Our Brands
iwata anest logo
airbrushes + compressors
iwata logo
airbrush accessories
medea airbrush logo
airbrush-ready paints
medea airbrush logo
airbrush beauty products
artool logo
templates, masking + tools
karajen logo
hanging +storage systems
anest iwata logo
spray guns + equipment

FAQs – Air Sources and Compressors


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What types of air sources are available?
A: Three different types of air sources may be used with the airbrush. First is an airbrush compressor; next is a carbonic gas tank (CO2 or N2); and third is a propellant can, for limited applications.

Q: How much air is necessary to operate an airbrush?
A: 0.5 cubic feet of air per minute (cfm) at 30 pounds per square inch (psi) will propel an airbrush. You can work at lower or higher pressures, depending on the materials sprayed and the effects desired, but the cfm requirement generally remains the same.

Q: What is the best air pressure to airbrush at?
A: This simple question has a complex answer that can only be answered after you know what surfaces you will be spraying and what kinds of paint you will be spraying through the airbrush. These are starting points for different surfaces.

* Artwork 25 psi (pounds per square inch)
* T-shirts art 55-65 psi
* Automotive painting 30-65
* Spray tattoo <20 psi * Nail art with Medea paint 20-25 psi * Make-up <20 psi There are other variables to consider. The colors you're using (in general white needs more air pressure-blue and purple need less) and even the brand. The material you're spraying-for t-shirts and canvas the paint needs to get embedded in the fibers so more energy is required to push the paint into those fibers. The body and the face need very little pressure-start around 15-20 psi for the body and the face, being more sensitive, should be around 10-15 psi. Q: What is carbonic gas?
A: Carbonic gas is Carbon Dioxide or (CO2). It, along with Nitrogen (N2) can be used as a propellant for your airbrush. The use of these air sources requires a regulator capable of handling the high pressure.

Q: Why are airbrush compressors so expensive?
A: The difference between airbrush compressors and compressors purchased from your local building supply store is noise. Airbrush compressors run silent – well a submariner would take issue with that statement. With our compressor running, you should be able to carry on a normal conversation with someone arms length away with the compressor in between the two of you.

Q: What good is a tank on my compressor?
A: Tanks do five things:

1. Tanks provide a reservoir of pressurized air that you can draw from while you’re spraying.
2. You can draw air at a regulated pressure from the tank instead of the average pressure of the piston cylinders.
3. Because you’re drawing air from the tank you’re eliminating the tiny pulsation in the air supply caused by the physical motion of pistons pressurizing air.
4. The life of the compressor engine increases because it pumps air as the tank needs it instead of always being on.
5. Tanks are great first line moisture traps.

Q: Which compressor should I purchase?
A: Like so many other questions, one answer won’t do. The right compressor or air system for you is dependant on your needs and budget. You might have an industrial application and need to tie into the in-house system (or you could be looking at purchasing an in-house system for everyone to tie into). You might be doing a little spray tanning and need a twin engine system or a lot and need something with a tank. You could be doing nail and body art and you won’t need a tank. You could be working in places where noise is or is not an issue. Check out our line of compressors and their recommended uses here.

Q: I don’t see my question listed here? What do I do now?
A: You can e-mail your question to us at info@iwata-medea.com.


Why are there no prices on your website?

Iwata Medea is the wholesale distributor of Iwata, Medea and Artool products in North and South America, and the UK, and does not sell directly to customers at this time. To purchase Iwata Medea or Artool products, please check our dealer pages for a reseller near you. Or call our customer service team at 503-253-7308 ext. 2000, and we’ll help you find a local reseller.