Hello All,

 I am thinking of getting an air brush to try my hand at sunburst finishes. I am seeing prices all over the map from super cheap to over $200.00! (that's a lot to me) I was wondering what features I might look for and any tips on price range etc. Thank you.

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Get the best one you can afford. My theory is that the most expensive tool in your kit is a cheap one. That said, I did the finish on this box with rattle can lacquer  from Ace Hardware and really like how it came out. All of my builds are experiments and so far I've been lucky with the results.

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That came out pretty nice Tom! I've done a few rattle can sunbursts on a couple of boxes and they came out good but not so great when I tried the backside of a neck. I'm thinking that on such a narrow space an air brush might be better.

That's why I just did the back of the neck black. :)>

Here's a trick that makes rattle-can finishes closer to airbrush quality: warm up the can in a pan of warm water before you use it. You just want it to feel warm to the touch, not hot. This gets the propellent more excited, which raises its pressure, which gives a finer paint mist and more even delivery.

(Also useful if you're painting in the garage on a winter day.)

And warming the can up not only makes the spray finer, but helps keep it from clogging and spitting globs of paint on your work.

I had both a Paasche and a Badger. I liked the Paasche better for finishes, because it had a larger spray pattern. In my experience, I constantly had to clean and otherwise debug the airbrush because of clogs or uneven spray patterns. The source of air can also affect the pattern. I had a compressor which would turn off and on as required, which would affect the paint flow. A air tank would give you a more even source of air.

If you like to mix your own colors, a Preval sprayer will be similar to spray cans. I've seen advice to switch Preval spray heads as they get cold, similar to the soaking the spray can in the warm water trick.

I hope everyone is taking the proper safety precautions when they are working with spray finishes and volatile organic compounds in general, such as wearing a charcoal filter mask. spraying outdoors, and using gloves when you mix paints and stains.

Warming the can up seems a little too risky (to me)

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