Airbrushes are small spray guns which mix together paint into a feed of continual air supplied by an airbrush compressor. Much like a fountain pen, the tip of the airbrush mixes paint stored in a reservoir within the tip of the airbrush, the amount or depth of paint you want to come out of the nib of the airbrush is defined by a regulator valve found either on the airbrush or the compressor control box.
Airbrushes allow great freedom when painting car body work and colour matching the paint effect of the original manufacturers paint. As colour matching is so important when painting damaged and restored care body work, the effect of age can be applied with the use of an iwata airbrush (similar airbrush makers exist) as these airbrushes alllow for a greater freedom and control of the paint flow output and as such the depth of colour which can be achieved with an airbrush.
As always, surface preparation is key to the success of (read my big blogs posts about using abrasives safely), the surface you are about to paint needs to be clean and free from dust and grit or imperfections, once you start applying the layers of paint, any imperfections will be highlighted in the contours of the finished paint and stand out to the trained eye by miles. Be sure you prepare your cars body panel for paint, if possible a small spray booth might be appropriate, these portable painting booths are ideal for those who are restoring cars on location, combination with dust free sanding and abrasives, these small spray booths are cheap and easy to compact and allow the freedom and cleanliness required to paint car body panel in the professional manner with your airbrush. Some spray booths can also be charge with positive electrons to allow your paint to adhere to the surface in the best manner, again allowing for better and neater finishes on car body panels.
Building up the layers on your body panels is key to the success and finish of the paint. Start off with a low paint but fast air setting on your airbrush and allow the spray gun to glide smoothly from side to side when painting, over shoot your panel and be sure to come around the and over the edges and sides of the panel, you could even give some protection to the back of the panel by over spraying any excess or test paint on the reverse, its a good way to build up a blend of colour match. Another technique used by some car spray shops includes blending the paint into your original paintwork, over spraying onto the original manufacturers paint and blending this colour into the newly, freshly painted area, this is a technique I try to avoid, as the less paint we need to apply to the canvas, whatever that maybe, a car, a bike, a desk, a canvas, a wall, what ever medium you and your airbrush would like to portray on, some even use airbrushes for painting finger and toes, intricate designs can be achieved with the fine tip of a airbrush, with the the sales of airbrush kits ever increasing and the cost of high quality paint and airbrushes coming down with the advent of modern manufacturing processes, airbrushes and the art they produce are finding their way into all kinds of markets and businesses.