paasche airbrush



Airbrush definitions

With an airbrush, you may, exactly like a traditional paint gun, spray paint on any kind of surface, thanks to compressed air given by an engine or by 1.5 litre bottles.

Using a system with bottles is a good idea if you don't want to spend too much money at the beginning. Unlike a paint gun, an airbrush is much smaller and usually there is a " two functions " trigger in order to adjust both the air and paint flow.

Once you are able to use airbrush, you can draw lines not thicker than 1 millimetre and you may also cover more important surfaces and use colour gradations.

Airbrush is often used for illustration, for comic strips, on material, car bodies, in interior or exterior design ( walls ). It is even used to decorate cakes with colouring agents.

airbrush paasche par gravité

Airbrush with a fixed paint bottle

Airbrush with a fixed paint bottle has its bottle on the upper part and in front of the trigger, which makes it less fragile and easier to handle. It can also be used indifferently by a left or a right-handed. However, having to refill the bottle several times when painting a large surface might be the main drawback of this system

A large paint bottle is not a good solution either, as it will prevent you from seeing correctly what you are doing.

airbrush paasche par aspiration

Airbrush with a removable paint bottle

Airbrush with a removable paint bottle has its bottle on the right-hand side as the Paasche (see picture above) or underneath for large bottles.

The good point is that can change the bottle according to the kind of job you are doing. The other good point is that when you are using your airbrush to cover a ceiling, the only thing you have to do to avoid having paint running on your forearms is to rotate the bottle in the upright position.

However, some paint bottles may not be correctly fastened to the airbrush, I let you imagine the big mess you can have… There is also a type of airbrush with the removable paint bottle on the left for left-handers.

Which type of airbrush to choose ?

It is very difficult to make the right choice when you are an expert, all the more when you know nothing about it.
The ideal thing would be for you to try and compare all the different types of airbrush in the same shop. In fact, you usually have to trust the seller and hope everything will be OK.

If the price, the fineness of the line, the handiness, are the most important points, never forget to ask what the spare parts will cost you. The needle and the nozzle which are both the weakest and the most essential parts need to be replaced frequently, especially when you are a beginner.

Once you have chosen the airbrush, you will need a source of pressurized air. Compressed air is essential for an airbrush to spray paint or other liquids.

Moreover the spraying of paint is not always as even as with an air-compressor.


  To compress the air for an airbrush, there are four methods on the market.

1. Oil-bath compressors
2. Dry pistons compressors
3. Diaphragm compressors
4. Pressurized-air sprays

oil bath compressor for airbrush

Oil-bath compressorsAages :

These compressors are certainly the most widely used by airbrush painters because they are noiseless and equipped with a 1 to 50 liters air tank for the biggest ones.

- The tank has two manometers; one which measures the pressure in bars in the tank and another one used to adjust the air pressure going to the airbrush. This system with an air tank and manometers allows a constant air flow from the airbrush nozzle. This is essential for a fine detailed work.

- With a powerful air compressor it is possible to connect and use two airbrushes at the same time which proves to be often very convenient

- The engine does not overheat because it stops once the tank has reached the correct pressure (from 5 to 10 bars according to the type). The engine will restart when the pressure will have lowered to 3 to 4 bars according the adjustments made.

Drawbacks :

These compressors are rather expensive ( 450 Euros ) for the cheapest ones.
- They are heavy and take a lot of room and must be maintained upwards when moving them around because of the motor oil.

dry piston compresseur

Dry piston compressor

- As their names implies, they do not require oil which is very convenient when moving them around.
- They are space-saving and rather light ( about 3kg )
- They is almost no need for maintenance
- They are almost noiseless
- They are very handy for light work
- They are cheaper than oil-bah compressors

Draacks :

- Most of these compressors do not have an air tank
- The engine runs continuously and only stops once it is to hot
- It is necessary to wait a certain time for the engine to restart and to be able to use again the airbrush
- It is not adapted for long work with no breaks.
- These little compressors are often not powerful enough to use more than one airbrush at the same time

diaphrane compressor

Diaphragm compressors

vantages :

- These are the cheapest compressors
- Because of their small size and light weight they can easily be moved around


- The engine which runs continuously is noisy and always ends up with overheating
- No automatic stops in case of overheating
- Many of these compressors do not have an air outlet manometer to adjust the pressure
- They have no air tank
- They do not allow very detailed fine work


pressurized air sprays





Pressurized-air spraysantages :

They are very light, space saving and easy to carry
- Convenient for any occasional small works or just in case you have nothing else
- Noiseless
- No maintenanceDrabacks :

- As the pressurized-air spray empties, the pressure at the airbrush nozzle becomes gradually lower
- They become easily frosty and quickly empty
- They do not allow a long and fine detailed work
- They are very expensive for a limited capacity

Anyway you should count on a budget between 400 and 600 Euros to start with an airbrush, a small oil-bath compressor and a few paint pots. If the air compressed cylinders may seem cheaper at the beginning, you should not use them extensively as it will rapidly exceed the price of a small compressor.

Of course, at the beginning you are going to curse at this bloody airbrush which makes huge blobs or get always blocked up though you are doing your best.
Keep in mind that everyone has been through those very, very difficult moments and it would certainly not be fair if you would succeed at the first shot.

Do not hesitate to buy a technical book for beginners with good illustrations, which will teach you precious tips.