Do you airbrush small projects ? Please tell about your airbrushing and equipment.

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Forum topic by David Grimes posted 07-05-2011 09:16 AM 2922 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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David Grimes

2078 posts in 2633 days

07-05-2011 09:16 AM

From Spraytech airless rig to Earlex 5000 to small HVLP touchup guns with compressor, it seems all sizes of rigs have their place. I’m wondering about airbrushing because I don’t know much about it.

Do you use it in your finishing arsenal ? Stain ? Paint ? Finish ? Water base and / or oil ?

Only for small projects? What equipment do you use / recommend ?

Please tell me more.


-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

6 replies so far

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3053 days

#1 posted 07-05-2011 04:49 PM

I usually use Airbrush are mostly use for touch up work or toning, or detail work.

If I have a piece of sprayed lacquer and the client doesn’t want that color, I can get my airbrush and put some lacquer thinner and some dye together. And spray it.

You can use it for spraying stain, dye,

I dont know about paint, it seems there those type of paint you have to buy for airbrush.

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2976 days

#2 posted 07-05-2011 07:33 PM

This is what I use for small projects.

I thought about using an air brush. This gun was on sale for about 6 bucks at the time. Works good for small projects.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3159 posts in 3102 days

#3 posted 07-06-2011 03:43 AM

I have a Paasche air brush with a 2-oz cup that I originally purchased for detailing my high power rockets. I’ve put finish (lacquer or water-base poly (thinned with a little water)) on small boxes, and also the oil based paint/glue (used paint thinner to thin) used for flocking those same small boxes. I did attempt to paint the front bumper on my wife’s van with it after she wrecked it (I couldn’t find my real paint gun in my disaster area of a workshop), but I had to keep loading the little thing with paint so much it made a bit of a mess. I stopped and eventually found the paint gun. Don’t try painting a Chevy Astro van front bumper with an airbrush…she wrecked it again, later, but I let the insurance company do the honors this time, since it was pretty bashed in.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2668 days

#4 posted 07-07-2011 05:49 AM

I haven’t tried an air brush but the little gun that Gregn has listed is what we call a touch up gun. I know people that use them for everything but they only build small projects. Wish I knew more about an air brush for you but I guess you will be our new expert. I always felt like air brush guns were for tinting and shading. Too artistic for me.

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2633 days

#5 posted 07-07-2011 07:22 AM

@AtomJack, Thanks. I have run across the Paasche brand as a better one (and with a longer history and pedigree) than others. I have it in my “wish lists” at a couple of places. I never really know until I get to play with something, but am thinking I would like the double action guns better than single for my purposes (which will have nothing to do with cake decorating or fake suntans, thankyouverymuch). I see that they can be gravity feed and/or siphon feed… with the siphon feed capable of larger charges. Rest assured that I will not try painting any part of a Chevy Astro van due (in part) to your warning. ;=)

@Grandpa, As I said at posting I have and use the touchup guns. Very handy for the right project. We do a lot of painting. Today, we painted six exterior columns at one place, a bathroom ceiling, walls, and trim at another, then starting prepping five custom arched opening (no doors) cabinet “toppers” to add to existing cabinets. The insides will be color matched to the existing cabinets below and the outsides and the lip of the opening will be the accent color. That was today. None of that is airbrush-worthy. For the airbrush guns, it would be for very small projects (say smaller than a breadbox… lol) and with the ultimate goal being good results with very little over-spray.

I have never claimed to be an expert on anything. Experts tend to stake a claim to their piece of real estate and spend the rest of their time defending and/or justifying it… even knocking alternate approaches. I just want to know what I want to know about very many things. I ask many questions and answer those I am comfortable answering completely… or even offer a bit of insight from my perspective. There are so many shades of grey between black and white. It’s best to remember that, I think.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View Tim Kindrick's profile

Tim Kindrick

369 posts in 2547 days

#6 posted 07-18-2011 11:42 PM

David, I have always been intimidated by most spray guns, HVLP or otherwise. However, I have used airbrushes to paint small things like fishing lures and artwork on t-shirts. Earlier this year, I was looking for a quick and easy way to apply poly to my Spalted Pecan serving tray when I came across an old single action airbrush that I bought at Harbor Freight several years ago. I thought it would be the perfect solution because I only wanted to apply a couple of thin coats of Semi-gloss Poly. It wasn’t.

I thinned the poly 50-50 with mineral spirits but that was too thin and it took too long to actual get the product on the wood. Second coat was 1pt mineral spirits to 2pts Poly and it worked better but I still didn’t get even coats applied because the spray pattern was too small. It took 6 coats before I got it right but it was a HUGE hassle. I immediately went out and bought an HPLV sprayer to start experimenting with. I probably won’t be using an airbrush on anything else except very small projects.

I suggest that you purchase one of those cheap single action airbrushes at HF for about $10.00 or less. You don’t need a double action to apply finishes because you won’t need to adjust the spray pattern AND the volume at the same time (thus “double” action). As with all other spray equipment, you’ll need an inline filter and a moisture separator.

Good luck! If you have any further questions, feel free to message me.

-- I have metal in my neck but wood in my blood!!

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