I absolutely love my airbrush machine. In this post I’ll try help you understand your airbrush machine a little more, with the do’s and don’ts that I have experienced.
After you have spent hours icing your biscuits the last thing you need is to spray them with your airbrush gun and the pattern or design is blurry and/or smudged. So frustrating.
When you purchase the airbrush machine, always read the instructions carefully. We do stock a PME airbrush machine in our online shop.
- Securing your stencil
You’ll need a metal board and 12 magnets, the magnets need to be a certain height. They need to equal the height of your iced biscuit, so that when you lay the stencil on top it lies flat against your icing. If there are any gaps between the biscuit and stencil, the air will spray under the stencil. This is how you get blurry designs. * I use my scribe needle to push down on the stencil where I can see a slight gap while I airbrush.
New Stencil Buddy
I also like to use a ‘Stencil Buddy.’ A stencil buddy is a plastic frame, that holds our stencils in place. The frame comes apart, part A & B. There are 4 magnets in each corner, the two frames stick to one another holding the stencil in place. Part A & B are slightly different heights to accommodate the height of your iced biscuit. The frame when holding the stencil rests on the biscuit, this helps prevent any under spray (no bleeding / smudging)
What I love is when I am doing multiple biscuits I can simply lift the frame off and place it onto the next biscuit. The ‘Stencil Buddy’ is great for airbrushing, I still prefer my magnets and board for royal icing stencil work.
We now stock the Stencil Buddy in our shop. Take a look at the video below.
- What pressure to use
The amount of pressure you use is very important. If you pull the trigger back too hard, the colour is going to come out too fast causing, splotches and uneven colour. Test pulling back the trigger on some roller towel, gently pull back so that it lightly sprays the colour. If you want a darker colour, rather go over the same area a few times to deepen the colour.
If you find that the airbrush gun is spluttering colour then adjust your air pressure on the actual gun, if the air pressure is too low it’ll splutter, instead of being a fine spray.
- Spraying distance
I find that being close to the design about 2-3cm above the stencil helps prevent blurry designs or colour bleeds. The saying goes ‘low & slow’ low meaning close to the stencil and slow meaning pulling gently on the trigger. I keep saying this in my head while I airbrush.
- Airbrush colours
I use the cake flora airbrush colours. If you get, the primary colours red, blue and yellow you can then mix up your own colours blue + yellow = green. I would also get black and bright white. I use bright white to tone down a colour, (dilute it) so that the colours are not too bright.
The sheen colours are gold, silver and pearl, they are a bit more expensive, but a bottle lasts for ages. I always pour the colour back in the bottle when I am finished unless I have mixed it with other colours.
- Cleaning your airbrush gun
You don’t need expensive airbrush cleaners, I simply run water through my gun until it runs clear. I add some vodka, to help dislodge any stubborn colour. Darker colours are harder to clean out, so I would try airbrush with lighter colours first then move onto your darker colours. Always clean your gun straight after using it, don’t let the colour sit in your gun for a long period of time.
- Icing your biscuit for airbrushing
When you airbrush a biscuit, the icing on the biscuit has to be as level and even as possible, if there are dips then there is a chance that the design will bleed (blurred design)
Also if the icing is not 100% dry, you’ll find your design blurring at a later stage, as the water in the icing will make the colours run.