Airbrush clogging using reduced Liquitex acrylic Paint, HELP!

otpowell

Double Actioner
Hi, I am new to airbrushing and just bought the Iwata hp-cs... The guy at hobby lobby who opened the airbrush case for me told me that he used to be a airbrush teacher and used Liquitex acrylic paint in the tubes and reduces with water. Last week, I put a couple of different Liquitex base colors in bottles and reduced with a homemade reducer which I acquired the formula through a google search, & I reduced the paint to the viscosity of low fat milk. Today, I go to airbrush, and my paint is coming out inconsistently.. I thought it was tip dry, and took my needle out to clean. After putting a clean needle back in, it was still inconsistent. My next thought is that it's the paint, perhaps clumps are in it. I don't recall seeing any YouTube videos of people pre-reducing paint in bottles, they all reduce it right before they paint.. Maybe letting it sit for so long and separate(of course I do shake it well), led to the paint gumming up. Any suggestions? I think I may dump that paint and reduce it right before airbrushing and instead of homemade reducer, I am going to use water and see if that resolves my problems.. Can anyone shed some light? I took my airbrush apart again and noticed that the little brass piece where the needle rests, was clogged with dry paint, that hole is so small and I could not clean it out with my airbrush brushes.. I had to use one bristle off of a toothbrush.. Am I thinking about this right? Or should I just invest in some spectra tex airbrush paint? Anyone else use Liquitex paint in the tubes?
 

Mr.Micron

Royal pain in the air hose
Admin
Oldschool tube paint... Needs to be ran through a filter to remove the little clumps that they have,
Being you bought the unit at Hobby Lobby , It should have came with Com-art. At least that is the way the local hobby lobby has it boxed here .
They also sell Wicked airbrush paint. Still needs some reduction but is designed for airbrush.

Spectra-tex rock and runs great even through my .18 Micron. so if you have a Michael's craft store in your town go there and get some.

As far as home made reducer if you are using Wicked it is 25% of bottle size alcohol, 75% water and 1 drop per ounce of glycerin. That is it. No widow cleaner , or fantastic or anything else.
Spectra-tex does not need reduction , shake load and spray .

But see if you can find some restorer made by Createx or just order it form Coast Airbrush Products
soak only the nozzle in it for 20 minutes and it will cut all the dry and clumps of paint out of the nozzle.
 

otpowell

Double Actioner
Thank you Mr. Micron. Would soaking in airbrush cleaning solution or isopropyl alcohol work too?
 
I

inevitable

Guest
Having read other posts (and don't quote me on this) I believe soaking the entire brush in cleaning fluid / airbrush restorer will damage the seals.

Best to remove the bits you can and soak those (you can reuse the airbrush restorer product just strain it to remove all the bits that come out) for the recommended time.
It is likely to be a buildup in the nozzle - someone on here suggested carefully using a toothpick which worked great for me
 

Mr.Micron

Royal pain in the air hose
Admin
Thank you Mr. Micron. Would soaking in airbrush cleaning solution or isopropyl alcohol work too?

Yes and no,. and never soak the entire airbrush , due to only the needle bearing is teflon all other seals are rubber o-ring which can swell .
Only soak nozzle needle cap and needle.
 

otpowell

Double Actioner
Well, since I do not have restorer, I am soaking all small parts without o-rings in 91% isopropyl alcohol and using a sonic Toothbrush to agitate the parts in solution. Hope this works and doesn't ruin anything... I am going to try a piece of nylon stocking on the top of my airbrush bottles to filter the paint before it goes into the gravity feed cup... This forum is nice, thanks for all the knowledgable info & replies.
 

otpowell

Double Actioner
Mr. Micron, Teflon is alright to soak, correct? Only rubber can swell? I am soaking in isopropyl alcohol until I can get some restorer delivered.
 

otpowell

Double Actioner
Where is the Teflon needle bearing in the hp-cs? I am not seeing it, it must be inside the nozzle
 

otpowell

Double Actioner
I watched a video about the Teflon seal for the needle (cheaper airbrush, guy took rubber seal off and replaced with Teflon), I think on the iwata, the Teflon seal is inside the body of the airbrush and not by the nozzle.. Just read an article about the air valve. A guy is having a sticky trigger and is now replacing the air valve.. I'm thinking I should take that apart and clean that regularly too.. Maybe to prevent sticky trigger and possible future replacement.. True?
 

Mr.Micron

Royal pain in the air hose
Admin
I watched a video about the Teflon seal for the needle (cheaper airbrush, guy took rubber seal off and replaced with Teflon), I think on the iwata, the Teflon seal is inside the body of the airbrush and not by the nozzle.. Just read an article about the air valve. A guy is having a sticky trigger and is now replacing the air valve.. I'm thinking I should take that apart and clean that regularly too.. Maybe to prevent sticky trigger and possible future replacement.. True?

Did you get a small tube of super lube with your airbrush?
Taking apart the air valve can be costly due to the very small locking screw on the bottom . if you do not have a good hold on it when it comes out the pressure of the spring can send it flying.
You main problem is a clog in the nozzle.
The way to tell if the needle bearing is adjusted correctly is when you put the needle in the airbrush you will feel a small bump (or where it get tighter as you push it in)
If you do not feel this resistance as you push the needle in than you will have to adjust the screw just a touch.does not take much.

Here are some really great video by Coast Airbrush Tv...Airbrush Overview
Iwata Airbrush Guide
Compressor Guide - Choosing the correct compressor & maintaining your compressor
 

otpowell

Double Actioner
Ok, here's an update... I dumped my paint and I noticed ALOT of clumps.. My airbrush is so clean and immaculate now... I dumped my homemade reducer and remade using 25% denatured alcohol, 75% distilled water and four drops of glycerin(4oz bottle). I also asked my wife and she gave me some good quality nylon panty hose that I have cut up and will put directly on the top of the reduced paint bottles to filter clumps.. Hopefully that will resolve all problems with clogging.. If it does not, I just ordered 2 sets of spectra-tex primary and fourescent colors. I also ordered some cratex restorer to soak my nozzle in the future.. Thanks for all the help.. Thanks Herb aka Mr. Micron.
 

otpowell

Double Actioner
I do have some super lube and also ordered more.. I use that to coat moving parts in the airbrush.
 
K

KenBadger

Guest
I hate to say this - but I suggest you ace the alcohol. If you want to thin a water-based acrylic simply use distilled water. Adding alcohol will accelerate the dry time thus increasing the tip dry. Additionally, a water based paint with alcohol introduced into it will "clump" more and have a shorter shelf life. Just sharing my experience based opinion.

If you are just starting out, you'll be better served to use true airbrush ready paints - rather than getting into a lot of concoction mixing. You can get into paint experimentation down the road. If interested click here: http://www.badgerairbrush.com/PDF/UltimateAirbrush101final.pdf Despite the document cover, it's a pretty generic instructional piece that may help you as your learning to airbrush and developing your skills.

By the way - a bottle of super lube or needle juice should last a long long time. In most cases a 1 oz. bottle should be a lifetime supply.
 
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