Have you decided to buy an airbrush impressed by beautiful pieces of art or because you want to master your drawing and painting skills? In this category description, we'll try to help you gain insight into airbrushing, find out what types of airbrushes exist and which one you need.
For a start let's clear up how an airbrush works and how you can use it, what benefits an airbrush can offer, and why one can need an airbrush at all.
Benefits of using an airbrush
Surely you've come up with the question how to get a smooth paint coverage that would be uniform in thickness all over the surface. And this is exactly what an airbrush can give you. Besides that, airbrushing saves your time and allows one to get an even coating. This also reduces the expenditures on paint, to say nothing of the fact you can easily get into hard-to-reach areas. These are only a few benefits of airbrushing over the traditional painting and certainly, you can point out more if you are an experienced airbrush user.
How an airbrush works
Here we're not going to delve too much into details but we'll just give you a clue about the main operational principles of an airbrush that are quite easy-to-understand. Airbrushes apply paint by a process called atomization when an air gun delivers paint and air simultaneously to the tip of the airbrush so that energy of the air atomizes paint and you get a thin mist of paint spraying on the surface. This process is comparable with spraying perfume but when you can control the flow.
There are two options for mixing airflow and paint:
- Internal-mix airbrushes where atomization of air and paint takes place inside the paint tip that gives a fine soft spray pattern.
- In the external-mix airbrushes, on the contrary, mixing is outside the tip. With this type, you will get a coarse spray pattern.
It's the same with the size of an airbrush nozzle: the thinner it is the finer spray patterns you'll get.
Choosing the right airbrush
As for the choice of the perfect airbrush you need, here it all depends on your needs. Every certain type of the airbrush meets the specific needs and is usually bound to a certain field of application.
Hobbyists and crafters may like single-action external mix airbrushes as this type generally comes at a lower cost and it suits well for spraying viscous materials such as ceramic glazes. For more control and fine spray users often choose internal mix airbrushes. Here, in this article, we'll try to tell about many applications but first things first. Let's have a closer look at each airbrush type.
Single-action vs. double-action airbrush types
Any airbrush has a single trigger to operate but there are differences in their control. Here we distinguish two types:
- Single-action airbrushes
In accordance with its name, you can control this type of airbrushes by a single action, that is the air and paint start to flow when you push the trigger and stop when you release it. Due to the ease of their use, these airbrushes are popular with beginners and many other users.
- Double-action control airbrushes
This type allows for more control over air pressure and paint volume. And this is very useful if you want to be precise about painting. A user adjusts airflow and the amount of paint by the push and pull of a trigger what makes dual-action airbrushes quite difficult to manipulate. That's why mainly professional users prefer this type.
The difference between airbrush feed systems
A feed system of your airbrush will also be essential to the quality of your work. It is used to feed the paint into the airbrush. And here are three types of them:
- gravity feed
Gravity feed airbrush models have a paint reservoir or cup above the main part of a tool that allows for working with a low air pressure. This means you will have more control over spraying paint and the ability to paint fine lines. In this way, airbrushes with gravity feed systems can be more economical. And what's more, they are easy to clean.
- bottom feed
In the bottom or siphon feed airbrush models, paint is siphoned from a reservoir mounted below. As such, the volume of paint can be larger and hence you will be able to spray paint for a longer period of time.
- side feed
As with the bottom feed airbrushes, side feed models feed paint into the airbrush using the air pressure. The difference is in the position of a paint reservoir that in this type is mounted on the side. However, it provides a better vision of the surface to be painted.
Application of airbrushes
In practice, airbrushes are as effective for painting surfaces as any other traditional method, with them you can apply paint to paper, plastic, metal, fabric, wood, glass and other materials as you would do with brushes or rollers. The main point is to prepare the surface for painting carefully and choose the right paint for the surface.
How much your new airbrush will cost and what supplies and accessories you will need for it depends entirely on the chosen application. For this reason, we've gathered here air guns for
- automotive airbrush painting,
- food decoration,
- face and cosmetics,
and other artists' airbrushes for home and professional uses.
Paints and accessories
As to paints experienced users know that with the airbrush one can use any paint of a certain creamy consistency so that it could easily go through your airbrush. For beginners, we recommend using special airbrush ready paints to prevent your airbrush from clogging or malfunctioning. Moreover, in our store, we also carry a number of good beginner airbrushes and airbrush kits.
So, we've covered all the main types of airbrushes and we hope now you know what to choose. And while picking out an airbrush don't forget about cleaning, maintenance, and power issues. Be sure you can handle it. If you need a more powerful air tool to cover larger surfaces, we suggest that you look at our selection of Paint Guns.