Updated August 7, 2017 (supersedes all previous versions)
This guide covers Createx Airbrush Colors & Wicked Colors.
Createx Airbrush Colors and Wicked Colors are each designed for application to fabric, textiles and leather (as well as many other substrates). Createx Airbrush Colors are more textile-specific compared with Wicked Colors, offering a soft-hand feel on fabrics. Wicked Colors are more durable compared with Createx Airbrush Colors with better adhesion to synthetic fabrics such as nylon.
Ideal Conditions are 70-75°F with low humidity. Allow for extended drying times when painting in colder or humid conditions.
ADDITIVES & CLEANERS
4004 Transparent Base
- Colorless resin base to Wicked Colors. Works as extender to colors for increased transparency, as protective inter-coat over colors and as initial coating onto fabric for improved coverage & to minimize fabric-knap from interfering while painting, keeping lines& color-blends crisp.
- A water-based cleaner used to soak metallic airbrush parts after use. Partially dissolves dried paint making for easy clean-up with soap & water. Dissolves soft-plastics. Keep away from non-PTFE coated O-rings.
4012 High Performance Reducer
- Thinner for Createx Airbrush Colors, Wicked Colors and all Createx Colors paints.
4030 Balancing Clear
- A water-based, urethane clear for mixing with Createx Airbrush Colors and Wicked Colors for improved flow, adhesion and durability. Recommended when painting plastic, leather, vinyl, glass, synthetic fabrics and any non-porous surface.
5601 Createx Transparent Base
- Colorless resin base to Createx Airbrush Colors. Works as extender to colors for increased transparency, as protective inter-coat over colors and as initial coating onto fabric for improved coverage& to minimize fabric-knap from interfering while painting, keeping lines & color-blends crisp.
5603 Matte Top Coat
- A water-based clear that dries matte for application on fabric, leather a light hobby.
5604 Gloss Top Coat
- A water-based clear that dries glossy for application on fabric, leather and light hobby.
5618 Airbrush Cleaner
- A mild, water-based cleaner for rinsing colors in airbrush between color changes.
Spray-Gun: 1.2mm tip-sized operated at 29 psi.
Airbrush: 0.5mm 45+ psi
0.35mm and smaller – reduce with 4012 High Performance Reducer until colors flow and atomize well.
- oGenerally, the smaller the tip-size and lower the psi, the more paint is reduced.
- oWicked Colors flow and atomize better through smaller tip-sizes and lower psi setting compared to Createx Airbrush Colors.
Createx Airbrush Colors and Wicked Colors may be sprayed direct-from-the-bottle with a large tip-sized airbrush operated 45-60+ psi. For smaller tip-sizes and reduced pressures, thinning with 4012 High Performance Reducer is recommended. Additionally, when painting leather, plastic, vinyl, synthetic fibers such as nylon and other hard-to-paint substrates, mixing in about 25% per volume 4030 Balancing Clear with the paint & reducer mix will greatly improve adhesion.
Createx Airbrush Colors and Wicked Colors may both be reduced with 4012 High Performance Reducer. Reduction amounts vary between Createx Airbrush Colors and Wicked Colors. Generally, Wicked Colors may be reduced in much greater amounts (up to 100% per volume) compared with Createx Airbrush Colors which are not recommended for reduction past 25% per volume to maintain an adequate resin-load. If reducing Createx Airbrush Colors past 25% per volume, adding 5601 Createx Transparent Base into the mix maintains a proper resin load.
Textile and Natural Fibers
|0.5mm tip-sized airbrush operated ~45+ psi||Reduction not required|
|0.35mm tip-sized airbrush operated ~30 psi||Reduce 10% per volume 4012 High Performance Reducer|
|Tip-sizes smaller then 0.3mm||Createx Airbrush Colors not
Reduce Wicked Colors 25-50% per volume
Leather, Vinyl, Synthetic Fibers, Plastic, and other hard-to-paint substrates
Add 4030 Balancing Clear to colors approx. 25% per volume, then reduce with 4012 High Performance Reducer. When adding 4030 Balancing Clear to paint, it’s best to add 4030 to the paint, mix thoroughly, then add 4012 High Performance Reducer.
PREPARING FABRIC FOR PAINT
Createx Airbrush Colors and Wicked Colors may be applied direct to fabric without preparation. However, for best coverage and to minimize fabric knap from interfering while airbrushing, apply a few light coats of either 5601 or 4004 Transparent Base to the fabric prior to paint and heat-set.
When painting black fabric, the key to getting vibrant colors is to both 1) prepare the fabric by applying a few light coats of either 5601 or 4004 Transparent Base and 2) mapping out the artwork with white prior to applying colors. Heat-setting both the Transparent Base and white prior to applying colors is recommended.
Apply colors in light coats. Allow colors to dry tack-free in-between coats. Avoid building up paint in heavy coats as excess material is what leads to paint cracking and flaking, especially when painting flexible substrates such as fabric and leather. A coating consisting of multiple, light coats is much stronger compared to one of equal thickness achieved with fewer coats.
Createx Airbrush Colors and Wicked Colors must each be cured with hear when painting fabrics for washfast colors. Wicked Colors do air-dry to a cured coating without the need for heat for applications other than washfast textile and fabrics wheras Createx Airbrush Colors require heat for curing.
For washfast results on fabric and textiles, allow Createx Airbrush Colors or Wicked Colors to thoroughly dry, then cure with heat.
Heat curing can be done by:
- Heat-Gun: Apply heat at a low to mid-temperature setting, no more than 300°F. Keep air moving so as not to blister the paint. Warm to the touch works; avoid excessive application of heat as this may create a latex-like film which easily peels.
- Shirt-Press: 325°F for 20-25 seconds
- Iron: With a protective cloth between iron and paint, set iron to a cotton / high setting and iron over painted area for about 60-90 seconds keeping iron moving so as not to blister paint.
- After curing or thorough air drying, paint may be cleaned with odorless mineral spirits or a solvent-based, post-sanding degreaser. Do not clear with water.
- Clean airbrush during use with water or 5618 Airbrush Cleaner.
- Clean airbrush after use by soaking metallic parts: nozzle, needle & cup in 4008 Restorer followed by brushing off partially-dissoved paint and rinsing with water. Dissoves soft-plastics. Keep away from non-PTFE coated O-rings.
Always spray in a well-ventilated area with access to fresh air. A NIOSH / MSHA approved respirator is recommended. See Material Safety Data Sheets for somplete safety and handling information.