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What does Custom Airbrushing involve?

What actually happens?

Airbrush work includes the following:

  • Preparation of the surface: Sanding it smooth and doing any body-work. Minor chip and scratch repair. Artwork will not hide a bad surface. In fact, it actually makes all the chips and scratches stand out more so this step is very important!
  • Priming: Using an appropriate primer for the surface. This seals the surface and provides a good base to airbrush on. If the surface is sound, i.e. a good previous paint job, this step can be skipped
  • The Actual Airbrush Work: Using top quality airbrush paint. The surface is scuffed with sandpaper first to make the paint stick.
  • Clear-Coating: Using an appropriate clear-coat. This protects the artwork and makes it last a long time. It also adds a high gloss glassy finish to the work. I mostly use a 1k Automotive grade acrylic-lacquer. Though slightly less robust than a modern clear-coat, this lacquer produces the crystal clear liquid finish that you see on show-cars.
  • Sand and Polish: For a perfect finish!
  • Some or all of these steps may be necessary depending on:

  • The condition of the surface
  • Whether you would like any existing imperfections fixed
  • The type of surface e.g plastic, metal, wood etc...
  • Whether you would prefer to get the bodywork/clear coating done somewhere else!
  • Some of these steps can be ommitted depending on the condition of the surface, previous paint jobs and whether you have a friend involved in collision repair to do the bodywork and clearcoating for you!

    How long will it take?

    This of course is variable depending on the extent of work. As a rough guide for a motorcycle:

  • Preparation: 1/2 - 1 day.
  • Priming: 1/2 day.
  • Airbrush Art: Needs 2 days min after priming before airbrush work can start. Actual art can take between 3 days and 3 weeks depending on complexity.
  • Clear-Coating: Needs 2 days min between airbrushing and clear-coating. Clear-coating takes around 1/2 day.
  • Sanding and Polishing: 1-2 days.
  • Of course, a car will take a lot longer, a guitar will take a lot less time. It is a good idea to allow at least a week (to allow for the waiting times between stages) plus the time for the prep and artwork. The smaller the project and better condition the surface is in, the less time it will take!

    Please contact me to discuss your airbrushing needs!

    What will it cost?

    All prices are reflective of the work/materials involved.

    For example, all of the above on a full motorbike (tank, farings and mudguards):

  • Materials: Around $200. This includes Primer, Bodyfiller, Airbrush paint and Clearcoat
  • Preparation: Around $100-$200 depending on the extent of bodywork required
  • Priming: Around $150
  • Airbrush Artwork: From $500 to $2000 depending on the complexity of the artwork
  • Clear-Coating: (including a final-sand before polishing): Around $150
  • Final Polish: (this takes around 10 hours and you are more than welcome to do this bit yourself!): $150
  • These prices are only indicative. The cost for your project may be alot more or alot less!

    Please contact me for a FREE quote!

    Is this going to: take too long, cost too much or be too involved? Check out our car-tattoos! (not just for cars)