Limited Budget for Paint

hpdonat

Young Tutorling
I am just starting out with airbrushing, and after purchasing my airbrush and compressor, I am left scraping together pennies for the paint and the other remaining supplies needed to actually begin creating. Having some experience working with acrylics, I am keenly aware of the importance of quality paint, and I am of the mindset that it's probably comparatively the most important ingredient in determining the overall outcome of a project. With that being said, I have to acknowledge the realities of my situation, and if I don't want to wait another month for my coffers to replenish, in order to buy the expensive paint that I really want, I was hoping to find an acceptable alternative, with a more modest price tag. I've spent the last few days exploring the information super highway, perusing what seems like a limitless list of vendors and manufacturers, each claiming their product's superiority, but without any knowledge or experience, I am pretty lost. I was hoping here I could find others here with the insight to help steer me toward the best, or at least a better understanding of what to buy, or even to buy at all. My compressor will arrive any day now, and then that makes paint the last piece of the puzzle. I want desperately to get started. I am using my airbrush to design effects pedals for electric guitar and other musical applications, which are enclosed in small rectangular aluminum chassis. To begin with, I am just looking for a basic set of inexpensive acrylics that are of at least a descent quality to get me up and going. If anyone is aware of anything like this, your guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
 
Welcome hp :)

Firstly, head on over to the Welcome section and introduce yourself and let us know a bit about yourself and what kit you have/are getting :)

Things depend on what kit you are getting

If you just want some paints to practice on paper first then a cheap set like this will allow you to practice

But something like the Createx basic set would be better

Also dont forget to add cleaners and respirators to your list :thumbsup:šŸ˜
 
Hi and welcome Hp,
Respirator and ventilation is #1 on the list, I suggest you do a search for the terms and read some of the posts here. (After posting in the Intro section of course )
This does not have to be an expensive full blown spray booth to start, but you need to consider the issue.

That said, seeing you are in Michigan there is probably a Hobby Lobby close to you.
Ours down here (PA) stock a limited supply of Createx paint in kits, or individual bottles. A couple of bottles will get you started practicing. I also reccomend the Wicked line, as they can also be used for your actual works when your ready. Every paint line has its own learning curve. You will need reducer also, I suggest Createx 4011. Staying with one paint manufacturer for all your products gives you a consistent result that as a beginner you need.
When you actually start on your projects you will need the Createx UVLS added to your paint for
longevity and inter coats, but that comes with more attention to your breathing safety. And a 2k clear coat adds even more..... but that's down the road.
Go to the Createx tech pages on their site and review their reccomend practices. Then adapt for your environment.

Since you plan on painting on aluminum, your practicing should be done on glass. It has the advantage of also not being porous and can be erased with a razor blade for the next practice session. These can be found at a thrift store, or Goodwill as empty picture frames very inexpensively.

This is more info than you asked for, so hopefully you haven't nodded off....

Again, welcome aboard.
-Joe
 
Hi and welcome Hp,
Respirator and ventilation is #1 on the list, I suggest you do a search for the terms and read some of the posts here. (After posting in the Intro section of course )
This does not have to be an expensive full blown spray booth to start, but you need to consider the issue.

That said, seeing you are in Michigan there is probably a Hobby Lobby close to you.
Ours down here (PA) stock a limited supply of Createx paint in kits, or individual bottles. A couple of bottles will get you started practicing. I also reccomend the Wicked line, as they can also be used for your actual works when your ready. Every paint line has its own learning curve. You will need reducer also, I suggest Createx 4011. Staying with one paint manufacturer for all your products gives you a consistent result that as a beginner you need.
When you actually start on your projects you will need the Createx UVLS added to your paint for
longevity and inter coats, but that comes with more attention to your breathing safety. And a 2k clear coat adds even more..... but that's down the road.
Go to the Createx tech pages on their site and review their reccomend practices. Then adapt for your environment.

Since you plan on painting on aluminum, your practicing should be done on glass. It has the advantage of also not being porous and can be erased with a razor blade for the next practice session. These can be found at a thrift store, or Goodwill as empty picture frames very inexpensively.

This is more info than you asked for, so hopefully you haven't nodded off....

Again, welcome aboard.
-Joe
Thanks for the advice Joe,
I currently use a lot of spray paint, and out of necessity, I created a makeshift paint booth, with a ventilation system. When painting, I wear a medical grade mask, but if you think it's necessary, I will put a respirator on my list as well. So, going forward with Createx, how much should I plan on spending? Should I start with my primary colors? To stay occupied for a while - maybe a couple weeks to a month - What size of bottles should I get? Is the Wicked line Createx's premium line? Are you saying that Createx UVLS is caustic or hazardous to breath? I guess, I'm going to listen to your advice and go to their site. This is great stuff.

Thanks
 
Welcome to the forum!
It is a fine balancing act. You want to practice with cheap paints but the experience will be different to using a quality paint. That been said, in my opinion (which will not necessarily be shared/agreed by others), if you practice and learn with something not that good you will have a better learning experience in the long run as long as you properly manage expectations and frustration.
If you have access to cheap craft paints like Apple Barrel or similar, you can thin it down with distilled water and strain it. Straining is critical. But once thinned and strained, it can help you practice the basics of control. A $1 bottle of black paint will give you plenty of practice hours. Then you can move up to the paint line you intend to use and continue moving forward.
Just my 2 cents.

Thanks,
Ismael
 
When I started out painting again I bought second hand paints, quite a bit cheaper that way. Some i found were good quality even new others were poor condition but mostly a cheap way to get pretty good paints i found. I then gradually upgraded to new paints which i actually wanted, and i am still in that process of replacing old for new but have a good selection of paints now.

Edit: the other thing i would say is that if i was starting again i would buy far fewer paints and learn better how to mix my own colours from a handful of paints. That way you can limit your outlay and save on space and probably it is better for artistic / Colour theory development anyway.
 
I didn't read all of your text guys, to tired today, will catch up later, but my vote goes for :

Wicked red
Wicked blue
Wicked yellow
WIcked Jet black
Wicked White
Bottle of reducer
Wicked trans - if you plan to ''shade'' or you need more control with paint ''layers''
---------------------------------------------

WIth this ones you can create whatever color you would like.

$23.56 without trans. Trans is optional. I don't know if that black is jet black, but nothing wrong if it isn't. You probably wouldn't noticed the difference anyway. This is the first link I found. Maybe there is a cheaper option somewhere. I hope on that link is not the price for one bottle -.- Looks kinda confusing. Picture shows 6 bottles...

https://www.amazon.com/Wicked-Color...s=wicked+airbrush+paint&qid=1718043989&sr=8-4
 
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there are a heap of choice for 'good' paint. I'd pick something that you can easily source locally if you can.
Createx is one of the more popular choices and the Wicked or Wicked Detail line are great choices for what you plan to do with them.
the UVLS clear (which comes in Hi-Gloss, Gloss, Satin or Matte) does state it need a mask/respirator but I'd recommend some sort of mask/respirator when ever you spray. Atomised particles aren't easily seen but your lungs will tell you years down the road that you should have worn one. you can check one of our threads if you are interested. I know you already own respirators but its an interesting read Respiriators

If you decide Createx is the way to go then I'd highly recommend getting a small bottle of their 'restorer' it's used for deep cleaning your brush and will save you some frustration. its reusable so pour some into something like a baby food jar with a tight fitting lid, the liquid only needs to be deep enough to soak your nozzle.

A primary set will get you started and you'll be surprised how long a bottle will last. Start with small 1oz bottles and you can then replace them with larger bottles if you find there are colours you use more than others.

Good luck with your journey :)
 
Thanks to everyone,
My personality makes it difficult to jump into things blindly. For the most part It's probably an asset, but with all the readily available info available these days, I tend to get bogged down in the details, to my detriment. That said, having the insight of people who have been through similar experiences is invaluable. So again thanks. The world needs more altruistic people like yourselves, willing to help others, for the sake of helping. Anyway, after contemplation, and because of budget limitations, I'm going to start small, purchasing maybe a couple to a few bottles of Wicked paint. As far as airbrush paint goes, Createx seems to have the most complete infrastructure of resourc product line, including all the cleaners, reducers, and other important additives that in the beginning I never considered. Also,
I didn't read all of your text guys, to tired today, will catch up later, but my vote goes for :

Wicked red
Wicked blue
Wicked yellow
WIcked Jet black
Wicked White
Bottle of reducer
Wicked trans - if you plan to ''shade'' or you need more control with paint ''layers''
---------------------------------------------

WIth this ones you can create whatever color you would like.

$23.56 without trans. Trans is optional. I don't know if that black is jet black, but nothing wrong if it isn't. You probably wouldn't noticed the difference anyway. This is the first link I found. Maybe there is a cheaper option somewhere. I hope on that link is not the price for one bottle -.- Looks kinda confusing. Picture shows 6 bottles...

https://www.amazon.com/Wicked-Color...s=wicked+airbrush+paint&qid=1718043989&sr=8-4
That was pretty much the direction i was heading. Either one of the 2 base sets, or a couple individual bottles, starting with black.
 
there are a heap of choice for 'good' paint. I'd pick something that you can easily source locally if you can.
Createx is one of the more popular choices and the Wicked or Wicked Detail line are great choices for what you plan to do with them.
the UVLS clear (which comes in Hi-Gloss, Gloss, Satin or Matte) does state it need a mask/respirator but I'd recommend some sort of mask/respirator when ever you spray. Atomised particles aren't easily seen but your lungs will tell you years down the road that you should have worn one. you can check one of our threads if you are interested. I know you already own respirators but its an interesting read Respiriators

If you decide Createx is the way to go then I'd highly recommend getting a small bottle of their 'restorer' it's used for deep cleaning your brush and will save you some frustration. its reusable so pour some into something like a baby food jar with a tight fitting lid, the liquid only needs to be deep enough to soak your nozzle.

A primary set will get you started and you'll be surprised how long a bottle will last. Start with small 1oz bottles and you can then replace them with larger bottles if you find there are colours you use more than others.

Good luck with your journey :)
That sounds perfect
 
hp, sorry I took so long to answer.

UVLS is not caustic, they are a urethane. Big time ventilation / respirator required.

Unfortunately, people see 'water based' and think that are good to go with just a dust mask or nothing at all.......water is the solvent. It's what it's mixed with that can damage you.
 
Just to add the recommendation of Createx, you're only using drops of paint at a time, you're not filling a color cup to the brim. I can spray a few hours of practice with only a few drops of Createx Illustration, added once and still have some left over. A 30ml bottle with cover a long time and you can just start with a few, primary and secondary and mix from there.

You didn't mention which brush you bought, it plays into the paint consumption. But honestly, and I wish I knew this 40 years ago, you're best learning trigger control right off the bat. That requires almost no paint since the goal is to get used to barely spraying anything but air at first. And that can be done with water to ink. Then practice on glass, theres nowhere to hide. Its going to be frustrating, but you will learning the most important thing right from the get go.
 
Thanks to everyone,
My personality makes it difficult to jump into things blindly. For the most part It's probably an asset, but with all the readily available info available these days, I tend to get bogged down in the details, to my detriment. That said, having the insight of people who have been through similar experiences is invaluable. So again thanks. The world needs more altruistic people like yourselves, willing to help others, for the sake of helping. Anyway, after contemplation, and because of budget limitations, I'm going to start small, purchasing maybe a couple to a few bottles of Wicked paint. As far as airbrush paint goes, Createx seems to have the most complete infrastructure of resourc product line, including all the cleaners, reducers, and other important additives that in the beginning I never considered. Also,

That was pretty much the direction i was heading. Either one of the 2 base sets, or a couple individual bottles, starting with black.
Nothing wrong with your personality, sounds like you have something in common with many of us.
Take your time and go through the various sections of the forum and you will find answers to questions you didn't even think of. Like anything, there is a learning curve but if you embrace that curve I'm sure you'll do just fine.

If you have doubts or questions then just ask :) I'm sure someone will jump in and guide you.
 
Just to add the recommendation of Createx, you're only using drops of paint at a time, you're not filling a color cup to the brim. I can spray a few hours of practice with only a few drops of Createx Illustration, added once and still have some left over. A 30ml bottle with cover a long time and you can just start with a few, primary and secondary and mix from there.

You didn't mention which brush you bought, it plays into the paint consumption. But honestly, and I wish I knew this 40 years ago, you're best learning trigger control right off the bat. That requires almost no paint since the goal is to get used to barely spraying anything but air at first. And that can be done with water to ink. Then practice on glass, theres nowhere to hide. Its going to be frustrating, but you will learning the most important thing right from the get go.
Yeah Asuf, I have a Badger Anthem and Patriot. Also, I have been doing my do diligence, researching these things, and one thing I have observed, especially watching video demonstrations, is that I will have to be patient, in the beginning, and getting used to a dual-action trigger will be one of the main hurdles.
 
hp, sorry I took so long to answer.

UVLS is not caustic, they are a urethane. Big time ventilation / respirator required.

Unfortunately, people see 'water based' and think that are good to go with just a dust mask or nothing at all.......water is the solvent. It's what it's mixed with that can damage you.
Thanks, I'm definitely taking your advice to heart, and have been, over the last few days, looking for a quality respirator that I can afford.
 
Yeah Asuf, I have a Badger Anthem and Patriot. Also, I have been doing my do diligence, researching these things, and one thing I have observed, especially watching video demonstrations, is that I will have to be patient, in the beginning, and getting used to a dual-action trigger will be one of the main hurdles.
Asuf, I hear a lot of people saying how they only use a few drops, and so I'm curious. How much paint, in some form of measurement they actually mean? When I think of drops, I'm thinking in milliliters, or fractions of milliliters. That helps to rationalize my investment I'll be making toward paint, especially once I get somewhat up to speed, with the confidence and ability to use my airbrushes on some of my planned projects.
 
A few drops is exactly that, a couple of small drops from a dropper bottle. if you think that an A cup (the brush with just a cutout in the body, no actual cup on it) holds about .7 max depending on brush then the max I use is about .2ml if that :thumbsup:
 
I literally mean from an eye dropper bottle, no more that 3 drops at a time. Just enough to get it flowing to the nozzle.


Think how long a Bic ball point pen writes from just that tube. With transparent paint on airbrush paper, you're not spraying a layer like you would roll on your wall.

I can easily work or practice for about an hour on 3-4 drops.

But if I was painting an opaque background with an eclipse feeding the .35mm nozzle as opposed to the Micron's .18mm, it would be a different story. Not some extreme amount, but obviously more paint.
 
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