Over time we have identified some rock solid equipment that we have both used is popular among the paint slinging community. If you are just getting started in painting, or taking the leap into a more serious business opportunity, here are some products that may get you moving in the right direction.
We recommend the Iwata Eclipse airbrush as it is not only personally used in our shop, but also one of the most popular air brushes in the community. If you would like to read our full analysis of the tool, read about is at: Airbrush recommendations: Iwata Eclipse
Although most air compressor/tank combinations are adequate, there are products specifically designed for airbrushes. For example, in our shop, we have been using a compressor with a 6 gallon tank for years. One nice thing about airbrushes is that they do not require anywhere near the Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) as needed by an HVLP Spray paint gun used for painting cars and furniture.
If you want to stick with the Iwata family, you can pick up this compressor, it has a moisture filter built in, and allows you to adjust the pressure up to 35 PSI. Most airbrushes operate well between 12-25 PSI, depending on the application. When laying on a base coat, you’ll generally want a higher PSI, but when dealing with fine details, a low PSI is ideal.
AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT
When it comes to getting contaminated air out of your shop, we use the Cloudline duct fan, we currently use the 8 inch version, but our shop needs to move a lot of air, for the casual painter, the 6 inch version should work well enough. These fans are quiet and the speed adjustments are perfect.
I put the Spray-out pot under this category because it is critical in reducing paint particles in your shop, especially if you are praying though a cleaner, you do not want to inhale that stuff. The nice thing about spray-out pots is they also act as a holder for your airbrush.
There is no “right answer” in this area, we’ve seen some pretty impressive DIY spray booths,
General shop air quality can be addressed using a hanging air cleaner such as this one from WEN.
Although most airbrush paints are non-toxic, airbrush paint coming out of the tool are incredibly fine particles. Do you really want to breath that junk in and coat your lungs? Nah. Treat yourself right, wear a mask.
Additives / Cleaners
When it comes to cleanup, We find that regular windshield washer fluid is a great option, its cheap and lasts a long time. It also does not have the harsh chemicals that tarnish the steel finish on your airbrush.
Definitely the two most popular finishes in the airbrush community. The Envirotex epoxy leaves a leave crystal clear finish that is slow drying but really makes the paint colors pop. Its also incredibly durable. However, since its slow drying, its important to dry it on a turner, so the epoxy doesn’t run down one side and dry uneven.
KBS is another popular finish, it leaves a crystal clear finish that is just plain easy to apply, unlike epoxy, there is no mixing, just lay it on and call it a day.
Turners / Dryer:
A turner is a must for leaving an even finish, many folks build their own custom turner to meet their needs and let’s admit, that’s part of the fun of this hobby. If you are looking for a motor, a good place to start is a rotisserie motor. These motors are nice and slow at about 5 RPM, which helps leave a nice even finish.
Don’t sit around waiting for the paint to dry, hit it with a heat gun for a quick dry so you can move on to the next layer.
Get some heavy duty bags for packaging up your products to give it a professional look.
IMAGING / PHOTOGRAPHY
When it comes time to take pictures of your artwork, you want it to look great, so don’t skimp. Good lighting makes a huge difference for getting your colors to shine. Try out a Photo hood.
If you have recommendations or ideas, feel free to contact us. If you have pictures of your workshop, we love seeing people’s creativity, so send us a picture.