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Airbrushing mugs

Discussion in 'Beginners Airbrush Questions!' started by huskystafford, Jan 12, 2018.


  1. huskystafford

    huskystafford Spider Splatterer

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    Anybody maybe know the right way, how to airbrush mugs like the ones which they use for sublimations ? I would like to airbrush a mug for my coffee and I would like for colors to say on the mug for few years :D
  2. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Admin

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    If you using a green ware mug you would use ceramic glazes then bake it in the kiln,
    But if it is already glazed best you can do is clear coat it after painting it. and hand wash and do not soak it.
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  3. huskystafford

    huskystafford Spider Splatterer

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    Is it possible to use heat press for mugs instead of kiln?
  4. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Detail Decepticon!

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    Dye sublimation mugs are coated with polyester. So I would imagine you can paint them with any of the airbrush paints that are multi-surface. Then just bake in the oven at 250F for an hour after its dry.
    For added protection you can then clear coat with any acrylic enamel, bake it the same way.

    If it is a regular mug. There are craft paints such as folkart enamel that are made for glass and ceramic. You must use their clear medium to thin with.
    Decoart americana also has craft style gloss enamels for glass.
    These are baked at 350 for 30 minutes.
    These paints claim dishwasher safe if they are baked, which is more than can be said for the dye -sub polyester coating no matter whats on top of it.. So you may be better off with one of the craft enamels and a normal plain old mug, rather than one made for dye-sub.
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  5. huskystafford

    huskystafford Spider Splatterer

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    People use for sumblimation this kinda heat presses:
    https://www.coastalbusiness.com/pub...3afdbeabfc89641a4582/k/n/knight-mug-press.jpg

    So can it be done with this kinda press? I just thinking out loud. Or should I rather use oven which I am using for cooking? -.- To be honest I never seen kiln in my life. I don't even know if anybody is selling it in my country :D
  6. NEMOPa

    NEMOPa Elite Member! Elite Member!

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    Go with Robby's method, a kiln is a very expensive proposition, as is a dye sub printer. Baking in the household oven is not dangerous, if you were powder coating, you would need a separate oven, but this is just an occasional bake of acrylics. The heat press for mugs is designed for dye sub applications, if you are looking at getting into the selling of custom mugs, go for it. Check out UTube .

    Try a couple of regular mugs, airbrushed & baked as per Robby. See how they hold up, just remember, no dishwasher. Your experiment will cost almost nothing, go for it and let us know how you make out.

    I've never done mugs, but I have done Zippo lighters, which I cure in the oven (250 degrees F for 1/2 hour) and as long as I don't drop them onto concrete floors, they hold up very well in my pocket...
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  7. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Detail Decepticon!

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    I don't know if you can heat press the craft enamels. Obviously you can heat press the airbrush paints.
    I bought an old used toaster oven. I use it for all kinds of baking of things I'd rather not put in my food oven.
    The craft enamels on plain mugs are even supposed to be diswasher safe but not microwave safe. I've never airbrushed with them though.
    The airbrush paints on a dye sub mug , I think would be ok for the microwave but not the dishwasher
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  8. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Detail Decepticon!

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    Sorry if this is obvious stuff but ovens kilns and furnaces are all words that have a hard time crossing even minor language barrier so;

    Just in case toaster oven doesn't really translate.
    toaster.jpg

    I suspect kiln doesn't translate right , and you've seen or heard of a pottery kiln before
    They heat to about 800C for baking ceramics.

    kiln.jpg
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  9. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Detail Decepticon!

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    Your lighters are how i found out the airbrush paints respond well to baking like other acrylic enamels. Which is what clued me in that they were in fact waterbourne acrylic enamels.
  10. huskystafford

    huskystafford Spider Splatterer

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    Hey, thanks guys for your help. This info is great.

    Just to elaborate a little. The last time I went for my screen for screen printing, which I ordered in december. So we talked with a owner of that business about heat presses and equipment in general. We talked about mugs also. He mentioned mug press which is good and quite cheap. I was thinking about this for some time. I am not interested in sublimation. But... I am kinda curious about airbrushing on mugs :)
    That's why I was asking about those heat presses. After all, if I understand correctly, you don't need to press much, you could just use heat element of those heat presses. I think -.-

    But you guys gave me few more options. It happens a lot on this forum, when I ask weird question, you guys come up with brainstorming which occupies my brains.
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  11. huskystafford

    huskystafford Spider Splatterer

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    I found kiln in my country. But they are all big and damn expensive -.- 20 liters is minimum size i found. That is to big and to expensive. I am trying to find one little cute kiln for one mug size :D

    Maybe toaster is a better option? I mean cheaper...
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  12. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Detail Decepticon!

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    The kiln is only needed if you use pottery glaze. Then only if you you are using raw mugs that have no coating to begin with, or you are actually making them from clay. Then you can forget about detailed images or normal colors. The upside would be that it would be permanent.
    If you use the kiln for regular paints, or the craft enamels, they will simply become ashes.
  13. huskystafford

    huskystafford Spider Splatterer

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    Plan was like this. Buy sublimation mug, paint it with airbrush and heat press it with mug heat press to see results. That was the plan, before I opened this thread. And I opened it just in case I don't waste my money :D
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  14. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Detail Decepticon!

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    I think your plan is correct.
    But a used toaster oven might be cheaper to try out than a mug press.
    The regular oven should be fine to try out also. The paints are not going to leave toxic residue
    If it works well the mug press may be worth it for speed
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  15. huskystafford

    huskystafford Spider Splatterer

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    How much should I set temperature to bake that color on that mug?
  16. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Detail Decepticon!

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    250F
    120C
    Probably 30 min would be fine like @NEMOPa suggested.
  17. huskystafford

    huskystafford Spider Splatterer

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    Great info in this thread. Thank you all.
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