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Decanting Paint to use in an Airbrush

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1Decanting Paint to use in an Airbrush Empty Decanting Paint to use in an Airbrush on Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:36 am


i will start this one as simple as i can....


ok now that being said, i cant stand the cost of paint. for what it is, the prices can add up very quickly for a multi color finish or even the basic stock one color job.

the average car modeler buys the 3oz cans of both primer and paint
the going prices of these equate to a single paint job running between 12 and 18 dollars depending on where you buy and the brand you buy.

with the unregulated air pressure and oversized spray nozzles you can expect to get 2 cars worth of primer from a 30z can and 1 5 coat finish ( 2 mist coats and 3 wet) from the color

i dont think that is good enough or cost effective, so i decant everything into different bottles and shoot them through my airbrush.

with that same amount of paint in the cans, i can get 6 cars worth of primer and enough paint to cover 3 cars. all this because the airbrush allows you to control paint flow and air pressure so there is less wasted product and you are laying down thinner coats of paint.

i always get the same questions any time i try to explain this to anyone.

arent you afraid the can will explode?
doesnt it make a mess?
why should i bother when i can just use the can?

no i am not afraid the can will explode because i make sure that cant happen, no it doesnt make a mess when done properly, unless you have more money than sense there is no reason not to decant your paints, it makes the same amount of product go roughly 3 times further, many times with better results.

first i grab a can of primer for this demonstration
i bought this one for 6.99 plus tax from autozone. its a 12 oz can but the process is the same for the 3oz hobby size.

if you think of how a can of spraypaint is manufactured, it is easy to understand why this works.

Decanting Paint to use in an Airbrush Aerosol_can_22

as you can see, the dip tube extends to the bottom of the can and the propellant settles at the top.

when you invert the can...

Decanting Paint to use in an Airbrush IMG_1136

the propellant is exposed to the dip tube and can be expelled without losing any of the paint.

keeping the can inverted, depress the nozzle until all the propellant is expelled.
dont be fooled here, the propellant is a gas and it saturates the paint. once it stops spraying because of no pressure, stop depressing the nozzle, shake the can for 10 seconds, flip the can again and depress the nozzle again. you will be surprised at how much additional pressure builds up in that time. repeat this step 3 or 4 times until it no longer builds pressure.

the propellant is now expelled and it is safe to "open" the can.

i use a nail for this next step because i am kinda neanderthalish lol

it is easiest to use the seam of the can as a target here, as you can puncture the can both top and bottom on the same side of the can.

Decanting Paint to use in an Airbrush IMG_1137
the hole near the bottom of the can is where the paint will stream out of when we are done

Decanting Paint to use in an Airbrush IMG_1138
the hole at the top is to allow air into the can which lets the paint flow out in a stream rather than gurgling.

once you have your 2 holes, it is a simple matter of finding an acceptable container to store your paint in.

i am partial to these

Decanting Paint to use in an Airbrush 8_oz_squeeze_bottle_clear_6_pack

you can find them either on the internet or even restaurant supply stores. most come with a plastic clip on cap so you dont have to worry about your paint evaporating and the squeeze bottle design is ideal for filling paint cups on air brushes with no waste.

now all thats left is to use a small clean funnel (i have one i use for this purpose alone ) and pour your paint from the can into the bottle.
clean out your funnel as soon as you are done so it is ready for your next one.

thats all there is to it, you now have a squeeze bottle of your paint you can fill your airbrush with and saved yourself some money in the process.

even with the cost of the squeeze bottles ( currently under 3 dollars for a 6pack) you have more than doubled the usefulness of your paint without wasting any product.

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