Clean your airbrush, for gosh sakes!! A rant with paiting tips.

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Marc_G

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Hi folks,

I've been meaning to start this thread since last weekend.

Any of you that remember some of my posts about airbrushing probably know my "rules for airbrushing" that go something like the following:

1. When you buy an airbrush, take it completely apart before you get paint anywhere near it; in part so that you will know how to disassemble and re-assemble it when it has paint in it, and in part because guess what, you need to clean manufacturing oils off new brushes before you use them with water-based paints. Guess how I know this?
2. Every time you use the brush for anything, take it apart completely and clean it. Don't just run airbrush cleaner through the works and call'er done.
3. Plan to spend a few minutes painting and lots more time cleaning. Don't plan to do a quick coat of paint then run off to [insert activity with wife/family/buddies here]. Ask me how I know...

Anyway, last weekend. It was a busy time, but I was looking forward to doing some airbrush painting on my Asteroid Hunter which at the time looked a uniform pale gray, like this:

1615734360651.png

The base coat above is a mix of Auto Air white with some black (and some reducer and balancing clear) mixed in. I still had a bunch of the gray mix left over, and the plan was to add progressively more black to the pot, mix it up, spray on a bit, and repeat several times. I anticipated the whole process would take about 30 minutes including 10 minutes to clean the airbrush at the end of the process. Note, all these paints I use are water-based, water clean-up.

Spraying on the gray used one of my two spray guns that have a wide dispersion pattern (it took about a minute to spray this bird, maybe less, plus 10 minutes to clean the gun).

But I have several different airbrushes that I use for different things, and for this relatively detail mottling job, I dug out a rarely used brush that does pretty fine lines. I checked the action on it and found that the needle was jammed. That's odd, I thought, so I took it apart:

1615734740252.png

Many of you will recognize the above as a cheap ($20) Harbor Freight brush. Though one of the cheaper dual action brushes you can buy, it does a good job for what rocketeers would call fine detail work. It's not good for painting a BT60 body tube (takes a long time!) because its spray pattern maxes out at maybe a centimeter an half wide. But if you have a fin to paint a different color than the rest of the bird, or a stretch of BT20 to paint, this isn't a bad thing to use. It's also good for spraying streaks of paint on bigger things like my Hunter that will eventually look sort of organic.

But WHAT THE CRAP? Look at that crud on the needle. I must have violated my cleaning rules massively or something. I think I might have to appear at Airbrush Court and plead mercy. Haven't used it in years, but narrowed down the project I used it on to about three birds based on the color of the scum. I took the needle out of the holder, put it on a piece of paper towel, and put a few drops of airbrush restorer (some oily solvent) on it to soak. I also put some solvent inside the barrel of the thing to clean out anything inside.

Fortunately, being a cheap brush, I have two of them. I pulled out the second one. Worked the action back and forth, seemed good... but something told me last time I did a project with one, I used them both... so I pulled the needle just to check:

1615735976156.png

Bloody hell. I was having a bad day when I used these last time. Seriously, there's no excuse for this. I should be hauled in front of Q's inquisition from Star Trek NG or something for these crimes. The needle went next to it's brother to soak in restorer to remove the traces. Actually the rest of the brush seemed just fine, so I have no explanation or excuse for the dirty needle.

I'm a bit of a clean freak / OCD usually about this stuff so all I could do is shake my head and wonder. Maybe check under the bed for pods or something.

(to be continued, after brunch)
 
Right. So, at this point, I was about 40 minutes into a 30 minute job, had not sprayed a drop of paint, and had not one but two brushes down for cleaning. And I was planning to go shopping in a little while, for stuff to cook a pot of spaghetti sauce.

So I decided to just grab my Master G79 Airbrush and swap a finer needle in than I usually use. Seriously, if you are going to be trapped on an island with rocket supplies and can only take 1 airbrush, this is the one for you. I use this for 95% of the work I do that doesn't get done by a spray gun. Here's what it looks like:

1615744554132.png
It comes with three needle sizes (I usually use the biggest, which gives a respectably wide spray pattern and isn't too finicky about thinning). It is gravity feed which works SO MUCH BETTER for acrylic paints than the siphon feed airbrushes I used until I got this, and has several cup sizes. And I like the trigger!! Costs about $70, but is the best value I've found. Seriously, I like this brush.

But as I was reaching for it, I saw another box that looked like an airbrush box. What the heck? Do I even have another brush, other than a few regrettable ones I never use?

Yeah, I do. It's a Master 233 set. I got it when I ordered the G79; they shipped me somebody else's order by mistake and when they straightened it out for me they said I could keep the 233 set; it's a $30 item not worth return shipping. TCP Global is a great place to buy stuff.
1615745278708.png

Synapses fired; I remembered once using it for something. It worked, and I set it aside and forgot about it when the G79 finally showed up. You see, the G79 accommodates up to a 0.8mm needle, which is a good needle size for working with Createx (assorted lines like Wicked Colors and Auto Air) paints that are relatively thick, even when thinned with reducer and balancing clear, particularly if they are metallic. The G233 only goes up to a 0.5 mm needle, and in fact I used the 0.3 mm needle (the default that comes installed) the one time I used it. I had to fight with it a bit at the time but got the consistency right and it did a good job on I think it was a downscaled BlueBird Zero.

Hmmm. So, time to play with this thing, I decided, and set about swapping in the 0.5mm needle. I took it apart, more than necessary to simply swap needles, because I wanted to remember how when it was time to clean it. It was clean as a whistle thankfully. Here it is right before I swapped in the 0.5mm needle after re-assembly.

1615745544002.png

See how I've got it on the table with two other disassembled airbrushes? Don't do that. Ask me how I know. Anyway, see the parts laid out at the bottom of the picture. The "needle cap" is to the far left, near the barely visible pliers handle. It's (supposed to be) compatible with the three needles/nozzles/nozzle caps in the set. One needle cap, that fits on all three nozzle caps. The nozzle cap is the thing that fits right over the nozzle, and the nozzle is what mates with the needle. So I put in the 0.5 mm nozzle, which screws right on, and insert the 0.5mm needle, no problem, and put on the 0.5mm nozzle cap which I carefully kept from getting confused with other parts. Worked the action back and forth, and it looked beautiful. But, then I went to screw on the needle cap. It didn't mate with the nozzle cap... the threads didn't match, not even close. Too loose. Thinking it might be a part from another brush by mistake, I tried the needle cap with all three nozzle caps, being very careful not to mix anything up. Indeed, the needle cap threads match ONLY the default 0.3mm nozzle cap... doesn't fit either the 0.5mm or 0.2mm nozzle caps. What the heck?

Well, time was flying. But, the needle cap is really there just to prevent you from banging and bending the needle. It has an aerodynamic look and may help with flow a bit but for spraying my paint onto an Asteroid Hunter it's an optional part. Decided to deal with it later and start spraying.

You can't spell "spray" without "pray." Seriously. Ask me how I know. And keep in mind I'm as secular as they come without actually being an Atheist.
 
Last edited:
OK, so the brush was together except for the needle cap:

1615746973329.png

I hooked it up to my CO2 tank (I've got quick disconnect and three different hoses to choose from). I spray in my basement, using CO2 instead of a compressor, because when I started this hobby my kids and wife took naps and compressors are loud, and because I actually paint more in the winter than in the warmer months. Wife still takes naps.

Since these are simple water based paints the hazard in spraying them is particulates, not solvents. So I wear an N95 to prevent from breathing the rainbow. It's one with a valve for outgoing breathing comfort; completely useless for corona containment. :) ALWAYS WEAR AN APPROPRIATE MASK WHEN SPRAYING.

I took my light gray paint and added in a bit of black, then shook up the disposable plastic tiny jar (2 oz?) it was in. Tip: if you spray a lot, buy plenty of disposable jars of different sizes. You'll save lots of leftover mixed paint in them until the next project, then realize it's the wrong color or it dried out a bit or whatever and then throw it out. It's easier to do when the jars are cheap.

The paint looked a bit thick, so I added some reducer (water with just a touch of solvent in it) and some balancing clear (clear acrylic), and shook it up some more. Looked good, and poured some into the brush's integrated cup.

Did a test spray on my cardboard paint-area-backer, and it looked good and even. Attacked my asteroid hunter and in less than a minute was done with this first color:

1615747501250.png
Then a few more passes with progressively blacker paint, after spraying out the leftover each time. No worries if the paint color was uneven, since that was what I was going for anyway.
1615747587564.png 1615747624938.png

After a while (really, 10 minutes) I figured that was it and made up some clear with aluminum base for sparkle, a single drop of white take the edge off, and did a few passes:

1615747773492.png detail view: 1615747823078.png

If one wonders why an Asteroid Hunter should have a quasi-camo paint scheme then be covered in sparkly bits, the answer is that I like quasi-camo covered in sparkly bits.

Then I figured I could just run some airbrush cleaner through to flush out the paint and call 'er done for the day. No, of course I didn't do that... but the story wasn't over yet.
 
I dutifully took the brush upstairs to my cleaning sink, along with the airbrush cleaner fluid (water with a bit of solvent and maybe a bit of ammonia), and my can of compressed gas. "Duster" or something it's called, for spraying dust off keyobards and such.

I took the brush apart there at the sink, dunking parts in cleaning fluid then rinsing clear with water and blowing them mostly dry with the compressed gas duster.

This brush has an integrated cup, so is a bit different from my other ones. I ran water and cleaning fluid through with the nozzle parts removed, until it ran clear, then extracted the mostly clean needle out the back, and wiped it down. Everything looked good in as far as I could see in the airbrush/cup so I hit it with the duster to blow out the traces of water.

When in a bathroom with pale yellow walls, never blow highly compressed gas into an integrated airbrush that was recently used to spray black paint, no matter how clean you think the airbrush is at that moment. Ask me how I know.

The good thing about this situation is that airbrush paints don't dry instantly, particularly when highly diluted, and I had the sense when painting the bathroom to NOT use flat paint that absorbs every damned thing that touches it. After a few moments of panicked scrubbing the walls were back to normal.

I completely tore down the airbrush and did another rinse; it truly was clean this time, but when trying to get it back together the finger trigger and the tensioner thingie fell out. I don't usually take them out and was not entirely sure how to get them back in properly.

1615748784545.png

Now, I know where these parts go, but actually navigating the tensioner thingie back in properly in the right direction and with the bottom part of it at the right place to work took some doing. Most of an episode of "Strange Angel" later I had completed the task, as well as getting my two other little brushes stripped, cleaned, solvent-purged, rinsed, and back together:

1615749031921.png

By this time it was too late to go shopping for cooking the pot of spaghetti. I found stuff in the freezer to put together for dinner instead. But, all my airbrushes were clean, in working order, my Asteroid Hunter looks ready for detail painting (nozzles and tankage/piping see here) and decals.

I hope these ramblings are either useful or amusing, or perhaps both, to some of you.

Airbrush painting is fun and rewarding. Just remember to clean the brush.
 
The rocket came out very nice I need to start playing with my finer nozzles and try something like this. I learned from a friend to always do a full disassembly clean. (Someone borrowed his brush and he had to soak it in solvent for days just to get it apart.). Because of this I could probably reassemble my paache blindfolded. That was quite a day you had!
 
My experience is that airbrushing does NOT save you time. Your actually painting time is typically noticeably less, but when you factor in set up and cleaning you may spend much more time painting. However, you have much greater control than a rattle can or brush.
 
My experience is that airbrushing does NOT save you time. Your actually painting time is typically noticeably less, but when you factor in set up and cleaning you may spend much more time painting. However, you have much greater control than a rattle can or brush.
Absolute truth. 💯

A big part of airbrushing for me versus rattle cans is I can paint any day of the year instead of just the 10-15 days per year in central indiana when the weather allows it.
 
Absolute truth. 💯

A big part of airbrushing for me versus rattle cans is I can paint any day of the year instead of just the 10-15 days per year in central indiana when the weather allows it.
Hey Marc,
Similar problems here in Oklahoma. I’ve been kicking around the idea of an Airbrush or HVLP set up. Without starting a fight do you have an opinion or suggestion on one or the other (or both)?
 
😉 recommending airbrushes is like glues: everybody has their favorites and few answers are wrong. Note the size of your projects dictates what you need.

Assuming you are using Createx type acrylics, I recommend you get one HVLP spray gun to shoot primer and full rocket painting, and an airbrush for doing smaller areas.

The spray gun can be as inexpensive as the K3 from harbor freight at about $15. I've used one for the better part of a decade and it works fine despite being pretty low end. I treated myself to a Vaper 19110 a year or two back and it is nicer at about $45. Can't say it does a necessarily better job for my purposes but I feel more confident with it doing color coats, while keeping the K3 for Sealer White and Sealer Dark.

For an airbrush get one with a 0.8 needle which is an LPR sweet spot; most come with multiple needles. I recommend the Master G79 set. It does everything I want in an LPR airbrush.

Just make sure to use gravity feed brushes; I find these work better for our purposes than siphon feed.
 
😉 recommending airbrushes is like glues: everybody has their favorites and few answers are wrong. Note the size of your projects dictates what you need.

Assuming you are using Createx type acrylics, I recommend you get one HVLP spray gun to shoot primer and full rocket painting, and an airbrush for doing smaller areas.

The spray gun can be as inexpensive as the K3 from harbor freight at about $15. I've used one for the better part of a decade and it works fine despite being pretty low end. I treated myself to a Vaper 19110 a year or two back and it is nicer at about $45. Can't say it does a necessarily better job for my purposes but I feel more confident with it doing color coats, while keeping the K3 for Sealer White and Sealer Dark.

For an airbrush get one with a 0.8 needle which is an LPR sweet spot; most come with multiple needles. I recommend the Master G79 set. It does everything I want in an LPR airbrush.

Just make sure to use gravity feed brushes; I find these work better for our purposes than siphon feed.
Good Beta. I’ve looked at Createx lines of paint... I really liked what I saw. Thanks again 🍾🙌🏻
 
Oh, one other thing:

I routinely prime / seal my rockets with Bullseye 123 spray primer in aerosol can. I can spray it outside any day it isn't raining or snowing no matter the temp (longer dry time in the cold, but I always give it overnight anyway).

On this base you don't HAVE to use Sealer White/Dark or similar Createx/auto-air sealer. Sometimes I do anyway, particularly for dark projects.

Most light colored rockets get a full coat of Opaque White (Auto-air I think because I have a big container of it and I don't have to thin it much, but any of them will be fine) even if none of the rocket will actually be white. Then I spray colors on top. White base makes colors pop. I use the spray gun for this.
 
Hi folks,

I've been meaning to start this thread since last weekend.

Any of you that remember some of my posts about airbrushing probably know my "rules for airbrushing" that go something like the following:

1. When you buy an airbrush, take it completely apart before you get paint anywhere near it; in part so that you will know how to disassemble and re-assemble it when it has paint in it, and in part because guess what, you need to clean manufacturing oils off new brushes before you use them with water-based paints. Guess how I know this?
2. Every time you use the brush for anything, take it apart completely and clean it. Don't just run airbrush cleaner through the works and call'er done.
3. Plan to spend a few minutes painting and lots more time cleaning. Don't plan to do a quick coat of paint then run off to [insert activity with wife/family/buddies here]. Ask me how I know...

Anyway, last weekend. It was a busy time, but I was looking forward to doing some airbrush painting on my Asteroid Hunter which at the time looked a uniform pale gray, like this:

View attachment 455315

The base coat above is a mix of Auto Air white with some black (and some reducer and balancing clear) mixed in. I still had a bunch of the gray mix left over, and the plan was to add progressively more black to the pot, mix it up, spray on a bit, and repeat several times. I anticipated the whole process would take about 30 minutes including 10 minutes to clean the airbrush at the end of the process. Note, all these paints I use are water-based, water clean-up.

Spraying on the gray used one of my two spray guns that have a wide dispersion pattern (it took about a minute to spray this bird, maybe less, plus 10 minutes to clean the gun).

But I have several different airbrushes that I use for different things, and for this relatively detail mottling job, I dug out a rarely used brush that does pretty fine lines. I checked the action on it and found that the needle was jammed. That's odd, I thought, so I took it apart:

View attachment 455316

Many of you will recognize the above as a cheap ($20) Harbor Freight brush. Though one of the cheaper dual action brushes you can buy, it does a good job for what rocketeers would call fine detail work. It's not good for painting a BT60 body tube (takes a long time!) because its spray pattern maxes out at maybe a centimeter an half wide. But if you have a fin to paint a different color than the rest of the bird, or a stretch of BT20 to paint, this isn't a bad thing to use. It's also good for spraying streaks of paint on bigger things like my Hunter that will eventually look sort of organic.

But WHAT THE CRAP? Look at that crud on the needle. I must have violated my cleaning rules massively or something. I think I might have to appear at Airbrush Court and plead mercy. Haven't used it in years, but narrowed down the project I used it on to about three birds based on the color of the scum. I took the needle out of the holder, put it on a piece of paper towel, and put a few drops of airbrush restorer (some oily solvent) on it to soak. I also put some solvent inside the barrel of the thing to clean out anything inside.

Fortunately, being a cheap brush, I have two of them. I pulled out the second one. Worked the action back and forth, seemed good... but something told me last time I did a project with one, I used them both... so I pulled the needle just to check:

View attachment 455317

Bloody hell. I was having a bad day when I used these last time. Seriously, there's no excuse for this. I should be hauled in front of Q's inquisition from Star Trek NG or something for these crimes. The needle went next to it's brother to soak in restorer to remove the traces. Actually the rest of the brush seemed just fine, so I have no explanation or excuse for the dirty needle.

I'm a bit of a clean freak / OCD usually about this stuff so all I could do is shake my head and wonder. Maybe check under the bed for pods or something.

(to be continued, after brunch)
Hey Marc;

For what it's worth, I religiously clean my brushes (Church of Paasche?), and I still get a sticking needle occasionally. Be sure to clean the needle packing area. I generally use a chenille pipe cleaner. You can also pass the needle through the brush a few times, wiping residue as you go. If you go to larger tips, you can get much larger spray patterns, even with an airbrush. The main reason that I run name brand tools (usually Paasche) is the availability of parts and accessories. I have used the imported brush like yours. It worked surprisingly well until I wore the seal out. It was definitely a fine tip brush though. Your sin is neither serious or uncommon ( or particularly sinful), it happens to me regularly. I had a sticking needle a couple of days ago, the problem was that a small piece of the pipe cleaner had gotten stuck in the packing. Yet another self inflicted wound. They do keep me busy, off of the streets, and out of trouble though. Happy airbrushing.

Jim
 
Absolute truth. 💯

A big part of airbrushing for me versus rattle cans is I can paint any day of the year instead of just the 10-15 days per year in central indiana when the weather allows it.
No matter how detail a job you can do, your lengthy narrative further convinced me to never and I mean never get an airbrush . Too much. Too much. Thanks for the informing me.
 
A rant with painting tips.
Hmm, given the way English grammar and syntax work with varying degrees of flexibility depending on the specific case and construction, would "A rant with painting tips" and "Painting tips with a rant" be the same things or different things?
🤔
(and for those who speak "Chiefly British" English, 'painting tips' can a whole different topic from what is presented here ... )
 
No matter how detail a job you can do, your lengthy narrative further convinced me to never and I mean never get an airbrush . Too much. Too much. Thanks for the informing me.
This is a very rational and understandable reaction, one that many people share. In defense of airbrushing, though, I can say that I've posted similar rants (with some tips) about rattle can spraying in the past. We all know that paints don't always play well with others, or even the same paint, depending on which is on top, how long each coat has dried, temperature, humidity, wetness of coat, phase of moon, and whether Jupiter is in ascension. One reason to dump spray cans was that the lack of constancy in their use was annoying enough to me to try something else.

I don't mind when people avoid the airbrush. More acrylics for me!! :)
 
I prefer the Van Gogh approach. SPLAT and it's done.
Jackson Pollock anyone ?

And I present to you one of my favorite rockets of all time, now dearly departed, Blood Atonement.

1615845508388.png
1615845545313.png

This is what happens when you co-binge Dexter and Big Love. Base coat of white with a pearl topcoating, with blood red spatter showing low velocity, medium velocity, and my best attempt at high velocity spatter. A toothbrush was used in creating the spatter effect.
 
I miss this rocket so much. First flight (two stage) was fine, but it landed in a tree in a wooded area to the side of the park. It was not a climbable tree (tall but max ~6 inches around) and the rocket was too high up to get down with a pole or whatever. The tree met with an unfortunate end; I recovered the rocket safely.

Eventually it was lost during a club flight; it went off into a neighborhood and I never found it. :(
 
Hmm, given the way English grammar and syntax work with varying degrees of flexibility depending on the specific case and construction, would "A rant with painting tips" and "Painting tips with a rant" be the same things or different things?
🤔
(and for those who speak "Chiefly British" English, 'painting tips' can a whole different topic from what is presented here ... )
It's a good question. I consider it more rant than tip, no matter how you define tip, and indeed I'm ranting about tips in some cases. Or I will, when I eventually rant about my Paasche H model airbrush.
 
Hi folks,

I've been meaning to start this thread since last weekend.

Any of you that remember some of my posts about airbrushing probably know my "rules for airbrushing" that go something like the following:

1. When you buy an airbrush, take it completely apart before you get paint anywhere near it; in part so that you will know how to disassemble and re-assemble it when it has paint in it, and in part because guess what, you need to clean manufacturing oils off new brushes before you use them with water-based paints. Guess how I know this?
2. Every time you use the brush for anything, take it apart completely and clean it. Don't just run airbrush cleaner through the works and call'er done.
3. Plan to spend a few minutes painting and lots more time cleaning. Don't plan to do a quick coat of paint then run off to [insert activity with wife/family/buddies here]. Ask me how I know...

Anyway, last weekend. It was a busy time, but I was looking forward to doing some airbrush painting on my Asteroid Hunter which at the time looked a uniform pale gray, like this:

View attachment 455315

The base coat above is a mix of Auto Air white with some black (and some reducer and balancing clear) mixed in. I still had a bunch of the gray mix left over, and the plan was to add progressively more black to the pot, mix it up, spray on a bit, and repeat several times. I anticipated the whole process would take about 30 minutes including 10 minutes to clean the airbrush at the end of the process. Note, all these paints I use are water-based, water clean-up.

Spraying on the gray used one of my two spray guns that have a wide dispersion pattern (it took about a minute to spray this bird, maybe less, plus 10 minutes to clean the gun).

But I have several different airbrushes that I use for different things, and for this relatively detail mottling job, I dug out a rarely used brush that does pretty fine lines. I checked the action on it and found that the needle was jammed. That's odd, I thought, so I took it apart:

View attachment 455316

Many of you will recognize the above as a cheap ($20) Harbor Freight brush. Though one of the cheaper dual action brushes you can buy, it does a good job for what rocketeers would call fine detail work. It's not good for painting a BT60 body tube (takes a long time!) because its spray pattern maxes out at maybe a centimeter an half wide. But if you have a fin to paint a different color than the rest of the bird, or a stretch of BT20 to paint, this isn't a bad thing to use. It's also good for spraying streaks of paint on bigger things like my Hunter that will eventually look sort of organic.

But WHAT THE CRAP? Look at that crud on the needle. I must have violated my cleaning rules massively or something. I think I might have to appear at Airbrush Court and plead mercy. Haven't used it in years, but narrowed down the project I used it on to about three birds based on the color of the scum. I took the needle out of the holder, put it on a piece of paper towel, and put a few drops of airbrush restorer (some oily solvent) on it to soak. I also put some solvent inside the barrel of the thing to clean out anything inside.

Fortunately, being a cheap brush, I have two of them. I pulled out the second one. Worked the action back and forth, seemed good... but something told me last time I did a project with one, I used them both... so I pulled the needle just to check:

View attachment 455317

Bloody hell. I was having a bad day when I used these last time. Seriously, there's no excuse for this. I should be hauled in front of Q's inquisition from Star Trek NG or something for these crimes. The needle went next to it's brother to soak in restorer to remove the traces. Actually the rest of the brush seemed just fine, so I have no explanation or excuse for the dirty needle.

I'm a bit of a clean freak / OCD usually about this stuff so all I could do is shake my head and wonder. Maybe check under the bed for pods or something.

(to be continued, after brunch)
Next time try running a little machine oil through it before putting it away. I always rub the needle down with light oil before I put it back together...I have had my Paasche VL for over 45+ years and still going strong....
 
My experience is that airbrushing does NOT save you time. Your actually painting time is typically noticeably less, but when you factor in set up and cleaning you may spend much more time painting. However, you have much greater control than a rattle can or brush.
That is right....you have to keep your airbrush clean just like any other tool you use that uses paint....including good paint brushes. Between cleaning the airbrush, cutting masks, and removing them does take a lot more time than just getting out the spray can. However, being able to custom mix your own color and thin it properly to lay down a beautiful coat....plus gradients and fades cannot be done as precise without a airbrush. You would have to be a real master with a can to make it look as good as an airbrush. Even HVLP equipment you really have to dial it in to achieve the same effects. However, using the hvlp guns will lay down a lot more paint very well....better than cans.

It’s just using the right tool for the right job....how do you want to paint!
 
Next time try running a little machine oil through it before putting it away. I always rub the needle down with light oil before I put it back together...I have had my Paasche VL for over 45+ years and still going strong....

Love this, but with a caveat: Don't try this if you are using water based acrylic paints. The oil will cause all manner of fish-eye. In fact, my earlier attempts at airbrushing were foiled by random fish eye spots; I thought it was surface prep but eventually figured out it was manufacturing oil on the new airbrush(es). A new brush gets thoroughly cleaned with solvent to remove oil traces before it ever sees paint.
 
Love this, but with a caveat: Don't try this if you are using water based acrylic paints. The oil will cause all manner of fish-eye. In fact, my earlier attempts at airbrushing were foiled by random fish eye spots; I thought it was surface prep but eventually figured out it was manufacturing oil on the new airbrush(es). A new brush gets thoroughly cleaned with solvent to remove oil traces before it ever sees paint.
OK, but did you first run 30+ psi through your brush and water if using water base paints ... when using oil to keep the internals in good shapE. The air at that psi will blow any oil off the parts...I’m talking light oil, not heavily dipped. I have never had any problems blowing air and water through it before starting another water-based paint project. It really works....done it for many years without problems...and no fish eye spots....maybe it depends on the type of airbrush...I am using a Paasche VL double action.

But if Squeamish doing this then I suppose you could go one step further and use a solvent....I never had too and I don’t like solvents floating around....harder on the lungs than just WB paint particales. Whatever works for you For sure.

But good to know if I ever do get fish eyes.
 
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