View Full Version : "Discussing Pressure"

03-21-2006, 05:51 PM
Ok, this doesn't come up a lot. And those of you who know me ... probably would be shocked that I'm initiating this discussion:

Are there average/typical air pressures at which certain mediums are optimally shot through an airbrush? I know this can be very subjective as thinning/medium/distance are all variable and the end result is usually up to the user.

What has experience taought you?

03-22-2006, 06:56 PM
When I began using an airbrush, I used to paint using quite high preassure, but I've come to favor lower ditto over the years.
Among the things that experience has taught me, keeping the surface ultra flat is the one I stick to as the paint doesn't run as easily then...

The other factors; thinning/medium/distance etc, are subjects of experience and learning by doing as I see it... ^^

03-23-2006, 06:06 AM
Hmmm, very subjective indeed.

I have found that my the psi in my airbrush varies more often with the type of work I am doing (i.e. detailed work, base coating, shading, etc.) Granted of course that the type of paint, viscosity, effect desired, and a whole bunch of other things need to be taken into account; I have found that if my acrylic paints are thinned to the consistency of half-and-half then my compressor is usually set between 10-25 psi -lower for detailed work, and higher for base coating.....then again I usually blast thinner at about 45 psi to clean the gunk out of the air brush.

a hui hou,

P.S. Secret, nice to see you on the forum again!!!

03-23-2006, 07:28 AM
Before I was airbrushing I've done alot of HVLP spraying where you use a viscosity cup to time your paint so you can get a feel for setting the gun but since such small amounts of paint are used in airbrushing it seems like you have to eyeball everything and just adjust the air pressure to make sure your paint isn't going on rough or runny. Lol I always thought it was funny when I started this hobby and heard "milk" being referenced as a good example of viscosity but it seems to work for most jobs.
As for what pressure I use, I usualy keep it around 35psi because my AB has the MAC valve on it I can fine tune the air pressure down right from the AB when needed. When I first bought my AB I thought the MAC was just a novalty but I find I use it all the time now.

Here is what Iwata has to say:
"Air Pressure
Working pressures vary from between 10 and 60 p.s.i., depending on what textures are desired. The viscosity of the paint and your desired spray characteristics will also have an effect on what pressure is ideal. As a general rule, larger amounts of paint will be sprayed with higher pressures. A good working pressure may average around 35 p.s.i."

03-23-2006, 09:48 PM

Alclad: 10-12 psi

Enamel: 15-20 psi.

Tamiya/Model Master Acrylic: 15-25 psi

Delta Creamcoat (artist's) Acrylic: 20 - 25 psi

House of Kolor Automotive Lacquer: 35-45 psi

Tamiya Lacquer (decanted from spray can): 25-30 psi

PPG Urethane Clear: 35-45 psi

But what the hell do I know? :p

03-24-2006, 12:59 AM
FilmMkr.. I'll take one of those models and one full scale please :D .