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BadBob

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Reply with quote  #1 
Here is a few things I have learned so far.

I'm using Behr interior/exterior flat paint from Home Depot. Oops paint and some purchased sample jars.

Acrylic paint dries really fast when you spray it. So fast that it will dry on the tip of the airbrush and clog it up. Thinning it more than the recommended amount can help at the risk of reducing the the bonds between the molecules in the paint. I didn not thin my paint more than the recommended amount because I was not using thinners designed for acrylic paints. These are way to expensive for me.

The thinners I tried. Distilled water, blue wind shield washer fluid, Windex. If you plan to keep the left over paint for any length of time I would only use the distilled water because it doesn't have any chemicals that might react with the paint. The washer fluid worked the best for me. It seemed to slow the drying time a bit and reduce the tip dry.

What didn't work:

20170305_201255-Master Air Brush G33.jpg 

The Master G33 with the biggest tip I could get for it. It kept clogging mostly due to tip dry. I wish it would work and I tried really hard to get it to but it just wasn't going to happen. During one of the cleaning I broke the tip. The only place I could find in the US that had these the total cost parts plus shipping was more than I paid for the airbrush. I have replacement parts on the way form China purchased through eBay. Keep this in mind when you are trying to decide which one to purchase. The $25 china air brush or the $100 Badger. Badger does a great job of customer support. I was able to get parts from them to rebuild an ait brush I bought at a yard dsale 30 years ago. They will repair them for the cost of the parts and shipping.

What did work:

20170305_201213-Badger 350.jpg 


The Badger 350 with the Heavy tip sprays the 20% thinned acrylic paint quite well. It to gets some tip dry but I was able to mitigate it by simply cleaning the the tip with some Windex on a qtip periodically. Usually everytime I refilled the paint jar I cleaned the tip. Only one time did I need to disassemble the airbrush. That was my fault. I let it sit for about half an hour.

The Badger 350 will spit a little from time to time. I think this is caused from chunks of dried paint working their way through. Acrylic paint drys in the container and little pieces fall down into the paint. You really should filter it some how before use. I didn't have any way to do this at the time. If you don't filter it the airbrush could clog and if it doesn't you get chunks of dried paint on your fresh paint job. I used 50 PSI air pressure and that helped keep the tip clear.

Badger 350s are cheap. You should easily be able to get them for $35 or less. I have three I bought cheap on eBay auctions. I wanted to try all three of the available tip sizes and it just worked out that It was cheaper for me to buy three airbrushes then one and three tips and needles.

Badger 350s are easy to use. If you can spray a can of paint you can use one of these. Just push the button and paint comes out. The only adjustment adjust how much paint comes out. I m pretty much ran it wide open.

The paint:

I added Flowtrol to the paint. It's used by house painters the get smother paint. A quart costs $5. It slows the drying time and allows the paint to flow out over a longer period of time. Brush painters will like it the difference is quite noticeable when you brush it.

Coverage using house paint is greatly variable. I was spraying over red primer which isn't the easiest thing to cover. Orange paint took almost the whole sample can to paint 4 Hot Rod Freaky Fords while the Lavender paint I had covered the primer in one coat. I spray two more only because I felt the paint was to thin.

Dust:

Spraying paint produces over spray. It pretty much dries in the air but you need a real spray booth if you want to do it indoors. They are not cheap. I sprayed some pink cars in my garage. I had pink dust everywhere. Much like the wood dust froma a sander. It didn't stick to anything.

Compressors:

Unless you are going to spray some place where the noise is a problem don't buy one of the airbrush compressors. They are cheap built and you can't get part for them. I bought two of them off eBay. Both were damages in shipping. I had two of them and could not make one that worked. The sellers did refund my money although I had to get eBay involved to get it. I recommend you buy a standard tank compressor. Even a small one puts out much more air than a compressor designed for an airbrush and you can pump up you tires.  If you want something smaller look at the nail gum compressors.

In the Future:

I'm still not sure I want to spray acrylics. One article I read talked about how difficult it was to work with acrylics mostly due to the dry paint issues. I need to investigate other paint types. Lacquer would probably work good in just about any air brush that could stand up to the thinner.

I have two regular paint guns. Detail guns for painting cars I want to try. They are massive over kill for things that are play pal size but they might work fine for larger toys.

Some of the toys waiting for the paint to cure:

20170305_201124.jpg 



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cbroughton

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Reply with quote  #2 
Wow this is a lot of great info, thanks. I've been curious about using an airbrush too. I'd really rather use the little bottles of acrylic craft paint (I like that I can point to it saying nontoxic on the label). Do you think they'd act any different than interior acrylic house paint?

Even with some of the downsides I'm surprised you're on the fence about using it. I thought it would be so much faster than brush painting that it would totally be worth it.
BadBob

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbroughton
Wow this is a lot of great info, thanks. I've been curious about using an airbrush too. I'd really rather use the little bottles of acrylic craft paint (I like that I can point to it saying nontoxic on the label). Do you think they'd act any different than interior acrylic house paint? Even with some of the downsides I'm surprised you're on the fence about using it. I thought it would be so much faster than brush painting that it would totally be worth it.


First there are no toxic finishes (when totally cured) sold in the US. There are some finishes I would not use based on their time to cure. Tung oil being one of these. Mineral oil is highly touted as being not toxic yet it is a by product of gasoline production that really has no real standards for production. I will add that there are few things in life that are not toxic to some level. Example, we need iron to live but if you get to much of it you will die. Many vegetables have toxins in them to some extent. I grow beans in my garden that has warnings on the seed packet label not to eat unless thoroughly cooked to break down the toxins. Customers may not know this so you do have a valid point.

Acrylic craft paint is essentially the same as far as painting technique goes. The exact chemical make up is some what different. I'm avoiding it here for several reasons.

The four orange car bodies took almost the whole 8oz  sample can of paint.  This would have been several bottles of craft paint and could have been much more expensive depending on the brad and where you buy it.

The others cars are painted with Oops paint that costs me fifty cents for eight ounces. Some of the coverage with house paint is out standing. I have brush painted some toys with it that only needed one coat to completely cover everything. If I can paint 20 cars with a can of oops paint it significantly lowers the cost of materials. I will not use the orange again.

House paint is much more durable than the craft paints I have used and seems to be much higher quality. I can order house paint straight from Behr and have it delivered to my local store. That's about as fresh as you are going to get.

Color selection is much greater. They have a lot to choose from already formulated. However, you can get it mixed in any color you like. Take a picture of a flower in you garden and have paint mixed to match.

Satin and Semi Gloss paint. There is some Glossy craft paint. I haven used any yet so I can't speak to that. House paints on on the other hand come in flat, satin, and semi gloss.

Last but not least. I live about 2.5 miles from Home Depot and drive right by there once or twice a week. Turn into the parking lot close. Transportation cost is a real cost that many people do not consider. The average full sized vehicle in the US costs $0.75 a mile to operate when everything is totalled. The AAA does studies on this. Low cost access to the paint is a factor.

I'm not on the fence about spraying with an airbrush. I'm on the fence about painting toys. I'm looking at this for selling toys. Spraying is much faster if you set it up right but you can't do it indoors without a spray booth. If I must do it outside and the weather is bad I can't get my work done and customers have to wait. Painting adds time and effort that may not be a good return on investment. Start up cost is relatively high if you want to paint year round. I painthed this last batch outside.

Spray booths are very important if you painting indoors. This is especially true if you want to spray things other than acrylics. Some of the solvents used in finishes cause cancer and brain damage. The spray booth must vent to the out side and ave a good enough fan to to pull all the fumes out. A $20 box fan in a window will not do the trick.
My grandson will go for the colors every time and I hear that is true for most children.

It is much faster so long as you know what your doing and you have enough things to paint. Gearing up to paint a single play pal truck is probably not faster. Painting thirty Hot Rod Freaky Fords is way faster.

I hope I have answered all you questions.

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ed357sw

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Reply with quote  #4 
Badbob,

Good information here, I have an air brush that at this point has not been out of the box.
I don't have a airbrush compressor and was looking at them, but they tend to be expensive.

I would be interested in your setup as far as compressor, filters etc. Maybe you could do a separate thread showing some pic's of your setup, along with pressure settings an the like. I have a nice small sears compressor that i use for pretty much everything, from dust to tire refills. I has a 4 gal tank I think thay rate it... It should more then handle the brush I would think


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BadBob

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ed357sw
Badbob,

Good information here, I have an air brush that at this point has not been out of the box.
I don't have a airbrush compressor and was looking at them, but they tend to be expensive.

I would be interested in your setup as far as compressor, filters etc. Maybe you could do a separate thread showing some pic's of your setup, along with pressure settings an the like. I have a nice small sears compressor that i use for pretty much everything, from dust to tire refills. I has a 4 gal tank I think thay rate it... It should more then handle the brush I would think



Your sears compressor will work just fine with an air brush. I use 50 psi for acrylics and 20 for shellac. You have to put finish in your airbrush and play with it to figure out what works best.

You need some sort of stand to hang you brush on. There are a wide variety of them. I like this one because you can clamp it and the regualtor/filter on the edge of the bench.

20170130_202623.jpg 

This isn't mine but its the same one I have. 

New-font-b-Airbrush-b-font-Holder-Holds-4-Clamp-On-Mount-Table-Bench-Station-Gravity.jpg 

This is my air compressor. This thing is nearly 40 years old and still works great. If it dies I'll buy a larger one.


20061023-170224-GZ250-50BMG-Ammo_Can-PanniersCompressor.jpg 
You need at least two of these hoses. One from the compressor and the other to go to the airbrush. I got my first two from Harbor Freight because they have some adapters in the bag that are not shown on the web site.

hose.jpg 

The adapters that came with the hose were the right ones to fit my airbrush. You will need adapters that are appropriate for your airbrush and compressor I connect to my compressor with an adapter that came with my yard sale find. it adapts the end of the airbrush hose to a 1/4 NPT male. The adapters were hard to figure out because there are different names being used for the same thing. 

There are airbrushes made in the US, Germany, Japan and China and maybe some other places, but the rest of the hardware is all coming from China. Even the stuff that's branded is coming from China. So don't waste any money. There are lots of accessories available on eBay and Amazon.  Harbor Freight has some as well. Harbor Freight has the regulators

If your using an external mix airbrush or one that has the jar that attaches to the bottom you will want extra jars. I got jars with and with out the spout on the lid. These are cheap on eBay.


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Rod T

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks for the info Bob. I haven't tried spraying, but this info gives me some insight into what to expect.

I point to your paragraph on toxicity of finishes. This is very well said. 
There is so much confusion and ignorance about this, driven by fear no doubt. 
Generally the first question anybody asks me is "What is the finish on the toy? is it safe?" 
I avoid answers like "Mineral Oil" as this instantly turns people off. 

They will then go away and smother their baby with Baby Oil. Which in this country has been sold in great volumes for decades by a few very big brand names.
For those that don't know, Baby Oil is Mineral oil with a fragrance in it to make it smell pretty. 
That same person then goes to the big brand store and buys a plastic toy made in China and painted with who knows what in a sweat shop. 

The perception being that a "Home Made" toy is not made with the same attention as a big factory.

The amount of factory made toy product recalls that happen every Christmas here in Australia is mind blowing. 
We had one in particular only a few years ago, where a Soft Toy was recalled. Manufactured in India.
It was discovered that the inside of the toys were stuffed with blood stained used bandages.

Go Figure.

I am not saying that all factory made toys are bad by the way.
I'm just annoyed at the perception of a lot of ignorant consumers that "Home Made" can't be as good as factory made. 

I'll get off my soap box now.

Cheers
Rod T
BadBob

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Reply with quote  #7 
Yeah, It really annoys me when people will not buy a hand crafted wood toy that has polyurethane on it but dress their children in synthetic fabrics an buy them toys made from plastic.


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cbroughton

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Reply with quote  #8 
Thanks again, you've answered more questions than I knew I had [smile] I know about being nontoxic after curing it was more about not having to explain that to parents every time. But I haven't sold much so maybe it will never come up and I should just go with house paint.

We seem to have a lot of nice weather in North Carolina so maybe I'll look into a setup to spray outdoors if you think that was one of the biggest issues.

I'd rather not paint as well but like you said I've heard it can make a difference in sales.

Has anyone tried dipping toys in paint? I've seen mineral oil finish applied to cutting boards that way but not paint.
BadBob

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I only have some very minor experience with dipping. Shellac works pretty good for small parts because you can thin it a lot and you don't have to sand between coats. I didn't have much success with paint.

I remember seeing a post here somewhere where someone was dipping parts.


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BadBob

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Reply with quote  #10 
As requested here is most of the airbrush equipment I have accumulated. I'm a pretty good shopper so what you see here cost a little over $100. I have three of the Badger 350s because it was cheaper than buying one airbrush and getting the tips separately.

The Regulator/Filter and airbrush stand. I like this one because it clamps to to the bench as a unit. There are lots of table top models but I could jut see me getting tangle up in a hose and snatching the whole mess off into the floor.

20170311_053016 Airbrush Regulator Filter Hoses Stand.jpg 
20170311_053043 Airbrush Hoses Regulator Filter.jpg

Adapter to adapt the airbrush hose to the compressor hose.

20170311_053104 Airbrush Adapter .jpg 
Adapters to connect to Regulator/Filter. You could do this with one adapter if you had the right one. I had these two.


20170311_053118 Airbrush Adapter.jpg 
Hose to Regulator/Filter with one adapter. This stuff is all made in China and the quality can vary a lot. Its really odd that they sell these for airbrushes but they don't come with the regulator.

20170311_053128 Airbrush Adapter.jpg 

The connection to my air compressor.

20170311_053237 Airbrush Adapter.jpg 

Master G233 air brush. It has .2mm .3mm and .5mm tips for house paints or craft paints you need the .5mm tip and stilj its to small.


20170311_053344 Airbrush Master G233.jpg 

Random brand less airbrush. This is basically the same as the Master G233 but has a 2cc color cup. Th small cup lets you spray very small amounts of paint. The better quality brushes wil let you spray one drop of paint.



20170311_053608 Airbrush Random China 2cc Color Cup.jpg 
Storage box for airbrushes and accessories.  These came in blister packs or nothing ast all they car pretty delicate so I like keep them in this box in a drawer in my tool chest.

20170311_053646 Airbrush Storage Box.jpg 
The Badger 350 airbrushes. All three tip sizes. Only the heavey tip is usable for acrylic house paint.

20170311_053848 Airbrush Badger 350.jpg 

Badger 150 airbrush I picked up at a yard sale. A much better airbrush than the China made ones. ONly goes to .5mm tip. This is my go to for spraying shellac.

20170311_053937 Air Brush Badger 150.jpg 
Paint jars (aka Color Jars) your going to need several of these. Yes you can make do with one or two of them but you need to clean a lot more. I keep bottles with shellac in them one clear one amber and one with alcohol for cleaning the airbrush out. At minimum you need two to paint one color one for paint and one for cleaning I buy these on eBay cheap. The pink you see on the lids is dust from paint.

20170311_054019 Airbrus Jars.jpg 

Two of my air brushes on the stand.

20170130_202623 Airbruses In the Rack.jpg 

My badger 150 yard sale find. I've had this for many years.

20160116_212653 Badger 150 Airbrush.jpg 



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ctowne

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Reply with quote  #11 
Cbroughton - I have dipped in paint before.  I have extremely watered down the craft paint so the grain still shows.   Usually it takes two dips minimum, sanding in between because the first dip really raises the end fibers.  Top coat is still needed.   This is for a color that the wood grain still show.  More like dying or staining the wood.   I had to experiment with colors, some mix well with water and other are not as evenly dispersed.   In the end, the fully painted items are still what the kids prefer, the parents like the more natural. 
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