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Air brushing

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Massey farmer

06-07-2013 16:43:08

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Hey guys, I picked up a airbrush and compressor to play with and try to learn how to do it. I want to start by airbrushing the name of my pulling tractor on the side of it instead of doing the same vinyal lettering like everyone else. Being new to a airbrush I'm not sure where to start. Should I mix the paint with thinner like when I'm using a big gun? Should I even use regular paint or is there a special airbrush paint? I'm up for any advice no matter how basic it seems. I've done quite a bit of painting of cars and tractors so I'm not a beginner just new to airbrushing. I will practice on scrap panels before I dive into the tractor but even if its not perfect that's half the fun.

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Stephen Newell

06-08-2013 05:28:49

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 Re: Air brushing in reply to Massey farmer, 06-07-2013 16:43:08  
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Like any sprayer you will have to feel out the paint mixture. I would expect you would have to thin the paint more to use in the airbrush since it atomizes it finer. I would use the same automotive paint. If you start switching paint you might use one that wouldn't bond and your lettering would come off. I would suggest you practice on a trash can or something before you consider lettering on the tractor. Unless you have a lot of experience with the airbrush and have an artistic talent I don't think you would have much luck with the lettering. If it were me I would make stencils for the lettering. I made the lettering for this tractor printing it on my computer with just standard computer paper. I then cut the letters out with an exacto knife. Then I used a light coat of spray adhesive to stick it to the tractor.

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dr sportster

06-08-2013 12:16:31

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 Re: Air brushing in reply to Stephen Newell, 06-08-2013 05:28:49  
Thinkin'a bit outside the box as your method is not in any sign books but what a professional result you acheived. Thats what I'm talkin' about. You didn't even have to purchase tranfer paper [sticky backed for setting vinyl] or Saral tranfer paper. Massey do what Steven did -- look at the result. Reduce paint slightly and you can even airbrush these letters right in. Probably wipe glue off with mineral spirits after paint dries. Cutting stencil on cardboard or whatever keeps from scoring paint surface and airbrush can be sprayed wide open without artsy finesse touch. Genius Steven. [Use 1-Shot enamel and reduce with mineral spirits]. I mean look at the job he did. Any overspray wipe before paint dries .
Looks hand lettered when done because it is not a vinyl decal and won't fade like vinyl.
Just ask Steven what spray glue he used [If he did not say already].

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Massey farmer

06-08-2013 06:15:47

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 Re: Air brushing in reply to Stephen Newell, 06-08-2013 05:28:49  
Great advice, exactly what I'm looking for. Great job on the tractor. I like how you made your stencil, I was trying to figure out where or if I could get a roll of some kind of adhesive backed paper to make a stencil? Thanks for taking time to reply and post a picture.

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Stephen Newell

06-09-2013 05:56:47

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 Re: Air brushing in reply to Massey farmer, 06-08-2013 06:15:47  
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I had mistakenly purchased the wrong decals for the tractor and when I got them I didn't like them anyway. I didn't like the clear background it had around the letters and I expected it would turn cloudy. I then decided to stencil instead of replacing the decals. I used Photoshop on my computer to make the stencil. I went into the software and selected the closest font I could find to the vinyl decals and since I had vinyl decals could get the measurements. I used the magneto font to make Dual-Range in 150pt. and Shuttle in 100pt. To make the 210, I drew that by hand and scanned into the computer. I then printed the lettering some on two sheets of paper in landscape format because of the length of the lettering and pasted them together. Then the black print was cut out of the sheets of paper with an exacto knife leaving a stencil. I used a light coat of 3M spray adhesive bought at Wal-Mart to adhere the stencil to the tractor. Then I covered the rest of the hood with newspaper to keep from getting overspray on the rest of the hood. I believe I put 4 or 5 very light coats of paint on the letters. I knew if I flooded a wet coat of paint on the letters it would run under the stencil so I sprayed it wet enough to adhere but didn't concern myself with coverage. After letting it dry overnight I pealed the stencil off and it left a little residue of the spray adhesive of the desert sunset paint but I kept the tractor inside of a building out of the sun for a few more days before I washed the adhesive off with mineral spirits.

I think for me it worked better using computer paper to make the stencil. If it was an adhesive backed paper it would have to have a peal off backing in order to put it through the printer and cut the stencils. Then the lettering was so fragil I don't think I would have been able to peal the backing off without tearing the stencil.

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dr sportster

06-09-2013 09:31:23

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 Re: Air brushing in reply to Stephen Newell, 06-09-2013 05:56:47  
Yes I have some adhesive backed transfer paper I could send to Massey ,but it really can't be easily cut on one surface then placed on another without tearing edges and losng centers on As and Os etc. If Massey does exactly what you did it looks completly professional . Great idea.

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Stephen Newell

06-09-2013 14:22:50

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 Re: Air brushing in reply to dr sportster, 06-09-2013 09:31:23  
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I couldn't make the stencil on paper either without the centers. What I did is make a narrow bridge between the centers and after I got it on the tractor I used a exacto knife and carefully cut the bridges out without cutting too far into the paint. The cut was on a transition so the black filled the knife cuts anyway.

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dr sportster

06-10-2013 09:41:50

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 Re: Air brushing in reply to Stephen Newell, 06-09-2013 14:22:50  
Nice exacto work !

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dr sportster

06-08-2013 12:04:07

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 Re: Air brushing in reply to Massey farmer, 06-08-2013 06:15:47  
Check out a site called Coast airbrush also art store and sign supplies carry a type transfer paper called Saral. This replaces the old pounce bag with powder by [think of graph paper] Comes in various colors . White tractor use red or graphite color then take lettering from one of the many font sites on web .supersize in copier .Then place transfer paper under it and trace letters with pencil now it is a coloring book. But not for airbrush but small lettering brush like a Mack"the virus". Take 1-Shot paint and fill in letters .Use scotch tape to block off square edges and pull while paint is wet so the edge "rolls over". Most art stores carry Saral.

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dr sportster

06-07-2013 20:43:07

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 Re: Air brushing in reply to Massey farmer, 06-07-2013 16:43:08  
Honestly your best bet is to have a sign shop make your vinyl stencil then using transfer paper place it on the surface and airbrush in the paint. Most airbrushers use Createx which has both water and solvent lines. Without practicing brush strokes for a time this is the easiest way. Also what type fonts would you use . You can airbrush a script [takes practice ] but your not going to airbrush a block letter or many other font styles. Vinyl is fine when used as a mask. Many people spray in masks the brush outline each letter ,but again some practice will be required. Best bet it to try some practice lettering on a panel. You can reduce 1-Shot lettering enamel but the overspray is sticky and messy. Without alot of brush stroke practice when you use a mask you can just spray wide open. If you plan on finesse you need a mac valve on the airbrush etc.Most of the water base airbrush paint gets cleared over with uro clear and hardener. Try it with no mask and you will see what I mean. You can also cut out a mask with just the transfer paper but you will score the inner paint with the exacto if not careful. Practice first and you may see what I'm talking about.

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Massey farmer

06-08-2013 03:31:10

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 Re: Air brushing in reply to dr sportster, 06-07-2013 20:43:07  
Thanks a lot for the info and taking time to reply!

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