What would be the best airbrush paint to use on a video game console?
I’m looking to start a small business that customizes video game consoles by painting and adding art onto them. I’m looking for websites and information on not only how to airbrush, but also on what the best kind of materials would be best for what I want to do.
Can someone help me out?
First of all don’t buy a single action airbrush. There’s very few people who can use them properly and it takes a heck of a long time to learn how to control them. If you have to use tape to pull a fine line it’s time to switch over to a quality double action airbrush. It’s hard enough learning how to control an airbrush properly so why increase your learning curve 10 fold?
To start out you’re going to want a quality gravity feed airbrush (Iwata, Grex, Olympos, or RichPen) with a .2mm nozzle. This will be good for general use. Next you’ll need a small oilless compressor. Preferably one with an air tank, but to start out a $50-$60 single piston airbrush compressor from Harbor Freight Tools will due. You’ll also need a moisture trap and a braided air hose about 15 feet long along with a shorter 5 to 10 foot braided hose. Hook up the 15′ hose to the compressor and the moisture trap. Then use the shorter hose from the moisture trap to the airbrush. This will keep condensation from reaching the airbrush.
As for paints, once again, go for quality…not cheap. I suggest E’tac (www.etac-airbrush.com) since tip dry is nearly non-existant and it handles very similar to a uro. This will also shorten your learning curve.
From there it’s just practice practice practice, and when you think you’re done practicing go ahead and practice some more. lol I first started out practicing dots, daggers and lines on a large art tablet, news paper, paper towels and a sheet of glass.
Once you learn to control your airbrush it’s time to start painting game consoles. Here’s the best advice I can give you on painting plastics:
First you’re going to need to prep the surface. Start out by cleaning the parts with Dawn dish washing liquid and water.
Also make sure you never touch the parts without wearing surgical gloves from this point on since the oils on your hands will ruin the paint job.
Then scuff the surface using a grey Scotch Brite pad and Comet cleaner or 600 grit wet/dry paper and water with a couple drops of Dawn dishwashing liquid. Rinse the parts off and set them aside to dry.
Once they’re dry go over them with a tac rag to remove any sanding particles or foreign debris, and then use Bulldog adhesion promoter. Once that’s dry (about 15 minutes) you’re ready for primer.
After priming with a high build primer lightly sand with 600 grit paper and a couple drops of Dawn in a small bucket of water. Rinse, let dry, and use the tac rag again.
After all this you’re ready to lay down the base coat of paint. You’ll want 3 layers of base coat minimum, and after it’s dry repeat the steps you took after priming.
Now you’re ready to break out the airbrush. Keep in mind that some paints are easier to use than others and no matter which one you choose you’ll need to be familiar with it’s properties. This is where (once again) I would suggest using E’tac. The Private Stock or EFX 500 paints are perfectly suited for this and are easy to learn how to use. Not only that but clean up and changing colors is a breeze.
Once you’re done painting the E’tac paints need to be heat set using a heat gun or blow dryer. After they’re set, lightly wipe off the painted surfaces with automotive cleaner/degreaser. Tac the surfaces and they’re ready for clear coating.
I know it’s one heck of a long process, but it’s necessary. Hope this helps and good luck.
AIRBRUSH TECHNIQUE – Airbrush PAINT 101
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