Air Brush Vs. Spray Paint

danakin245

Jr Hunter
Hey all,
As the title states, which is better?: Airbrushing or Spray painting. I know that air brushing is more expensive and seen to be more "professional". But which is really better? I mean both are just paint propelled by air right?
Thanks guys!
 

superjedi

Sr Hunter
Well, that's a broad question. It really depends on what kind of application you're using it for.

The paint in spray cans generally has larger particulates, meaning it won't give as fine a finish as paint formulated for airbrushing.
That's just for spray cans overall. There are some more expensive spray cans that will give a very fine spray, such as
Tamiya fine surface primer. Man, that stuff sprays on smooth!

For choices in colors, you can't beat airbrushing. Spray can selection is pretty limited. If you've ever walked into a (good) hobby
shop and seen the selection of model paints, just consider that any one of them can be thinned and shot thru an airbrush. It
also opens up the possibility of color mixing, and coming up with a huge number of custom colors.

If you're going to be doing weathering or detail work, an airbrush has the advantage here, too. A spray can only has one
setting: spray. :lol: I know there are some that have different buttons you can snap on the can to adjust the pattern, but
none of them will adjust enough to give good, controllable definition.

One initial drawback to airbrushing is the expense. But after you've bought the airbrush, and an air system, it'll last for years.
Those are just my opinions. I'm sure there are a lot of members who have preferences either way.
 

danakin245

Jr Hunter
Thanks man, That pretty much answered my question. I have one last question though, I have a small electric tire inflator; can I use that for air brushing? it must be able to put out some power cause it basically lifted my car when I had a flat tire.
 

superjedi

Sr Hunter
Hmm. . . not too sure about that. You should check what kind of PSI it puts out.
If you're pushing more than 25-30 PSI thru an airbrush, that's too much pressure and
will lead to problems with the finish. It can also damage the airbrush itself.
 

Boba Mike

Hunter
I have a small electric tire inflator; can I use that for air brushing?
In a nut shell, no, these tire compressors are not suitable, generally the air is pulsed, that's the best way to describe it, essentially the compressor switches on and off rapidly, which means you don't get constant airflow, regardless of the pressure
 

Skiff

Jr Hunter
In a nut shell, no, these tire compressors are not suitable, generally the air is pulsed, that's the best way to describe it, essentially the compressor switches on and off rapidly, which means you don't get constant airflow, regardless of the pressure
Boba mike is spot on here. You'll need a compressor with a storage tank and a regulator to allow adjustment on how much pressure is fed through to the airbrush.
 
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