How To Airbrush Designs On Walls

Airbrushing is a great way to easily create designs on a wall without painting with a brush or roller. It doesn’t matter whether the design is very simple or crazily complex. It could be stenciled or freehand. Whatever the case, an airbrush is a great way to create visual depth and add an artistic flair to your wall. Trying different airbrush nozzles and arm motions while painting will result in an effect that would be impossible to recreate with standard painting methods. The more you practice using an airbrush, the better your technique will become.

The steps to airbrushing your wall are simple.

Clean the wall thoroughly, wiping the dust away and scrubbing any bits or dried gunk off the wall. Cover the trim and any area of the wall you do not wish to paint with newspaper and painter’s tape. Spread a drop cloth or old sheet on the floor in front of the wall.

2. Sketch out your design on paper and make any modifications as needed. When you are satisfied with your design, draw an outline of it on the wall as a guideline for your design. If you would rather use stencils, you can make them out of cardboard, cutting out the areas you wish to paint with a craft knife. If you choose this method, tape the first stencil to the wall where you want it.

3. Load the airbrush with paint. Be sure to follow the instructions on the paint container as well as from the airbrush manufacturer. Turn the compressor on and paint a light outline of your design. This will serve as a visual guide for painting. Paint the inside of the outline, using less paint in the lighter areas, and more in the darker areas. Clean the airbrush thoroughly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Load the airbrush with your second paint color, if using more than one color. If you are using stencils take the first one off the wall, then once the paint has dried to the touch, tape the second stencil to the wall. Paint the second color on the wall. Using hand motions, you can create different designs, and you can create lighter or darker shades depending on how long you keep the nozzle in one area.

5. Clean the airbrush, and repeat step 4 with any additional colors.

Here is a basic list of things you will need to start airbrushing.

  • Duster
  • Painter’s tape
  • Old newspaper
  • Drop cloth or an old sheet
  • Pencil and some paper
  • Cardboard
  • Craft knife
  • Airbrush
  • Paints

Here are a couple of tips:

Practice using the airbrush on some scrap paper or cardboard, to perfect your technique. It can be helpful first to paint the paper or cardboard a shade similar to the color of the wall. This will help you see what the airbrush paint colors will look like on the wall.

If you thin the paint a bit, it will make it slightly translucent. This can be very helpful for layering, shading, and blending your colors. If you use thinned paints, the dark lines and shaded areas of your design can be painted first, rather than after. These darker areas can act as hints for adding more color or layers.


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