When you begin an airbrush art project, you will first need to prep the surface. The prep work that you do will be determined by what type of surface you will be airbrushing. The prep work to the surface will ensure that the paint sticks to the surface and that nothing is interfering with the airbrushed design.
For airbrushing t-shirts, sweatshirts, denim and other natural fibers you first need to wash the material. By washing the material you will remove any loose fibers. Also washing the material will take care of any shrinking prior to placing your airbrush art design on to the material. So make sure that you have washed and fully dried your material before you begin.
Leather needs to be wiped down with rubbing alcohol prior to doing any airbrushing. This will remove the oil that is on the leather. The oil will prevent the paint from sticking to the surface. Make sure that all the leather has been wiped down and that the alcohol has dried before beginning. When you begin you need to place a base coat of Opaque White first before you begin your actual airbrush design.
Wood surfaces should be sanded prior to doing any airbrush art. Take the time to use sand paper and lightly sand the wood down by hand. If you are doing a mural on a wood floor then use a hand floor sander. You don’t want to mar the wood only remove any rough areas. If the wood has been waxed or has a gloss coat then sanding this will remove this and allow for the paint to stick to the surface.
Skin should be cleaned with rubbing alcohol to remove any oils from the skin. The skin’s own natural oils will prevent the airbrush paint from successfully sticking to the skin. This will cause the airbrush art tattoo to come off to soon. The use of talc powder after the design has dried will help to keep oil from building back up and thus still ruining the airbrushed tattoo.
Nails should be clean and buffed prior to beginning. Buffing the nails will give for a rougher surface for the paint to cling onto. Prior to actually airbrushing the nails, a base coat should be applied. There are actually two reasons for the base coat. This base coat will help protect the nail from the paint and help the paint to adhere to the nail better.
Metal should be wet sanded to give a rough grainy effect. This rough grainy effect will help the paint to adhere to the metal. With metal actually being smooth the paint will have a hard time sticking to the smooth surface. This is why it is important to wet sand the metal first. A base coat should be applied to the metal before any airbrush art design is started.
Take your time and make sure that the surface you are working on is prepared thoroughly so that the paint will stick. You don’t want to get to work on a great airbrush design only to realize that the paint is either not sticking or looks messed up.