This particular guide applies to these airbrush models.
- Towel or tray to work over
- Appropriate cleaning solution
- Round wooden toothpicksBamboo toothpicks don’t seem to break as often
- A bristled cleaning brush…Interdental brushes, or airbrush cleaning brushes (you’ll need the small ones), or pipe cleaners (not recommended)
- The wrench that came with the airbrush
- Cotton swabs for general cleaningNote: Cotton swabs do occasionally shed their fibers, if it does just make sure you pick them out
- Mirror or mirror-like surfaceOld AOL CDs are my favorite “mirror-like surface” but if you’re cleaning with a solvent CDs won’t last long. In that case use part of a glass mirror.
- (Optional) magnifying glass or jeweler’s loupe
- Unscrew the handle
- Unscrew the needle chucking nut
- Pull out the needle
- Clean the needle with a cotton swabWarning: Needles are still sharp!
- Unscrew the needle cap
- Unscrew the nozzle cap
- Unscrew the head cap, use the crescent wrench if necessary
- The nozzle should fall out.If it doesn’t simply try removing it with your fingers.
- If it’s stuck to the airbrush body use your thumb to push it off to one side.
- If it’s stuck inside the head cap, use a pair of needle nose pliers to pull it out. Try not to scratch up or gouge the nozzle.
Nozzles are delicate, they break easily
- Examine the nozzle for damage
- Look at the small tip
- Make sure it’s a true, perfect circle free of dings, dents, tears, and cracks
- Look at the nozzle from the side
- Make sure the tip does not flare out like a trumpet
- If the nozzle does not pass inspection replace it
- Clean the nozzle with a toothpickThis is the important piece, make extra special certain it’s clean.
- Clean the paint passage with the cleaning brushThat’s everything between the color stem…
To the stem the nozzle screws into
- Clean the color stem with the cleaning brush or a cotton swab
- Clean the front of the airbrush body. Pay special attention to the place where the nozzle sits.
- Clean any bottles
- Glass jars can be soaked and scrubbed or just scrubbed. Your choice.
- Plastic bottles shouldn’t be soaked. Scrub them instead.Solvent resistant bottles are just that, resistant. They will eventually melt from contact with solvent based paints, but melting can be months to years in the process.
- Bottle tops (cap sets)Scrub with brushes. Use extra long pipe cleaning brushes or pipe cleaners to get into the long paint tube. If you decide to go with pipe cleaners get the expensive ones–they don’t shed their fibers as much.
NOTE: Clean everything very thoroughly! I know you’re getting tired of me saying it. But I harp on it because it really IS that important!
- Place the nozzle onto the airbrush body.
- Screw the head cap over the nozzle onto the airbrush body.
- Lightly tighten the head cap with the wrench, no more than a quarter turn.
- Screw the nozzle cap onto the head cap
- Screw the needle cap onto the nozzle cap
- Gently insert the needle. It should come to a firm stop with the needle tip poking out of the front.Do not force it in.
- Twist the needle counter-clockwise a quarter turn
- Screw the needle chucking nut, big end first, onto the needle chucking guide
- Screw the handle onto the back of the airbrush body
- Fill a bottle with water
- Hold the airbrush up to a mirror and press down for air only
- No spray should come out.
- Hold the airbrush away from the mirror.
- While holding the trigger down for air pull it all the way back.
- You should get lots of continuous spray
- Hold the airbrush back up to the mirror and re-confirm no spray
- Now pull the trigger back slightly
- You should get a round spray pattern.