View Full Version : airbrush problems

09-28-2012, 09:44 PM
I am having huge airbrush problems. I bought a airbrush and it only worked for one day[it was used]. I thought it might have been clogged but I cleaned it real good and air blows freely but I still can not get the make up to come threw[I made sure the part on the gun that feeds the paint in was not clogged either]. Also all I could get the gun to do was make thick lines when I need thin lines for my face paint. I heard if I take the front off all the way to the needle it gives out thin lines but could not try it do to the gun not working. What do you guys think the problem is with the gun[the compressor is blowing out consistent and there is no problems with the line I am STUMPED]. Also its not the paint you have to dilute so I do not know. Also how do you make thin lines with the gun. THANX

09-29-2012, 12:30 AM
You only have one head for the brush?

Different heads are meant to be screwed onto the tip of the brush, some make thin lines some make thick lines, but to me it still sounds like it's a makeup issue. If the air is fine, and you can see and feel that the air is being blown properly, you either have a clog in your feeder (is it a bottom or top feed gun?) or it's your makeup....is your compressor attached to the airbrush? as in, are you using a small compressor that came with the airbrush, or are you using a real compressor?? maybe you feel the air coming out but the psi may be too low... we really need more information to help you out.

Gore Galore
09-29-2012, 07:33 AM
Basic operational procedures regardless of airbrush

But it would help to know what model, type etc of airbrush. Not all airbrushes are created equal.

paint should be the consistency of milk
pressure at 30 to 35 psi, lower if you are trying to get very thin lines.

Where most clogs happen is in the tip right where the needle peaks through. You have to remove the tip and take an old needle and scrape inside the tip and pull out the clog.
YOu also want to always strain the paint so you don't get improper mixed paint and chunks in the bottle or feed.

Have you read any instructions on how to use the airbrush.
It helps to know what the parts terms are. body, tip, cap
Also, if you airbrush starts spitting, then you are getting clogged or you have water in your lines. It would help to have a water trap at the base of your airbrush air line.


09-29-2012, 08:47 AM
Of course the gun is hooked up to the air compressor how else would air be blowing threw. The gun and compressor is paasche and the compressor is 1/10 horse power. It is a bottom feeder gun and it just seems like it does not want to suck the paint up. The paint is the same thickness as milk. Maybe there is just not enough psi and I need to go by something new.

Allen H
09-29-2012, 11:14 AM
1/10 HP is a really weak compressor. I recommend 1/5HP or stronger, we ask a lot of them and the smaller ones will overheat and blow.
Try running water through your airbrush, If it shoots water then it should shoot well mixed paint. Is the paint clumpy?was it allowed to get real cold or real hot? is it old?
I normally paint at 40psi, so try upping the pressure a bit.
Allen H

Gore Galore
09-29-2012, 11:36 AM
Paasche is a good brand of air brush. You cant go wrong unless the airbrush is not complete.
But Allan is right. If you put water in a bottle and it shoots that then you know your paint is either too thick or your air pressure is too low.
Also check the vent on the bottle. If it is clogged it won't pull anything.
Or if the paint is shooting up out of the vent then you have a complete clog that is blocking air and paint.

10-01-2012, 04:39 PM
I had this problem myself a few seasons ago and it really is frustrating, but what I found is exactly what Allen and everyone else is saying. The tip was clogged. Even after cleaning! I ended up using a trick that my wifes nail artist showed us - she cleans her guns with Windex. Just make sure you run water through it before painting someones face. I usually keep a little bowl of Windex at my station, and drop the gun in there when I am done or need to clean. Than I run water through it and change colors. Last year I used Passche (gun and compressor) and had no problems whatsoever. Hope you find it!

11-05-2012, 11:33 AM
Just to add based on this years experience. Last year I used all Mehron makeup in the airbrush and had no problems. This year I used Graftobian and found problems with some colors. Dark pigments were the worse (black and red for example). I found a few problems. First, I was using bottles, and the paint was clogging in the tube inside the bottle. Lighter colors were no problem, and I ended up diluting the dark pigments quite a bit to get them to work. I also had to shake them really good before every application because the Graftobian paint tends to settle to the bottom really quick.

I also had problems keeping the tip clear with these paints. I spent a lot of time removing the tip, removing the needle, and cleaning thoroughly the entire gun. I remedied this by having one bottle full of Windex and one of water. When changing colors, I would first spray the Windex through the gun to clean everything real good. Then I would use the water to make sure everything was rinsed out well and it was still spraying evenly.

This solved all the problems and I was back up and running although still challenged with the darker pigments. I think I will go back to Mehron next year as I had fewer problems with their paint.

Greg Chrise
11-05-2012, 04:13 PM
Paasche also has this little condition where to suck paint or fluid from a bottle the back of the tip has to seal properly. Many times they do not right from the factory and so I put a rubber o-ring over it and then screw the tip on. For serious cleaning you can take it all apart and use carburetor cleaner, which is an aerosol can of acetone so good for outdoors. There are a couple little ports that are the air feed and if you don't have them all or it isn't sealed to go out the end, it is not going to flow.

Just get used to taking apart every piece of a tip, needled, body etc. That is just the way it is. I have gotten lots of air brushes where someone used them once and then it didn't work. After cleaning everything with the acetone and air, only a few places would need re lubed at the trigger area. I use marvel mystery oil or vaseline works.

To get thin lines you get the air brush really close to the surface and there are 3 different tips that go to a Paashe. Each have their own needle. But, now I'm not sure if you have a single action or a double action. If it is a single action, you indeed change the tip screwed in or out just like an old fashioned garden hose. If it is double action, YOu can sometime not have enough pressure happening. It takes at least 35 psi to pull paint up. If it is very thick you might have to go to 60 psi. If you have to go to the higher PSI it is not great material to be doing make up near someone's face.

The other fun thing is paint and makeup sits on shelves for a couple years and in a warehouse for 4 years before than and is "brand new" So you get familiar with what everything thins with and screen out the material like Kevin says.

Greg Chrise
11-05-2012, 04:15 PM
Once you figure out what is limited with the Paasche, and understand what all the pieces do, then buy Iwata anythings. Eclipse or HP-C models. Then even the most super accessorized paasche just sits around as a back up for about 15 years at a time.

Greg Chrise
11-05-2012, 04:23 PM
You can use the windex or air brush cleaning fluid as a leak check, pour it over the tip and behind the needle and see if air is coming out where it isn't supposed to. There are some inside seals but they generally don't go bad unless someone has jammed something in there and scarred the seals somehow.

Greg Chrise
11-05-2012, 04:41 PM
There is also supposed to be a vent, a miniature hole on the bottle cap so as paint is sucked out it drags in air. Sometimes people put the little cardboard bottle seal in wrong or paint has blocked that little hole.

11-10-2012, 08:16 PM
I may try the Iwata next year. I like the Paasche, and dont have much trouble with it (depending on the paint). The Graftobian has to be shaken up all the time because it settles, and clumps if you don't and that caused some clogging. But like you said, take it apart, clean it out good, and put it back together and away you go (I did a lot of taking apart and cleaning out this year).

Its something to practice with in the off season too. You can certainly hone your techniques if you get a couple of practice heads (makeup stores sell them) and just practice using the guns for different effects. Thats where my left over makeup goes from the season. I use it in the shop to practice new looks and honing my skills with the airbrush.

Greg Chrise
11-10-2012, 10:00 PM
In the early days I bought every accessory Paashe made. I found I was indeed replacing tips and needles and added a special cut away rear body so you can pull back the needle without taking it apart, a special tip that exposed the needle more so you can wipe and go instead of tearing down and cleaning as often. I was spending lots of money to do lots of work and buying back up guns incase something got bent or needed special attention.

The Iwata units come with a matched needle and seat and that's it. Never had to replace it once in 15 years or use any special reshaping of the parts tools on it....Because it is a matched set, not just mass produced crap. Now the eclipse sells for $100 and HP-C gravity feed might be $140. To me it is exactly the same price. Iwatas are all metal, better allows and do not corrode, the rubber parts can handle all kinds of solvents and it is actually smaller and lighter, hence more comfortable for long term use. All for the same money by time you are done.

The other extreme is to get the $7 or $9 air brushes and throw them in the trash at the end of every job. I have heard of people doing a 1000 SF job and just dumping a Paasche in the trash and buying another one with no accessories for $35.

A real good airbrush will make you real good money. A lesser quality one will maybe get the job done. It just depends on how passionate you are going to be about the tool. My same airbrushes do makeup, masks, scenic design details, custom automotive and motorcycle paint jobs. I stopped buying things once I got the Iwatas and was making money instead of buying the next best thing.