For Every Airbrush Artist!

Ready to get involved? Register for free and you won't see any google advertising!

Register

Attaching airbrush to a spray paint (rattle)can.

Discussion in 'General Airbrush Discussion' started by Grimmy, Jul 28, 2017.


  1. Grimmy

    Grimmy Young Tutorling

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2013
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    London, UK
    Hi all,

    I know some of you might be already like "why would you want to do that that!!!" ha ha

    When I'm not painting in my studio I fly to other places in the world painting large sized art works mainly on walls but sometimes at festivals and and on smaller public pieces. Outdoors I jump between using spray paint cans (either spirit or water based) and then airbrush for finer detail. I love my airbrush to death (H&S evolution) - I've run stuff through that poor thing that would make some of you purists squeal! ha ha. And still got results I like. :)
    I run both spirit & water based paints through my airbrush but when it comes to outside/public work I really wish sometimes I could just use the spray paint can but still get some of the thinner lines that the airbrush achieves.
    In the past I've experimented attaching airbrushes to spray paint cans and the concept of combining the 2 worlds interests me (I don't get out much) ... but with not much luck. As anyone from a Graff background or someone that uses spray paint a lot will know - the pressure on a spray paint can (which has both the pressure & paint combined), compared to using an airbrush, is either all or nothing... and the 'all' is a powerful blast of paint!

    MY QUESTIONS:
    I have some new ideas of modifying parts of an airbrush to fit an spray/rattle can but I was wondering if there was anyway I could use something to reduce the pressure before it reaches the airbrush part to control the paint flow?
    Secondly anyone know/have interest in this area that could offer suggestions or advice?

    Thanks
  2. wickedartstudio

    wickedartstudio Needle-chuck Ninja

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Messages:
    716
    Likes Received:
    484
    Trophy Points:
    61
    Location:
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
    I've sprayed rattle can paint through my brushes before, but I didn't attempt to hook the brush up to the can. I simply sprayed some of the contents out of the rattle can into a mixing cup. I found it worked better if I directed the fan directly at the side of the cup and let it run down. Makes a bit of a mess, but got the job done. Poured that straight into the airbrush and went to work.
    Grimmy likes this.
  3. Chris g

    Chris g Spider Splatterer

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    26
    Location:
    France
    Given the "why would you want to do that that!!!", the problem I see is that an aerosol has the paint and propellant mixed ready to go but an airbrush is effectively atomizing the paint using a propellant, (air), both fed in separately.

    I've decanted aerosol paint and used it through the airbrush, (lots of videos on line), where I've needed a specific paint or color that I've already had in aerosol form.

    But I'm guessing what you want is to be able to use a portable airbrush set up. You can buy 'air only' aerosols with a regulator to connect to an airbrush but they tend to be quite expensive to use seriously compared to a compressor.

    On the other hand I've seen some quite impressive work done using only aerosols and masks.
    Grimmy likes this.
  4. Jonathon

    Jonathon Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    Messages:
    590
    Likes Received:
    771
    Trophy Points:
    91
    Location:
    Jasper IN
    *not done this myself but read or saw about it online*

    You can just use a compressed air canister or non flammable gas cylinders to propel the paint out. If you just connect it to the airbrush you will get that enamel paint built up in the atomized air ports on the airbrush.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  5. Jonathon

    Jonathon Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    Messages:
    590
    Likes Received:
    771
    Trophy Points:
    91
    Location:
    Jasper IN
    Or, if your looking to hook it up through the gravity cup, side or bottom feed, it won't work the same as the regular airbrush would because you wouldn't be utilizing the air atomization. It would just spray out the tip ar whatever pressure is in the can...
  6. Malky

    Malky Pencil Pushing Protagonist Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    May 23, 2016
    Messages:
    2,477
    Likes Received:
    3,351
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Isn't a small Co2 tank with regulator a better option, these are refillable at garages and Co2 apparently lasts a lot longer than a similar sized air tank.
  7. Jurien72

    Jurien72 Have Airbrush - Will Travel!

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2017
    Messages:
    2,641
    Likes Received:
    2,484
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Somewhere in the U.S.
    Hmm I don't think you guys are understanding the problem really... The spray can contains its own supply of pressure, there is no need for an outside source of propellant.

    My first thought would be something like a can of Propel- you screw a little regulator cap into the spray can. The one problem with this, is that a can of Propel is designed for this purpose. It has threads and whatnot to accomplish this. A conventional spray can does not have these features. Im really not sure how anything could be made to work like this.

    All in all, yeah I get what you're on about, but without having more specific information its hard to envision how useful this would really be...
    Grimmy likes this.
  8. DaveG

    DaveG Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2017
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    1,685
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Location:
    West Virginia
    I'd say don't do it ;)

    An airbrush as it is, is designed to have air traveling through part of the brush, and paint traveling through another. Paint is never meant to be introduced into the air passages of an airbrush. I am assuming you are most interested in the airbrushes ability to regulate paint flow via the trigger, which offers a good bit more control than a rattle can spray tip does.

    There is only one way to get paint out of a rattle can, and that is mixed with it's propellant. It will enter and exit the airbrush this way... unless you decant the paint first - which is what I recommend. Spray it into a container, and then pour it into the brush. I have done this using siphon or side feed brushes that use glass bottles, and had many colors at the ready before...

    Your other option is to design a new spray cap for the rattle can, that will offer adjustment to how far the stem on the bottom of the head pushes into the can to open the valve. Something with a very fine thread may offer enough adjustment to make it useful...
    Grimmy and jord001 like this.
  9. Jurien72

    Jurien72 Have Airbrush - Will Travel!

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2017
    Messages:
    2,641
    Likes Received:
    2,484
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Somewhere in the U.S.
    Now you've got me curious as to what would actually happen...

    I don't think the OP wants the paint to go thru the air passages...
  10. RebelAir

    RebelAir Air-Valve Autobot!

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Messages:
    3,014
    Likes Received:
    2,373
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Victoria Australia
    ????? Why why why LOL...If its because its a color you like? If so just decant the spraycan into a container and then tip the paint into an airbrush cup. Trying to understand the reasoning behind this is difficult after a few cans ;) likely my fault though LOL, although sounds like fun..just don't see the point.....
  11. RebelAir

    RebelAir Air-Valve Autobot!

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Messages:
    3,014
    Likes Received:
    2,373
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Victoria Australia
    PSS If its because you want the air, you can just buy air in a can from a model shop, has a little regulator on it that attaches to your airbrush, may be fine if you're just wanting to do finer touch ups when out and about and will last 10-15 minutes, maybe more if lucky..But not a very reliable source of air..nor though is a pressure pack LOL
  12. jord001

    jord001 Air-Valve Autobot!

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Messages:
    4,215
    Likes Received:
    2,715
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Birmingham UK
    When I started airbrushing I used rattle can paint as there wasn't anything else. I sprayed it into the can lid and then thinned it to work in the airbrush. Wouldn't use the can to propel the paint as it would go through the air passages. I don't know how you would do it.

    Lee
    Grimmy likes this.
  13. Grimmy

    Grimmy Young Tutorling

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2013
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    London, UK
    Sorry didn't make it clear - I don't want to decant the paint in this situation. I've decanted rattle can paint into my airbrush, I've done it blowing around 30 metres up in the air in a bucket lift! :)
    I guess I'm actually talking about a spray can cap that works in a controlled way like an airbrush. It's about trying to address the problem of having the paint n pressure together and thinking of a way to alleviate some of the high pressure and then control the paint flow into a finer line.
  14. Grimmy

    Grimmy Young Tutorling

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2013
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    London, UK
    Hi, thanks. Yep sounds like you got it. :) I guess I see the airbrush cap like a normal spray cap - but one that is obviously more complex though to manage the paint flow but at the same time one still changes it from cans to can as different colours are needed. As opposed to decanting each colour into the airbrush and using that.
    "My first thought would be something like a can of Propel- you screw a little regulator cap into the spray can"
    Yes I think something like this would be a necessary part of my airbrush cap. Although I see that as the easy part - the difficult bit is creating a nozzle that controls the paint more
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
  15. Grimmy

    Grimmy Young Tutorling

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2013
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    London, UK
    Hi Dave - thanks for that. Regarding your last paragraph - yes this is something I've been thinking about and stem control would defo be an integral part of the airbrush cap. Saying that I have ok "can control", as it's called, on the regular caps but they get a little spluttery when the pressure is reduced considerately. Hence I'm trying to think around this problem.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
  16. RebelAir

    RebelAir Air-Valve Autobot!

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Messages:
    3,014
    Likes Received:
    2,373
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Victoria Australia
    Clear as mud lol..There was a guy on here awhile back who was making a tip that screws onto the spraycan to better regulate the paint and kind of make it like an airbrush. Im sorry cant remember he' deets atm, others may but a good search here may find that same thread, it was a few yrs back now and think he's on facebook too..Good luck. next time you want to decant though don't do it directly into the airbrush LOLOL
    Grimmy likes this.
  17. Jurien72

    Jurien72 Have Airbrush - Will Travel!

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2017
    Messages:
    2,641
    Likes Received:
    2,484
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Somewhere in the U.S.
    Wow not a lot of support I guess! I'm seeing it like one of those spray can handles, but with a regulator and nozzle on it...
    Grimmy likes this.
  18. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2012
    Messages:
    8,565
    Likes Received:
    8,504
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Mt Barker, South Australia
    DaveG and Grimmy like this.
  19. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    11,691
    Likes Received:
    8,705
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Hampshire South Coast UK
    Nicely found Jackster. This guy got off on the wrong foot, as people assumed he was a spammer, but turned out was a genuine guy. Looks like he has made it work, and could be the answer for you. They don't seem too expensive either.
    Grimmy likes this.
  20. Grimmy

    Grimmy Young Tutorling

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2013
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    London, UK
    Thanks for that Rebelair. Funnily enough I bought one of those a while back! I like the cap as I like the idea of something I can clean and reuse - spray caps can be very wasteful. However, although it does change the width of the spray when you move the disc on the top it still doesn't spray much narrower than your average 'skinny' cap. Obviously you can move the can nearer to the surface but then you're back to square one with have a powerful blast of paint creating a spluttery effect.
    RebelAir likes this.

Share This Page