New to Airbrushing need guidance

P

PostalPigeon

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Hi all, I've been searching the web for a few days and can't find the information I'm looking for. I want to get into airbrushing for vehicles but mostly motorcycles (since mine is in need of paint after 6 months of ownership). Mainly what I'm looking to figure out is what style/type of airbrush I would need or want for this application. I do know that there are gravity or siphon fed brushes but have not been able to discern which would work best for this also from what I can tell the dual action is the way to go. I'm beginning to think that there is no right or wrong answer to this which would explain the lack of sites pointing to specific airbrushes but could really use some opinions on this. Thank you in advance.
Hoping that I posted this in the correct spot....
 
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Ok. Bag o worms here. I say gravity feed is a good option. Smaller amounts of paint can be used. Watch vids of custom painters. Most use gravity feed, not all, most. Either will work. A gravity fees many times will have a smaller needle/nozzle set compared to a siphon feed.

I would recommend either the Iwata Eclipse or Badger Patriot . Gravity feed versions. Both have a sister siphon fed version too. This keeps parts to a minimum. Either of these will be great for a beginner. Not too small of a nozzle so you get too frustrated, floating nozzle system to avoid issues, not too expensive. If you are in the US, Hobby Lobby carries the Iwata and Michaels carries the badger, both have printable 40% off coupons on line, making them affordable without ordering on line.


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I personally use a siphon feed for my whites and blacks as I can't be bothered constantly filling a gravity feed but for color application I then switch to a gravity so I'm using just a few drops of this or that..Its I think a bit misunderstood the siphon paints waste paint and gravity's don't..In most cases its pretty even as many with a gravity feed will try to mix colors in the cup to "save paint" and mix the wrong color and start again LOL..While us silly fella's that use a paint drinking siphon feed generally mix a decent amout of that color paint but just tip the leftovers back in for a time we need that color..So in the long run.......LOL

But I'd still say gravity for what you are doing as the smaller tanks/fenders etc generally need smaller detail and that can def be easier achieved with a gravity feed due to lower pressure requirements..and dual action is a must unless you just want to do plain color bases and for that the single action is superior, if your aspiring to do some artwork or images on them, go a dula for sure..On the other aspect of gravity or siphon..Either/or kinda depends a lot on comfort as again I find gravity's very uncomfortable to use but that's all due to how I've trained myself to airbrush over the years..GL and post that bike when she's all prettified up........
 
Ok. Bag o worms here. I say gravity feed is a good option. Smaller amounts of paint can be used. Watch vids of custom painters. Most use gravity feed, not all, most. Either will work. A gravity fees many times will have a smaller needle/nozzle set compared to a siphon feed.

I would recommend either the Iwata Eclipse or Badger Patriot . Gravity feed versions. Both have a sister siphon fed version too. This keeps parts to a minimum. Either of these will be great for a beginner. Not too small of a nozzle so you get too frustrated, floating nozzle system to avoid issues, not too expensive. If you are in the US, Hobby Lobby carries the Iwata and Michaels carries the badger, both have printable 40% off coupons on line, making them affordable without ordering on line.


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Thanks for the info. I was just at Hobby Lobby looking at airbrushes but they seemed a little expensive to just grab without prior knowledge. Now with the 40% coupon either one of these will end up in my hands soon I'm sure, and from what I am gathering here, there isn't a specific brush for vehicles or t-shirts it's mostly about which paint you use?
 
I personally use a siphon feed for my whites and blacks as I can't be bothered constantly filling a gravity feed but for color application I then switch to a gravity so I'm using just a few drops of this or that..Its I think a bit misunderstood the siphon paints waste paint and gravity's don't..In most cases its pretty even as many with a gravity feed will try to mix colors in the cup to "save paint" and mix the wrong color and start again LOL..While us silly fella's that use a paint drinking siphon feed generally mix a decent amout of that color paint but just tip the leftovers back in for a time we need that color..So in the long run.......LOL

But I'd still say gravity for what you are doing as the smaller tanks/fenders etc generally need smaller detail and that can def be easier achieved with a gravity feed due to lower pressure requirements..and dual action is a must unless you just want to do plain color bases and for that the single action is superior, if your aspiring to do some artwork or images on them, go a dula for sure..On the other aspect of gravity or siphon..Either/or kinda depends a lot on comfort as again I find gravity's very uncomfortable to use but that's all due to how I've trained myself to airbrush over the years..GL and post that bike when she's all prettified up........
Thanks. I can definitely see the benefit of having one of each the siphon for colors I would be using a ton of and the gravity for switching between small amounts of color. I will post my finished product for sure, just know that it's going to be awhile. I'm somewhat artistic but I imagine it will be some time before I can do with an airbrush what I can do with a pencil.
 
I use waterbased. Wicked or Auto Air from Createx is good. Also available at HL. Might want to start on small items, metal, aluminum flashing from home depot is a good option. They have one that is white on one side brown on the other. Cheap practice material. Metal is harder than paper to start on, the paint will want to skip and run, until you learn to control your airbrush.

I started about 18 months ago, to paint my bike, I just now thinking I am ready and have a design in mind.

Waterbased paints can be put over good base coat factory paint. other wise a good primer/ sealer should be used over a well prepped tank. Then a water based sealer for better adhesion, paint, and an automotive clear for durability. Just wait a few days in dry weather between paint and clear. Not the usual overnight for urethane paints.


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First off an introduction would have been nice , But since reading through this post I figure you are in the USA.
Now a 6 month old bike needing a paint job already??
You are rough on a bike, But picking an airbrush is a personnel thing as you have read by the others.
The Eclipse CS comes with a .35 set up and with practice you can get some really nice detail out of it.
the BCS has a .5 set up but you can buy the .35 nozzle and needle and put in it.
Next come paint choice , Where is your paint space going to be set up ?
attached garage , detached garage , in a spare room in your house ? This will help us give you advice on what all you will need to think about when buying paint.
But no matter what paint you pick you will need a respirator mask to protect your lungs .
Knowing location aka state also helps being some states are more strict on what paints you can and can not use or how much you can use of them.
See we might have know all this with an introduction and yes I am the introduction nazi of the board. Why cause it only helps us help you better so you do not buy things you may or may not be able to use.
Wicked is a great paint as well as AutoAir. both will paint tins, and cars without issue or fading.
Urethane paints need their own space with safety equipment in place , filters , good air flow , like a paint booth.
 
Have a look around for your local fabrication or auto shop.
They may have some off-cut metal or reject skins for you to practice on [ and often they'll give 'em to you just to be rid of 'em]
and get a feel for the paints and how they'll behave [or NOT!] on metal.
It's worth a couple of bucks just to see the difference.
As for your bike, don't forget how much plastic there is on them.
Needs a slightly different approach and prepping work is different as well, but both have been discussed elsewhere on this forum.
 
First off an introduction would have been nice , But since reading through this post I figure you are in the USA.
Now a 6 month old bike needing a paint job already??
You are rough on a bike, But picking an airbrush is a personnel thing as you have read by the others.
The Eclipse CS comes with a .35 set up and with practice you can get some really nice detail out of it.
the BCS has a .5 set up but you can buy the .35 nozzle and needle and put in it.
Next come paint choice , Where is your paint space going to be set up ?
attached garage , detached garage , in a spare room in your house ? This will help us give you advice on what all you will need to think about when buying paint.
But no matter what paint you pick you will need a respirator mask to protect your lungs .
Knowing location aka state also helps being some states are more strict on what paints you can and can not use or how much you can use of them.
See we might have know all this with an introduction and yes I am the introduction nazi of the board. Why cause it only helps us help you better so you do not buy things you may or may not be able to use.
Wicked is a great paint as well as AutoAir. both will paint tins, and cars without issue or fading.
Urethane paints need their own space with safety equipment in place , filters , good air flow , like a paint booth.
Thanks for the info. As for an introduction, I'm Dan I'm from Bonney Lake Washington. My bikes only been owned by me for six months bought it from a harley dealership used and was instantly thrust into the cliche of having a bike needing constant work. Luckily for me I had already intended on working on it including painting it but unfortunately the paint issue came earlier then I could've cared for. Gas leaking through the tank blistered and destroyed the paint that was on it so needless to say I got a few weeks to get it fixed and have a solid/simple paint job on it. I plan on painting in my dad's garage mostly but occasionally in mine. The previous owner of his home was into painting so luckily for us there's I nice sized compressor and two incredibly strong ventilation fans, with a couple masks I think we should be pretty good about not breathing anything bad in.
I work at a waterjet company. If you're familiar with Orange County choppers you have more than likely seen our product in action cutting out rims or some other odd part. I work In our customer technology center so my job is to basically demonstrate our machines and instruct classes on how to rebuild pumps and operate the machine. I'm pretty excited about all of the potential stencils I'm going to be able to cut out and scrap pieces of steel I can snag to practice on. I've been look around for a good place for information and good conversation and it looks like I've found one. Thanks again for the help.
 
welcome postal, (from sunny South Africa)
Personally I am partial to Harder and Steenbeck, more specifically the Infinity, and I really dont like bottom feeds. BUT the main concern here is where and how easily you can get parts from. So your local HL will be good to go with what they have in stock - including spares. I also have a badger sotar which I like playing with. You may also find that you could try out one or two models to get a feel. I also have wicked paints and am getting used to them but have heard a lot of good things about them.
I would also strongly suggest pouring through this forum doing successive searches for some of your questions (I say this in your case because you seem to be in a rush to get going and there are many threads with AWESOME information on that could help guide you instead of waiting for a response) but there is nothing wrong with asking any question you want and we all try pitch in with our knowledge :)
 
Thanks for the info. As for an introduction, I'm Dan I'm from Bonney Lake Washington. My bikes only been owned by me for six months bought it from a harley dealership used and was instantly thrust into the cliche of having a bike needing constant work. Luckily for me I had already intended on working on it including painting it but unfortunately the paint issue came earlier then I could've cared for. Gas leaking through the tank blistered and destroyed the paint that was on it so needless to say I got a few weeks to get it fixed and have a solid/simple paint job on it. I plan on painting in my dad's garage mostly but occasionally in mine. The previous owner of his home was into painting so luckily for us there's I nice sized compressor and two incredibly strong ventilation fans, with a couple masks I think we should be pretty good about not breathing anything bad in.
I work at a waterjet company. If you're familiar with Orange County choppers you have more than likely seen our product in action cutting out rims or some other odd part. I work In our customer technology center so my job is to basically demonstrate our machines and instruct classes on how to rebuild pumps and operate the machine. I'm pretty excited about all of the potential stencils I'm going to be able to cut out and scrap pieces of steel I can snag to practice on. I've been look around for a good place for information and good conversation and it looks like I've found one. Thanks again for the help.

So you should have went by Mr. Flowjet...LOL I know your machines my cousin works for Harley KC. and I have a friend who makes custom rims. So I have seen the machine in action.
I run a Kasemake Machine design for cutting different paper and cloth material so stencil come easy for me.
When I started I started with an old paasche VL Bottom feed and found when I came in to get fine detail on a curved surface I would sometime bump the bottle into the piece. So I bought a Eclipse CS from hobby lobby with the 40% off coupon and since than that is all I buy if gravity feed. I have tried the side feed but for me it felt unbalanced . Mainly see if you can get a demo set up for Coast Airbrush and go down there and try out a few brushes. :D
Hey sometimes your days job has it perks LOL
The old sayings for Harleys if their is no oil on the ground when you park it you best be adding some cause you are out...
Yes I am a die hard Harley owner but mine is really old school 53 panhead, My cousin keeps trying to get me to buy a new one but he has not drove one over that i like yet..
Sounds like your dad's place will be the best place for painting urethane paints and doing all you clear coating at.
Look forward to seeing you progress as you pick up the addiction of airbrushing.
 
Thanks for the advice everybody and the welcomes :) Picked up the Iwata Eclipse hp-cs last night from Hobby Lobby. Real happy with it. The only thing I am wondering about now is whether to get the preset handle that is optional. Looks like a nice thing to have on the airbrush but I couldn't find one online that seemed legit. Any thoughts on the importance of that piece and the location I could find one online or in a store?
 
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