Cute crafts, nerdy crafts, frilly crafts, girly crafts, guy-friendly crafts, ALL THE CRAFTS!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Fun with Airbrushing (not so much)

It got out that I'd like to try airbrushing and a friend of the Wookie's loaned me his entire setup.  Just showed up at the house with it.  So what started as an offhand comment on a whim (not to mention, I'd meant makeup lol) ended up as a project to see if I could do REAL airbrushing.  Granted there is absolutely nothing fancy here as I figured I'd start with the basics and just wanted to shoot a kitchen shelf blue, then if all went well, I was all stoked to stencil some cute designs on it.  I didn't get that far.  You'll see.

You'll need a work space.  Since I'm uber professional with everything, my work space was a massive cardboard box, some poster board to test, and the plastic shelf I wanted to start with.

Here is the compressor that was with the kit, it is so tiny and cute and I LOVE IT!  If I ever need a small compressor for any craft tools, I'll be getting one of these babies.  It is so quiet that I could hear my music from my tinny laptop speakers over it.

Here is the airbrush...gun...tool...thing.  It came with the reservoir, some accouterments I didn't recognize, and another reservoir that looked like a jar, but it wasn't in the instruction book the guy loaned me, so I didn't touch it.  Also, there's some stencils there I was going to practice with, but, again, I didn't get that far.


...and even more paints.

Also, you'll need a respirator because paint flecks fly fucking everywhere.

First, I went to mixing colors because I wanted a blue that was more the color of my nails instead of a royal blue.  I kept count of the ratio of drops for future mixing.  Also, obviously fake nails ftw.

A shot of them all swirled up just because I thought it was pretty.  >.<  I found out that it is easier to mix your paint directly IN the reservoir and just spray it at paper a few times to get any un-mixed color out.

Here's the little tool hooked up to the air hose.  It just screws onto the nozzle on the bottom.

This, according to the book, is the proper way to hold one, just in case you were wondering.  This will also, it just so happens, give you the worst case of writer's cramp you've ever experienced.

Next, before you start the actual painting part, it is time to figure out how to don the respirator and exactly where the billion straps go!  Once you finally get it on, it is time to take a few selfies of yourself in a respirator just because it makes you feel like an industrial hardass.

This is the paint I started with in the reservoir.  I was nervous about the paint reservoir as it is open and I am notoriously clumsy, so I just started with a tiny amount of paint, but that didn't work and I had to add more.  It is about 1/2 full.  I worked up the courage to fill it 3/4 on the next coat, so GO ME!!  Time to start painting!  To paint, you press gently down and back on the button on top of the tool.

Here's the shelf I was trying to turn blue.  I like the design with the circles and the waves on the front, but wanted it blue so it isn't transparent and all the candy stickers are covered.

One coat...since this was going to be a solid color, I practiced controlling my lines and such on it.

...but sadly, after 4 coats it looked like this.

...5 coats.  At this point, I just cleaned the equipment and packed it back up.  I figured this would at least make a nice base coat for spray paint, so once it was dry, I went to put it back where it belonged.  As soon as I picked it up, the paint was just rubbing off on my hands, and it was supposed to work just fine on this type of material, according to the bottle.  I ended up plunking it in the sink and all the paint just wiped right off with a wet sponge.  All that work for nothing.

My final thoughts on airbrushing to put this eloquently?  SCREW THAT.  The cleanup process, all the crap you need, etc. just aren't worth the end result, IMO.  I suppose they are if you can airbrush the super artistic stuff, but I never cared for the look of that and all the layering it takes from the instruction book was crazy confusing to me.  The stencils look neat and I was very excited to try them, but again you can just do that with a can of spray paint instead of 34598 supplies and an hour of cleanup, not to mention the cleanup you have to do between every color change.  I'm not sure I ever want to see an airbrushing tool again as I'd psyched myself up for it with all these projects I wanted to paint, but my experience was just abysmal.

Have you tried airbrushing?  Did you have better results?

I'm going to go buy some good, old-fashioned spray paint now.



  1. What a disapointment! Never tried airbrushing, but I have tried spray paint. Of course, you know to do it outside or somewhere with great ventilation, but I thought I'd put a reminder because it can screw with your lungs.

    1. I always use standard spray paint outside, but this paint had no odor and I had a respirator, so I felt safe doing it in a large box inside in this one case. :) Regular spray paint objects even have to stay outside a day or two before I bring them in because - omg the smell lol.