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paint mixing advice

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by man2hit, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    I agree, it ain't rocket science! All this guy needs to do is isolate the problem. None of us can say for sure what's going on until Man2hit gives more info and the problem can be isolated. First, what kind of paint is he using? I know Polytranspar WB - BUT it REALLY matters what KIND of paint it is. Is it heavily pigmented or is it a low pigmented candy? (That's why I think it's good advice Paul to have him practice shooting food coloring thru the brush. Again, to help isolate the problem). If it's a heavy pigmented black or whatever, then thinning a lot AND retarder will be necessary. I'm not familiar with the brush, but if it's a really fine tip he may even have to strain his paint. To isolate the problem, use a thin paint like a candy with a few drops of retarder in it. Play with the air pressure if it's doing it at 35. Go up and down. 50 or 60 on down to 15 or so. Make sure the tip is clean and no dried paint!!! Turn the PSI WAY up to 70 or 80 or so and blow that sucker out with some acetone just to make sure. You should be able to blow some acetone into your garbage can once it's cleaned. Man2hit needs to spend a little time playing with all these things. And provide a little more info to us IF the problem continues. As Paul stated, it ain't rocket science. If you provide all the basic steps to eliminate each potential issue. Then, by process of elimination you/we can figure this one out. Just cleaning the cup IF there's dried paint on the tip ain't gonna cut it. It will spatter. It could be several things. And until you try to isolate the problem and spend some time experimenting, we're just guessing. It could be a bent needle or a defective part. But, I would bet that's very unlikely. 999 times out of 1000 when folks are having trouble with their air brush it is operator error...
  2. trky

    trky New Member

    Ever put a blow nozzle on a hose that has moisture in it? Water doesnt come out at an even flow it splatters everywhere. I do agree with you totaly on moisture causing a real prob. with laquers.

  3. Jeff Lumsden

    Jeff Lumsden Well-Known Member

    "999 times out of 1000 when folks are having trouble with their air brush it is operator error..." Exactly!

    That is why "beginners" could best learn airbrushing from more standard type airbrushes.
  4. man2hit

    man2hit New Member

    Thanks for all the different pieces of advice. I have been practicing and experimenting daily with it while I have waited on UPS to finally deliver my forms. I have become alot better at overall controlling the brush. I really like the Badger Velocity's ability to detail!! It's amazing! Now with that said.......The airbrush is working perfectly and I think my lack of paint flow has to do with my compressor. I have a 20 gallon craftsman and I keep the regulator set to about 45-50psi when painting and when the tank's pressure drops to 110 it kicks on to fill it's self up. I noticed when the tank is completely full my airbrush works great but as the tanks pressure begins to lower my airbrush starts to spray paint more weakly. I CONSTANTLY have to keep turning the regulator up a little bit at a time so that when the tank is ready to kick on my regulator is by then up to about 65. One minute I will be spraying 45 psi with 140 psi in the tank and then 5 minutes later my regulator has fell to like 20 with only 130psi in the tank. Should the regulator pressure be moving because of the tank's fullness? I thought the regulator is suppose to keep the pressure on the line consistent? Should I constantly have to be adjusting it?
  5. Pescado

    Pescado Biggest in 2011

    No you shouldn't. How old is the compressor?
  6. man2hit

    man2hit New Member

    It's brand new. My wife got if for me for Christmas from Sears.
  7. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Take it back - sounds defective to me...
  8. trky

    trky New Member

    FishArt-after reading this guys last post I would tend to agree with what you said earlier about it being a problem with the retarder. If his regulator is no good and allowing a sudden burst of pressure through, his paint is drying much faster on his needle tip.
  9. I have been using a airbrush compressor that i got from Harbor Freight tools for about 4 years now . It runs constant but is real quiet comes with moisture trap and it is oil-less. The air pressure is consistent and has done a wonderful job. Only about $60 They do have a website to order from. This may be an option for your compressor needs.
  10. Stephen Lafredo

    Stephen Lafredo Member

    Use some plain black airbrush paint to practice with, this will remove one variable, leaving only pressure, so that you can concentrate on painting.
  11. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    What variable is that removing? Black is a heavily pigmented "color" and if it isn't thinned AND retarder isn't used it very easily will clog and/or dry on the tip and cause spattering. I count TWO variables there. That's why I recommended using retarder AND a thinner paint. Using a thinner paint (or food coloring like Paul recommended) will eliminate the heavily pigmented clogging possibility. Some folks even strain their hevily pigmented colors to alleviate clogging. Go with thinner paint and a few drops of retarder or food coloring. Then you work from there and try to isolate the problem. Sounds by the latest info that it may be a defective compressor. But, that may/may not be the only problem...
  12. Stephen Lafredo

    Stephen Lafredo Member

    It removes the variable of the paint being too thick or too thin.

    If you buy any normal airbrush paint, e.g. ComArt. You do NOT need to thin it.

    "Specially formulated for the airbrush, ready-to-use COM-ART colors offer tremendous versatility, superior atomization and brilliant results."


    There are airbrush paints out there that are not typically used by taxidermists.
  13. warthog

    warthog Member of VVA and VFW

    It sounds to me like you need to take your air compressor back to Sears. Just because your air pressure falls in the tank, doesn't mean it should fall at the air brush...unless of course the pressure falls below what is set for the air brush. You don't have a kink in your hose do you? If not you definitely have a defective pressure valve some where on your compressor.
  14. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    I don't know what your definition of "normal" is. I believe in this conversation that is a moving target. But, the "normal" paints I use (Hydromist/Polytranspar) - any of their heavily pigmented paints like black (depending on which tip you push them through) will at the very least need some retarder. And a little thinning won't hurt either.

    Again, to ISOLATE the problem (which we're all leaning towards a defective compressor at this point). Use food coloring as Paul suggested or some THIN paint with some retarder and shoot it constantly onto something (this way, there's zero chance of it drying on the tip if you keep it flowing constantly) If it's still spattering then you have eliminated the paint as the possible culprit. If it's STILL doing it then you know you've isolated it to something else other than your paint. The only things left at this point would be the compressor and/or anything else that's carrying the air (hose, connections, air brush)...
  15. bowkill

    bowkill New Member

    I haven't found a water based paint that I haven't had to add retarder to yet and that was my biggest struggle in the beggining was listening to the bottle that said ready to use and not adding retarder to it. Now that I figured that out my painting has improved greatly although it still has along ways to go
  16. One thing missed is the air pressure at the tank is never going to be as much as at the end of the hose.

    You always have a drop in pressure with any kind of hose.

    I finally started using a tank near the airbrush as a second large moisture trap with its own regulator.

    Compressed air is hot, just touch the airline between the compressor and the tank as it kicks off from filling!

    The air going across a cold floor in an airhose will condense moisture.

    It will mess up water based paint as quick as it will mess up lacquers or urethane's.
  17. Pescado

    Pescado Biggest in 2011

    There are airbrush paints out there that are not typically used by taxidermists.

    This is true, but now there is a paint for taxidermists manufactured by an airbrush company for use in the finest of detail brushes, right out of the bottle.

    Bagder's new Woods & Water Colors are truly airbrush ready. No straining, thinning, or doctoring up to get great results. Under certain circumstances a bit of retarder might be needed, but 99% of the time it is not needed.

    Paul B

    Attached Files:

  18. den007

    den007 Active Member

    I would certainly take a look at that compressor. I can't imagine you have to go over 30 psi for any fish painting with a fine tip airbrush! The compressor should be set so that it kicks in automatically when pressure drops below a certain point. Set the pressure while your finger is on the trigger of the airbrush and air is gushing out. If that is not maintained, blame the compressor. I have sent one back because of that problem. The one mentioned from Harbor freight is a good bargain. The same manufacturer offers a dual piston model with a small tank, air filter, moisture trap, etc. I had a problem with the first one, they sent a second one free and let me keep the first! Good deal! It is very quiet, and suits all my airbrushing needs.You can't remove lug nuts from the wheel of your car with it, but it is a neat little compressor with no pulsation due to the tank. Sold by TCP global comany. Not a big name in compressors, but it works well for me. Those Woods and Waters paints are nice too. I tried a rust brown color on musky fins and really like it.