Airbrushing is an accessible craft that can be used to enhance your modelling, woodwork or woodturning or can be a stand alone artform. Getting started can be easy, especially with ready to use kits; from there you can really hone your techniques. So, where to start?

What do I need to start airbrushing?

Your basic kit will include an airbrush, hose and compressed air. Start airbrushing straight out of the box with SprayCraft all-inclusive kits, or you can build your own kit with brands like Aztec. In addition, paint materials and accessories are normally sold separately.

Airbrushes and the different options

Single Action or Dual action?

How the trigger function regulates the airflow, or airflow and paint.

A single action brush will only control airflow through the trigger, the paint flow amount is preset. This is a great option for beginners without having to worry about too many controls.

Dual action controls airflow by pressing the trigger while drawing back the trigger releases the paint. Allowing you to be freer with your technique.

External or Internal feed?

The paint is atomised either inside or outside the brush.

Internal feed the paint and air atomise inside the brush giving a more precise, “fine dot” spray pattern. External feed the paint and air atomise outside the brush giving a larger round spray pattern.

Airbrushing a leaf stencil

Types of paint feed

Where the paint enters the brush will affect the air pressure required and the effects you can achieve.

Bottom Feed

The paint cup is attached under the brush and should have at least at least 18 PSI while spraying. Good for all round spray and allows you to spray at a quick pace.

Airbrushing a woodturned bowl

Gravity fed

Gravity draws the paint through from the attached cup at the top of the brush. Air pressure can go as low as 8 PSI while spraying, great for fine detail work as the airbrush sprays slower.

Hand showing a SP66 airbrush

Dual action feed

A cup can be attached to the side or to the top of the brush allows the user to vary the type of techniques achieved.

Aztec Airbrush painting a modelling scene

Side feed

Having a cup attached to the side of the brush makes it easier to get it to small spaces and also to see the spray direction more easily.

Air Sources

Canned Propellant

An easy and cheap way to start is using a canned propellant, which is also ideal for short or intermittent use. It can be used on all airbrushing models, however, If airbrushing for long periods of time a propellant will be a too expensive air source.

Airbrushing with canned propellant a nutcracker toy

Air Compressor

For an amateur to expert airbrusher, a small compressor will be more suited, the initial expense will outweigh the use of propellant very quickly. Some airbrushes come complete with its own compressor or you can buy specific airbrushing compressors, or small all round, general compressor.

Airbrushing compressor and Airbrush SP66 Spraycraft

Airbrushing is very accessible, once decided on the type of kit you need you can airbrush straight from the box. Take a look at our top tips video using the Spraycraft SP50K Dual Action Airbrush Kit.