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Airbrushing Pressure

Discussion in 'Airbrush Compressors' started by ma1rk, Apr 13, 2012.


  1. ma1rk

    ma1rk Young Tutorling

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    I have read through most of the posts and have only seen notes on what types of compressors to use and to use water traps etc.....
    But I haven't seen anything posted about what air pressures to use.
    Now I am guessing this varies quite a bit depending on the paint you are using and the material you are painting on and if you are trying to do fine lines versus covering a background.
    So what pressures do you guys use and for what types of paint?
  2. Malky

    Malky Guest

    I use Schminke aero color, which is pre thinned, because of this I work with between 10 to 20 PSI close up, and raise it a little for filling in, like you said yourself it's a question of what paint you use, and also weather or not your working close by not, I find that too high a pressure close by makes everything look dirty and blurred, tip size is also a deciding factor, if I use a smaller tip I'll raise the pressure but try to reduce the amount of paint coming out, I'm still learning but I have noticed that the smaller the tip the harder it is to get the paint out, therefore more pressure.

    It's all a question of personal preference, simply play around and see what works best for you, there are no rules regarding this except never more that 40 PSI

    Hope this helps
    Malky
  3. Cordyk

    Cordyk Sheriff Woody (Admington) Admin

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    Hey ma1rk, mate you answered all your own questions and as Malky said it is really down to what you are trying to achieve<br />
    I use com-art/Createx and magic color, I have an Iwata HP C plus and usually spray about 25psi.
  4. worldofglasscraft

    worldofglasscraft Elite Member! Elite Member!

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    Cordyk,
    If your spraying at 25psi what's your regulator set at please buddy, 28 or 30psi?
  5. ferret

    ferret Needle-chuck Ninja

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    If you are using a tank less compressor you will need to set the regulator at a higher pressure due to the pulsing effect .For very thin paint i have been using 5psi to stop any nasty effects again like others i am just playing around with it all .
  6. Cordyk

    Cordyk Sheriff Woody (Admington) Admin

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    Yeah it's set at 30 so give or take a bit it should be about 25 at the brush, I am using a badger oil less piston compressor that has no tank, it's fine for the little amount of time I get to paint but will upgrade when funds get better. It really is all down to what compressor you have, what you are trying to do, how thin your paint is etc etc
  7. ma1rk

    ma1rk Young Tutorling

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    Thanks for all the responses! I have only been airbrushing for about a month, and only done a couple flames on paper and then mostly the skills sheets from Airbrushtutor. But this helps me get an idea of where to start with the pressure.
  8. FirePanther

    FirePanther Young Tutorling

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    Just be aware, as said, that dialed in pressure always drops a few psi if you open the air on the airbrush.
  9. Perseus

    Perseus Young Tutorling

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    FirePanther brought up a good point. The air pressure will drop when you depress the trigger on the airbrush. To counteract this and make sure you get the pressure you want at the airbrush, you have to set the regulator with the airbrush trigger depressed. So you're moving air through the airbrush as you set the pressure. Hope this helps.
  10. RebelAir

    RebelAir Air-Valve Autobot!

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    Generally I use a bottom feed so I tend to set my pressure a little higher but it can depend on a few factors....

    -Using a gravity or Syphon Feed (Gravitys tend to need less pressure)
    -What the temperature is, sometimes in warmer weather I tend to go a touch higher..Just to help avoid tip dry..
    -What kind/size needle your using and in that fact the gun itself..
    -What are you painting, fine detail or blasting away?
    -How much you've thinned your paint...
    -What substrate?..Textiles will take much higher pressures than say metal without spidering issues..

    The general rule of thumb I think is to experiment..There's no real perfect pressure anyone can suggest as ultimately it comes down to some of the different factors above..Try starting out at say around 10-15 psi and just keep adding 5 psi until you find what suits your needs at the time...Assuming you've thinned and strained your paint down appropriately...BTW I suggest that you don't go above 60 psi as it can damage your airbrushes seals and rarely are such high pressures needed anyways...GL with it...

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