Airbrush paint not flowing consistently



Hi :) I am ridiculously new to airbrushing. I bought an iwata bcs eclipse and iwata power jet pro compressor for body painting.

I have tried to use this machine twice.. And I keep having problems. I'm not sure if the device is defective of if I am just not getting it.

I use mehron paints w the machine.. And at first the paint is flowing.. But then it doesn't continue to flow consistently.. I'll have the trigger pressed down an back all the way and only a little paint is coming out.. Then later a lot of paint comes out.. Grrrrr

Once no paint was coming out at all! I was sooooo frustrated.. Googling YouTube videos.. I pulled the gun apart.. Cleaned it.. Put it back together a few times before it wd work! I'm STILL not sure what the problem was.. Maybe a loose nut? Ugghh.. I haven't even use. This thing hardly! Does one need to know troubleshooting as much as how to use it in order to have success? Hmmm.. Any comments or advice will w GREATLY appreciated :)

Heya kelliesean, Im not real familiar with Mehron paints but you may need to strain them? What pressure are you using? That may be another issue.
does that paint have a reducer in the range??? are they water based paints, they probably need a bit of thinning.... is there paint building up on the needle??
Hahaha! :) thanks for such quick responses! Hmmm...

Mehron is a water based body paint.. Cosmetic grade..

I wonder what a reducer is.. Hmm

And in not sure what pressure I am using.. Is that a significant factor for how evenly the flow is? I have played with it and I realize that the paint flows out very gently (something I find desirable for when I paint faces as I do not want to power paint and blast their faces lol).. But I would think the paint should still continue to flow..

Mehron says it doesn't need to be thinned.. But..

And I see some spattering too grrrr
YOu Guys beat me to it,

I was going to say check the needle/nozzle for paint build up first, then because of the blockage I would definitely strain my paints before use, i have had that problem with brand new Dan Powers Tru Colours. It was just how you describe.

Is checking the needle/nozzle something that airbrush users must always do? Like., is it something I will be having to do after every color I use??? Every session?
You can strain your paint using panty hose or paint filters. It will get the clumps out of it. Some paints aren't ground as fine as others so the pigments tend to clog the nozzle so straining helps. Definitely something all airbrushers do, checking the needle and nozzle. All it takes is one tiny spec of cured paint in the nozzle to cause it to clog. I would definitely look into a reducer to see if it can be thinned or not. Just go to their website and see if they offer it.
I googled the mehron brand paints and dont see a reducer but if theyre waterbased, you should be able to add a few drops of water to help then them to flow smoother. From what I read their pigments are triple ground so should be pretty good. I would add a couple drops of water, check your nozzle really well for dried paint in it, wet the end of a toothpick and softly try to clean the nozzle, DO NOT PRESS THE TOOTHPICK OUT THE SMALL END OF NOZZLE as it may flare or split. You may have to fluxuate your air pressure once you reduce it. Good luck
Thanks Russ!!! Thanks a lot for taking the trouble to look for me :))
Hi Kelliesean,
Paint will build up on the end of your needle because the air pushing the paint out will also dry the water based paint. This is something that all airbrushers have to deal with if they use water based acrylic paints and it is called "tip-dry". Some makes of paint are worse than others for this but they ALL do it.

People will be cleaning the end of their needle constantly while painting and will have different ways of dealing with it. I use a toddlers soft toothbrush with cleaning fluid on it which I attach to my back board. I gently push the needle end into the bristles of the toothbrush and move it around, I then blow off any excess cleaning fluid onto a spare piece of paper and check the paint flow, then start painting again. I do it so often it only takes me a few seconds each time.

Also if I notice I have to pull back further for paint to come out I will go to my spare piece of paper (always have one right next to my work area) and give it a blast by pulling right back on the trigger a few times. It wastes paint but it will clear any small blockage that might be building up inside the nozzle before it gets too bad and the paint stops altogether.

Diluting your paint with a bit of water, preferably bottled water, will help with flow and adjusting the air pressure will help. You will just need to experiment with the amount of water (not too much as it will take away the bonding element in the paint) and the air pressure until you find the right mix for your needs and the paint you use. You might have to do more layers of a thinner paint at a lower pressure (for the face) rather than a thick coat at a higher air pressure.

It's always frustrating at the beginning, just be patient and keep asking questions, people here are always willing to help if they can.
cheers Mel
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Wow Mel.. That REALLY explains a lot! Whewww.. U guys are awesome!
Very well explained Melbee!!! The Badger Renegade Krome has what I call a "Paint Pickers Tip", not sure that's the proper name for it, but that's exactly what it is. It doesn't have prongs like most airbrush regulators have. You do have to be careful not to hit your substrate with the need, but I have these paint picker tips on all my Badger brushes, makes it where you can just pick the tip of your needle occasionally when the paint starts to coagulate.