Streetart Airbrush


Gravity Guru
I wanted to profit from the details and control with airbrush in my Streetart pieces, but you can't just take a compressor out into the streets but using a Garden sprayer made me wonder, if the tank and pump could possibly run some sort of spray gun.


The cheapest system, today I replacet the airbrush with a sidecup type.

The best way to anser that, is to try it out, so I tried a number of Garden sprayer tanks with different Airbrushes and found it worked. Not as well as a good compressor, but with a cheap chinese sidecup airbrush and a good BlackDecker Garden sprayer, I now been using my Streetart Airbrush for a number of porpus, latest to spray Gold leaf glue thru Stencils othervise it has been handy in a number of applications. I havn't tested how high a maximum preasure, that all come when the safety valve blow, that is maximum preasure and fine for me.

They are easy to put together, several I made asked just one or two extra fittings beside what came with either the Garden sprayer or the Airbrush, and there are a number of way's, all depending what pieces you have, to attach the airbrush the Gardensprayers hose, my keep tight with a knot on the hose but if you have profesional fittings that's nice.

A Video that show how much effort is needed to emty one cup of water from an airbrush cup.

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I think it's a very good idea. You're not gonna do big pieces but only a shadow or highlight here or there. Otherwise it is easier to just get skinny caps for your cans.
Exactly, but it's the details I had problems with when using the Spray can's. Most who use those making plain Graffiti don't care about the details but by a cheap chinese airbrush, I can add exactly the details I want and profit from a number of Airbrush technikes. But also for shaddows and forms it is just perfect, like in this ;


The best type of spray gun I tried in this application are the presant;

You could do the same thing with a metal spare tank and a car tyre foot pump after a couple of modifications, would require less effort, the tank would be safer and it would probably look more professional as well as allow more pressure, either way I think you would spend seven hours filling and one hour painting and you would be going home everyday knackered, if it was a feasible solution all the current pro's would be doing it;)
I hope others come up with a better solution. This is an easy and cheap option, around 30$ from what I remember. I think it's realistic to make an even better one from a Garden sprayer with a bigger tank and a smoother pump, maybe a diffferent spray gun to would make it better. But the problem that caused this solution are the lack of electricity at the fences. True there would be a possibility to find some 12 Volt compressors, but that also mean more investment and maybe a heavy accumulator. Still ; I seen Garden sprayers automated but I don't know if they carry a prmitive compressor or if they pump the liquid with preasure thru a nozzle to make the spray. This is good for small works, highlights difficult to do with the spray can and esp. shaddows and forms.

Hope this spark more creativity and suggestions to make it better.
In graffiti you care less about what average people think about your graffiti. You don't paint for them but for others, other groups, who paint graffiti and graffiti painters don't say about their graffiti that it's art, it's not -- it is graffiti. I paint in a site where there can be maybe 40 gaffiti pieces and one streetart piece ( for the past 12 years, mine ). Many "don't see the graffiti", but notis my works.

Before I do a streetart piece, I allway's paint a painting with the whole or the main motif. -- sort of the same as the graffiti painters sketches. It is very confusing for me to participate in the debate about, if graffiti and streetart, must be made out in the open, on the fences and walls. Some say it is the main issue and that you can't call something streetart, unless it can be seen in the streets. I can't care less: I get confused when I look into saatchiart's catalog seartching for "Streetart" becaurse only one percent are realy painted on a fence or a wall, the rest are canvas and purists would never accept that as streetart. In fact I should call my canvases for streetart sketches, as that is what they mainly are. See ; I belong to no groupe and don't look for the group's social goods, I just paint what I want and not what is casual trends. Can't explain it different, realy it is not my buisness.
Are there any car garages or service stations nearby?
If so, might it be possible to add a car tyre valve to the tank?
That way, you could take your tank there, fill it, then go paint.
I havn't measured the max. preasure but read somewhere on the web today, that it is round 3 Atm. For a 5 or 6 liter bottle that is only 15 or 18 liter air. Average preasure by the Garden sprayers own pump, I think is not over 2 Atm, -- it's the final one Atm. that ask the efford. Also I think most spray guns work best at high not by low preasure. So the solution to make it more efficient and to make sure halve the time are not used holding the preasure it either a bigger Garden sprayer or a more efficient spray gun. One good thing about it as it is, is that it has a reasonable volume. Maybe a small CO2 bottle with high preasure and a way to fill the small bottle from a bigger CO2 would be ideal. I tried Butan Camping Gas but the Ozon layer issue plus the dirty smell made me stop that experiment even by chance the small adabtor you use with can air fit exactly a Camping Butan can and even offer a primitive valve. ---- A way to make "Real Airbrush Fire" though ;


But not an ideal solution.
Bit of a necro on my part here, but I found these while searching for info on mini CO2 and HPA tanks:

I have no idea how long tanks that size would last, but for street art use it seems like it'd be more practical than a garden sprayer, and would last longer on a single charge than a fire extinguisher tank filled up by a regular compressor. You can get small HPA paintball tanks made of S-fiberglass or other lightweight composites that would cut down on carry weight a lot. Not practical for most AB applications, but for street art where you're on foot and away from power sources it would seem to be the best solution. Stick a tank in a backpack, with the regulator pre-dialed, and a quick-connect hose hanging over your shoulder like a camelback, and you'd be very mobile.

'Course all this does add up to a lot more expense.
There are another option, even it will ask some handyman aproach. In fact I wonder why no one came up with the idea before, as if one don't have the capasity, or deliver enough volume, then 2 or 3 maybe would.
Ok I have to admit that I only came pass them on Ebay, I don't know how much noise, I am not sure how difficult it will be to make a 12 Volt compressor work with 110 or 220 Volt, but please take a look -- there are several others but I put in the link for one that look rugid;


For a Streetart Airbrush, it mean carrying a 12 Volt Lead Akkumulator. It will mean adding a reciver tank, also a reduction valve and at best an on-off relay that must be able to carry a lot of Amps.

These units seem quite cheap, made for inflating tires and the preasure they maneage, are more than enough for most airbrushes.

Just a wild idea, maybe.

But I seen smaller compressors even none as cheap as this one;


Don't know what Volume it process, but £9.04, isn't that big an investment. Beside these small compressors are not much more Wild an idea, than a Garden sprayer.
But cirtanly top quality. Neat solution to be able to take with you where there are no mains.
But I don't think at the fence, that set seem made for something else.
Exactly, and much cheaper I guess beside as you say, much more portable. I don't know how it is in other places of the world and I am not talking about the high profile pieces, -- but here it seem like the graffiti painters have begun to break lose of the conventions. Ok the fence here also are used a lot by artschool pupils, but it seem it is not only huge letters and old-style we see . I am pleased with that as even I allway's used legal fences and in fact only used this fence here where I live, I in fact been alone painting what can be described as streetart, among only graffiti. Sometimes a bit of a challance.
---- So I think it would be great, to take a spray gun to the fence.

Now I guess I am also alone here, in another sense. But looking at all the profesionals here, their pieces and what a brush just a little bigger than my small airbrushes can bring into the public space ,kind of give me idears. Not that I plan to drop my style, but it help being efficient, and more efficient.
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IMO a small CO2 tank is likely the best option. The little auto compressors will be loud and will require you to lug a heavy power supply with you. That little Iwata compressor looks nice, but the low max pressure might be a problem.

I checked on Amazon, and found these:,160_&refRID=1K1JT5HSKVJ8056A3WFV

First one is more compact, but it looks like it'd be hard to adjust pressure precisely. Also a lot of these sorts of units seem to have hit and miss reviews citing quirky design measurements and such, making me think these are Harbor Freight-style Chinese stuff.

Second one was recommended as an alternative by one of the reviewers of one of the other brands of the first. It'd need an adapter fitting and a second in-line regulator, but it'd probably be more reliable and allow for better control.

Hook either one up to a 20 oz. paintball tank, and you could stack it on your pack on a hiking trip without much fuss. In fact there are even carry pouches made for those paintball tanks to allow for pretty much exactly that.
First are a nice design, small and Streamlined but a reduction valve are very simple and the more area of the membram, the more precice
will the valve be. Except if the first are build different than the second. CO2 are used in many fire extinguishers, so bottles are not that difficult to find and could be cheaper than air bottles, but those used for fire extinguishers is not lightweight.
Co2 are allready used in airbrushing prefered from high preasure air. So I tried look up what preasure Co2 bottles carry as I think it is lower than high preasure air, but didn't find that information.
Now the airbrushes I used with the Garden sprayer are cheap chinese brushes, by porpus as I thought I could easier rebuild one of those. Many cheap chinese are rather rough compared those they try look like but as Streetart airbrushes it is good if they act as a 1.5 mm spray gun. The volume of paint asked for are much bigger than what usealy go thru an airbrush.
The pressure available with CO2 is ENORMOUS. As in thousands of PSI. That's why you need a special regulator: not simply because the fittings are different, but because the pressure it has to control is orders of magnitude greater than what a normal tool or airbrush regulator can withstand. The second reg I linked above is a "step-down" regulator that will reduce output pressure to an amount you can safely put through a normal air tool regulator. The first is supposed to be an "all-in-one", which is part of why I suspect it could not be precise enough for ABing no matter who makes it. It could get you in the general ballpark (good enough for pneumatic auto tools, say), but I doubt it could get you reliable small increments, especially not on the lower end of the scale.

CO2 is actually stored as a liquid. When you see tanks listed as "5 lb", "20 oz", etc., that refers to the weight of the amount of liquid CO2 they can carry, not the dry weight of the tank itself. The ambient pressure required to keep CO2 in a liquid state is IIRC around 3000 psi or so (it changes w/ temperature, of course). What that means is that as long as there's still some liquid in the tank, even if it's just a tiny puddle, that 3000~ pressure will remain constant.

There are high-pressure compressed air tanks that can contain similar pressures, but compressed air stores as a gas volume, not a liquid, even at those pressures. That means you get significantly less total volume of gas for a given tank volume (i.e. significantly less painting time), and the output pressure will decrease constantly as the air is used. Basically, they'll be like a CO2 tank that's just evaporated it's last drop of liquid.

A standard, non-high-pressure shop tank for compressed air can't even compare, both in terms of working duration, and max output pressure.

IIRC fire extinguishers come in both high-pressure compressed air and CO2 varieties. These are constructed differently, so if you get one, make sure the one you get is for CO2. Some may be fussier/more expensive regulation-wise than normal general use CO2 tanks, so watch out for that as well.

Before picking out any tank though, you'll want to start by researching the different options you have locally for refilling CO2. Different places will have different policies and prices, so if, say, the cheapest place for refills only does tank swaps rather than refilling the tank you brought in, then a cheap generic tank will be a better buy-in than a specialized tank like a fire extinguisher, or a more expensive aluminum or composite tank. However if the cheapest CO2 you can find is from the local FD, and re-certification for fire extinguisher tanks is cheap too, that's when a fire extinguisher would a good deal. Point is, the tank itself isn't going to be your long-run expense, so don't base your choice of tank on what you can scrounge or get cheapest, base it on what will be cheapest to refill and/or re-certify in your area.

If the cheapest refills are non-swap refills, then I'd say invest in a nice aluminum tank (or composite, of you can find/afford it). That tank is gonna be your trekking buddy, so it's probably worth the extra money to have something lightweight.

If you just want to try CO2 out without committing, get a 20 oz. paintball tank. They 're cheap, can usually be refilled non-swap at most chain sporting goods places, and who knows: it might be all you end up needing.
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Good points, and there are other uses for Co2 than paintball ; Beer for one, Co2 welding, ( except for the Argon contains) Sodastream, Aquariums, All uses where you can either rent a bottle or have an owner bottle filled.

So maybe Co2 are an option for others than those who want to make a portable system. Coo2 are silent that is an important issue, but then come cost. If having an oweners bottle filled now and then, are a better option than a small compressor. I know what my neighbors will say.
A compleatly dry, silent, and maybe better "air" supply, "better" maybe, as Co2 are more dense than air, heavier so maybe better for spray. How long will a 10 liter bottle last for average airbrush use ?

Sorry I gone a bit off-topic, and I know it is not that simple to rent a bottle for pressurized Beer, as there are various gas blends for different Beer.

Like you I looked for new regulators, I found these on Ebay, 30 Psi. ;

I don't think "needle regulators" are the right type, as these are not for regulating preasure but volume.

These are a number of options, I don't think this is an expensive solution and if you buy a tank it can be returned and you get most of your money back. Could be a cheaper solution for the average airbrush user, who will get a dry air, a silent solution, and over time maybe a cheaper solution.
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Looking around the Web, it seem there are others who investigated and proberly used Co2, I copy/Paste from a fora;
And copied two answers as the second mention of Rocket Science are also relevant in terms of security, don't know the age of the discussion though ;

---How much does a set up cost?

--- The CO2 tank should cost you around $110.00 full of CO2, and
depending on how much you build will not need to be refilled for
about a year! The refill costs about $10.00. The regulator can be
obtained from a guy who advertises in the classifieds in Fine Scale
Modeler, and sells them for about $50.00. The air is completely dry
and the silence is great when working on something, you can actually
think. So the happy ending to this story is that you can get this
whole set up for about $150.00 which is comparable to a noisy,
ricketty, moisture ridden compressor. I greatly recommend it!!
---The regulator would probably be the biggest initial cost. You
can get a whole oxy-acetylene welding set for about $150, so a
single regulator should be less than that. Here in Mass you can't
buy tanks, you have to lease them from the supplier, so the cost of
a tank will be spread out over 1 - 5 years. Refills shouldn't be
terribly expensive.
--- I paid about $150 for the rig ($90 tank, $60 regulator). A full
tank lasts about a year assuming moderate use.

--- Where can you get 'em?

---Look in the yellow pages for gas suppliers and tell them what
you want and what fittings you'll need. Most of them have valves
so that you can regulate air-pressure precisely.
---What you will need to get is a 20lb CO2 tank from a welding
shop or anyone who supplies those items where you live, and you
will need a regulator.
---Try a welding supply place for CO2 tanks and regulators. If
they can't help you, which is unlikely, they can probably direct
you to someone who can.
---If someone wants some *serious* volume of compressed gas, get
a scuba certificate! It's only air, but 2000+psi! And refills
are cheap, *if* you're certified. You can get everything you'd
need from Performance Diver (800-933-2299) for about $450. Refills
at your local dive shop for maybe $20 or so.
---If people are interested in getting a high pressure cylinder
for the ol' airbrush go to some of your local fire departments...
With the advances of modern technology, the bottle of 10 years
ago were pre***ly steel, now they are spun aluminum etc....
Most departments have old airpak cylinders that are "beat up" but
hold 2216 psi worth of air. (very similar to a scuba tank) These
departments might be more than willing to get rid of that ol Junk
to someone who can use it. Trust me as a firefighter, the sooner
we get those damn things out of the station, that is 20+ heavy
pounds that I will no longer have to carry. For your own safety,
I would have the tanks hydrotested to gurantee integrity etc and
then buy a regulater and - viola - a quiet air source for the brush.
If you are really lucky, the departments may even fill these
cylinders for the asking but that is another issue. "