Best Airbrush Kit For Beginners: Top 10 Picks of 2019
Airbrush painting can be your cup of tea if you’re not cut out to do traditional painting. The technology of using air pressure to release paints has been around for quite a while now – since 1893, when it was introduced and patented by Charles Burdick.
Besides doing a thorough job of painting, the airbrush technique has been widely used in the business of film and photography to gloss over skin tones and give a more attractive look.
It has even been used in the music industry in the 1960s to give a hippy look to album covers. More recently, the cosmetic industry has adopted this technique to create natural, smoother, and more appealing looks of models.
You can easily use airbrush painting if you’re into crafts and hobbies. It works great on mugs, t-shirts, cars, walls, canvas, and furniture – any type of surface you can think of.
If you’re thinking about tinkering with airbrush painting and finding yourself at a loss about where to begin, you’ve landed on the right page! We have gathered information about the best airbrush kit for beginners. Without further ado, read up on the basics and what the right kit is for you.
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What Is An Airbrush Kit And The Benefits Of Using It?
Airbrush painting is a technology that uses a small tool with compressed air to release paints. Besides paints, this technology also uses ink and dye. Airbrush makeup is used to conceal flaws on the skin and give a smoother look.
The airbrush usually takes the paint from the top or the bottom, depending on whether the paint cup is located – over or under the product.
It’s a conical shaped device and the paint comes out from the nozzle. The air pressure is less on the outside and pulls the paint out, when it applies pressure over the nozzle.
A needle that passes through the tip of the nozzle controls the paint flow. When you push the needle forward or backward, the needle makes a bigger or a smaller hole, thus controlling the amount of paint that’s released.
In a double-action airbrush, you push the button down to start the air flow. When you pull it back, the nozzle opens. The more you pull back the trigger, the more paint flows.
On a single-action airbrush, the same lever both releases the air pressure and the paint at the same time.
There are a few advantages of using an airbrush kit that greatly impacts the quality and finish of your work. The following benefits can be gained if you’re using the best beginner airbrush kit.
Since you have more control when you’re using an airbrush as opposed to manual painting, you will save more time and complete your project faster.
The paint is spread or applied over a surface area smoothly, thereby helping to maintain consistency.
Unlike painting with a brush where the strokes can be seen, airbrush painting gives a glossy and smooth finish, making your work look more professional and neater.
Applying airbrush makeup helps to hide flaws and marks on the skin, giving the perfect look to models and making them more photogenic.
Top 10 Best Airbrush Kit For Beginners
1. Master Airbrush System
If you’re looking for the best beginner airbrush kit, one that gives you plenty of options to play around with paint flow size, you must try this out.
The product is a multipurpose one that comes with 3 airbrushes, all of which are very user-friendly. Just refer to the enclosed manual if you want to use it to its full potential.
The versatile gravity feed airbrush makes it possible to work on any medium and whether you’re using it for cake decoration, automobile graphics, nail art, or some other hobbies, it gives you the perfect solution.
The air compressor is fitted with an air filter water trap and an airbrush holder. There is also a pressure regulator to help you get the correct air pressure for desired results.
There are 2 airbrush holders so that you can be as flexible as you want, dabbling with different needle sizes.
If you want to start with a single-action and then gradually progress to a dual-action airbrush, this kit allows that too.
The kit also includes water-based, opaque acrylic paints of 6 primary colors in 1-ounce bottles. This saves you from going through the hassle of choosing and buying colors separately. A reducer is enclosed to get the right paint consistency.
The double-sided color mixing wheel gives you freedom without the trouble of getting various color shades and gradients.
Don’t be worried about the cleaning bit! The package comes with a cleaning brush set so that you can properly maintain your airbrush kit.
2. Paasche H-Set
Looking for an airbrush with which you can spray paint and cover a wide area? This product might be the best airbrush kit if you want to take it easy.
It’s a single-action siphon feed airbrush set that makes quick painting easy if you’re a beginner.
There are 3 head sizes included to help you draw patterns of size ranging from one-sixteenth to one-and-a-half inch. So, go ahead and have fun drawing either fine or thick lines!
With the three spray heads, you can use this kit for several applications like solid coatings, even lines and stencil work. Users have even recommended it for woodwork or painting over aluminum.
If you are looking for an airbrush kit that will do a great job for tattoos, tanning, cake decoration, chip repairing, hobbies and crafts, you should give this product a try.
It’s user-friendly and doesn’t need much practice, simply because it’s a single-action airbrush that gives the right leverage to beginners.
You can make regular and rough use of it without worrying about durability. Thanks to its chrome-plated body that guarantees it will last long.
Just spray the paint cleaner through the airbrush to get all the paint cleaned out and you have an airbrush that’s almost as good as new!
The package includes the airbrush, 2 spray heads of two different sizes, 1/4-ounce metal cup, 1-ounce storage bottle, 1-ounce bottle assembly, 6-foot braided hose, wrench, hanger, manual, and lessons booklet.
3. Gocheer Professional Airbrush Kit
“Go Cheer” lives up to its name, it’ll cheer you up with its consummate performance. It’s perfectly capable of delivering great results for cake decoration, handicrafts, art painting, nail art and what else have you.
This portable and multifunctional airbrush can be carried easily in your backpack or pocket, giving you the ultimate convenience if you’re on an outdoor model photoshoot.
If you’re worried that this will run out of power in the middle of your work, just use a USB to recharge the device and you’re good to go once more without a constant source of power supply!
It will cover you for a good 30 to 50 minutes after a full recharge on your computer or power bank.
This is a single-action airbrush armed with a mini air compressor and a mini-screwdriver. It comes with a protective pump and you can begin to use this directly, without an air hose.
What’s more, it gives a very low noise while working!
After undergoing many prototype creation, this product has come up with an upgraded air pump that optimizes the line and also extends its operating time. You will have no difficulty working with it as it has been ergonomically designed to give you the maximum comfort.
The shape and design work together to give you the ultimate satisfaction in your airbrush project. Without any doubt, this is one of the best airbrush kits for beginners.
To use, just prepare your paint or dye and switch the button. Users have enthusiastically recommended this product for its even and fine spray feature.
4. VIVOHOME Airbrushing Paint System
Another best airbrush kit for beginners, this is a multi-purpose machine that comes with 3 types of detachable multi-purpose fluid tips. It helps you experiment with different degrees of paint flow and air pressure controls for your airbrush projects.
This is great for art, temporary tattoos, cake decoration, cosmetics, crafts, illustrations, retouches, and any other airbrushing activities. Use it easily on materials like leather, wood, plastic, fabrics, metal and others.
The compressor-mounted airbrush holder with two holders for the airbrush makes this a neat, well-equipped product. The air compressor with water filter trap gives the right air volume and paint flow to get the perfectly fine results you’re looking for.
For top-of-the-line painting performance, this airbrush gives you powerful pressure and the ability to run continuously. You’ll be amazed at how professional your projects look.
In addition to that, its auto power off system turns it off when the machine gets closed to overheating. This is certainly great to ensure your safety, which a lot of other airbrush machines fail to do.
To can be sure of its consistent performance due to its piston framework designed to deliver steady air pressure and output so that there are no discrepancies.
Another highly coveted feature is the low level of noise it makes, keeping your work or playing environment peaceful.
Extra features include a 180-degree portable handle that makes it more convenient to be carried around indoors or outdoors. The anti-slip base keeps it in place while in operating mode.
5. HUBEST Airbrush Kit
This is a dual-action airbrush kit that includes three sizes of spray guns to fit your general-purpose art and craft projects and producing a fine mist. It’s great for base coating and getting a wide coverage and is suitable for beginners as well as more advanced airbrush painters.
Several airbrushing jobs can be done - illustration, fine art, photo retouching, automotive and motorcycle graphics, t-shirts, tattoo, cake decoration, signs and backgrounds, and other hobbies.
Its lightweight feature makes it easy to operate and to carry around comfortably.
You can use the trigger controls to produce varying results of line widths, range of value and opacity of paint without even stopping. You’re free to create your own thing without hampering the process even once!
The airbrush is fitted with a micro air control valve that allows you to control the flow of air at the tip of your airbrush, thereby maximizing the paint output control for an excellent outcome.
It’s advised that you polish the needles before using so that you get a better spray.
If you’re working on a project that requires finesse, this is a great find. The top-mounted gravity color cup needs less air pressure to pull the paint. Hence, you can work with slow hand movements to produce fine spray details.
The color cup is easy to disassemble, making it fairly easy to replace with another color cup or for cleaning purposes. Cleaning it after each use will ensure it lasts for longer time.
6. TINGPO Airbrush Set
A cordless airbrush machine, its action gravity feed is perfect for barbers, nail artists, cake decorators, and other hobbyists. It is a handheld product that’s compact, making it very convenient to use anywhere.
Its pressure boost technology helps to deliver high viscous makeup products with more refinement, giving a smoother and better skincare effect.
The air compressor design is ergonomic and patented, giving a fine spray effect every time you use it. Its lightweight feature makes it easily portable.
You don’t have to work hard with it to create a more luminous effect on the skin. The instant coverage features create a soft-focus and long-lasting look that’s more appealing. The precision applicator successfully covers blemishes and other skin conditions, resulting in the perfect model-ready look.
Its dual action feature works better on spraying control. With this, you can achieve a more detailed and finer makeup effect. Just press the trigger to release the air and pull it back to release the paint or makeup for perfect control.
The body is made of high-quality materials, making it durable and sturdy so that you don’t have to invest in an airbrush system often.
It can save more time for you as you don’t have to do any hand drawing but get straight down to business with this machine.
For cake decoration, the dual action system saves raw materials and is more practical.
You can use this for model making purposes as well as for tattoos, camouflage contour drawing and other projects that require detailing.
7. U.S. Cake Supply Airbrush Kit
Bespoke cake is a big business all over the world. Do you want to turn your baking skills into something more profitable?
It’s time to try this cake decorating airbrush kit that comes complete with a professional airbrush, 12 vivid food colors, air compressor along with three different air flow settings to facilitate variations, , and a guide with design tips and tricks.
This kit is very simple to use, thus it can be used by kids, amateurs and advanced users. The operation process is pretty simple, put several drops of food color to the airbrush and turn the compressor on.
After that, pull the trigger for as long as you need and start decorating! The single action feature makes it super easy to use.
Worried about how to make your daughter’s Princess Elsa theme cake? Invest in this airbrush kit today so you can have cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and other desserts match the theme of your party! Write messages, mix colors for different shades, use stencils for more details, or color fondant for the perfect look.
The process is easy, completely safe and at the same time fun! Just follow the enclosed manual and you’ll soon be on your way to making customized delectable fit for a king or simply your friends and family! The key is to practice and apply the techniques provided.
The colors provided last a long time. It’s recommended to use a towel or a plastic cloth behind the cake when you’re airbrushing, so that the color doesn’t splat on other things. The entire kit is compact, convenient for using and storing at home.
8. F2C Airbrush Kit
If you want to try your hand in nail art, cake decoration, tattoo, or even art painting, this dual action airbrush system will give you the right control over your masterpiece. It’s a good machine for beginners who need fine details, and this works great even with glitter paint.
It’s easy to carry because the entire unit weighs less than two pounds. The compact design also contributes to its portability. Thus, you can set it up in any location.
The gravity fluid cup comes with a 0.4 millimeters needle that is perfect for those close-range jobs that need finesse.
Its dual action system effectively mixes paints internally and delivers a uniform and fine spray pattern.
The mini compressor is oil-free and makes no noise while operating. Its air flow adjustment control ensures you have a better grip on your work. The built-in airbrush holder is a point of convenience and control. The bonus is that the mini compressor is maintenance-free!
Users have praised the mini compressor for its ability to work long hours – more than 5 hours – for 3 to 4 days at a stretch without giving any trouble for more than two years. Without such extended usage, it doesn’t get as hot as other airbrush systems.
The airbrush system is easy to set up and use, though you may face some difficulty with the white tap for the airtight seal as some users have claimed it’s too little to fit properly.
It’s recommended that you clean the machine regularly to make it last longer.
9. Master Airbrush
Another high-performance dual-action airbrush system that’s fit for doing a multitude of art forms – automobile and motorcycle graphics, cake decoration, nail art, temporary tattoos, and fine art.
Great for both beginners and more advanced users, this airbrush system is versatile and user-friendly.
The kit includes three spray needle sizes which you can use for wide spray patterns as well as fine spray ones. The sizes of the fluid tips are 0.2, 0.3 and 0.5 millimeters and good for basecoats, main coats and highlights on figurines and models.
A special feature is its cutaway handle that allows quick flushing and cleaning. The trigger has been ergonomically designed for comfortable functioning.
The built-in air flow control valve allows slow hand movement and better precision. Especially if you’re working at angles, this gives you high accuracy without any spills.
To continue its high-quality performance, users have recommended that you clean the airbrush system and apply oil on the lever hinges and the back part of the needle. Keep in mind that needles tend to bend with frequent cleaning, so you might need to straighten it.
For cleaning, it’s advised not to use water to oxidize parts of the airbrush gun. Instead, use a good quality airbrush cleaner to give you more value in the long run. Most users have found no clogging issues and therefore, it’s easy and quick to clean for a color change or for putting it away.
The chrome-plated body and overall design make it a good-looking airbrush.
10. SAKAI Airbrush Kit
A lot of thought has been given in the development and production of this single-action airbrush system that’s the right choice for beginners.
It's the right tool for model coloring, auto and bike painting, temporary tattoos, nail art, t-shirt graphics, cake decoration, airbrush makeup and much more.
There are two different air pressure control buttons so you can adjust the air flow. The results are more accurate as you’re able to work the airbrush efficiently with more control over the spray delivery.
The mini compressor is compact and lightweight, a great machine that’s portable and easy to set up anywhere. It’s easy to use and requires little space. Moreover, it’s very quiet and doesn’t use any oil, keeping your work environment clean and peaceful.
Its automatic stop function saves you from the hassle of checking the machine for overheating while you’re working with it. Just clicking the button again will reset the machine.
For continued best results, you’re advised to clean after each use to avoid paint clogging.
This airbrush kit is not suitable for use with thick paint. It’s best to test it with water first before using. Use alcohol to clean after you use water-based paints. If you have used oil-based colors, use an oil thinner to clean.
The package includes all the necessary accessories – airbrush gun, air compressor, mini air filter, and cleaning set. The cups are easily refilled and it’s also a breeze to clean this.
You can have full control even with this single action airbrush kit.
Things To Consider Before Buying An Airbrush Kit
So, you want to give airbrush painting a shot and are in the market for the best airbrush kit for beginners. Before you invest in one, the following factors must be taken into consideration.
This is a no-brainer. Before anything else, you ought to know why you want to use an airbrush kit. Are you into cake decoration, miniature painting, mural painting, automobile pimping, or tanning? Depending on the kind of project you have in mind, you should choose an airbrush.
Type Of Paint
Any type of paint or fluid can be used if it’s of a milky consistency. However, if you want to work with heavy pigments or thick paints, you must choose a nozzle of 0.5 millimeters – a large size.
For thinner paints, choose a narrow nozzle of size 0.2 or 0.18 millimeters. This will produce finer results.
Beginners Vs. Pros
If you’re a beginner, you’re likely to make mistakes at the outset. Hence, a single-action airbrush is good for your practice and has fewer adjustment options, making it easier to use.
For more advanced users who can have good control over paint release and air pressure, a dual-action airbrush is the right tool for you.
Single-Action Vs. Dual-Action
Work that requires details and uniform paint application would do well with a dual-action airbrush kit. Whereas, if you’re looking for extensive paint coverage and not finer details, a single-action airbrush is a good option.
Level Of Detail Or Surface Area Width
A narrow nozzle will release a fine spray pattern of paint while a larger nozzle will cover a wide area with paint. Know what kind of affects you want to achieve to pick the right nozzle size.
Nozzles between 0.3 and 0.35 millimeters are good for achieving finer lines and coverage.
Degree Of Control
Working speed will determine the degree of control you have over airbrushing. If you want to have more control, it’s good to work with lower pressure and a lower air volume. This is a good approach when you need to put multiple layers to get the right blend or shade.
For faster jobs, you might try an airbrush that delivers more paint and uses more air volume. In situations where you’re laying a base coat and need to have fine lines at a high speed, you must select an airbrush that has a good needle/nozzle combination.
Ease Of Maintenance
You can get away with easier and less frequent cleaning with a single-action airbrush.
As the dual-action airbrush has more components, it’s more difficult to disassemble the various parts for thorough cleaning.
Different Types Of Airbrush
Single-action and double-action – these are the two types of airbrush. A single-action airbrush works similarly to a can of spray paint. It releases both air and paint at the same time when you press the lever of the gun. A knob controls the quantity of paint.
On a single-action airbrush, there’s external mixing of the paint. This means that the paint mixes with the compressed air in the needle. There is little accuracy offered with a single-action airbrush and is therefore not recommended for detailed paintings.
With this type of airbrush, you can cover a wide area easily although it’s not so easy to draw straight lines with an even thickness of paint with the needles.
This is better for beginners as there’s only one action involved. You don’t need to time the release of air and paint, so it’s relatively more convenient to test it out and get used to it.
On the other hand, a dual action or double-action airbrush releases only air when pressing the gun lever. The paint needs to be controlled with another device and is fed to the lever. In effect, you can control both the paint flow and air pressure.
If you want to change the colors while working, it’s possible to do so with the side feed and siphon feed. In this type of airbrush, you will find a gravity feed paint cup on the top side of the airbrush. In others, you will find a siphon feed below it.
A dual-action airbrush uses internal mixing that mixes the paint and the air behind the nozzle.
If you’re looking for sharp, accurate and fine lines in your project, the double action airbrush is perfect for you, provided you’re not a beginner and can control the paint and air pressure in tandem.
How To Take Care Of Your Airbrush For Longevity
By following a regular cleaning regime for your airbrush, you’ll thank yourself for its longevity and top condition. Remember, if you don’t clean your best beginners airbrush kit regularly, it won’t give you the results you want.
Most kits come with a fluid cleaner that’s chemical or alcohol-based or could be distilled water. Make sure you read the manual on how to clean your airbrush gun using the fluid. The individual components of the gun need to be disassembled and cleaned separately. You can even use a Q-tip to clean the different parts.
If you want a cleaner that’s food-grade, non-toxic, and pH-balanced, especially if you’re into cake decoration, then you may look for a chemical-free alternative that does a good cleaning job without causing harm to the environment.
To clean make-up residues, dip a Q-tip in a cleaner or use a set of specialized cleaning brushes to retain the original condition of your airbrush machine.
Cleaning The Needle
Clean the needle of the airbrush gun by removing it and wipe away the paint or any other medium using distilled water. Always be careful not to break or bend the needle when you do this. Distilled water has no minerals and will prevent the formation of build-up on your airbrush machine, making it last longer.
Back Bubbling Technique
This technique uses distilled water to clean the cup. Simply put a few drops of distilled water in the cup and hold your finger against the nozzle of the airbrush. Now, pull back on the lever so that air escapes up through the cup.
This will cause the water to bubble and loosen the paint or makeup residue in the airbrush. Pull your finger away from the nozzle and spray the liquid on a tissue. Do this a few times, till you see no traces of paint or makeup in the spray.
Soaking The Airbrush
You can also soak the airbrush in a dish of distilled water with the lever or trigger open and the nozzle down. Remember not to dip the needle in this solution.
Cleaning The Nozzle
For cleaning the nozzle, remove the cap that covers it and wipes it gently with a Q-tip dipped in a cleaner. Make sure you don’t leave bits of Q-tip or any other material in any of the airbrush components.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. How does an airbrush work?
Answer: An airbrush needs a source of compressed air. When you pull back the trigger or lever on the airbrush gun, it releases the air. The air flows over the nozzle and the paint is pulled from it through the low-pressure air created. The farther you pull back the lever, the more paint is released.
2. Which airbrush is the best for me?
Answer: If you are a beginner, then the single action airbrush is better for you as it releases both the air and the paint when you press the trigger.
However, if you want more control and you’re into finer details, then a dual-action airbrush would be better for you.
This type of airbrush releases the air when you push the trigger but has a separate knob with which to control the paint release.
3. Which size nozzle should I choose?
Answer: The needle or nozzle comes in three categories – fine, medium and heavy. Choose the largest nozzle if you want to a wide coverage with your spray or you’re using thicker paints. For finer work, use fine to medium nozzles, depending on your requirements.
4. What type of paints can I use?
Answer: You can spray any liquid through an airbrush as long as it has been thinned maintaining proper consistency. With the right consistency, the paint will flow through the airbrush uninterruptedly. Types of paints include acrylics, oils, watercolors, automotive finishes, enamels and even food colors for cake decoration.
5. Are all types of surfaces suitable for airbrushing?
Answer: If the surface is absorbent in natural environment, then you can airbrush to spray paint on it. However, some surfaces need to be primed with a basecoat before giving the final coat with an airbrush.
6. How do I clean my airbrush?
Answer: Most kits come with a cleaning kit and the user guide has details on the best way to clean. However, you can clean the wetted brush parts with a proper solvent and an additional brush. After all is done, rinse the cups and bottles.
You should spray the solvent a few times. This way, the airbrush will be thoroughly clean.
After cleaning the airbrush, lubricate the nozzle or needle and the air valve with a suitable lubricant. It’ll prevent them from sticking during operation. Always be careful when handling the needle as they may get bent easily.
7. How safe is airbrushing?
Answer: Airbrushing is safe as long as you have your protective mask and clothes on.
8. Why does my airbrush clog?
Answer: If you haven’t thinned your paint to the right consistency, chances are the airbrush will clog. It’s good to give a deep clean to your airbrush to avoid clogs.
9. When should needles and nozzles be replaced?
Answer: If you have bent your needle while cleaning it, it’s better to replace it than trying to straighten it. Nozzles last longer and should be replaced every few years if you have been airbrushing daily.
Hand drawing may not be everyone’s forte but even then, many of us want to give painting a go. With fast and frequent technological developments, painting has become a hobby or a profession. The airbrush painting technique is something we’re thankful for.
If we have the best beginners airbrush kit with us, it’s possible to turn our hobby into a fulltime profession. Be it as something small and delicate as nail art or a larger project like graphics for a van, it’s possible to have a variety of colors and patterns to achieve 3D effects and more.
Airbrush painting allows greater control and higher precision in any kind of art form. These machines are easy to set up and operate. Even cleaning them is easy as a simple solvent and some cleaning brushes are all that it takes.
This guide compiled a list of the top products, along with the pros and cons as mentioned by many users. Once you decide how much control and finesse your art projects need, you can go ahead and invest in the right one for you. Hope you have fun spraying colors on your dream canvas!