How to fix an airbrush?

Even the most quality and affordable Airbrush machine will face some issues at one point. Most Airbrush problems are well known. So, the solutions already exist. 

The guide below will give you some of the most common issues you might face and how to solve them. Let’s hook you up. 

Common Airbrush problems and solutions

 If you have an Airbrush machine, most of the issues you will experience are solved by cleaning the Airbrush. Some of this issues that are solved by cleaning include; when your Airbrush is sputtering, clogged, not producing any products, Airbrush producing irregular makeup products, and when there is bubbling in the pot. Other issues such as bent needle can be solved by replacing the needle. 

Imagine planning to have Airbrush makeup for your birthday only for the Airbrush makeup machine to miss behave. You might be forced to use regular makeup or fix the Airbrush. If you choose the fixing the Airbrush machine route, this guide will be of so much help. 

1.Is your Airbrush not producing any products?

You might follow the right route to apply Airbrush makeup only for your Airbrush to jam when it comes to the actual makeup application. 

This might be as a result of heavy makeup and can be solved by dilute it using an Airbrush makeup thinner.

  • Put three to five drops of Airbrush makeup in a mixing bowl.
  • Add a ¼ table spoon of a thinner of your choice or a moisturizer. 
  • Take a small brush and stir while adding more thinner until you achieve the consistency you are going for. 
  • You can then use the Airbrush makeup in your Airbrush. 

Ensure you clean the remnants of the heavy Airbrush makeup from the Airbrush to ensure the nozzle is not blocked.

2.Is your Airbrush machine producing irregular makeup particles?

If the products are in the right consistency and the products are not expired but you are getting the harsh lines or uneven makeup look, you should check the needle.

  • Take a wrench or a pair of pliers and loosen the connection where the nozzle is connected to the Airbrush. 
  • Remove the cap which will result to the nozzle coming off. 
  • Pull the needle backwards from the nozzle slowly. This ensure you are safe. 
  • Observe of it is dirty or it is bent.
  • If it dirty, use a clean cloth to wipe the makeup or dust of. 
  • However, if it is bent, you can replace the needle with a new one. 

Check of the needle and the nozzle are compatible. 

3.Are you having problems controlling the amount of products being released?

As a beginner, you can use the lowest air flow speed to achieve perfection. However, as you advance, you can set the air pressure for Airbrush  to suit your level.

  • If you using a dial compressor, turn the dial clockwise to the highest setting on the dial. 
  • Then, gently lower the pressure to a medium setting. 
  • At this point, you can test to see if your Airbrush is producing the right amount of products. 
  • You can adjust the settings until you get the right speed flow.

Use water when testing the Airflow to prevent wastage of products. 

4.Is there bubbling in the pot?

When applying Airbrush makeup, products are supposed to come out in a mist form once you press the trigger. 

If by any chance no products is coming out of the Airbrush and you can hear bubbling in the mixing pot, there is some issue with your air gaps

  • Disassemble the Airbrush makeup machine before you start your cleaning process. 
  • Put some mild cleanser in a mixing bowl and soak the nozzle, and the outlet parts. 
  • Once the makeup products are loose, you can use a brush to clean the air gaps and the sealing. 
  • Check if there is any clog in any of the system before assembling the machine back. 
  • Use some water in the Airbrush to test if the Airbrush is clogged.

If your Airbrush is working, you can go ahead and apply makeup. 

5.Is your Airbrush machine sputtering?

airbrush makeup machine
An Airbrush Machine

Air and products in mist form is what your Airbrush is supposed to release if your Airbrush is working as it should. 

Since the products have moisture in them, moisture will eventually buildup inside the Airbrush. When the moisture is too much, it will start coming out when applying Airbrush makeup.

To prevent this from happening, you should ensure your Airbrush has moisture traps. You should also empty the moisture traps frequently. 

  • Press the release valve placed at the top of your Airbrush machine to release a the pressurized air. 
  • Open the moisture traps and use a cotton pad to drain the excess moisture from the traps. 
  • If the drains is dirty, you can dip a cotton wool into a cleanser and clean the traps.

Do not clean the traps without letting the pressurized air out. Otherwise, the dirty moisture will find it’s way to your Airbrush machine. 

6.Is your Airbrush spiderwebbing?

Another issue you might realize with your Airbrush is when air is being flown away from the direction you are spraying before it is dried up. This is what we call spiderwebbing. 

  • Reset the Airbrush pressure by adjusting it to the highest setting. 
  • You can then start adjusting as you come down to the medium setting and start testing if the pressure is alright. 
  • Keep adjusting until you get the right pressure for your Airbrush. 
  • You can then go ahead and apply your Airbrush makeup.

7.Has your Airbrush lost accuracy?

An Airbrush is meant to be 100% precise. So, when you notice some products coming out in irregular sizes, shapes, and moments of not any products being released, you should give your Airbrush a check. 

  • Take your wrench or a pair of pliers and loosen all the joints on your Airbrush machine. 
  • Disassemble your Airbrush and put all the parts aside. 
  • Start by checking if the needle is coated by dried makeup. If it coated, you will to use a cleanser and a clean cloth to wipe it off. 
  • If the issue does not stop after dealing with your needle, you should check if the trigger is too loose. 
  • Press the trigger using tiny force and observe how it behaves. 
  • If the trigger feels a bit loose, it means the time for replacement here. 

Airbrushes come with two different trigger system. Ensure you are choosing the right system. You can also find a professional to do a replacement for you.

8.Is your Airbrush machine clogged?

When clogging happens on your Airbrush machine, even the most light and then makeup cannot be released. 

If this happens you need to deep clean your Airbrush machine.

  • Start by feeding Luke warm water or mild into the feeding cup and let it move to the mixing chamber. 
  • Press the trigger to let the water or cleansers be released in mist form through the nozzle.
  • If the gun is heavily clogged, no products will be released. However, it will soften the clogs for easy removal. 
  • You can then go ahead and disassemble your Airbrush machine. 
  • Remove the softened clogs and go ahead to clean each and every part of the Airbrush separately.

Once your Airbrush is cleaned, you can assemble it again and store in a cool dry place under room temperature. 

9.Are the parts not moving normally?

Not to attribute this issue with old age, but you will find parts like the trigger, the nozzle and levels are not operating as they did when the Airbrush was new. 

If you keep using water and soap to wash your Airbrush without drying it up and oiling the parts, your Airbrush will eventually rust.

A rusted Airbrush will not only inconvenience you during application. You might develop some skin related infections from the rust. 

  • Soak a soft microfiber cloth in a mild cleanser. 
  • Wipe the surface of the Airbrush machine. 
  • As for the parts that have joints, you can pour one drop of the cleanser and then a blow dryer to blow all the dust.
  • You should then follow with a lubricant to ensure your Airbrush doesn’t rust. 

How often should I clean my Airbrush?

From the multiple issues and solutions portrayed above, you can see aside from the technical issues, the other issues can be solved by cleaning your Airbrush. 

Due to the nature, the big question is how often should you clean your Airbrush?

In order to achieve the most flawless makeup look in every application, you should clean your Airbrush after every use. 

This will not only make your makeup flawless. Your Airbrush machine life span will be increased largely and you will eliminate almost half the issues your are likely to face when Applying Airbrush makeup.


Most problems you will face during Airbrush makeup application are associated with makeup building up in your Airbrush and when the pressure is either too low or too high. 

So, most if the issues can be solved through cleaning your Airbrush and controlling the pressure of the Airbrush. 

The guide above has some of the most common issues you are likely to face when applying makeup and their solutions. Check to see the reason your Airbrush machine is not working is included in the list. 

You can also add your issue and how to fix the issue then subscribe to this page for more beauty related content. 


  1. D’Allaird, M. (2012). Milady Standard Makeup. Cengage Learning.
  2. Zhang, F. J. (2019). Empowering Airbrush Design for Social Innovation: Building a Micro-Community Based Creative Platform.
  3. Alifetime, O. I. (2011). FREAKY.

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