Paint is paint is paint right? Wrong!
Paint is formulated for specific purposes. For instance painting the side of your house, or painting metal, or paper. The glue needs to stick to the substrate (the surface to be painted).
Use a paint that meets your specific purpose if at all possible. Otherwise, you get to do like my instructor taught me. Buy a small bottle and test it out on a piece that doesn’t matter, or in a place no one will see. Then see what happens!
There are three reasons for this.
Airbrushing is hard enough even with airbrush ready paint to make you want to pull your hair out a crush innocent, cute-eyed puppies beneath your boot clad foot in a fit of rage. Why add the extra paint hassles when you don’t have to?For experienced people who have mastered the airbrush, you can play with creating your own paint. You’ve put in the time, you have a good idea of the kind of pigments to use and the kind of runniness and stickiness you need out of your paint for it to spray well. Beginners should take heed of my warning. It really is for your own good.
This means the binder, the glue portion of the paint, has to be reduced enough to flow and spray easily without being over reduced so much that it doesn’t stick.
The pigments need to be very, very finely ground up. Pigment is simply dirt of the same color. The dirt likes to form clods in your paint. The finer the grind the less likely the globs will stick together. And also the more likely the pigment globs will break up while being sprayed.
Once you’ve mastered the airbrush, if you still feel like mixing your own paint, by all means, knock yourself out. Until you HAVE mastered it, stick with the more expensive, airbrush ready paint.
The paint should be tailored to your purpose, or at the very least very close to your intended purpose.For instance,
You’ll still have to play with it. Just because it says airbrush ready doesn’t mean you can use it out of the bottle. Your darker colors like violet and blue can probably be used out of the bottle, while lighter colors like yellow and white will probably need to be thinned down.
Hobbyists can generally ignore this section, however, professionals MUST consider the legal ramifactions of the coatings they spray. The problem is that I can only give you directions to think about since every state, county, and city has different issues.
In this particular case, I recommend Airbrush Action Magazine. They usually have some kind of guide to the best paints to use for particular purposes.
Next step is to choosing the right airbrush