Homemade Airbrush (super Precise)




This Instructable will explain, in detail, how to make an airbrush out of parts that can be easily purchased at your local hardware store, or found around the house.  With this airbrush, you will have full and complete control over the paint flow, the airflow, and the shape of the exiting spray.  

The final product (if constructed properly) will rival many high-end airbrushes, for about 1/3 of the price.  

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Step 1: Parts List

Here is the exploded view of the airbrush.  
All parts are listed here.  

Note: All of the parts have the same thread pattern, so make sure of this when constructing your own airbrush.

Step 2: Modifying the Pneumatic Tubing

For this step, you will need the following items:  

2 pieces of pneumatic tubing (one at 4" and one at 4.5")

For the tapered piece (part #3) 
Heat up the middle of the tube evenly (don't heat it until you see bubbles- this means you have ruined that section).
Then slowly pull on either end, and the tube should stretch.
Don't let go yet!  Keep your hands on either side until it has cooled (otherwise it will deform)  (blow on it to cool it faster)
Cut the tubing in half, and set those aside for now.  

For the angled piece (part #12)
Evenly heat the tubing 1.5" from the end (it doesn't matter which side at this point)
Bend the tubing at a 135* angle
Do the same for the other side, and make sure it looks like the picture (if it doesn't look like the picture, it won't work)

Step 3: Assembling the Airbrush

Once you have obtained all of the parts, you can begin assembling.  
But first, wrap teflon tape around all of the threaded joints.  (this is essential for an air-tight seal)

Begin at the back of the airbrush, and work towards the tip.  (you will need your pliers for this)
Keep assembling but do not attach Part #8 or #9 to anything just yet. (wait until the end)

Make sure you pre-assemble Parts #1, #2, and #3.                       Instructions 
                                                                                             sharpen the tip on Part #1
                                                                                             Insert Part #1 into Part #2
                                                                                             Crimp the end of Part #2 where it contacts Part #1
                                                                                             Insert  Part #2 into Part #3, and make sure it is airtight
Cut/ melt/ drill holes in Part #9 so that Parts #8 and #12 can fit into it.
Once Everything is assembled, glue Part #9 to Part #7, Clamp it, and let it sit overnight.  

If you have done everything correctly, you should have a fully functional, Super-Durable airbrush.

If you need any more explanation, or wish to see the internal components of my airbrush, just leave a comment.  Thanks :) 

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    36 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    This is super cool! I've always wanted an airbrush, but I'm not serious enough about any of my hobbies to put down for one.

    A typed parts list would be much appreciated, though!

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    Yes, of fairly good quality, to see examples of work done with them see davidbogle.com


    6 years ago

    Can I see a pic of the actual parts 1,2 and 3 thanks and I hope the work awesomely.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Otimo instructable, com certeza vou montar um. obrigado..


    8 years ago on Introduction

    With all those brass parts I don't think you would want to be spraying for any length of time. I found that the price of all the brass parts outweigh the cost of a new badger.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I've got to agree with Kojaq.

    While this a great theoretical instructible, demonstrating you can make an airbrush, it's going to really expensive to make and result in a heavy unwieldy tool with minimal usability.

    An airbrush is supposed to be an easy to handle painting tool that can apply paint and ink with precision. This instructable isn't that. You're much better off to put your money into buying a real airbrush and your time into practicing with it to improve your skills in handling it.


    you can use anything from lung power to a shop compressor (if you somehow have the lungs of an Olympian). my recommendation, though, is to utilize a canister of computer cleaner. please use a respirator, and happy painting


    8 years ago on Step 3

    i really want to make it out. with your permission, i want to improve your 'ible because is hard to figure out how to assemble it and is an amazing gadget. what do you say?

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    when i'm going to make it (sure i will) post some images on it. What you say? is a great 'ible and the lack of pics make it somehow difficult to understand


    8 years ago on Introduction

    for all those who have asked and waited patiently

    1) 3/32"od brass rod--1/2" long
    2) 3/32"id brass tube--1" long
    3) elongated polyurethane pneumatic tubing--3/4" long
    4) brass hose connector 1/4"od threads
    5) female to female connector--1/4"id threads
    6) male to male connector
    7) brass 3-way T-shape junction
    8) 3/32"id Brass tube-- 1/2" long
    9) small plastic container (for paint)
    10) lid for aforementioned container
    11) Brass tube 3" long by 1/8"id threads
    12) Polyurethane pneumatic tube 1/8"id X 3.5" long
    13) 90*- Multiple rotation valve
    14) brass 3-way T-shape junction
    15) 90*- Multiple rotation valve

    Happy constructing! :)
    note: when I tested this invention, the cap for the paint cup popped off, due to the pressure. I have potential solutions, but please, feel free to innovate. by the way, test with water first!!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    hmmm... so nice........but.........too difficult to decipher the list parts.....confidential?


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I hate to beat the dead horse.. but... while this is an awesome IDEA, it seriously lacks in the execution for an Instructable.

    Please, take some time and dress up this Instructable, add more details, even a price list, and time estimate.

    Keep up the good work, and make it great work!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    With a bottle of CO2 and some thinned latex paint in the pressurized canister, this would probably work very well for touching up wall and trim paint. (From a construction point of view.)


    8 years ago on Step 3

    The confusion comes in the construction of the paint orifice above. There is not any detailed photographs of this step, plus it seems counter-inuitive in operation. In a normal airbrush, a valve is opened to commence air flow, this air flow, via venturi effect, causes a vacuum which sucks paint out of a cup, the sharpened needle blocks the orifice and is slowly retracted to control paint flow. This airbrush seems to pressurize the paint cup, which is the methodology in some commercial spray guns, but this two valve system to control air flow and paint cup pressurization seems clumsy at best. Plus "make sure it is airtight," instruction, with the flared plastic tubing, adds confusion in how the paint makes its way through the barbed nozzle. I too, would like to see a video of the device in operation.