Advice For First-Time Airbrush User

Decorating By dmo4ab Updated 2 Mar 2011 , 11:42am by dulcecakes

dmo4ab Posted 19 Feb 2011 , 9:18pm
post #1 of 30

I took the plunge, made the investment and ordered and airbrush and a ton of Amerimist colors last week. It's scheduled to be delivered in a few days. My first project is going to be a kind of old-fashioned looking brown suitcase.I'm super excited, but also nervous. Does anyone out there have a few words of advice for learing to airbrush?

29 replies
Goonergirl Posted 19 Feb 2011 , 10:20pm
post #2 of 30

Many thin coats of color is better than one thick coat. That's my best advice. I learned the hard way. LOVE my airbrush though, I bet you will too!

pmarks0 Posted 19 Feb 2011 , 10:29pm
post #3 of 30

Start with you lightest colours first. You can always go darker, you can't go lighter.

And definitely light coats. Heavy coats make it wet.

Smashme Posted 19 Feb 2011 , 11:16pm
post #4 of 30

you might want to spray the cake in a box with the side and top taken off, i tend to get it everywhere. I was told if you go to for a lack of better words if you blow your nose it will be the color you were using...and it was, i couldn't belive there was that much color floating in the air. icon_biggrin.gif

afunk Posted 19 Feb 2011 , 11:53pm
post #5 of 30

Yes, definitely spray in a box but, still be prepared that the color will go everywhere. I speak from experience, the red cake in my photos was sprayed red and I'm still finding red in places I missed after I thought I did a good job cleaning up.
And Smashcake is correct, you will be breathing the color particles, I thought I had a bloody nose for half a second.
But I still love my airbrush and for as much as I've used it the red cake was the worst mess I've made. (I'm not trying to scare you, just caution you.)
Have fun with it!

mommynana Posted 20 Feb 2011 , 12:16am
post #6 of 30

can i just jump in a ask a question please. can water be added to the colors???

CopperCookie Posted 20 Feb 2011 , 6:42pm
post #7 of 30

a grain alcohol like EverClear is best. It will help keep colours from clumping up in the airbrush. Some colours and glitter/pearls will clump and not work at all if water is used.... and the alcohol can be used to clean your airbrush after each use (its completely food safe! lol)

and the alcohol evaporates so you dont have to be worried about it being in/on the cake.

** its best to test by mixing in another container like a shot glass until you get to know your colours/pearls/etc. if they clump or settle in the glass they are going to clog up your airbrush.

mommynana Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 12:23am
post #8 of 30

thanks coppercookie, i went and got that everclear

dmo4ab Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 2:24am
post #9 of 30

Thanks everyone for your advise. So do I have to mix the color with a liquid in order to spray it?

cs_confections Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 2:57am
post #10 of 30
Originally Posted by dmo4ab

Thanks everyone for your advise. So do I have to mix the color with a liquid in order to spray it?

If you buy colors made for airbrushing, you don't have to. Some prefer to make their own colors. I use AmeriMist by Americolor and don't have to worry about mixing up a color, unless it's one I don't have or can get in time.

My tip is to practice spraying on papertowels first. It'll help you get a feel for the different sprays/pressure before you try it on the cake. Have fun!

mommynana Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 9:07am
post #11 of 30

cs_confections, thats the same colors i have and i was trying to practice on some paper towels my question is when i put like 5 or 6 drops of color in it does not go a long way at all ( it only covers like 2" of the cake) and i was wondering if i put a few dropes of everclear with the color would u get more out of the color?? or am i doing somethng wrong??

Kiddiekakes Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 2:38pm
post #12 of 30

You need quite a bit of color if you are spraying large surface cakes..I don't think the ever clear will extend your color but rather thin it out making it more time to spray and cover..Ever clear is essentially used to thin out lustre dusts or like someone mentioned clumpy pearl sheens but not as a coloring extender.The Americolors go quite far..I never really have to order more than twice a year and I use my airbrush on every cake I make...If you are trying to achieve an antiqy look for a brown suitcase ..try mixing yellow and brown for a Winnie the Pooh like dark yellow and then you can accents with darker brown.It kinda looks like an old map color..

mommynana Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 3:44pm
post #13 of 30

thanks kiddiekakes, u answered my question

niccicola Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 3:56pm
post #14 of 30

LOL on the Everclear. It's illegal to buy and sell here in VA, so I have to make a roadtrip to NC everytime I need it.

Good luck with the airbrush! I'm very much thinking about getting one.

CopperCookie Posted 22 Feb 2011 , 3:06am
post #15 of 30

Sorry I didnt specify... :S
Kiddiekakes is right- Ever clear will not extend the colour it will thin it out, However it will cover more of your cake but need more coats (again you can always go darker by adding more coats!!!) you dont need to use it for Americolor's airbrush line but it does need to be used for pearl and luster dusts and you can run it through your air brush to clean it between or after colours (this is really good to do to keep it in working order.... again, its food safe and evaporates) The thinning by using Everclear works especially well for colours you want to be light... That way you can make them darker gradually.

And if you run out of americolor or dont have the right colour you can mix wilton/duff/most gel colours with it to make your own colour that can go through the airbrush (this is how I do most colours).

**though not all 'airbrush colours' are the same, some can clog up your air brush- pretty much anything with a shine or luster in it even if it says it is for airbrushing CAN clog it up.. its mostly about knowing your colours and your particular airbrush.**

rosiecast Posted 22 Feb 2011 , 3:43am
post #16 of 30

Could you ladies tell me what the alcohol content is for Everclear? When I went looking for it, the only thing I found was called Devil's Springs and it's 160 proof vodka.


K1976 Posted 22 Feb 2011 , 4:33am
post #17 of 30

Everclear offers two varieties: Everclear 190 proof, which has 95 percent alcohol content, and Everclear 151 proof, which has 75.5 percent alcohol content.

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rosiecast Posted 22 Feb 2011 , 3:23pm
post #18 of 30

Thanks K1976!

Mb20fan Posted 22 Feb 2011 , 3:36pm
post #19 of 30

From my personal first experience: Visualize what you want to achieve before you just start spraying on the cake. Practice your motion - air guitar style. Image Make fluent motions and movements and get comfortable with the gun. I had a habit of forgetting to let go of the trigger and just pulling the gun away from the cake when I achieved my desired effect, accidentally continuing to spray where I didn't want to spray. Image Practice on paper, newspaper, a box - something - so you get a feel for the trigger pressure. Image

Best of luck! It's addictive!

dmo4ab Posted 22 Feb 2011 , 6:40pm
post #20 of 30

Thanks to all of you for the adivce! It's being delivered today, so I'm stopping to get some Everclear on the way home. I'm ready to give it a try!!

mommynana Posted 22 Feb 2011 , 7:17pm
post #21 of 30

what? the everclear or the air brush, lol

dmo4ab Posted 22 Feb 2011 , 10:01pm
post #22 of 30
Originally Posted by mommynana

what? the everclear or the air brush, lol

LOL! The airbrush!

mommynana Posted 23 Feb 2011 , 2:32am
post #23 of 30

though so, LOL

rosiecast Posted 23 Feb 2011 , 3:28am
post #24 of 30

I can't find Everclear in NYC. ugh!

TabbieCakes Posted 23 Feb 2011 , 12:47pm
post #25 of 30

I believe there are alternatives to Everclear that aren't maybe as good but could tide you over til you can purchase some online.

I would Google something like "Using An Air Airbrush On Cake Central" or some variation and you should be able to find more threads.

I know they discussed it somewhere, just can't remember. I usually read the discussions about airbrushing cause I want one too! icon_biggrin.gif

Good luck icon_smile.gif

CopperCookie Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 1:50pm
post #26 of 30
Originally Posted by TabbieCakes

I believe there are alternatives to Everclear that aren't maybe as good but could tide you over til you can purchase some online.

You can use most alcohols, you just need to test them with your colours/pearls first...

Tequila/gin leave a kind of greasy/oily look & feel to the colours

Vodka is the best alternative to Everclear, that I know of, and i have tried a few! The higher the alcohol content the better it seems to keep your air brush and the cleaner/clearer the colours seem to come out.

TabbieCakes Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 1:52pm
post #27 of 30

Thanks so much for the info CopperCookie! icon_smile.gif OP, I hope that helps you. I'm storing that info for when I finally get my airbrush. Good luck!

dmo4ab Posted 25 Feb 2011 , 12:07pm
post #28 of 30

Thanks again to everyone for their spot-on advice. I've just posted the final project.
I definetly could use more practice, but I was happy with how this one turned out.

TabbieCakes Posted 25 Feb 2011 , 2:32pm
post #29 of 30

Nice job! thumbs_up.gif

dulcecakes Posted 2 Mar 2011 , 11:42am
post #30 of 30

What do you all use to clean your airbrush? Is there a specific cleaner I need or does any clear alcohol work?

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