Airbrushes can be used for many different applications including toy model painting, cake decoration, and even when applying makeup.
However, the focus of today’s guide is going to be on airbrush kits that are to be used for body painting.
A quality airbrush kit must have consistent and reliable airbrushes, proper hoses, fittings, and of course the compressor in order to showcase your artistic talent.
In this guide we will be going over the following:
- A few key considerations you should think about before purchasing an airbrush kit for body painting
- Reviews of some of the most popular airbrushes and compressors on the market
- Provide a few tips and tutorials that professionals when airbrushing
Let’s get started:
Table of Contents
Comparing The Best Airbrushes For Body Painting
For those who want a bit clearer comparison of the most popular airbrush kits we reviewed, here are a few key differences between all the kits mentioned in this article:
|Name||Rating (Out of 5)||Price||Includes Compressor?||Includes Paint?||# Of Airbrushes Included|
|Master Airbrush Multi-Purpose Airbrushing System Kit||****||$$||Yes||Yes||3|
|Blick Complete Airbrush System||*****||$$$$||Yes||Yes||1|
|Neo For Iwata Gravity-Feed Airbrushing Kit||****||$$||Yes||Yes||1|
|PointZero Airbrush Dual Action Airbrush Kit||***||$$||Yes||No||3|
|IWATA HP-CS Eclipse Airbrush Kit||*****||$$$||Yes||Yes||1|
Before You Decide: A Few Things To Consider
Diving into the world of airbrush painting can get confusing rather quickly, therefore we wanted to share a few notes we took when reviewing the kits.
Please use the below information as a reference when you are deciding on the right airbrush kit for you:
Kit vs. Individual Purchase
Whether you are searching at retailers like Amazon and elsewhere, you will find that airbrushes are sold both individually and as a kit.
The scope of today’s article will be squarely around kits.
We find that kits are perfect for beginners as they often contain all the essentials you could possibly need when first starting out with this fun medium.
However, as you get a firm handle on airbrushing, it is easy to mix across brands and go outside the kit (this is encouraged) as you can see how compressors and airbrushes can vary significantly across brands.
When it comes to selecting an airbrush kit for body painting - you will want to make sure that the following are included:
- At least 1 Airbrush with a needle
- Hose for attaching the airbrush to the compressor
- A jar for holding the paint (only if you get a siphon feed airbrush)
- Compressor for propelling the paint from the airbrush
- Paint for airbrush use
Each one of the above components is required in order to do a body painting - the reason why we stress this is that some airbrush kits may exclude an item or two in order to lower the overall price - so ensure that all are included before purchasing as to prevent any surprises from happening when you unbox.
Selecting The Right Paint
The body paint that is used for an airbrush will be completely different the more traditional body paints.
Airbrush body paints will be much thinner as to reduce clogs from occurring when the paint passes through the airbrush.
However, like some of the top-rated body paints we recently reviewed, airbrush paints will have water base.
Making their application and removal incredibly safe.
Furthermore, airbrush paints will also typically be FDA-compliant and non-toxic - of course you will want to confirm this with the paint company itself.
While many of the kits we reviewed may have a starter set of paint, these are typically just small samples that will only last you a few paintings.
Given that airbrush kits are a form of machinery, the warranty and return policy with the machines are much more graceful than other art supplies.
During our research it wasn’t uncommon to see some companies have a 1 or 2-year return or warranty window - especially on the more mechanical components like the airbrush or compressor.
It’s an extra level of comfort that’s nice, especially if you plan on investing upwards to a few hundred dollars on your new airbrush kit.
Speaking of investment, you will see in a minute that airbrush kit prices can vary wildly.
The biggest factors that impact the price of the kit will be the airbrush and the compressor.
Compressors from companies like Iwata charge several hundreds to thousands of dollars for one of their products.
On the other hand, there are smaller portable compressors that carry a sub $100 price tag.
Naturally the amount of settings, reliability, and of course construction have a large impact on this price.
Secondly, professional airbrushes by themselves can also command a $100 or $200 price tag.
Where are we going with this?
If you are just jumping into the world of body painting with an airbrush, expect to pay at minimum $100 for something that won’t break within a few weeks of opening (while the gracious return policies are always nice - going through them is usually a pain).
In our research we were surprised to see how small the airbrush market really was. Similar to our recent post covering scanners for artwork, there are very few brands that control the majority of the market.
Therefore, to try and make our review list as comprehensive as possible, we did look at a few different models from the same brands as they were truly unique offerings.
The Best Airbrushes For Body Painting Reviewed
After hours of research, here is our summary on some of the best airbrush kits for body painting:
Master Airbrush Multi-Purpose Airbrushing System Kit
A perfect kit for beginners, this Master Airbrush Body Painting kit has everything you need to get started.
Within the kit you will receive the following:
- 3 Dual Action Airbrushes (2 gravity feed, 1 siphon feed)
- 1/5 HP Diaphragm Air Compressor
- 6 Starter paints
- Color wheel
- Pipe cleaners
- “How To Airbrush” Guide
What we liked most about this kit was the compressor itself.
Not only does it have a 2 year warranty, but it also has a separate water trap to ensure that it removes any moisture from the air before it passes through to the brush (which can help prevent clogs while also ensuring better performance), an easy to read gauge, and 2 holsters to rest your airbrushes on when not in use.
Furthermore, the air compressor has a smart shutoff feature that powers down the compressor once it reaches 57psi - which will help to not only save energy but prolong the life of the compressor itself.
Secondly, depending on the area of the body you are painting, you can also adjust the psi on the compressor to fine tune the flow of paint that comes from the airbrush (the airbrushes are also dual action for greater control).
As great as the compressor may be, the 3 included airbrushes are a nice touch.
With two gravity feed airbrushes (one has a .33oz reservoir and the other a .0625oz reservoir), you can easily work the details of your painting with their .3mm tip.
The siphon feed airbrush has a large 2.75oz reservoir coupled with a .8mm tip - this will be the workhorse of the airbrushes when painting broad swaths of skin (i.e. back, legs, stomach, etc.).
While there were some quality concerns mentioned in the reviews by other body painting enthusiasts, it appears that all issues were settled quickly by Master Airbrush.
Their 1-year refund or replacement policy on all the products in the kit - and 2 year refund or replacement for the compressor, you can purchase with peace of mind.
Overall, this is great for starters. Sure, it might not have all the bells and whistles of a $500 airbrush kit, but if you are just testing out this medium and want to have a bit of fun, this kit is well worth the price.Read More Reviews >>
Blick Complete Airbrush System
Most know Blick Art Materials for their classic art supplies such as their wide selection of oils, acrylics, watercolors, and countless other mediums.
But what many may not know is that they also offer a few airbrush kits that are worth checking out.
This airbrush kit that they put together features all premium components.
While there may have been some questions about off brand airbrushes or questionable air compressors found elsewhere, this set is perfect for those looking for uncompromising quality.
When you buy the kit, you will have access to the following:
- Iwata HP-CS Eclipse Airbrush
- Iwata Smart Jet Compressor
- 20 Iwata Com-Art Colors
- Hobby Knife
- Gloss Sheets
- Airbrush Cleaner
- Cutting Mat
- Cutting Rail
While this is listed under the Blick name, a review of the included components tells us that it’s largely comprised of quality airbrush tools from Iwata.
As we mentioned in another review, the Iwata HP-CS Eclipse Airbrush is Dual Action and allows paint to pass through incredibly smooth.
With the ability to dial in just the right flow through the dual action pin, you can get great precision in your body paintings.
The air compressor has great specs and comes with a one-year warranty.
Should you be looking for something that is far better than entry level - this will be it. It will last you years and should be able to easily withstand several hours of painting.
Overall, this airbrush kit is one of the best for beginners and intermediates. All the components are quality and should last for years. There’s a reason this netted the highest rating by other body paint artists on our list - it’s simply just that good.Buy Now
Neo For Iwata Gravity-Feed Airbrushing Kit
For those who want to take their body painting on the road, or simply don’t want to always have a larger air compressor with them, then you will want to take a look at this no-frills kit by Iwata.
Makers of all things high-end when it comes to the world of airbrushing, the kit includes the following:
- 3 Speed Compact Air Compressor
- NEO Iwata CN Dual Action Gravity Feed Air Brush
- 3 Starter Paints
- 1 Airbrush Cleaner Solution
If there is anything we learned when reviewing this kit, it’s to set realistic expectations.
This kit is intended for light road and home use. You will notice that the air compressor doesn’t feature any sort of gauge, separate water trap, or tank - it’s simple.
So, if you are in tight living quarter (i.e. dorm or single room) or only do body painting casually, it still should be more than enough to get you by.
But what we really loved about this kit is that its easily upgradable. The Dual Action Iwata airbrush is really nice (typically costs about $78 separately) and will feel great in your hand.
Provided you have the correct fittings, you can easily use this with any other compressor you may upgrade to the future.
Overall, while this kit is compact and no-frills, it packs a punch. You will simply love the airbrush. The air compressor will of course be limiting, but if you purchase with the right expectations, it won’t be a problem.Read More Reviews >>
PointZero Airbrush Dual Action Airbrush Kit
Within this kit you fill find the following:
- 3 Dual Action Airbrushes (2 gravity, 1 siphon feed)
- 6′ long braided hose
- 1/5 HP Air compressor
- DVD & eBook on how to airbrush
Another great starter kit for those looking to get into the hobby of body painting but aren’t quite ready to buy all the components yourself.
Like most airbrush kits, they can easily be used between hobbies. So, if you are taking a break from body painting but want to rediscover the joys of model painting, this kit will have no problem serving dual-use purposes.
Overall, this has all the stuff (with the exception of paint) in the kit. With the specs on this are nearly identical to the Master Airbrush kit we reviewed, we would recommend price comparing at checkout and go with the cheaper one.Read More Reviews >>
Master Airbrush + Iwata HP-CS
If you want to upgrade your airbrush skills and want greater control - then you will want to take a close look at this airbrush kit by Master Airbrush.
Starkly different from the other Master Airbrush kit we reviewed, this premium offering has quite a bit going for it.
Within the kit you will find the following:
- Iwata Dual Action Gravity Airbrush
- Airbrush Cleaning Pot
- Braided Hose
- Airbrush Holding Rack (can fit up to 4)
- Compressor with Tank
- 100 Mixing Sticks
- 12 Starter Paints
- Mixing Cups
- Airbrush Cleaning Solution
While many of the extras included in this kit are a nice touch, the biggest selling point is the Iwata Gravity brush.
One of the most highly regarded names in the world of airbrushes (with exception given to perhaps Paasche and Badger).
While the Iwata HP-CS normally retails for about $178 by itself, having it included in this kit is a steal.
Able to dial in the flow between fine and wide sprays, you should have no problem using just this single airbrush for an entire body painting (naturally you will have to stop if you want to change colors).
Beyond the airbrush, the compressor is rather quiet, has a water trap to remove the moisture from the air (especially key if you are painting outdoors or in a damp climate), tank, and an easy-to-read onboard gauge.
Overall, artists buy this kit for the airbrush itself. While the included extras (i.e. paint, mixing sticks, etc.) are a nice touch - know that you will get a quality airbrush that you can use the rest of your life.Read More Reviews >>
Getting The Most Out of Your New Airbrush Kit
Like any art supply, practice rather than price will determine how great the supplies perform.
Therefore, to get the most out of your new airbrush kit, you will need to make sure you practice body painting regularly.
In order to reduce the learning curve, we did come across a few videos in our research that we wanted to share.
Here we thought the following body painting artists did a great job explaining the tips and tricks to a great body painting:
Airbrush Newbie Tips by Josh Seaman
Here you can see how a professional airbrush artist talks about the importance of the airbrush along with a few creative ways to practice your techniques.
But what is also great about this video is that Josh explains what he is doing while painting - making this hugely helpful for beginners.
Airbrush Face Painting
In this video you will learn proper setup of the airbrush itself along with a tutorial on applying the paint to the skin.
Furthermore, you can see how the artist uses stencils to their advantage in order to create nice color blocks on the skin.
For those who like to skip ahead, the painting begins at the 1:48 mark.
Airbrush Body Painting With Stencils
Similar to the previous video, here you can look over the shoulder of a fellow artist and see how they use stencils to create a Biomechanical effect in their finished body painting.
Where Can You Buy Airbrush Kits Online?
Of course, the most popular online retailer, Amazon, has a wide selection of airbrushes, compressors, and complete kits (many of which we linked to above).
But if you are one looking to purchase from a more boutique retailer or simply are looking for a wider selection, we recommend checking out these stores:
Choosing The Best Airbrush Kit For Body Painting
When we set out on our assignment to review the best airbrush kits for body painting in 2019, we were surprised by the limited selection. With only a few brands taking the lions share of the market, artists hands are somewhat tied when making a decision.
However, after several careful hours of research, reading forums, subreddits, customer reviews, and seeing results, we do feel confident that we found the best airbrush kits currently on the market.
Now given that we are a bit smaller team here at Createlet, inevitably a product or two might have gotten by us. If you want us to take a look at another brand, please let us know!
So, if you are jumping into the world of body painting with an airbrush, we hope our guide was helpful in finding the perfect kit for you.