Hardware compatibility?


Young Tutorling
Hi - I've been wanting to do airbrushing for a loooong time, and I'm finally going to jump in. I have a specific project in mind to do, but I'd like to know if my compressor is compatible and what else I need to purchase to get up and running.

Here's what I have:
  • 1980s era brand new Paasche VL (I'm the original owner, like I said I've been wanting to do this for a long time :) )
  • 150 PSI 33 gallon shop compressor
I believe this compressor should be fine, if a bit overkill. I use it for air tools and other things around my shop. Anything I should be concerned about other than noise? From what I'm reading, I will need a moisture trap and reducer couplers for the air lines. I can figure out the coupler/reducer pieces, but I'm wondering about some other things.

Any issues with using more than a single moisture trap? I live in a rainy climate (Pacific Northwest), and the shop is unheated. Also, the compressor has a regulator, but I'm wondering if there's any downside to adding another regulator with finer control.

Finally, I'm starting to learn about paints. Being a fine artist that uses oil and acrylic, I have a basic knowledge of paint and binders. I also did a little automotive painting a million years ago. My first project will be automotive style painting with metal flake and candies on a wood or wood laminate substrate. Any pointers or things I should know about using automotive paint on wood?

Thank you!
Welcome dragon.jpg

Now that is out of the way the only issue you will have if you don't want to run the PSI to the airbrush any higher they 60psi and usually around 30psi .

Createx Wicked like is automotive paint and safer to use then urethane paint where you pretty much need a proper spray booth depending on where you live.
Like Mr.Micron said you shouldn't have any issues as long as you use the right thread reducers etc, turn the air down on the reg to a lower psi just for the airbrush. Noise will be your main problem but if your ok with that then your good to go.
Mr. Micron - Thanks for the pointer to Createx Wicked Colors. I caught some bits about them here and there on the web, but their TDS was pretty enlightening with regards to what I'm interested in doing. Sounds like a great place to start.

So I take it a single moisture trap will be just fine in my case... jord001 - the noise won't bother me too much. It's very, very loud, but if possible I take a break and go somewhere else while it fills the tank. If I'm working on something that doesn't allow a break I wear ear protection. The noise doesn't bother me enough (right now) to spend any money on another compressor if mine will work.

Ok, off to the intro section... : )
yeah, I really don't understand the 'automotive paint on wood' statement. you don't need the properties of a urethane for wood so why spray something that requires spray booth quality ventilation and PPE to spray.

Createx wicked / wicked detail are more than capable of what you need.

I heard a tip the other day that I'm sure we are all guilty of..... if your compressor has a seperate regulator for the tank pressure then drop that to around 60psi ... there is nothing you'll do with an airbrush that will require higher than that and then set your outlet pressure to what ever you need (with the trigger pressed so you get actual working pressure). Apparently it drops the noise level significantly, I haven't had chance to test that theory yet but the weekend is coming :)

A single moisture trap near your airbrush and drain the water from your compressor tank regularly via the drain plug at the bottom of the tank
Createx wicked / wicked detail are more than capable of what you need.

I've been watching the Createx videos and reading their TDS, getting a feel for what they offer and how to use it. Looks like it will fit the bill nicely. Setting up a small booth isn't off the table though I'd rather not. I need to learn a bit more about the clears and what options I have that don't require a booth and full on PPE.

I think my next steps are spending some monies, dusting off my old airbrush, and spraying some paint to see what I can do!
Do you currently have any paint at all ? Get it in the brush and start spraying, before you spend your hard earned $$ let us know what potential purchases are likely and we may be able to suggest alternate brands /products .. we have a diverse knowledge bank here
No, no paint yet. if you have some recommendations on some inexpensive paint I can use to just get the feel of things, let me know. Honestly, I learn by making mistakes. It's easy to watch people in videos making beautiful things, I suspect it's a little more challenging for a beginner like me.

I was going to grab some small bottles of Createx stuff in the next few days and see what I can do with it. The Autoborne sealer, some 4011, 4050, and a couple colors. I'll try to mimic some of the techniques I saw in the videos and maybe play with some basic templates. But if I should start somewhere else I'm ready to listen to people who know what they're talking about!
Main thing I have found that helps the most is pick a simple subject to start with but something you have a interest in . For me it was skulls.
The Wicked line can paint on anything , I usually use the 4012 reducer mainly due to I can get it local at Hobby lobby in 16 OZ bottle.
Love the 4050 ....
4011 & 4050 are great additions to your lineup. grab a small bottle of Createx 'Restorer' it will be a god send when your brush clogs up (its re-usable so decant some into a small lidded glass jar (baby food or smaller) so you can soak the nozzles/air caps in there
Createx may seem expensive but to be honest I haven't found a lot of $ difference between all the major paint manufacturers of airbrush paint and its not like oil / hobby paint where you are laying down tons of paint with each pass. you will be surprised how far a little bit of paint will go. First time round don't fill the airbrush cup, just 1/4 or 1/2 pull the trigger just enough to get some paint flowing and if you are spraying at around your planned <20psi you'll see how long it lasts (the higher the psi and farther back you pull the trigger the more paint you will use. )

Createx Wicked / Wicked Detail is a great paint but you'll find there is a learning curve to start with while learning the psi/reduction that suits you. we've all asked for the magic formula when we start out - - there isn't one. :) trial and error is the name of the game.

Are you going to be challenged and frustrated ? Yes ! but that is what happens when you learn anything new. Accept it, embrace it and enjoy the journey
Are you going to be challenged and frustrated ? Yes ! but that is what happens when you learn anything new. Accept it, embrace it and enjoy the journey

I've accepted it alright. Getting better at something new is part of the fun for me. Learning and understanding is the reward - but having a nice finished product is cool too :)
I've accepted it alright. Getting better at something new is part of the fun for me. Learning and understanding is the reward - but having a nice finished product is cool too :)
with that attitude you will be just fine :).
many see the you tube videos and think its not that hard, they try and are disappointed and think they can't do it and give up.

Like you I find the challenge part of the appeal and if you aren't being challenged (with anything not just airbrushing) then you aren't learning.
We're here if you need us, that's our challenge - to help like minded people on their journey.

This forum was started in Feb 2012 and we are still here when many other forums died and Facebook took over. Facebook has its place but any useful info gets lost 10 minutes after its posted. Here you can find answers to questions you hadn't even thought of.

If you have questions then look in the sections, if you can't find answers then ask away, you won't get slapped on the wrist, you'll either get links to prior threads or just straight out answers.
If you have knowledge that you think may be useful then don't be shy and post that up, you may just help someone else.

join in and grab your bush and start spraying some paint.
Thanks all. I just put in an order. Some 4050, 4011, Autoborne Sealer in black and white, and a Wicked Colors sample set. I wanted to get some pearl/candy/metallics, but held off on that for now. I think I'll watch a few more videos to see what I like, and in the meanwhile I can get used to how my brush works with the sample set. This $tuff adds up quickly...Unfortunately the order won't be delivered until next weekend.

Are mineral spirits fine to use as a cleaner, or do I need something special?

I'm going to peruse Home Depot today for some connectors and moisture traps.

Mr. Micron, I'm a fan of skulls too...Lately I've been looking at a lot of Frank Frazetta's work. Are you familiar with him? I'm sure you've seen his work before, even if you don't know it by name.
BTW, thanks for all the help. Watching youtube videos is great, but getting feedback and guidance from real world users is extremely helpful.
Createx /autoborne are water based paint so you can clean up with water and a little bit of dish liquid/all purpose cleaner. Most pearls/metallics require a .5 needle. Candy (because it’s dye based) on will go through a .18 happily
And like I said, the paint goes a long way at low pressure (because you have to reduce it to get proper flow)
I got some compressor hardware today. I had all the connectors I needed, but picked up a water trap.

Additionally, when I was checking the existing regulator on the compressor, I found out that it was poorly assembled. The plastic knob that threads into the aluminum body of the regulator was cross threaded! I only noticed because it started leaking when I reduced the pressure. I've had this compressor for at least 15 years, and never reduced the pressure or I would have run into this already.

So I think I'm ready to go. Need to check what I have for needles. I don't think I really need it, but I may look for some type of fine control inline regulator so I can get really precise with the air pressure. I saw some videos on dry flaking that mention really low pressure, like 5 psi. But I'll spend money on some more paint before I get into that. I'm sure I've got quite a bit to learn for a while.

Funny enough, as I was driving around and going through the store today, everything looked like a canvas to me...