PSI question

Hemi Killer
04-16-2012, 12:05 AM
I recently got a pressure regulator for my Badger compressor, specifically for the Alclad paints. I have had issues in the past with too much pressure, what PSI do you guys typically work with for thinned acrylic and stuff for painting normal parts?

04-16-2012, 05:18 AM
Plenty of views, and no response :confused: :headshake so I'll try and answer your question Hemi...

If you have the paint thinned properly, then I would suggest spraying at about 20 - 30psi. depending on the airbrush, and size of needle.

What type of compressor have you got, as that has an effect on pressure available, and consistant supply?

I have a few airbrush's, and when spraying let's say Tamiya acrylics, I will use the above pressure, unless I am after different effects.

If you want a textured finish, use a lower pressure, and spray a bit further away from the part you're painting.

Don't have the pressure too high or else the paint will tend to dry before it gets to the part, and also clog the end of the needle/tip on your airbrush, so you'll be constantly cleaning the tip.

As with all painting, practice until you get a feel for the type of paints you are favouring, and you'll soon get to a ratio that suits your needs.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.


Hemi Killer
04-16-2012, 09:48 AM
it is a Badger diaphragm compressor. Pretty small. It has no on/off switch, it turns on as soon as its plugged in. It was a budget compressor.

one of the issues I was having was the Tamiya acrylic was getting blasted on to the parts and washing out, like I had too much thinner. I was doing about 25% thinner to the acrylic, which I have seen many people use way more than that.

I have had an airbrush for a while but never really had the chance to understand how to use it properly.

thank you for your help. I will compare the settings you gave me with the un-regulated pressure from before. it always felt like it was a bit too much.

I have just stripped my R390 GT1 body after a paint mishap, I want to get it right this time.

04-16-2012, 10:09 AM
Sounds like you had a bit too much thinner, and a slightly high pressure judging by your comment about the paint Hemi.

If you have an old car shell practice on that until you find what ratio works best for you.

I very rarely use any modelling paint, as I tend to use automotive stuff, and have been for years.

Good luck. :smile:


04-16-2012, 10:35 AM
As a rule, I always spray at the lowest pressure that will reliably work at the moment. For water based acrylic hobby paints on my setup that is usually 20-22 psi or less, and for automotive lacquers that is often 15 psi or less. But it is not something I place at one setting and then leave. A bit of practice will tell you when you need a touch more pressure from your regulator, or when you can get by with a bit less.

Spraying at the lowest practical pressure is one of the most important factors in avoiding orange peel- which is in large part caused by paint partially drying in the spray stream as you apply it.

Spraying with a gravity feed (instead of a siphon feed) airbrush will allow you to spray at lower pressure. Spraying with more thinner in your mixture will allow you to spray at lower pressure. And keeping the airbrush close to the object you're painting will also allow a lower pressure.

If your pressure is too low or your paint is too thin, you will usually have the same problem- the paint will puddle as you spray. If this happens, reduce your thinner and/or increase your spray pressure a touch- and then see if the change is enough. Adjust as necessary.

04-16-2012, 01:51 PM
Thin the paint down enough to where you can shoot it through your airbrush at 12-15 PSI.:2cents:

04-16-2012, 04:44 PM
guys are right, practice a bit, there is no universal solution. One more imortant thing is distance between airbrush and surface, if you use high pressure (I use it for satin, semi gloss and matt paints) you should go more away from the surface (app 15cm) at psi of arround 30, but to get real close you need very low pressure (20 or lower). I thin my tamy acrylics 50/50 and have no problem at all, on both high and low pressure, again, thin ratio depends on paint, but I like when the paint is very thin and I do more coats.

Hemi Killer
04-16-2012, 08:50 PM
that helps a lot guys, thank you very much. Like I said I just got the pressure regulator, then had to stop modelling for several months. It was definitely more than 20 PSI, possibly above 30 with out the regulator. I have a couple of bodies I can use.

Thanks again.

04-17-2012, 07:36 AM
30? wow.. i think it's too much!!. .lower that pressure for 15 max and try not to apply to many coats.. specially if you're trying to reach some chrome..

Hemi Killer
04-17-2012, 09:49 AM
30? wow.. i think it's too much!!. .lower that pressure for 15 max and try not to apply to many coats.. specially if you're trying to reach some chrome..

I had it at 12 for the Alclad. Before I was not able to get the Alclad just right. ow it's perfect, but soon after i had to put my modelling stuff away. Soon, within the next week, I should have a chance to spend some time with the air brush.

thank you everyone for the help

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