illustrations, T Shirts, models is the double action airbrush. A good name brand (Iwata, Badger, Passche) double action airbrush can be purchased for about $50.00 on the low end to $400.00 on the high end. Single action airbrushes are still manufactured but for the almost the same amount of money you can buy a double action airbrush which is much more versatile and easier to use.
With a double action airbrush you push the trigger down for air and gently pull back for paint. For more information on using a double action airbrush please check out the AIRBRUSHES article.
There are two main types of double action airbrushes:
Gravity Feed Paint is held in the color cup on top of the airbrush. Trigger action is the same as a bottom feed airbrush, push down for air and gently pull back for paint. The gravity feed airbrush is generally the choice for doing fine detail airbrushing.
Bottom Feed or Siphon Feed Airbrushes
Paint is contained in a small color cup or bottle which attaches to the bottom of the airbrush. Generally is type of airbrush is best for spraying thicker paints such as textile colors and for covering larger areas.
When you purchase your airbrush be sure to also buy the correct air hose to fit the brand airbrush you will be using. Badger, Passche, Iwata airbrushes have there own airbrush hose’s which fit only their airbrushes. The smaller end of the airbrush hose will be the end you screw into your airbrush while the larger end ( ¼ standard coupling) will screw right onto just about all types of compressors. Some hose’s coming with in line moisture traps which is not a bad idea as you need to keep any water in your air from ruining your art work.
Compressors manufactured, marketed for airbrushing vary in price from $90.00 on the low side to $800 or $900. These type’s of compressor you can purchase thru most art supply stores and come in various sizes. Be sure the compressor is rated for the type of airbrushing you will be doing. These compressors are best suited for airbrushing fine art, illustrations, nail art, body art, models and crafts.
Standard compressors are those you find sold at outlets like Sears, Home Depot, Lowes. For doing airbrushing T Shirts commercially, auto art, bikes and helmets these types of compressors are generally your best choice. Airbrush T Shirts all day long five, six, seven days a week is very hard on a compressor and a standard type compressor is much better suited for this type of use. Airbrushing auto art, motorcycles, and helmets generally requires spraying base coats, clear coats which requires at least a thirty gallon tank and five horse power compressors to operate a small spray gun. If all you will be doing is adding art work than a small “airbrush” compressor would work fine.
No matter what you will be airbrushing please be sure to wear a respirator rated for the type of material you’ll be spraying.
Airbrush holder is a must have for any studio or shop, its very cheap insurance against your airbrush hitting the floor.
Some other airbrush accessories you’ll find come in vary handy would be: Drawing paper, tracing paper, drawing pencils, hobby knife, ease’s of all types, and several rolls of masking tape, Frisket Film, drafting templates and rules, an easel.