Selecting an Airbrush for Cake Decorating

Buying an Airbrush for Cake Decorating.

An airbrush can be a wonderful asset as you decorate cakes. It will allow you to come up with fantastic and beautiful results while using less of your valuable time. You can use it to color the icing on the cake itself, instead of coloring all that icing or fondant. You can also draw images on the cake, color your flowers, spray on some clouds, grass, etc. using stencils and other techniques.


There are different types of airbrush guns.


First, let’s explain how the airbrush works. Air from your compressor is carried to your airbrush through an air line. The force of the air pushes your color out the nozzle of the airbrush gun and onto your cake.


The airbrushes we sell at Cake Art use what is referred to as gravity feed. The color is placed in a bowl located on the top of the airbrush gun. As you pull back on the trigger, the color goes into the airflow and the airbrush forces the color out of the nozzle.


The two different types of airbrushes are known as single action and dual action airbrushes. We sell both kinds.


In the single action gun, you pull back on the trigger to release the color and the air. The further back you pull, the more color is dispensed. You control the width of your spray by how close you hold it to the cake: the closer the airbrush gun is to the cake, the smaller or narrower the spray – the further away you hold it, the wider the color spray.


A basic airbrush kit uses a simple compressor with the single action airbrush gun. You control the amount of color with your airbrush trigger and the distance from the cake that you choose to use.


A more deluxe model uses the same single action airbrush gun, but the air compressor comes with a knob to adjust the air flow. This gives you much more control over the how strongly the color is directed towards your cake. It also makes detail work easier to do as you airbrush with a softer air flow.


We also carry an airbrush kit that includes a dual action airbrush gun. While pulling back on the trigger releases the color on this type also, pushing down on the trigger releases the air. The compressor on this airbrush kit also has a knob to regulate the air flow. This airbrush compressor will cycle on and off as you continue to work, in order to maintain the pressure setting you’ve chosen.  This one also has a moisture trap that will remove any moisture than builds up in the airline.


Airbrush machines require special airbrush color that is just the right consistency to pass through the airbrush gun without clogging. The airbrush colors available these days are remarkable, including pearlized airbrush color to give those iridescent looks to butter cream iced and fondant cakes. These colors and commercial airbrush cleaner are available online and in our shop, as are stencils, some books and a video or two.


Hopefully this information will help you to purchase the airbrush that is right for you. While many people are perfectly happy with the least expensive airbrush, others start with the least expensive and upgrade later. Some people make the investment in the more deluxe airbrush from the start. Should you decide to do the latter, you could always choose to sell your original machine to offset the cost of the new one.


If you are thinking of purchasing an airbrush in the near future, watch Cake Art’s website for our Airbrush Demonstrations. This is a 2 hour demonstration in which the instructor covers how to disassemble, reassemble and clean the airbrush and shows some the ways you can use the machine. Time is dedicated to letting students try their hands at airbrushing. Cake Art offer a great discount on those class days to those who wish to purchase airbrushes.