The Airbrush FAQ focuses on frequently asked questions about airbrushes and spray equipment in general. Quick answers are available at a glance or in-depth answers after a link.
If you have unanswered questions after reading, please feel free to contact me. After all, how can a question get on the frequently asked questions list if it doesn’t get frequently asked?
I also keep FAQs that focus on particular industry questions.
A: You can soak individual parts, but avoid soaking the whole airbrush.
A: Wet docking is a well intentioned yet bad idea, for all the same reasons soaking an airbrush is bad.
A: I don’t recommend spraying different paint types, but sometimes it’s acceptable…
A: Spray at the lowest pressure that gives you the kind of paint atomization you’re looking for without clogging your airbrush.
A: Here are the easy fixes first
A: To put it simply, paint hates being sprayed and exacts revenge upon unsuspecting users!
A: No. Just clean the places paint goes. If you work in front of people, consider keeping the outside spotless too. It makes a good impression on customers.
Head over here for a step-by-step, blow-by-blow account of how to go about cleaning your airbrush.
A: Ahh, the dream of most airbrush artists. In a word, “PRACTICE!” You probably want more than that though.
You’ll have to wait until I can do the topic justice to get more though.
A: This really needs far more room than I’ve got here, but here’s the basics.
A: Airbrushing is completely safe as long as you keep these risks into consideration.
A: Use paint for the kind of surface you’re going to spray. I do tend to prefer airbrush ready paints over non-airbrush ready paints. Specifically because the pigments have been ground up more and they’re thinner and less viscous. That doesn’t mean you won’t need to strain or thin the paint yourself, but it should mean that you’ll need to do far less of it than you might.
A: Usually you’re dealing with a cleaning problem. Everybody tells you to “clean your airbrush” because it solves 90% of all airbrushing problems. So go clean your airbrush first. After that you’re looking at something a little more elusive. For now I’ll tell you to call up your airbrush’s manufacturer and ask them what’s wrong. Most of them have great technical support help. At some point in the far off and all too distant future, I’ll write up a troubleshooting guide to take you through the most common problems step-by-step.
A: Stencils can be used a couple of ways.
After you’ve sprayed the shape onto your work remove the stencil and either leave it as is, or freehand other details into the shape to personalize it.
A: You need a small EZ Out if the threads are still together.
Make sure you don’t damage the stem the nozzle fits into. That’s a Bad Idea.
A: As often as the airbrush needs to be lubed. For instance if the needle is sticking back and forth or up and down it might be time to try a little lube to help things move along.
A: Get a non-reactive, non-drying airbrush lube that won’t react with your paint.
A: WD-40 isn’t the right kind of lubricant for a sealed o-ring.
A: They’re made to be quiet. Creating machines that don’t make a lot of noise isn’t cheap.
A: Generally, you need a needle when you destroy (bend, mangle, obliterate) the needle you’re currently using. Sometimes the needle can be repaired. But even then, I consider that a temporary fix until you get really, really good at it.
Your needle can wear out over time. It can happen. But odds are that you’ll be the source of your needle’s demise long before it passes to the great needle heaven in the sky from old age and long service.
A: After you’ve killed it.
Just like needles, nozzles can wear out but it takes a few years (minimum) of constantly (all day, every day) spraying gritty paint.
Nozzles cannot be repaired. Go buy the new one. Better yet, plan on future carelessness and have a spare nozzle ready to go! 😉