Here we go



Gonna spend some time practicing to get a feel for the airbrush. Currently I have a bunch of craft acrylic paints I would like to use. The thinning process as I understand it should be about the consistency of 2% milk. The Paasche brush comes with the .38 needle so I believe if reduced properly the paint should spray. Am I on the right track so far? Now...
1) What is an inexpensive paper to practice on?
2) What is a good general paint to start with to use on paper and T-shirts (after some extended practice)?
3) Right now I have some Windex with ammonia for cleaning. Can I use this without damaging the airbrush?
printer paper is fine for practice. Old card board from boxes pretty much anything you find .
Wicked or standard createx is designed for t-shirts. while Wicked is designed to work on most surfaces but still works great for t-shirts.
Never use anything with ammonia in it for cleaning your airbrush unless you just do not like the chrome finish. LOL
denatured alcohol works great as a cleaner.
reduction is a trail and error thing . some colors need more reduction than others.
Just a heads up, the paint you have may work fine when properly reduced, and people do use other non airbrush acrylics, but the pigment in airbrush paint is much finer than other paints, so it may cause problems such as clogging etc.

To be honest I would recommend learning with the materials you intend to use. Even if the paint you have works fine to practice, when you switch to airbrush paint, the mixture ratios, psi, and way it behaves will be different so you will have to practice again to get the performance you had before.
As Herb says above Createx is designed for use on fabrics, but is generally used with nozzles .5 or above and higher pressures, so I think Wicked may be the better choice for you as it is very versatile.

Whatever paint you decide to go with, I recommend buying a bottle and the appropriate reducer to practise with. There are lots of factors to deal with, things to learn, and paint ratios and psi can take a fair amount of experimenting with to get right, just because of the variables involved. There are no set recipes - the brush, nozzle size, surface, style/type of painting you want to do, paint brand, different colours within that brand and even weather conditions can have an effect. Trying to get that balance with non airbrush paint could give you unecessary frustration, and probably won't help when you switch anyway.
With any paint thinning, you will need these:

They are absolutely necessary to prevent airbrush clogging. I use them all the time to strain my paints.

I'm not sure what level you're at in terms of airbrushing skill, but the more absorbent the painting surface, the more forgiving it will be for you. And it will be less frustrating. Old t-shirts you wear at home are great to practice on. Doesn't matter how they turn out since you wear them at home. You might get frustrated painting on paper as the surface doesn't absorb paint as much and you might get spidering.

I recommend the standard line of Createx paints to airbrush with. They can be reduced to a certain extent with water if you're on a budget. Their line of reducers are just amazing. When used with their reducers, you can go 200% reducer to paint and the colors hold up very well. Also, Createx paints can go on almost anything. It can be sprayed right out of the bottle for t-shirts at high psi or thinned down for less absorbent substrates.

As for cleaning your airbrush, you only really need soap and water when using Createx. I can't say the same for any other brand of paints. As long as they are water based, you don't need any kind of chemicals to clean your airbrush.

Regarding thinning your paint, you can read my other post here:

Hope all that helps. Good luck.
I don't doubt that paint made for ab'ing is easier/better but if you have craft paint on hand and like me, don't have money to spend on the good paint the cheap stuff will work.

For practice on paper your craft paints should do fine through your brush and cleans up with water.

I have Craftsmart paint from Micheals I just reduce it a lot(water), strain and make final reductions in the cup (isopropyl alcohol) and it sprays great out of my .2mm brush.

If it works for you as well then you'll save some cash while practicing and if not then your not out anything, give it a try.

Here is something I wish I had seen when I started
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he has 2 more videos on the createx site and all of them are worth watching.