Iwata Airbrush Equipment Setup

If you’re on this page you must be the proud owner of an Iwata airbrush and/or compressor. Great choice! Here are some quick tips on getting setup depending on what equipment you have. Our manuals also have great info as well.

As you may have read in Airbrush Basics, when connected to an air compressor, an airbrush breaks a liquid into tiny droplets. This is called atomization. Atomization produces seamless blends, coatings and gradients a standard paint brush can only dream of.

Below you will find walkthroughs for setting up your equipment in three scenarios: Iwata Airbrush and Iwata Compressor, Iwata Airbrush and non-Iwata Compressor, non-Iwata Compressor, and Iwata compressor.

Iwata airbrush + Iwata Compressor

In this case setup is simple. All Iwata compressors include an Iwata air hose that will connect to your Iwata airbrush.

Iwata Airbrush set-up instructions

Depending on which model you have you should see the following when you open the packaging:

  • The airbrush
  • Fluid cups or bottles (for side feed and/or siphon models only)
  • Nozzle wrench (for removing either the nozzle or head cap (with Eclipse CS). No need to do this right now. You should only remove your nozzle when it wears out and it is time to replace it with a new part or if you are performing a deep clean.
  • Iwata Lube (all except Neo for Iwata airbrushes). Use the lube occasionally to keep the parts moving smoothly.
  • QuickStart Guide (check under the green foam for Neo for Iwata airbrushes)

Your Iwata airbrush is ready to use right away.

Iwata Compressor Setup Instructions

Inside the box you will find:

  • Compressor
  • One or two air hoses (depending on model)
  • Adaptors for other airbrush brands
  • Manual
  • Moisture trap which may require some assembly. Find your model on our compressors page and check these specific setup instructions

Connecting Airbrush to Compressor

  1. Attach the small (1/8 BSP) end of your air hose to your airbrush.
  2. Attach the larger end (1/4 NPT) end to your compressor

Iwata Airbrush + Non-Iwata Compressor

In this case you’ll want to purchase an Iwata air hose. Our hoses have a proprietary 1/8th fitting to connect to you Iwata airbrush and a standard ¼ fitting for your compressor. If your compressor does not have a ¼ fitting, visit your local airbrush dealer or hardware store for an adapter.

Need help figuring out fittings? Contact us here.

Connecting airbrush to compressor

  1. Attach the small end of your air hose to your airbrush.
  2. Attach the larger end end to your compressor.

Non-Iwata Airbrush to Iwata Compressor

All of our compressors include at least one air hose and adaptors for Paasche, Aztek, Thayer and Chandler and Badger brand airbrushes so you can connect your airbrush to the Iwata air hose(s) that are included. If you still need help with fittings contact us here. Grex, Harder and Steenbeck, and Tamiya all have the same fitting as Iwata airbrushes.

Connecting airbrush to compressor

  1. Attach the small end of your air hose to your airbrush.
  2. Attach the larger end end to your compressor.

How to start spraying

Test first with water! This gives you chance to make sure your equipment it atomizing, correctly without wasting paint.

For Gravity Feed Airbrushes: If you have an airbrush model that has a cup lid, remove the lid by working the lid upward. Put a few drops of water into the color cup and place the lid back on the cup if desired. If your gravity feed airbrush has no cup, then put a few drops of paint directly into the fluid cavity found on top of the airbrush.

For Siphon Feed Airbrushes: Put paint into the included siphon-feed bottle and attach the bottle to the bottom of the airbrush by pushing it into the airbrush. (Bottle does not screw in). One of the benefits of siphon-feed models is that bottles may be purchased separately and pre-filled with your favorite colors. Don't forget to have a bottle that contains the appropriate cleaning solution for the spray medium that you are using.

Side Feed Airbrushes: Cups and bottles may be used on either side of airbrush by interchanging the blanking cover, if desired. The blanking cover needs to be on the opposite side of cup or bottle to spray. Attach the color cup onto the airbrush by pushing gently. Position the cup upright and add a small amount of spray medium into the cup. If using a bottle, fill the bottle with paint and push it snuggly into airbrush.

Turn your compressor on

For Dual-Action Airbrushes: Using your index finger for control, push down on the trigger for air flow. With trigger pushed down, pull back to start spraying. For finer lines, turn the air compressor pressure (psi) down, get close to paint surface then push down and pull back on trigger just a little. Note that some airbrush models may spray differently at lower pressures. Refer to the optimum PSI range for your brush which can be found on the page for your brush on our website under specifications.

For Single-Action Airbrushes: Using your index finger for control, push down on the trigger for air and paint flow. For finer lines, turn the air compressor pressure (psi) down, get close to paint surface and turn the fluid adjustment knob to regulate spray pattern. Then push down and pull back on trigger just a little. Turn the fluid adjustment valve while spraying as needed to control how far back your needle goes.

For Trigger Airbrushes: Gently pull back on the trigger for air flow and then pull farther for paint spray. For finer lines, turn the air compressor pressure (psi) down, get close to paint surface then push down and pull back on trigger just a little.

If you were able to spray water, now it’s time to spray some color.

We advise using paints that are made for or are capable of being properly thinned to the consistency of skim milk in order to be properly sprayed through your airbrush.

Not able to spray? Check our troubleshooting guide here.

Controlling the spray takes practice, so allow yourself time to develop a feel for it.

Remember to clean your airbrush with the proper cleaner for your medium of choice, between color changes and at the end of your work session. We show you how on our Airbrush Cleaning page.

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