Single Action Airbrush for Spray Painting Metal Art

Single Action Airbrush for painting metal art

I like the freedom to mix paint of various colors and create my own unique hues and shades. The main problem is that normally leaves the painter to brushing paints only. Well there is another way and it is surprisingly easy and inexpensive. This is using single action model painting airbrushes to paint. These are capapble of painting lacquers, enamels, as well as the increasingly more available water based acrylic paints. They work by siphoning the paint through a nozzle where the air pressure atomizines the paint onto the substrate.

The airbrush

This single action airbrush is very simple by design. The model is this picture is a Badger 250. It consist of the main body which hooks up to the air supply and the cap for the bottle houses the paint tip. The paint tip has a tension spring to allow precise adjustment so the the desired amount of paint is pulled out the jar. When it is desired to paint, the paint of the correct consistency is loaded into the jar and the brush is screwed on and then the assembly is connected to the propellent or air compressor.
 Why I chose the Badger 250

Badger, the manufacturer of the Badger 250 refer to this as actually a mini spray gun as a opposed to being a airbrush for detail work. I bought it for the sole purpose of being able to control the amount of paint dispensed and getting better atomizing. These help to produce a more uniform coating that is hard to do with aerosol spray paints. In some instances, it might even be more economical and effective to decant spray apint into a bottle for use in the Badger 250 itself or for mixing with another color to come up with your own special hue.

Propellent cans

When starting out in airbrushing. Many hobbyist use propellent cans as the means to spray the paint. In fact many airbrush kits come with a small can of propellent to get you started. This is very helpfull as a good compressor for airbrushing can cost $150 or more.Some things you should know about the canned air. It is only for starting out or to use where electricity might not be available. In the long run they can be more expensive than the compressor as they do not last that long! Secondly, when you are not airbrushing, you MUST remove your propel regulator from the propellent bottle or all the propellent with seep out! Don’t ask me how I know this.

Airbrush Compressor

TC 20I really got tired of messing with canned propellent. I also realized it was going to be really expensive real quick. I finally got me a small oiless
compressor from TCP Global. It was only $79. Yeh it is not the quietest compressor., but right now I am only airbrushing to be able to mix and spray paint. I can appreciate what the finer tipped airbrushes can accomplish but they are not needed or in my budget right now.

Fading multiple colors together

Funky three tone candle holderEven though a single action airbrush does not have the precsion and control of its dual action cousins, it is still useful in sculpture and background painting work. A good example is this funky 3 tone candle holder. Three shades of blue where seemlessly faded into one another to create the gradual fade of colors. This is easier that using spray paint and the droplets from the airbrush are finer and the spray from the tip can be focused better.

Layered paint coatings for varied affects

metallic memphis style wall artBecause you can control the flow, air pressure, and consistency while brushing, the finishing possibilities are endless. For example,this memphis style wall art.
It was primed then a silvered base coat was applied followed by transparent pearl colors. The gives metal art richness and depth.

The Color Purple in Art and Sculpture

Purple The Color of Royalty

Once a color so rare that only the wealthy noble families could afford it, purple has an alluring and magical quality. The color is deep and seductive. It can be dark and muted or bright and vivid. Purple is a color of many hues and shades. Adding it to your decor can really add sophistication and pop.

Contrasting with Purple

Dashing PlumIn the painting featured here, “Dashing Plum, the artistWeLoveLove takes purple to a new level by contrasting several hues with white stripes. Undoubtedly, this was done with painters tape but that does not take away from the style of this painting.

Purple Impasto

Light Purple and Grey TextureWhile on the subject of paintings, what better way to make purple pop than with a little texture. Consider this offering titled “Light Purple and Grey Texture”. It is an abstract floral painting featuring texture by using the imapsto method. Impasto shows the exagerated brush strokes in bold textural detail.

Purple Mantle Clock

Purple mantle ClockSometimes a pretty picture is not enough. If you want the sophistication of purple in your decor but need practical things, then a clock is a great addition. In the purple mantle clock featured in this photo, the depth of the translucent iridescent purple finish is intense. With a backdrop of hand grinded steel, this clock will shimmer in several different tones of purple depending on angle of light.

Geometric Design in Art and Sculpture


Geometric design and space

This lens is about geometric art and sculpture. Geometric art can come in many forms. It can be a 2 dimensional painting or a 3D composition like the triangular composition featured in the photo below. This composition was made from 16 gauge steel sheet traingles welded at various angles. It is a study of space and dimension can be viewed viewed here in my Etsy Shop.

Geometric Stainless Sculpture

Space age wall hanging.
This is a small but eye catching Space Age Mid century abstract  will bring  a lot of focus to a wall. It features two oval accents brightly colored orange and copper. The two square accents are made by welding 304 stainless flat bar together. The stainless accents where a glimmering shiny pattern with an angle grinder before application of a translucent colored lacquer.

Bright Red Rectangular Decor

Pyrrole Red

This simple yet bold Abstract Geometric Dimensional Wall Panel is painted in vivid pyrrole red acrylic paint and sealed with enamel clear.  It would do best in full light so it may shine on the wall with it’s full potential.


Geometric Abstract Painting

Geometric Abstract paintingThis painting featured on Etsy, is a 2 dimensional artwork featuring mainly contrasting rectiangular elements. Although the colors are somewhat muted, there is a large range of different hues and shades to create an intersting mood and allow it to blend with a large variety of decorative settings. The listing can be viewed here for size and purchasing options.


Jackson Pollock Abstract Expressionist


Pioneer in Abstract Expressionism


Jackson Pollock was an American painter who was a pioneer in the abstract expressionist movement. Although he started painting in 1929, his most notorious work was from 1947 onward. He used nontraditional media and tools in his paintings.This article will mainly be focused on the developement of the style abstract expressionism which was a new concept in the 1940’s and 1950’s.


A Few Pointers on Abstract Expressionism

Metal Abstract sculptureSo what is Abstract Expressionism anyways? It was a post WWII modern midcentury art movement in the United States. It was the first major American Art movement putting New York City on the art and culture map. It is a style of great emotion and spontaneous inspiration. It entails anit-figurative images and, when applied to painting, has been refered to as action painting. This is where paint is splashed, dripped, or smeared onto canvas or a support. Art created in this matter is not created to represent a real object but to depict the act of creating in the eyes of the artist.

Pollock’s Abstract Work 

type=textJackson Pollock was first introduced to liquid paints in 1936 an experimental workshop in New York ran by Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros. Later in the 1940’s he began laying his canvases on the floor instead of using an easle. He used alkyd house paints instead or artist paints and sticks, dried out paint brushes, and even baster syringes. This engaging process of standing over the canvas, walking around it squirting, dripping, and throwing paint is what became known as action painting.


Painting with Syringes

type=textA style of impasto or dimensional or textured painting is extruded paint. This is where thick paint is extruded from a syringe without a needle. The ropes of paint hold there shape and create a deep 3D textural effect. It has its origins from Jackson Pollock and other artist contemporary with his time.


Jackson Pollock’s Untimely Death


Jackson Pollock surely exprienced significant fame and fortune. Unfortunately, he struggled his entire adult life with alcoholism. It was his drinking that led him to die in a car crash while under the influence at the young age of 44. His work became legendary at this point and some of his original paintings auctioned for as much as $20 million!


Depth through multiple paint layers

Purpose of multiple coats of paint

In recent work I called “Dimensional Memphis Metal wall art”, I incorporated a few layers of pearlescent acrylics followed by multiple layers of lacquers. This was done to create a finish with profound depth. This is a technique used by most professional painters so I figure why not on metal.

First coats

Silver base coatThis is is when the art had a coat of primer, a reflective silver basecoat made by covering one layer of silver with pearl white using Createx airbrush paints . Note the pearl blue on selected areas. The reflective basecoat shines through. The depth is already showing.


More colors laid down

Color laid over base coatHere I have laid down some color on the accents of the composition. Notice the depth of the pearl deep orange, the brilliant pearl lime green, and the perforated triangle accent in dazzling pearl fushia. This is coming to play because pearl pigments are translucent mica pigments.

Purple Coat Applied

type=textNotice the top support bar and the perforated metal triangle have taken a more violet hue. That is because I have sprayed Kylon Xmetals purple translucent lacquer over them. The blue support bar became blue violet while the fushia triangle became more magenta/red violet.


Decanting Spray Paint

Decanting of Spray PaintGetting ready to decant some Krylon Xmetal spray lacquer. I simply tape a bendy straw to the nozzle of what ever spray paint I wish to decant into a receiving vessel. In this case, I am using Krylon Xmetals Blue to create a candle like affect.
The reason for decanting spray paint for me is to airbrush a paint with more control. Also, I notice that much less is wasted in overspray and the smell from the solvents is therefore reduced. Besides, if you wish to mix colors of spray paint, this about the best and only way to efficiently do so.


Color Mixing by Layers

Creating color change by layersNotice on the right, I have painted the large washer a pearlescent mint green. This is to go under the blue Xmetals lacquer to make a sort of turquios color

Outgassing Decanted Paint
One thing has to be mentioned when degassing spray paint. That is, that you have to let it set at least 30 minutes before you put it in your airbrush or put it in a bottle with a closed lid. You are letting the propellent escape that naturally got decanted with the paint. When you decant the paint into your container, you will notice that it is quite cold. It has the propellent gas in liquid form. You will see this when you hold the cold container in your hand or set it on a warm surface as it will start to “boil”.


End Results

End ResultsNotice how everything came out. I got a nice deep and shiny finish. Note the turquoise on the large washer.


Electrolytic Rust Removal

Electrolytic Rust removal is safe and inexpensive

If you have a bunch of old rusty steel you want to weld or you are trying to restore some antique tools, electrolytic rust removal is the way to go. If you have a battery charger that is not one of those “smart” ones and a 5 gallon bucket you are in business. You only need to pick an alkaline electrolyte such as baking soda or washing soda.By using electrolytic rust removal, you are also benefiting your health and the environment. You do not need poisonous and corrosive phosphoric, hydrochloric, or oxalic acids to do this. Whats more, hydrochloric acid(muriatic acid), although effective, etches steel bare and sets it up to flash rusting unless the metal is thoroughly rinsed, dried and primed or coated right away. With electrolytic rust removal, you get a black smut which easily wire brushes off and the metal can take a high polish if not pitted. If it is pitted, simply wire brush it clean and use a high buiild primer under regular primer.



type=textJust wanted to point out there are still some safety issues since we are handling electricity. The output of a battery charger is usually 6 or 12 volts DC and not too harmful, but the input 120 Volts AC that plugs into the wall is VERY dangerous especially around the water based electrolyte. So use common sense and keep the power source AWAY from the bucket of electrolyte so it does not fall in.Unless you are using a strong alkali like lye or Trisodium phosphate, the chemical hazards are minimal. Do not breath dust or get the powder in your eyes.


How this all works

basic electrolysis cellThe best way to understand what is going on is to consider the basic electrolytic cell. It consist of a nonconductive container that holds the electrolyte, an anode which connects to the positive pole of the DC power source and a cathode which completes the circuit by being connected to the negative pole of the power source.In electrolytic rust removal, the workpiece is connected to negative (-) and a sacrificial steel or iron anode is connected to positive (+). the electrolyte is made up of about a cup of either washing soda(sodium carbonate) or baking soda(sodium bicarbonate). It should be noted that the workpiece will have to be wire brushed or sanded in a spot in order to make a good electrical connection with negative connection. After time, a thick coating of rust will develop on the steel anode and it will slow down or almost stop the flow of electricity. Therefore, the anode should be periodically checked and scraped when necessary.
When powered on, the system will generate hydrogen on the negative workpiece which will disengage the rust particles from the metal surface while oxygen is liberated at the anode while it rust at an excelerated rate.


Tank setup

5 gallon bucket cellOk here is a simple yet effective set up to get started. As you can see from the photo of bucket cell, you have the 5 gallon bucket as your nonconductive electrolyte holder, a piece of scrap wood to attach power leads to so they can be hung over the bucket, and 3 lengths of rebar serving as the anodes here. They are cheap and readily available and make great anodes. It is a good idea to arrange them so the action from the electrolysis is evenly distributed around the surface of the workpiece.After you wire up all the anodes you will be using, together, you connect this to the positve(+) battery charger clamp. Next you connect some leads to the workpiece and suspend them into the electrolyte and connect to the negative(-) charger clamp. Now turn on the power and you should see gas bubbles rising up.

Let this go on for at least 4 hours or better all night while you sleep and then pull out your work piece to check. Depending on the thickness of rust, it might be all gone or you may need to scrub the metal a little and repeat.


The results

typical resultsIn the photo shown here, you see the results usually obtained. The top part represents the finish after wirebrushing. The bottom is after 15 minutes where the red rust is converted to black rust. The middle is where some oil contaminated prevented rust removal. It is a good idea to wipe down your workpiece with a shop rack with either denatured alcohol or acetone.


Sources of more information

Electrolytic Rust Removal aka Magic
A very in depth instructable on electrolytic rust removal.
Rust removal by electrolysis
Featured on Bill’s Antique Gas engines, this short yet consise essay will surely get you on your way.

The Wonders of Glass Jewelry


Have you considered glass jewelry?

this lens' photo

You may or may not be the type that insist on only precious stones and precious metals for you jewelry keepsakes. No matter the case, read this page and let is persuad you to consider purchasing glass jelewry. One of the main benefits to glass jewelry is that there many talented crafts people thatmake unique items by hand and sell them on Etsy. Another benefit is there is some interesting glass for the jeweler to work with and glass fusing equipment is relatively inexpensive so some truly unique necklaces, rings, pendants, braclets, and charms can be made.

Dichroic glass


Dichroic PendantDichroic glass is a unique iridescent glass that makes some truly mesmerizing glass jewelry. If you wish to view this item in Etsy, just click on this link to visit the listing.


Fused glass


Fused GlassAlot of glass jewelry it made by glass fusion in a kiln. This an art in of itself and you can make alot more than jewelry. A good resource for more information is warm glass.


Fused glass video

To see how fused glass pendents are made check out this video: