Airbrush Replacement Parts Buying Guide

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Airbrush Replacement Parts Buying GuideFor centuries, diligent artists hand painted all of their masterpieces. Around the turn of the 20th century, inventors in at least three different countries developed a device that gave artists more hand control over their work. It was not until after the mass introduction of electricity into homes and businesses that artists, and then homeowners, were able to utilise electrically-powered air compressors to provide the right amount of air to their paint. Airbrushes are now used by both painting novices and experts, as well as home improvement professionals who need to provide a coat of paint over a wide area. Even with technological advances, airbrush parts eventually break down and require users to find replacement parts.

Most art shops and virtually every big box home improvement retailer offers some type of airbrush, whether it is for expressing an artist vision on canvas or adorning the side of a garage. However, consumers can find mint condition airbrushes at discounted prices online by shopping on eBay. The leading auction portal provides tools that ensure airbrush replacement part sellers and buyers can consummate transactions. Before shopping for airbrush replacement parts, review the most important airbrush parts and learn how to get great deals online at eBay.

Airbrush Overview

Airbrushes typically blend paint and air to form a fine mist that sprays onto a surface. The surface can be canvas, concrete, or the exterior of an automobile. The most common application for an airbrush is for artistic painting. While airbrushes are available in numerous shapes and sizes, most manufacturers construct airbrushes as cylindrical tubes that possess an attachment for a hose connection. Airbrushes utilise different air sources, depending on the scope of the project. The nozzles secure the most important component of an airbrush, which is the needle. Because of its brittle characteristic, painters replace needles more than any other type of airbrush accessory.

Consumers can purchase single-action or double-action airbrushes. As the most common type of airbrush, single-action delivers the air and paint mixture at a steady rate preset by the user. Single-action airbrushes are for novices who have not acquired precision painting skills. Double-action airbrushes allow painters to vary the paint and air mixture, which gives them more control over producing detailed art. Users can both mix the air and paint in the tip to produce a finer mist, or externally mix paint and air after the air leaves the airbrush.

Hose

The hose is the least monitored part of an airbrush, yet any type of hose malfunction can render an airbrush useless. Even small cracks undetected by the naked eye can force enough air out of the hose to dramatically change the composition of the paint mixture. The loss of air through a cracked hose causes paint to thicken, which can clog the nozzle and needle. When purchasing a replacement hose, ensure the hose fits the brand of airbrush. Popular brands such as Badger, Rotring, and Iwata construct hoses to only fit their models. The smaller end of the hose screws into the airbrush and the larger end attaches to the air source. Make sure any hose under consideration is constructed with vulcanised rubber, which is a treated waterproof rubber that is both elastic and highly durable.

Holder

One of the biggest mistakes made by novice airbrushers is setting an airbrush on a table or another type of flat surface without securing it. Airbrushes roll if not set in the correct position, and the rolling can lead to the airbrush falling off of the flat surface and sustaining damage from the fall. An airbrush holder is a must for any painter, as it represents an inexpensive way to insure an airbrush. Manufacturers construct airbrush holders with heat-resistant plastic.

Needle

Airbrush manufacturers produce needles with corrosion-resistant metals. The most common metals utilised are steel and aluminium, or some combination of each type of metal. Even though airbrush needles are constructed with the toughest metals, their thin sizes create continuous potential for damage. The damage can be in the form of small nicks and scratches, but the worst damage occurs when a needle bends. A bent airbrush needle restricts paint mixture flow. While users can implement methods for straightening out a needle, most professional airbrushers recommend buying a new needle.

Buying an airbrush needle primarily hinges on size. Manufacturers classify airbrush needles in fractions of millimetres. The needle is where atomisation occurs, the process of mixing air and paint at an exact point. Painters accomplish fine line painting with smaller needles, typically in freehand form. Painters who need to disperse paint over a large canvas, such as the side of a home, prefer to use larger needles. A good rule of thumb to follow is the smaller the airbrush needle diameter, the more susceptible the needle is to damage.

Feed

Airbrushes have two options in the way they feed paint from a storage vessel to the nozzle. Gravity feed involves an unattachable cup that manufacturers place on the top of the airbrush body to apply small bursts of paint within a short period. Since this cup is unattachable, painters never have to worry about replacing the part. However, with a siphon feed, the detachable cup attaches underneath the airbrush body and air suction extracts paint from the cup to the nozzle. This type of cup is preferred by painters who work for lengthy periods. The most common problem that leads users to replace the cup is the formation of small cracks near where the cup attaches to the airbrush.

Compressors

While not directly connected to an airbrush, the air compressor is the fuel that powers the painter's artistic vision. Airbrushers need to consider a number of factors before making a compressor purchasing decision. The factors include noise level, an impure air supply, and compressor power. Airbrushing professionals recommend between 25 and 70 lbs. per square centimetre compressors for artist airbrush models. Spray guns require a three to five horse powered air compressor. The following chart depicts the four most common air compressors found in painter studios. Some of the compressors also work well on larger jobs.

Compressor

Description

CO2 tank

Recommended for user working on a limited budget

Supplies steady air between 20 and 30 hours

Works best on smaller scale projects

Piston driven

Considered a commercial compressor

Use with pressure regulator and moisture trap

Use on home improvement projects

Silent

Higher-end compressor

Flexible enough to use on virtually every type of airbrush project

Oil lubricated to eliminate friction and noise

Diaphragm

Manufactured for novices

Use on smaller scale projects that do not require much paint pressure

Airbrushers across the board should ensure any compressor chosen comes with a pressure tank that eliminates wild pressure fluctuations. There is nothing more frustrating for a painter than to have a slow, steady stream of paint suddenly explode onto the canvas. Moreover, ensure the volume of air produced (CFM) for the rated pressure (PSI) of the airbrush does not overload the compressor. Professional airbrushers work under the rule that a compressor should produce at least twice the volume air requirement of the airbrush.

Buying Airbrush Replacement Parts

The hose is just one example of how one manufacturer may produce an airbrush replacement part that is not compatible with another manufacturer's airbrushes. There are over a dozen airbrush producers and each model possesses unique characteristics. Some of the best-selling manufacturers offer at least 40 airbrush models. The dizzying array of airbrush replacement part manufacturers means consumers must do their homework before they shop for replacement parts. Airbrush Action and The Airbrush Magazine are two popular trade magazines that publish frequent buyer guides and allow subscribers to post product reviews. eBay also publishes extensive information that pertains to buying airbrush replacement parts. Art catalogues allow painters to compare airbrush part prices and discern which manufactured parts are compatible with which manufacturer airbrush models. In addition, art teachers, home improvement professionals, and professional peers can offer sage advice on buying airbrush replacement parts.

How to Buy Airbrush Replacement Parts on eBay

eBay oversees a unique programme that rewards the most highly rated sellers on the site. The top-rated sellers have established reputations for selling high-quality products at reasonable prices. In fact, many of eBay's Top-Rated Sellers bundle products at prices lower than if you purchased the products separately. For instance, you may find an eBay seller who bundles an airbrush needle with airbrush paint. Look for the electronic ribbon that eBay places next to each qualified top-rated seller's product photograph. Once you find the right top-rated seller, ask the seller if he or she operates an eBay Store where you can buy airbrush replacement parts directly.

Another way to find the right seller is to utilise eBay's search engine. As with other search engines, the key to successfully using eBay's search engine is to type in specific keywords that target certain sellers. Since airbrushes are brand-driven products, it makes sense to search for replacement parts by brand, such as Badger and Aztek. Remember that an Aztek hose probably does not fit in the nozzle of a Badger airbrush. Once you shop by brand, review the information located on the seller's product page that includes an enlarged photograph, accepted payment terms, and customer feedback.

Conclusion

The advancement in airbrush construction has not only led to higher-quality models, but also models that are more affordable to first-time users. Despite their low ticket prices, painters and home improvement professionals should seek to replace parts, instead of buying a new airbrush when a part in an older model breaks. Most art shops and painting supply outlets sell both complete airbrush kits and individual replacement parts. The key for consumers is knowing the type of important airbrush parts and how to shop for them.

All of the major airbrush manufacturers construct replacement parts for every one of their models. However, few manufacturers create replacement parts that are compatible with airbrush parts produced by other manufacturers. This means painters and home improvement professionals must shop first by brand, with the condition of the replacement part coming in a close second in terms of priority. It does not matter if an exterior home painter finds a high-quality Badger needle, if the needle is not compatible with an Aztek airbrush. One commonality among airbrush manufacturers is that most important airbrush parts include the hose, holder, needle, feed, and compressor.

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