Airbrush Compressor Questions.


Well-Known Hunter
I currently have a Pasche VL Model Airbrush that I have had since 93. I had alot of things happen over the years that has kept me from actually learning to use the brush, one being the fact that I do not have a compressor and two the frustration I had with trying to learn using canned air.

That being said, I have been looking into getting an airbrush compressor that would best suit my needs in the prop building world so to say. Mask Making included.

I have seen many compressors out there and making a decision as to whih to put my hands on has been proving difficult.

-What is a good horsepower size to use for our type of purpose?
-What brands tend to hold up to use?
-Piston or Diaphragm?
-What do you use?

I used to have a small airbrush compressor that ran about 20-25 psi it was fine for illustration work etc. The higher the psi the thicker the paint you will be able to push through the airbrush. I believe 70 psi is what is used for automotive paints. However, they use air guns not necessarily air brushes.

If you have a house with a garage don't waste your money on a compressor designed specifically for airbrushes. The ones designed for airbrushes generally run "silent" but cost more than twice as much. You can get a decent compressor from Home Depot (not sure where you're at) for a couple hundred bucks and it should go all the way up to 90 psi roughly.

You can also get an air tank, not those stupid little cans of compressed air and then fill the tank from your compressor if you want silence.

My air compressor had a slow draw to it, so if it wasn't in the garage it would blow the breaker everytime it tried to refill the tank when it was getting low.

Home depot: (just checked them out take a look at the Husky for 140.00) do a search on air compressors for the industrial kind

and for airbrush specific try:

all the gadgets such as water catchers can be added to industrial compressors too.

Good luck if you have any more questions you can send me a PM.


Another advantage of a compressor with a tank over an airbrush compressor is flow. Airbrush compressors only supply a continuous flow so long as they are running smoothly. If there is any kind of defect in the pump, or if you use it long enough that it gets some wear and tear, the air will sputter a bit. If you're airbrushing a line, the sputter will show up as a break in the line. A tank system supplies a continuous, uniterrupted flow of air.
Thanks for the advice guys!
I went to Lowes yesterday and picked up a wall mountable compressor that has a 2 gallon tank. I added a moisture trap and for the most part am ready to go.
It was only $99 and goes up to 135 PSI.
Thanks again for steering me in the right direction.

That sounds like a winner. Couple more things I forgot to add. You can use standard plumbing with industrial type compressors. Another thing that's nifty is if you get another airbrush you can add a makeshift manifold for next to nothing using the plumbing found in the plumbing section.

If you go into the hose section at lowes or home depot you can find the fittings that will actually fit your airbrush. I didn't want to spend the $20 on an Iwata brand hose, so I got some tubing and hose clamps and it works fine and is probably twice the length of the Iwata hose for less than half the cost.


PS If you take any pics send them my way I love looking at them. You said you are just starting out so I might be able to give some pointers.
Cool! Thanks Matt.
Yea, I will definately get a few posted.
The compressor came with a 50 ft hose and I connected that to my airbrush hose so now its like 56 ft long. LOL
I need to get a connector for my airbrush hose connection though. The female end has a part that is made to be able to swivel. So the male connection needs to be a little more solid with a beveled edge. Otherwise, the hose has a leak around the base of the connection of the hose and female. I hope that made some sense.
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