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mark poulson

Easy Air Brush Cleaning

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I'm guessing lots of TU people do this, but I've never seen it posted, so I have dibs on the idea!

I've been air brushing for a few years now, with Createx-type water based paints, and a light bulb finally went on during my last painting session.

I always have a tupperware full of water next to my painting station that I use to clean my brushes.

I would typically dip a cup full of water out with the air brush, and back flush and clean over another tupperware several times.

Then I'd leave the brush in the second tupperware, tip down, to keep the tip wet until I was ready for the next color.

Well, the last time I painted, I did something different.

I dipped the dirty brush into the big tupperware water tub, and held it underwater in that tub while I back flushed it, instead of dipping water out and doing it over the second tupperware.

Wow, is that easy!! Since I change that water after each painting session, so I'd have clean water for the next session, the water never gets dirty enough to not work.

And I back flush longer, so it cleans better. As long as I keep both the tip and cup underwater, there is very little backsplash and mess, and I think it really helps me keep the brush cleaner between colors.

I keep the trigger assembly out of the water, and just dip the tip and cup into the water when I backflush.

It sure makes cleaning between colors fast and easy.

My forehead is flatter now. Doh!!!

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Thank you much for that one Mark! Just in time too!

You know, there are times when I wonder if you live next door. When Grey Ghost was asking about airbrushes I danced over to ebay and found this listed by the SPCA in your state. Thought it would be nice to send a few animals to camp summer. Bought it because it has a cup on top. Good reason, huh?


Came in the mail today so I weighed it before destroying it. 113 grams is a heavier than the VL at 87 and the Badger 200 at 61 grams.

Don't know who makes it. It came with a hose which makes me think it was used with a makeup or nail kit. Wont fit the compressor.

With that little work around it fits the Badger hose but it has a leak around the air inlet.

Pushing the needle back a bit and back flushing like you said produced this booger......


Dug some pink and black flakes too. The green looks like a good lure color so I'm tempted to take it to Lowe's and ask for a color match.

Now that I have a good clean air brush I can't wait to go out this afternoon and catch me a bunch of little animals. Gonna paint their toenails orange and purple and chartreuse. Do some hot pink squirrel tails.

Thanks for the tip Mark!

Edited by garyo1954
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I do the same thing Mark and I keep a small glass container that came with the set filled with Windex / water solution. I run a little through the gun before and after every session. No problems as of yet. I really need a new gun but cant make up my mind so I'll just keep cleaning the one I have.

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By backflushing I mean putting my finger over the tip with the paint cup full of water, and pulling the trigger all the way, both for air and for paint.

This forces the air/paint/water mixture back through the brush, and cleans it.

I also loosen the nozzle assebly a little and back flush again. This helps clean the little holes in the nozzle.

By doing this while holding the tip and cup of the brush underwater in the bigger water tub, I can really flush the whole thing.

I have a soft, cheap artist's brush that I use to kind of scrub both the cup and the tip, too, to loosen any paint that's dried there, and then I backflush.

I still pull the needle out and wipe it off after each color, too.

Edited by mark poulson
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