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Monday, 6 January 2014

Basic Airbrush - Q & A

Many different experience levels come and visit us here at Chinook & Hobby West to talk about Airbrushing. We also get many questions regarding Airbrushes through our social medias and by email.

We carry Paasche, Iwata and Badger currently and yes, we do promote these items. We also have general information to help all Airbrush users.

The following are some of your questions and answers we have researched for you.  If you still have questions, please email us at

Airbrush Classes for Beginner to Expert
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Q: What is an airbrush?
A: An airbrush is a small, air-operated tool that sprays fluid (paint, ink, dye, stain, glaze, etc.). It resembles, and is held like, a pen. It applies paint through a process known as atomization.

Q: What's atomization?
A: An airbrush takes a fluid and turns it into a directed airborne mist. You can think of it as a sophisticated perfume atomizer or as a controllable spray paint can.

Q: How does an airbrush work?
A: The airbrush must be attached to an air source to spray. Airbrushes have two systems that must work together to function properly. The air system provides energy for the atomization of the fluid. The fluid system delivers the paint to the tip of the airbrush to be atomized and sprayed onto a surface.

Q: What type of airbrush is best for me?
A: This depends on your desired application. Most airbrush users today use single- or dual-action, internal mix airbrushes because they offer the most control and the finest of sprays. However, single-action, external mix airbrushes are very popular for hobby and craft applications, the spraying of ceramic glazes or high viscosity materials, or where cost is a factor. (They are generally less expensive.)

Q: What is the difference between internal-mix and external-mix?
A: In an internal-mix airbrush, the air and paint mix inside the paint tip. This produces a thorough atomization or mixing, which results in a very soft, fine spray pattern. In an external-mix airbrush, the air and paint mix outside the tip, producing a coarse spray pattern.

Q: Why are there different size tips for the airbrush?
A: Nozzle sizes are differentiated by tenths and sometimes hundredths of millimeters. The different sizes allow for finer or coarser paint (how finely the paint pigment is ground up) while trading off between finer and coarser lines and spray patterns. The line sizes are relative within the Iwata product line. A practiced hand and deft touch can accomplish some amazing lines and effects with a .5mm nozzle on the Eclipse or Revolution series airbrushes.

Q: What types of surfaces can be worked on?
A: All surfaces can be airbrushed, paper, canvas, plastic, metal, glass, wood, leather, skin, etc. The key is to insure the proper preparation of the surface prior to spraying and its compatibility with the sprayed material.

Q: What kinds of paint can I use with the airbrush?
A: All paints, oils, acrylics, watercolors, automotive paints, enamels, alkyds, etc., are sprayable as long as they are thinned to a consistency, like light cream, that enables them to flow easily through the airbrush. However, if you're just learning how to paint with an airbrush consider buying airbrush ready paints then you can focus on improving your technique rather than worrying about whether or not your paint is going to clog the airbrush.

We have two great Airbrush DVDs that can help you with your technique.  We also have informative books and brochures and if we do not have your replacement parts in stock, we can order them.


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