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Airbrushing without external exhaust

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I’d like to do some airbrushing. I have no way to exhaust to the outside. I’ve read ads for spray booths indicating no external exhaust  (to the outside air) is necessary. Health in my number one priority. Any thoughts...Moab

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Use acrylics and there is no need to exhaust to the outside.  In addition to the air filter materials at the back of the booth I add a nylon sock over the exhaust tube and it catches any particals that make it past the filters.  No odors to worry about either.

Kurt

 

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I agree with Kurt - I use Vallejo acrylics and they are great. The pigment in them is very fine and there's loads of it so the coverage is very good.  Just add a few drops of flow improver which is also sold by them and you won't get a dry tip on your airbrush either 

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And if you use solvent-based paints and inks, simply airbrush in front of a door or window open to the outside with a fan blowing the air away from your work area and towards the outside and you shouldn't have anything to worry about. All it takes is a bit of air circulation. As the instructions say, "Use in a well ventilated area."  There's probably far more dangerous stuff sitting underneath your kitchen sink right now that you use every day without a second thought than anything you'll expose yourself to building ship models.

 

Airbrushes are relatively surgical in their spray patterns.  Manufacturers market "spray booths" for airbrushes because they make money selling them. IMHO, they aren't at all necessary for airbrushing. If you plan to spray stuff with hardware store "rattle cans," that's another matter. I'd say do that outside and upwind of the can! That's a lot cheaper than buying a spray booth. It's an order of magnitude sort of thing.

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I only use a spray booth because Badger gave me one to test.  Before that I did all my spraying on top of a hospital table (for use in bed - adjustable up and down) with a folded blueprint paper protecting the table surface.  If the object is too big for the booth I go back to the paper protecting the table's top.  The over spray with Badger Acrylics is dry by the time it settles on the paper.  I use acrylics 95+% of the time due to the fumes of solvent paints.  When I do use a solvent paint I move the spray table and direct the fan exhaust tube to an open screened window in the shop - otherwise I spray in an open area where I can walk around the table.

 

 

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I use a cardboardbox to catch overspray, but then I am working so slowly that I need to paint perhaps once a year or so.

Rattle can spraying is done outside against the box to catch overspray too.

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36 minutes ago, Moab said:

Any recommendations for which spray brush and compressor to purchase? There seem to be sooooo many...Moab

Good luck! There's a ton of options. It boils down to, first, do you want an single-action or double-action airbrush? Then, how much money do you want to spend. I'd suggest checking out YouTube for general background and then searching for discussions and evaluations on this forum for specifics. It's a matter of personal preference, really, but the major distinction is what you are going to use the airbrush for. If you just want to use it to apply paint on parts, you may not need the more versatile double-action airbrushes, which, in modeling applications, are best for weathering and shading effects. As with any tool, the best you can possibly afford is the least expensive in the end. My double-action Paasche has given me great service for over forty years now, but is hardly state-of-the-art today.

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Moab:

I am a Badger user and highly recommend Badgers.  Especially for somebody in this area with Badger located in Franklin Park.  If you ever have an issue take it to the factory and they will most likely fix it while you wait.  That said the only repairs I have ever needed were caused by "students".

Any compressor will work.  If you have need of a compressor for other things in addition to airbrushing small quiet units are available from Home Depot, Menards, auto parts stores for less or the same as a small airbrush compressor and they can inflate tires, etc. while the small AB compressor can't.

As to the brush - what do you plan to paint?  How often?  How big or small?  Answers on what brush to get depend on what you plan to do with the brush.  Single actions are easier to use and if you don't do a lot are maybe a better choice than a dual action brush.   Lot's of choices.

Provide some details and I can give you advice - but what's good for me might not be good for you.

Kurt

 

 

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Remember, particulates aren't generally the worst offender. You need to look at fumes.

 

Not all acrylic paints are created equal. The carrier substrate can be a factor on how you should tackle exhaust materials. Some acrylics have a water base, but some have a lacquer base. In any respect, you don't want to breathe any of this crap in. At the very least, use a face mask with an active carbon filter cartridge.

 

You get one set of lungs. Don't risk them.

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17 hours ago, Moab said:

Any recommendations for which spray brush and compressor to purchase? There seem to be sooooo many...Moab

Hi - I use a Paashe Talon TG and its the best airbrush I've ever used.  It comes with 3 different needle sizes and the largest also has a fan cap for big jobs.  Its a double action brush which has very precise control and quite a large paint cup too.  Its also very quick and easy to clean after use and for a brush that can do from the finest pattern to a wide fan of paint I would recommend it as a very good all round airbrush.

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On 2/22/2020 at 12:17 PM, Moab said:

Any recommendations for which spray brush and compressor to purchase? There seem to be sooooo many...Moab

My wife just bought me a complete Grex airbrush set with a compressor for Christmas. So since I've never used and airbrush and haven't used this one yet, who am I to make recommendations though...? However, this airbrush kit was highly recommended by a friend who does use airbrushes. He liked it because it is a double-action, pistol style airbrush with a trigger. He feels it paints as well as the typical, single finger, toggle style airbrushes but is much easier to learn to use and comes with an instructional DVD. I bought a couple of fan nozzles for it also for spraying a wider pattern when needed like on the hull of  a large boat. I'm looking forward to learning to use it once I complete my Medway Longboat.

 

Bob  

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I have a couple of photograph dual-action retouching air brushes and hope to just put very fine dies through and add some colour to the model as I go and not cover the grain of the wood. One is a Badger 100 extra fine with quick fit cups the can be swapped. Your Grex should work great, some units can work better for painting models and yours maybe one of those.

Will you use oil based paint in your brushe? or Water based paints as they may have less fumes?

Noticed that the finish used from just above the water line to the keel on authentic vintage ships was either copper clad for a off white mix painted on to stop the worms to just above the water line.

With the photo dye setup there is no fumes to worry about only over spray but it is not opaque and may not give the real authentic look.

Practice spray of each colour as I go has worked for water colour painting and photo retouching you may want to get some scrap wood to see how your colour mix will work. 

In the end we are all here to just have some fun.

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I posted this same question about six months ago and Kurt and others gave me a lot of good things to think about.  For what it's worth, for the airbrush I went with an Iwata Eclipse and an Iwata compressor.  I also bought a spray both off of Amazon.

 

I've really enjoyed using Vallejo's air paints.  I've used them straight from the bottle but will start adding a bit of flow improver because I tend to get dry tips (doesn't help airbrushing in the winter when the air is drier).  I've used Tamiya acrylics and they are really nice too.  Tamiya lacquers stink to high hell though, so venting is a good idea.  

 

For me, even when spraying acrylics I turn the vent on the booth so that the particles are pulled away from me.  You can see a slight fog when airbrushing, so I feel it's better to pull them away from my lungs (and surrounding area) and into the filter pad.

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On 2/21/2020 at 3:06 PM, kurtvd19 said:

Use acrylics and there is no need to exhaust to the outside.  In addition to the air filter materials at the back of the booth I add a nylon sock over the exhaust tube and it catches any particals that make it past the filters.  No odors to worry about either.

Kurt

 

Do you know if acrylics run through a badger 100 extra fine photo dye brush? if so may work for my current equipment also it looks like nitrogen bottle is not needed, just the little compressor which will save some cost. 

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6 minutes ago, Landlubber Mike said:

I posted this same question about six months ago and Kurt and others gave me a lot of good things to think about.  For what it's worth, for the airbrush I went with an Iwata Eclipse and an Iwata compressor.  I also bought a spray both off of Amazon.

 

I've really enjoyed using Vallejo's air paints.  I've used them straight from the bottle but will start adding a bit of flow improver because I tend to get dry tips (doesn't help airbrushing in the winter when the air is drier).  I've used Tamiya acrylics and they are really nice too.  Tamiya lacquers stink to high hell though, so venting is a good idea.  

 

For me, even when spraying acrylics I turn the vent on the booth so that the particles are pulled away from me.  You can see a slight fog when airbrushing, so I feel it's better to pull them away from my lungs (and surrounding area) and into the filter pad.

The Vallejo's air paints how thin are they? need fine material to run though the Badger 100 extra fine brush.

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I'm probably not the person to ask given that I've only used the airbrush I have now and can't really compare it to anything else aside from Tamiya acrylics.  They seem pretty thin to me though, certainly thinner than Tamiya if that helps.  They are designed to be used directly out of the bottle for airbrushing.

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I have used the Vallejo Model Air and the Schmincke AeroColor series of paints and some others without any problems in my retouching airbrush with a 0,2 mm nozzle (I believe, as I don't remember exactly, having had it now for close to 40 years). I normally use them straight from the bottle.

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1 hour ago, Borden said:

Do you know if acrylics run through a badger 100 extra fine photo dye brush? if so may work for my current equipment also it looks like nitrogen bottle is not needed, just the little compressor which will save some cost. 

Not having used that brush I can't say for 100% certainty, but I routinely spray the Badger acrylics through my Sotar 20/20 and a couple of the Extreme brushes w/o any problems.  The extra fine needle may require a bit of thinning for the Badger paints.  I never thin them for my use but Badger paints are as finely ground as the old Floquil paints so I wouldn't expect any problem if thinned.  I would try w/o thinning first.

Kurt

 

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2 hours ago, Borden said:

Will you use oil based paint in your brushe? or Water based paints as they may have less fumes?

I prefer to use water based paints since I do not like the fumes that oil based paints give off. I have been using Vallejo, water-based, acrylic paints and brushing them with generally very good results by applying many thin coats. I have even brushed on the Vallejo Model Air acrylic paints even though they are marketed for use in airbrushes. Applying them by brush worked just fine for me. They are simply a lot thinner out of the bottle than their regular Model Color acrylic paints which I thin quite a bit with water before brushing with them. 

 

I am totally new to using an airbrush but I will lean heavily towards using water-based paints as much as possible as I learn to use and airbrush.

 

Bob

 

 

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2 hours ago, Landlubber Mike said:

 

For me, even when spraying acrylics I turn the vent on the booth so that the particles are pulled away from me

Mike, what spray booth did you end up getting and how do you like it? 

 

Bob

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Not very cost effective, but these paints that are pre-thinned for airbrushing also make very good washes, particularly also because their pigment is finely ground.

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4 hours ago, BobG said:

Mike, what spray booth did you end up getting and how do you like it? 

 

Bob

I got this one - seems to work very nicely.  I have some larger kits that won't fit in there, but it works great for models on the smaller side.

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MGGYH2W/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

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Ill weigh-in as someone who uses airbrush techniques in my work all the time.   During a recent studio renovation we had our university Environmental Health and Safety come do a instrument based analysis of our use of hobby-grade airbrush using solvent based, water based and lacquer based materials.    We DO NOT use a spray booth.   Our EH&S people found that the level of airborne particulates and fume exposure were below the minimum threshold to require any more PPE (personal protective equipment) than Goggles and an N-95 rated respirator (with a good seal; i.e no beard).    This was important as anything more than that would have required a higher degree of PPE and thus medical clearance to wear.    To be clear they tested us during a typical use scenario of up to 30 minutes of continual spraying in a confined space (approximately 14 x 20' room) using hobby-grade equipment.   

 

Most of the advice here meets the recommendation that you have good airflow (at least a fan) and lung protection (essential).   The spray both really only protects your working areas from over-spray.   For you bearded guys...  the straight forward opinion we received was that your beard basically ruins the effectiveness of the N-95 mask, and you should consider something more substantial.  

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Another airbrush newbe question. In general (whatever that means) how long does it take the paint to dry before adding another coat? For example if I'm painting a large surface like a hull and using light coats (again, whatever that means) how long should I wait before recoating...Moab

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49 minutes ago, Moab said:

Another airbrush newbe question. In general (whatever that means) how long does it take the paint to dry before adding another coat? For example if I'm painting a large surface like a hull and using light coats (again, whatever that means) how long should I wait before recoating...Moab

You can keep adding coats without worrying whether it's dried or not until just before it starts to sag on the vertical surfaces.

 

Sorry, I couldn't resist pulling your leg a bit there. :D 

 

It's generally a true statement, but, of course, how does one know when "just before it starts to sag" is before it's too late? The answer is "practice."

 

Airbrush paint and ink drying time will usually be very fast. (Sometimes even too fast, with the fluid drying in mid-air. You don't want that.) Painting models, one doesn't want to put down any more paint than necessary so the detail isn't obliterated by getting filled with paint. Good, even color coverage is all you need. Take the time to play with your airbrush. First, use it with water alone to get the feel of the controls and spray it on a piece of paper. This will get you familiar with spray characteristics and nozzle settings and why the patterns look like. This will also give you a feel for how fast the material is being sprayed onto the paper. Once you've got that down, do the same using some paint. You can experiment and see how the paint covers and how much you need.

 

One hint is to keep the airbrush moving. Start your "stroke" and then start the fluid spraying. Let up on the spray and follow through with your stroke at the end. Move the airbrush parallel to the surface you want to paint. Don't spray in an arc such that the distance of the nozzle from the surface being sprayed varies. Move in straight lines across, never in an arc. Applying the fluid evenly is important to avoid unnecessary paint build up and possible runs. Practice makes perfect.

 

Always test spray on a piece of scrap card or paper before spraying anything "for keeps." This ensures you know that your paint mix is the right thickness and your nozzle is adjusted correctly. You don't want to start spraying a perfectly prepped hull without testing the airbrush operation first, only to discover that your nozzle is spitting and sputtering little globs of paint all over your surface! Test every time you refill the airbrush cup! Always.

 

YouTube is probably your friend here. I'm sure there are plenty of "how to airbrush" videos on there.

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On 2/25/2020 at 11:49 AM, kurtvd19 said:

Not having used that brush I can't say for 100% certainty, but I routinely spray the Badger acrylics through my Sotar 20/20 and a couple of the Extreme brushes w/o any problems.  The extra fine needle may require a bit of thinning for the Badger paints.  I never thin them for my use but Badger paints are as finely ground as the old Floquil paints so I wouldn't expect any problem if thinned.  I would try w/o thinning first.

Kurt

 

Want to thankyou for your help

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