Skip to main content

I have tried my airbrush a number of times, but I can't seem to get it working properly--even after watching Lisa from The Barefoot Baker's presentation at CookieCon! I put in 3-4 drops of color, have the airbrush set on Low, and only very lightly pull back on the trigger, but the color runs out after only one or two cookies. I don't think I'm too close to the cookie--the color is not all blotchy (take a look at my attached photo), it's just not coming out I guess. And I don't even know if it's faulty machine, because I have TWO airbrushes and the same thing happens with both. I'm hoping to find a magical, easy solution so I can airbrush like a boss. Any suggestions?? Thanks!


Images (1)
  • blue flower
Last edited by Julia M. Usher
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

I usually fill the little receptacle up as full as it can go without it spilling out when I tilt/move the airbrush. This amounts to more than 3-4 drops, but probably not that much more. Depending on the size of the cookie, I can usually get a few (maybe up to 5 cookies) fully covered (i.e., if I am stenciling the entire background), but no more than that before I have to refill. I too use the low setting for more control, and I like the coverage I've been getting. I just figured that because I was covering a relatively large area, I'd need to refill pretty often and assumed this refill-rate was normal. My airbrush seems to have normal, even flow. Interested to hear if others have to refill less frequently.

I am by no means an airbrushing pro as I've done it a total of 4 times now, but I usually put in about 3-4 drops as well and I find it goes a long way.  I've only ever done stencil airbrushing and a little accent.  I put my airbrush on medium, barely pull the trigger.  I've heard the metallics tend to clog the airbrush?  It sounds like the tip is clogged somehow.  What brands are your airbrushes?  

I have two Duff airbrushes (bought during that $25 fire sale) and I'm not using metallics--just regular colors. I have heard from other cookiers that they get way more out of color than I do--like you, Arty. I've tried taking the thing apart and kind of poking at it with that little tool thingy (all very officially obviously) but that got me nowhere. Heather from SugarNosh Treats is dying to get her hands on my airbrush to see if she can figure it out, but I thought there might be something I was missing. 

I had no success with airbrushing. Mine always came out too fast and splotchy. Karen (Karen's Cookies) showed me how to clean my airbrush.....hoping maybe it was clogged and thus the results. It didn't help. Then a part broke on it and I've never gotten it back out again.


The good news is that the airbrush colors are great for painting....and I love painting on the metallic and pearl to give my cookies a nice sheen.

I've got something called the #ABCS Complete Airbrush System, which has a gold stripe across it, and seems to be widely available through various distributors. I really like the control that I have with it (no spattering at all), but I certainly don't get many cookies covered with a few drops. Like Liz/Arty, I've only used it handful of times, so I'll watch more closely next time to see what coverage I'm really getting from it. But no performance issues with it that I can detect.

I had trouble with splotchy, too deep color when I first started using my Duff airbrush and solved the problem by diluting the airbrush color (amerimist) before putting it in the airbrush gun. I dilute with vodka, rather than water, so that the cookie does not get too wet. Diluting allows you so much more control over the amount of color you are applying to the cookie and it makes the color come out with out splotches. I have found blues especially difficult to use without diluting, so that may have been part of your problem as well. 


I attached some photos of my airbrushed cookies so you can see the result. I dilute in shot glasses and the amount of vodka depends on how light I want the colors, but I dilute at least 1:1. Too much vodka and your cookie will get too wet and you will get "water" marks, so be careful and do some experimentation. 





Images (3)
  • IMG_4210_edited-1
  • IMG_4217_edited-1
  • IMG_4117

Penny, looking at your photo it looks to me that your airbrush is doing a little "spitting." By that I mean there's a bit of an irregular pattern in the spray. I had a run of cookies that were doing that too but it was because I just needed to hand tighten the front nozzle area. Like everyone else, a couple drops goes a long way for me as well. I've only just started playing more and more with airbrushing. Initially I was having problems with airbrushing on glaze which I assumed was due to the high corn syrup content which makes for a less porous surface than royal icing. I recently did some experimenting and found something that works for me. Before I airbrush any color onto the icing I begin by coating the surface with a light spray of the clear pearl. Once it tries I then airbrush on the desired colors. I think this works because the the clear pearl provides texture for the colors to cling to. Lori, your airbrushing is spectacular! 

I got my airbrush 18 months ago and took a class ($150) on airbrushing cakes  two two months ago. I tried airbrushing silver this past weekend and it was a disaster! Barely anything came out. I tried cleaning the gun several times and adjusting the knob thingy in the back (I know soooooo much about airbrush equipment, lol) but still only an extremely fine mistwould come out. It was so fine that even with repeated passes of spray, it wasn't visible. I gave up and bought a can of silver spray.

I have the Duff airbrush and love it. I have found that some colors tend to spray better when diluted with vodka/Everclear. Definitely the blues - like Loris said. I always use it on low and clean it immediately when done. Tonight I tried something new and mixed white airbrush color with some of my other colors to tone them down. I love the results so far, Hope this helps!

I know it is an old post... Well the gun has a needle  running through, you can see the Sharp point where the paint is atomized.   In your gun you take the EstΓ‘ndar handle adjustmenting (cap that covers the needle on the back or your gun).  There is a kind of screw ( Needle Chucking Net), rotate it a Little to relax the needle, it will help to adjust the spray of your gun, if your gun spray to much push carefuly and slowly the needle to the front, if your gun is blocked (clogged), push it to the back.

I'm beginner and I dismantled my gun at first use because it was blocked I removed all parts .... I assembeld it again.. I rate not to do it... but I learned!!!   So you don't need to do all that, only the needle thing to adjust the flow.


Last edited by Mily
loco_meow posted:

I also know this is an old post, but I am having trouble getting even, not splotchy, coating from my Duff airbrush. I'm giving up for today, but I can't wait to try all of the suggestions posted above, tomorrow. Thank you all

Try cleaning it, and make sure your pressure isn't too low on the compressor. If too low, most guns will sputter and splatter. But honestly, the Duff gun is not very good and doesn't atomize very finely. 

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.