Airbrush Resource Center

Online Instructional Airbrush Guide
The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.” - Robert Henri

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  • Cleaning 101
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We cannot stress enough the importance of keeping your airbrush clean after every use.

Learning to clean your airbrush is the very first thing you should learn, before painting. 

Step 1. Thread the Air hose onto the compressor.

Step 2. Thread the other end of the Hose onto the Airbrush.

Step 3. Turn the compressor on and check for any air leaks. If you have a leak, use teflon tape to wrap around the threading and re-connect the hose and or airbrush

Step 4. Add a few drops of the appropriate cleaner for the material you plan to use, into the color cup or bottle.

Note: If you're using a compressor with an air regulator, adjust the pressure by pulling up on the black round knob, to unlock it, and turn it clockwise to increase the pressure or counter clockwise to decrease the pressure. (pic) 

Step 5. With the airbrush pointed away from you, press down on the trigger to start the air flow and pull back on the trigger to start the fluid flow. Spray the cleaning solution out. This will allow you to see if the airbrush spray pattern is operating properly and it also removes any residue left over from the manufacturing process

How To Clean Your Airbrush

  • 4 Easy Steps
  • Gravity Feed
  • Side Feed
  • Bottom Feed
  • Pistol Trigger Gravity Feed
  • SIngle Action Siphon Feed

*Cleaning the airbrush in 4-steps (color changes and after use)

Cleaning your Airbrush is the most important aspect of Airbrushing, even more so than actually painting with it!

Here is a step-by-step, that shows you how to clean your Airbrush. This 4-step technique is great for cleaning between uses and ultimately maintaining the performance of your Airbrush.

Step 1.

After spraying your project and your ready to clean the paint from the Airbrush, or you are just ready for a color change, discard the paint from the color cup with a squeeze bottle and use a cleaning brush to clean the color cup immediately. 

Remember to never let any paint dry or sit in the Airbrush as this will cause a world of problems for you.

Step 2.

Now, using a bucket of fresh water (the bucket is to minimize over-spray in the air), submerge the Airbrush underwater and perform the "flush and back-flush" steps.

This is where you allow clean water to run through the Airbrush and then allowing water to back-flush any pigment inside of it.

This is achieved by "plugging" and "un-plugging" the tip (needle cap) of the brush with your finger. Do this 10-20 times underwater or until clean. 

Step 3.

Note: Although the color cup and airbrush visibly appear to be clean, there may still be pigment inside the body of the brush AND on the needle. 

Remove the needle by loosening the needle chuck and wipe the needle clean. While the needle is out, you can flush and back-flush the Airbrush through fresh water to insure it is 100% clean. 

Now you can gently replace the needle. (be very soft handed and be careful replacing the needle as to avoid damaging the fluid nozzle.)

Step 4.

 Airbrush cleaner can now be added to the brush to eat away any stubborn paint still inside the brush. 

(If you are using auto paint, use reducer as your cleaner). Flush and back-flush a few times and spray out the cleaner to get a visual spray test. 

If a sputtering or spitting pattern comes out, your brush is still dirty and you will need to repeat steps 1-4.

Congrats! Your Airbrush Is Now Clean!

Extra Steps

If you can perform these cleaning 4-steps thoroughly every time, you may never have any problems with it or have to disassemble the Airbrush often.

Note: If there is dried paint in the brush, allow the cleaner to sit in the cup, jar or bottle over night to loosen any paint. Never soak the entire airbrush into cleaner over night.

Wipe away any visible paint in the color cup using a clean paper towel. Do not scratch, scrub or pick at any dried paint with anything sharp or abrasive. This will damage the airbrush.

Step 1.

When removing parts, set aside in order, from right to left and refer to the Parts diagram when re-assembling your airbrush.

Step 2.

Unscrew the handle and set aside

Step 3.

Unscrew the needle chucking nut and set aside

Step 4.

Carefully remove the needle and wipe clean with cleaning solution and a paper towel. Look for any bending on the tip of the needle, then set aside

Step 5.

Unscrew the spring guide and set aside

Step 6.

Unscrew the handle assembly Note: In newer models this extra piece may not be included.

Step 7.

Remove the spring and set aside

Step 8.

Carefully remove the needle chucking guide (with auxilary lever) and set aside

Step 9.

Lift up the trigger and set aside

*These parts usually will not have paint on them as the Packing Fluid O-ring prevents paints to enter the back half of the airbrush. 

Step 10.

Unscrew the Needle cap and use the cleaning brush to clean the inside, then set aside.

Step 11.

Unscrew the Nozzle cap use the cleaning brush to clean the inside, then set aside

Step 12.

Using the provided Spanner wrench, carefully unscrew the Fluid Nozzle and very carefully clean the inside with the flat edge of the needle. Then set aside

Step 13.

Unscrew the Head system base or Air cap and use the cleaning brush to clean the inside, then set aside (note: some gravity feed models do not have an air cap)

Step 14.

Next, use the cleaning brush and airbrush cleaner to clean the inside of the main body of the airbrush. Use a back and forth motion.

Step 15.

Start with the screwing on the Air cap.

Step 16.

Screw on the fluid nozzle

Step 17.

Next screw on then the Nozzle cap

Step 18.

Next comes the Needle cap

Step 19.

Now very carefully, slide in the Trigger piston into the Air valve opening inside the brush.

Step 20.

Next insert the auxiliary lever which will be connected to the needle guide (in some models, the auxillary lever is disconnected from the needle guide)

Step 21.

Replace the handle assemblyNote: In newer models this piece may not be included

Step 22.

Slide the spring onto the needle guide.

Step 23.

Next, Screw on the spring guide completely but, not tight.

Step 24.

When removing parts, set aside in order, from right to left and refer to the Parts diagram when re-assembling your airbrush.

Step 22.

Slide the spring onto the needle guide.

Step 23.

Next, Screw on the spring guide completely but, not tight.

Step 24.

Next screw on the needle chucking nut but, not completely.

Step 25.

Now, very carefully insert the needle. Be very light handed when inserting the needle and be sure not to ram the needle forward against the nozzle.

Step 26.

**Needles and Nozzles are extremely fragile and can be easily damaged or lost. Be sure to handle them over a small dish in case you drop them.

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How To Videos

Dos & Don'ts

- Although Acrylic paint is non toxic, always spray in a ventilated area

- Always wear a protective mask while Airbrushing any type of paint.

- When spraying Urethane paints, always wear a OSHA approved respirator inside a certified spray booth

- Never leave paint in the Airbrush

- Do not use gasoline as a cleaner

- Do not use abrasives to clean Airbrush parts (Steel wool, Brilo pads, sand paper...etc)

- Always use the appropriate reducers and cleanersAcrylic, use WaterUrethane, use ReducerFood coloring, use Water

 Straightening A Bent Needle

If you notice your airbrush is not spraying straight and is spraying at an angle, you may have a bent needle.

Here is how you fix this problem.

Remove the bent needle and find a hard flat surface to work on. 

Place the needle flush against the flat surface and using a Nickel or flat edged coin, press the nickel against the bent part of the needle.

Roll the needle around to find the bent part and again press the coin flat against the needle, straightening it. Repeat until the needle is completely straight.


Not spraying:
1. Nozzle is clogged
2. Nozzle cap or air cap is loose
3. Loose needle chucking nut
4. Damaged Nozzle
5. Low air pressure

Grainy or Textured spray:
1. Dirty airbrush
2. Low air pressure
3. Paint is too thick

1. Dirty airbrush
2. Paint is too thick
3. Air pressure is too low

1. Dirty airbrush
2. Paint is too thick
3. Air pressure too low
4. Dried paint on the end of needle

Bubbling fluid in cup or jar:
1. Clogged Nozzle
2. Damaged or cracked Nozzle
3. Nozzle or Air cap is loose

Sticky trigger:
1. Trigger and air valve packing need cleaning and lubed

Double lines:
1. Bent needle
2. Dirty airbrush

1. Airbrush too close to surface with too much paint flowing
2. Paint is to thin

Paper bucking:
1. Applying too much paint in one area

1. Nozzle is clogged
2. Dried paint on needle

1. Air pressure too low
2. Compressor not powerful enough

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