How do I use the airbrush system?
We HIGHLY recommend you watch our video tutorials on using the airbrush system here.
Before You Begin:
- The Cookie Countess Airbrush Machine is a single-action airbrush gun. That means when you turn on the airbrush machine, the compressor will constantly run so air will always come out of the gun.
- Color doesn't come out until you pull back the trigger.
- We recommend you our The Cookie Countess brand airbrush colors because we stand behind the quality of our products.
- Do not use gel color or other types of food coloring.
Adding Color to your Machine:
- Protect your work area. Airbrush spray will travel so be sure to isolate your work surface and keep items/cookies you don’t want colored away from the airbrush gun.
- Add a few drops of airbrush color into your gun well.
Color will not come out of the gun until you pull back on the trigger.
- Experiment with your machine on a paper towel to get used to the power of the trigger!
Adjusting Pressure & The Gun Trigger
- If you are using The Cookie Countess regular airbrush colors, start the pressure knob on medium to medium-high pressure. The machine will work best on this setting, the goal is to keep the pressure as high as possible to get an even spray.
- Adjust the pressure knob to high if you have a shimmer color, or if you are trying to cover a larger surface area (like a cake).
- The amount you pull back on the trigger determines the amount of color that will spray. Start by slowly pulling back on the trigger and spraying lightly as you learn the process of airbrushing.
- The best results will come from a medium-high pressure and a gentle pull back on the trigger.
- For best results layer color on, don’t try to create an even coat in a single pass.
- Splotchy, blotchy color? If you are too close to the surface or you are pulling on the trigger too hard your color will be splotchy. Try moving the gun further away from your surface. Light layers are your friend here too. Use steady, even passes to layer color onto your surface. See our troubleshooting guide here!
- Your distance away from your work surface impact your spray pattern. If using a stencil we recommend a distance of 6-8” away from your surface.
- Dry time can vary from 2 - 15 minutes depending on how much color you put down. Experiment first! If it has been an hour and your color is still tacky, you have most likely used too much color. This much color is unnecessary.
How do I keep a stencil in place while airbrushing?
- Hold your stencil in place with the reusable Stencil Genie or a Magnet Set and attach it to a metal cookie sheet.
What colors can I use with airbrushing? Can I use gel colors?
- We recommend you use non-expired Cookie Countess Airbrush Colors (because we stand by the quality of our product!). You cannot use gel colors, oil colors, powdered colors, or any homemade colors (natural dyes, etc) in this machine. Before using inspect your airbrush color be sure there are NO solid or thick, goopy pieces in your airbrush color.
- To use with shimmer, metallic, or pearl airbrush colors you may like using a .5mm gun found here, it has a little more room for a thicker color. Read our guide on cleaning airbrush gun clogs here.
A word on using older colors or other brands:
- Many colors, especially older colors that have been sitting on the shelf awhile (it happens!) become thick over time and can cause clogs. If you have trouble using a color other than The Cookie Countess brand, try running the machine on high with hot water only (put hot water in the well where the color goes).
- You can put your finger over the front while it's spraying to kick back hot water into the well and unclog a machine.
Which airbrush gun do I need?
The Cookie Countess Airbrush system only works with a single-action gun.
Every Airbrush system includes a .4mm Nozzle Single-Action Airbrush Gun. This gun can be used with any of our airbrush colors. This is NOT compatible with a dual-action compressor, such as a Master.
Our .5mm Nozzle Single Action-Airbrush Gun can be purchased separately. The .5mm nozzle gun has a slightly bigger needle opening than the gun that comes with our system. It allows more room for thicker metallic airbrush colors - or for those that like to mix luster dusts with alcohol to make their own color. Please still be aware that some dusts/powders are simply not meant to be mixed and used in an airbrush gun, and can cause clogging.
The .5mm gun is suitable for systems that are single action, and have a slide-on hose attachment - like the Cookie Countess system.
What does your warranty cover?
The Cookie Countess Airbrush System comes with a 1-year warranty.
The Cookie Countess warranties this product to be free from defects in material or workmanship for a period of one (1) year following the date of purchase, provided that the product is used in compliance with the operating manual. This limited warranty does not cover failures due to abuse, accidental damage or when repairs have been made or attempted by anyone other than The Cookie Countess. A defective product meeting the warranty conditions set will be replaced or repaired at no charge by exchanging the product to The Cookie Countess; or returning the product to The Cookie Countess for a refund.
Airbrush Problem Troubleshooting
My airbrush spray is blotchy or the gun is sputtering.
Follow these troubleshooting steps:
- You may be too close to the work surface, pulling the trigger too hard, or using old/thick airbrush color.
- Try spraying plain, filtered water with the pressure knob set to high. If the gun doesn’t spray in a fine mist at full power, then you have a clog or partial clog
- If you have a clog, try pulling back the needle out of the back of the gun, unscrewing and nozzle cap, and flushing hot water through the well and out the nozzle. If it shoot out a clear stream you should be okay. If not, the nozzle may have to get cleaned. For a full in-dept video of machine cleaning visit this page.
Still getting splotchy color? You may be using the machine on pressure that is too low! Try turning up the pressure to a medium-high setting.
My airbrush spray is too strong, too weak, or random in pressure.
Follow these troubleshooting steps:
- Check your machine for air leaks. Leaks can happen in the hose if not properly stored, in the hose connector (part 19), needle cap (1), and nozzle cap (2).
- Check compressor. Remove the white hose from the machine body, turn the machine on high and put your finger over the machine air port. It should build pressure against your finger. If it makes no change then it could be a bad compressor (this is a rare problem, please contact us).
- Check hose for leaks. If the air port is working, attach the white hose to the compressor and put your finger over the other end of the hose. The hose should spoil up and create pressure against your finger. If the hose does not have proper airflow it may be faulty, you can purchase a replacement hose from our website.
- Check airbrush gun. Attach your airbrush gun to the hose and make sure the front caps (1, 2) are on tight. Put filtered water in the gun well, turn on the machine, and gently pull the trigger. Water should come out in a fine mist. If the gun does not spray, follow unclogging direction below.
- Advanced: Check Needle. Unscrew the gun tail (14) and make sure the needle is going in and out with the trigger when it’s pulled back. If not, lightly press the needle towards the front of the gun and then screw the needle nut on tight. That will attach the trigger to the needle so that the needle pulls back with the trigger.
- You should be seeing better results at this point. If water is spraying out but the color isn’t then it’s likely a problem with your airbrush color.
- Refer to our trouble shooting video for a visual guide here.
If you had a bad compressor or a leaky hose:
- If there is something wrong with our products, and still under warranty, we will send you replacements. Please contact us here.
There are bubbles in my cup, how do I stop this?
- Let's first check to see if the compressor is working.
- Take the hose off the compressor and put your finger over the air port with the machine on high. Does it make a sound like the compressor is spooling up and the air presses against your finger? IF it makes no sound change then the compressor is broken but this is super rare.
- If the compressor does spool up then attach the white hose to the machine and put your finger over the other end of the white hose to check if there are any leaks in the hose. If not then attach the gun to the hose.
- Make sure the front caps of the gun are on tight. Put water in the well and spray it on high. A fine mist should shoot out. IF not put your finger over the front cap of the gun to check if the air is sent back into the well causing it to bubble.
- The compressor needs resistance to spool up and move air so if there is a leak in the system anywhere the gun won't pressurize and nothing will happen when you pull the trigger.
- If the well is still bubbling, you may need to clean a clog out of your system. View our video on how to take apart and clean your system here.
Can I order replacement parts for my airbrush?
Yes! Click these links for airbrush parts: