Why Does My Airbrush Bubble


Why Is My Airbrush Blowing Bubbles Banner

Why Is My Airbrush Blowing Bubbles Inside The Paint Jar

An airbrush bubbles because compressed air incorrectly flows backwards along the paint tube and into the paint, usually caused by a blockage in the airbrush nozzle or faulty nozzle seal.

The main causes of airbrush bubbles in the cup are:

  • Blockage at the nozzle;
  • Loose nozzle cap or air cap;
  • Damage of the nozzle;
  • Faulty nozzle gasket or seal;

An airbrush is designed to give compressed air unhindered flow out of the airbrush and in such a way that is pulls the paint 0out with it.

If that flow of air around the nozzle is disrupted in any way then not only with it have problems passing out of the airbrush as usual, it may also redirect some of the high pressure air up the internal paint tube and into the paint cup to cause bubbling.

Paint bubbling is possible in this manner in both gravity feed and side feed airbrushes.

Let’s look at each cause of bubbles in the airbrush paint cup or jar, how the air flow is affected, and what you can do about it…

Airbrush Bubbles Due To Nozzle Blockage

An airbrush will blow bubbles into the paint cup if the airbrush nozzle is blocked, forcing the air back along the paint tube inside the airbrush body and into the paint cup.

Airbrush Modeler

Even a partial airbrush nozzle blockage may be enough to force compressed air back into the paint cup instead of completely out of the airbrush nozzle as it’s supposed to.

How To Identify And Fix The Airbrush Bubbles

To fix bubbles in your airbrush paint cup due to nozzle blockage you’ll first need to disassemble your airbrush nozzle components and check them for dried paint or debris.

If you found dirt or some kind of debris in the nozzle you should flush it out with water, or even thinners or airbrush cleaning fluid which may prove more effective depending on what the debris is.

👍 For in-depth information on cleaning out your airbrush with water and what the other more effective options are check out this detailed article on the subject. 👊

If, however, it’s dried paint that you find in the nozzle, then the nozzle will have to be soaked for a short while in thinners or airbrush cleaning fluid.

Once soaked you will need to flush the nozzle with air and perhaps find a very fine and pointed instrument to pick the paint out before giving a final flush.

You can also reattach the nozzle and put general purpose thinners or airbrush cleaner through the airbrush to flush out the final bits of paint.

Airbrush Modeler

👍 For an article on the basics of cleaning your airbrush check out this detailed article.

NOTE: there is a chance that the needle of your airbrush could have a significant amount of dried paint built up on it, through a process called tip-dry, and if the problem is severe enough it could partially block the nozzle and cause reverse pressure into the paint cup.

👍 If you check the tip of your airbrush needle and find this to be the case you must properly clean the airbrush needle itself, and you can find a very detailed article on how to clean an airbrush needle tip here.

If the problem persists you likely have an ongoing tip-dry issue which will need to be rectified in another manner other than endless cleaning.

If this is the case then check out this in-depth article on exactly what causes airbrush tip dry and how to fix it avoid it using six different methods. 👊

Airbrush Bubbles Due To Loose Nozzle Or Air Cap

An airbrush may blow bubbles into the paint cup if the airbrush nozzle or air cap is loose, which will cause a change in the pressure environment around the area of the airbrush that the paint and air mixes, ultimately leading to reveres air pressure backwards up the paint tube and bubbles in the paint jar.

Airbrush Modeler

How To Identify And Fix The Airbrush Bubbles

To fix bubbles in your airbrush paint cup due to a loose nozzle or air cap, start by unscrewing the needle and air cap from the front of your airbrush to expose the nozzle, and then carefully finger tighten the nozzle itself.

The air cap and needle cap can then be screwed on securely also using careful finger strength only, as over-tightening these components can lead to damage fairly easily.

Airbrush Bubbles Due To Nozzle Damage

An airbrush may blow bubbles into the paint cup if the airbrush nozzle is damaged, due to the damage changing the air pressure environment around the mixing chamber of the airbrush similar to how it would when the nozzle or air cap is loose.

Airbrush Modeler

This change of pressure environment where the paint and air mixes can lead to back pressure in the paint tubes and bubbles being produced in the cup.

How To Identify And Fix The Airbrush Bubbles

To fix bubbles in your airbrush paint cup due to nozzle damage you must disassemble your airbrush to the point where the nozzle is removed and can be fully inspected, if possible, under magnification.

If you see any part of the nozzle as being deformed, misshapen or split, it must be replaced.

A damaged nozzle can very seldom be properly repaired, and given how critical it is to getting proper airbrush operation it should be replaced with a new one at the first sign of a problem. 👍

Airbrush Bubbles Due To Faulty Nozzle Gasket or Seal

An airbrush may blow bubbles into the paint cup if the airbrush has a gasket or seal that is faulty, thereby allowing high pressure air to pass backwards up the paint tube and blow bubbles into the paint cup

Not all airbrushes require gaskets or seals in the nozzle components, however for some it will be a necessity to ensure that the compressed air is not allowed to mix into the paint in a location that it’s not intended to.

How To Identify And Fix The Airbrush Bubbles

To fix bubbles in your airbrush paint cup due to a failed nozzle gasket or seal you will need to disassemble your airbrush nozzle components in full to check for what gaskets or seals your airbrush has.

If you have a worn or compressed gasket it will need to be replaced, it is not something that can be repaired.

If you have some sealer on the thread of your nozzle that’s worn or no longer showing at all, you can put some sealant such as lip balm, Vaseline or bees wax on the thread before assembling it again.

Note that you should only use these substances sparingly, they will not damage the airbrush as such but will certainly not do your paintwork any good if it mixes with your paint before being sprayed onto your job.

Final Suggestions On How To Stop Bubbles In An Airbrush Paint Cup

Bubbles showing in your airbrush paint cup can be extremely confusing when you see them for the first time, however the fix is usually fairly easily identified.

Often times it will simply be loose nozzle components, or perhaps a faulty seal or gasket, or perhaps small damage to the nozzle itself.

It may even be paint or debris build-up around the nozzle and needle tip which can be rectified with a quick and simply clean.

Simply follow the instructions in the article above and you’ll have all of these problem bases covered, and very quickly you’ll be back to airbrushing without any further hitches! 👊

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