Airbrush And Side Stencil Tips

Decorating By LisaPeps Updated 19 Jan 2012 , 2:53am by UberSpoonyG

LisaPeps Posted 10 Jan 2012 , 7:47pm
post #1 of 19

I'm making a wedding cake where I need to airbrush the sides using a stencil. Does anyone have any tips on the best way to do this as I don't have time to do a test run.

I'm assuming a couple of thin sprays is better than one thick one. I noticed when spraying other fondant that the colour can bead, is this the way to avoid that?

Should I leave the stencil on while I wait for the coats to dry? And whats the best way to secure it to the side? Luckily it's a square cake so that should make it a bit easier.

I'd appreciate any input! It's a dark purple so any errors will be really obvious :S

18 replies
LisaBerczel Posted 11 Jan 2012 , 7:13am
post #2 of 19

Couple of tips:

Use pins to hold the stencil in place if it is too large to hold with one hand.

Do a test run with just air so you can see if the stencil wants to flutter (which can cause blurry edges).

The stencil must stay in place for the 3 light passes - re-aligning it will be very problematic.

Depending on the design, airbrush in smooth lines following the design rather than "scribbling" back and forth with the airbrush.

When you remove the stencil, blot on paper towels so color does not build up on the surface and cause problems when you move to a new side of the cake.

Watch your overspray if the design is close to the stencil edge... you don't want overshoot and get color on the top of the cake.

LisaBerczel Posted 11 Jan 2012 , 7:15am
post #3 of 19

Double post monster.

Evoir Posted 11 Jan 2012 , 7:35am
post #4 of 19

In addition to the above post, I have but three words:

Mask, mask and mask.

On the cake that is. Overspray is a b*tch.

LisaPeps Posted 11 Jan 2012 , 9:39am
post #5 of 19

Pins in the holes of the design or pins through the stencil plastic?

Luckily, I got my mom to help me do a test run, and it was blurry and there was overspray.

Quite nervous about this now!

Evoir Posted 11 Jan 2012 , 10:24am
post #6 of 19

Lisa - if your nerves get to you, you can also try having someone (Mums are great for this job!) holding the stencil, while you use a dabbing sponge with your airbrush colour to fill in the stencil pattern. Dab lightly and in 2-3 fine coats. I have a flat-ended sponge on a stick (pencil size) that I use to do this.

LisaBerczel Posted 11 Jan 2012 , 5:08pm
post #7 of 19

For crisp edges, the stencil needs to be flat against the fondant base without fluttering.
Pins go through the plastic so there is a tighter contact.
Another option on is to use a dab of shortening in the corners to act as removable "glue".

If you are having overspray:
1) Lower your air pressure. The higher the air pressure, the more overspray. Find the sweet-spot for project. Just don't go too low - the spray will look grainy.
2) Shield the rest of the cake surface with something as simple as a paper towel.
3) IF you've got a good contact between cake and stencil with no fluttering, you can angle your airbrush AWAY from the stencil edge.
4) Extend the stencil edge by taping on paper strips. I prefer using medical grade paper tape for such things.
5) Proper Room ventilation is a must. Good ventilation and air flow will draw overspray AWAY from your project. Poor ventilation will draw the overspray OVER your project. No ventilation will make a cloud that settles onto your project.

LisaPeps Posted 11 Jan 2012 , 9:12pm
post #8 of 19

Thanks for your help!! I dropped about a kilo of sugarpaste on the floor when covering the wedding cake so I've covered a dummy with it and I'm going to give it another practise run

LisaPeps Posted 12 Jan 2012 , 10:39pm
post #9 of 19

Ugh I hate the way it looks! Some of it is blurry icon_sad.gif and I used a little bit of crisco to stick it down and now that I've gone over it with the pearl sheen it has highlighted all the crisco'd bits. No time to re-do now, just gotta hope the cake muffles don't notice the flaws that I do.

jgifford Posted 12 Jan 2012 , 10:44pm
post #10 of 19

I've looked at your cakes - - I can promise you noone will notice like you do. Your cakes are fabulous! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

LisaPeps Posted 12 Jan 2012 , 10:47pm
post #11 of 19

Lol my iPhone corrected muggles to muffles! Ah well hope the muggles and muffles don't notice.

Thanks for the kind words jgifford, I'll be holding my breath until delivery :S

LisaBerczel Posted 12 Jan 2012 , 10:50pm
post #12 of 19

Sorry you did not like the outcome....

For next time, where was the design blurry? In the center?

Yes, of course pearls will be attracted to the shortening... In hindsight, pins would have been the better choice.

LisaPeps Posted 12 Jan 2012 , 11:01pm
post #13 of 19
Originally Posted by LisaBerczel

Sorry you did not like the outcome....

For next time, where was the design blurry? In the center?

Yes, of course pearls will be attracted to the shortening... In hindsight, pins would have been the better choice.

The top edge was the blurry bit. I used pins on the first 2 sides I airbrushed and had a lot of blurriness so on the last 2 sides I used pins and crisco and the blurriness was cut down a lot. I had to put the pins in strategic places so I could cover the pin holes with a dragee.

I only got the airbrush for Christmas so I am using a lot of trial and error at the minute. I found out that pearl sheen HIGHLIGHTS mistakes not covers them up as I originally thought it would do.

Thanks for your help though Lisa, I'm sure the airbrushing came out a lot better than trying to pipe the design and trying to get royal icing to a deep purple colour.

The funny thing is, my test run came out perfect because I used a lighter colour (so I didn't use up all of my pre-mixed deep purple) and I was really confident going into the proper run.

LisaBerczel Posted 12 Jan 2012 , 11:15pm
post #14 of 19

Airbrush is a practice thing, just like anything else..... you'll get the hang of it!

I normally use my fingers to "walk" the design to keep good contact, but this is a bit more of an advanced technique - and I don't' care how purple my hands get.

Tell me more about the equipment you have.... The more I know about your system, the more I can help.

LisaPeps Posted 12 Jan 2012 , 11:36pm
post #15 of 19

This is the one I have
It's not the best model out there but for a present and a first machine, I was very happy. If I get the hang of it, I can upgrade later.

LisaBerczel Posted 12 Jan 2012 , 11:47pm
post #16 of 19

The intro system you have is good for getting your feet wet.

Is the spray pattern smooth and consistent?
Some models are grainy and the air pulse can make a line look like Morris Code.

What kind of line the equipment can spray will dictate what you can realistically expect the equipment to do for you.

LisaPeps Posted 13 Jan 2012 , 12:08am
post #17 of 19

I can spray a fine line with it and to me it looks consistent and smooth. I think I just need to practise more.

LisaPeps Posted 15 Jan 2012 , 10:03pm
post #18 of 19

Just to let you guys know the couple were happy with the cake. They text me to say, "Cakes amazing, thanks Lisa" (The groom is a work colleague, hence the texting).

Thank you for all your help! I'll post pictures when I have more time, I have a couple that need uploading :S

UberSpoonyG Posted 19 Jan 2012 , 2:53am
post #19 of 19

Excellent advice from everyone....check out others way of designing airbrushed cakes and you will get more ideas to work with!! Glad to hear your cake came out well! Cake on!

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