needle caked in paint



bought a badger anthem 155 with a badger 180-11 compressor. when I got it, the gun looked ill maintained so I took it apart & it was caked in paint. I got 95% of it off but have some very stubborn residue on the needle tip. never had a gun before so don't want to damage the needle so was thinking of using 1200grit wet sandpaper to slowly scrape the needle across to hopefully dislodge it - the paint that came with it is badger air opaque. not sure if that's the paint that's caked on it or not. I'm assuming that as long as I keep the needle tip at the right angle to the sandpaper, I won't damage the tip. good idea or bad idea?? is there a better way to clean it?
appreciate all feedback.
I have no idea about badger paints I'm afraid but I would try something a little less destructive first. see if you can find out some info on the paint and use a thinner for that paint.
Try giving the needle a soak in some warm water and washing up liquid or using window cleaner. ( I use a piece of chamois leather)
Unless you are very careful with abrasives you can alter the profile of the needle or make a flat spot which will make the needle useless!
I've used the Createx Airbrush Restorer to clean an airbrush that had the needle seized in it from dried paint. It worked great. I put some restorer in an ultrasonic machine and let it run a couple cycles. Just don't let that restorer get on anything plastic. And don't do what I did and put the plastic basket of the ultrasonic machine in the restorer. It turns the plastic to a slimy mess :whistling:.
Just plain and cheap lacquer thinners would have worked. Except for the rubber around the head cap, you could have just soaked the front in thinners.
I found a very careful run with a finger nail works good and not hard enough to scratch metal... Bugga hurts if it gets ya tho.
ok - got it clean & in putting it together had difficulty seating the back lever. try as I might couldn't do it. thought maybe it was my fat, awkward fingers letting me down. Instead of getting frustrated, decided to watch a video on it & low & behold - I was trying to put it in upside down - lol. changing my handle to Bonehead! took it for a test drive & worked much better. did find the trigger action stiff & so will disassemble & give it a coating of chapstick to slide better. one thing I did notice about about the compressor (badger 180-11). with everything tightened up, when I plug it in, I notice that it comes on by itself at short intervals. is this normal, or do I have a small leak? I did disconnect the gun & held my finger over the connection for a tight seal but it still did it so assuming if it is a leak its at the compressor end. I don't want to over tighten it & break it.
again, your feedback is much appreciated. all in all, I am very encouraged & have become a legend in my own mind by all the imagined artistic creations that have formulated in my head! lol - sometimes I just crack myself up. blessings
Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canucks.
Laquer/clear thinner would've been fine on your needle. I wouldn't use it in your gun to remove waterbased paints as the two don't mix, and can turn the old paint into a kind of gum, which can then sit or get into the nozzle.

I haven't heard of using chapstick on trigger parts before, but only for sealing threads. Most people use specific airbrush lube (silicon free). I have heard of people using ky jelly, though I'm not sure what the results were Lol.

Not too sure about this model, but if it doesn't have a tank it will run pretty much continuously, which means also if it is oiless can get hot and then shut off until it cools again. Without a tank you may also get pulsing of air. If it does have a tank then the size will determine how often it kicks in, make sure water is regularly drained as this takes up airspace :)
Last edited:
I have heard of people using ky jelly, though I'm not sure what the results were Lol.
Squishy It just make the trigger harder for the first 30 min. or so....rotflmao
didn't think of k-jelly but did think of preparation h because it was such a pita!!
Cooking oil tends to gum up and since it's organic it will go rancid and start to smell eventually. I personally wouldn't recommend it because we'll for one it's for cooking not lubrication and the viscosity isn't the same as recommended lubes. Also would dry out faster. I've always used 3 in 1 oil which is basically machine oil. It's really thin and doesn't gum up. People tend to over oil their airbrushes and I never oil mine unless the trigger starts sticking which is usually after I do a full soak of the body in lacquer thinner.
AndreZA - thanks for your reply. I'm not sure what you mean by technical oil. I have a pharmacy nearby & could possibly get it from there.
Last edited by a moderator: