Monday, February 28, 2011

Taking the airbrush to the cleaner...

Even through I 'm a NOOB in the world of airbrushing I do know one thing - A filthy airbrush is the shortcut to a poor finish. So a word of advice to all, keep the gun clean at all times. This is in fact as easy as it sounds, if one is prepared for the task that is... Allow me to share the shortcuts I have come across while working with the airbrush.

This is what I do to ensure that the gun is operational at all times:

Before a spraying session:
·        Prepare a bucket of water for cleaning and a jar of water for brushes (the hairy ones).
·        Check needle on airbrush to ensure that it is completely clean.
·        Functional check of gun and compressor to see that air / paint flow is ok

During a spraying session (when changing colours):
·        First fill the cup with water, and use a brush to clean the cup.
·        Submerge the tip of the airbrush and cup in the bucket of water and spray for a short while, to blow the remaining paint from the cup/nozzle.
·        Put some drops of washer (the freeze resistant version from your car) into the cup and spray until cup is empty. NB! Make sure that you spray into a cleaning station as the alcohol in the washer is not something you want to inhale.

After a spraying session:
·        Repeat the steps from the colour changing above.
·        Remove needle and dry it.
·        Check the cup and gun for remaining paint and dry that.
·        I end the session by spraying some drops of Vallejo airbrush cleaner through the gun and then drying the needle again.

Safety considerations:
·        Inhaling stuff like paint, washer and airbrush cleaner is unlikely to be good for your health, so I suggest that you use some kind of respirator with a filter.
·        Further to that I’ve started to use a homemade cleaning station to catch some of the spray before it spreads to the entire house. You could buy one from the airbrush vendor, but any semitransparent container with a lid will do – Mine is a cotton stick container with a hole (made with a hobby knife) in the lid.

/Nicolai aka Atoom

UPDATED 01032011

I bought a ultrasonic cleaner, that works wonders on the tiny dirt inside the airbrush - Must have if you can afford it.

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