How To Airbrush A Cake

Cake airbrushing is a technique that gives decorated cakes a boost. This style of cake decoration employs the use of an airbrush gun and edible paint; you put the paint into the airbrush gun and then spray your cake as desired.  Learning how to airbrush a cake is a venture that would stand every cake decorator in good stead.

Although the result of airbrushing on a cake is usually beautiful and sometimes spectacular, the effort that goes into airbrushing a cake is not as complex as it appears.

Before you buy an airbrush gun for your cake decoration, there are some things you need to know about how to use it and get the best out of it.

So we’ll drop a few useful tips in the following segements :-

How To Airbrush A Cake – Expert Tips

Basic Techniques

(i) Before you embark on airbrushing a cake, it’s best to draw out the design you want to airbrush on the cake. This would enable you to organize how to sort the colors and patterns.

(ii) There are three basic things to bear in mind when using an airbrush gun. One is the pressure you exert on the airbrush gun; this determines how the design would turn out. Another factor is the angle at which you hold the airbrush gun and finally the speed of the spraying.

These techniques are not mastered overnight. You have to continuously practice so that you would get a hang of them. There are different tools and kits that can help you practice well.

(iii) The best distance to hold your airbrush gun is about 6 to 8 inches away from the surface of your cake. If you hold it too close to the cake, it would give your cake pock marks. But if you hold your airbrush gun too far, it would splatter all over instead of spraying properly on the cake.

(iv)  Cover the surrounding background where you’ll be working on your cake with old newspapers, kitchen towels or kitchen roll. Whatever works for you; use it. The most important thing is to ensure that you don’t get color splatters all over your walls.

There are many other tips on how to airbrush a cake and we enumerated them in a previous post. Click here to read it.

You can also watch the accompanying videos for more tips.


Airbrush Cake Decorating Kit - Watson and Webb Little Airbrush Including 13 Colors, Stencil, 1 x Airbrush Cleaning Solution and Pot, Cleaning Brushes and Case

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Rules of Use and Maintenance

(i) Ensure that the airbrush gun is strictly for cake decoration only. Do not use one airbrush gun for both edible and non-edible craft. You can however use one compressor for different airbrush guns.

(ii) Use only colors that are meant for cake decoration.

(iii) When you are using more than one color to decorate, ensure that you clean out the gun between colors. Use a squeeze bottle with hot water; that way the color wouldn’t be muddled up. The needle too would not have buildup of any kind.

(iv) Adhere strictly to all the guidelines given by the manufacturer of your airbrush gun. When you use and care for your airbrush as recommended, you would get the best out of it.

(v) One of the rules of maintenance is that you clean the nozzle regularly and thoroughly after each use. If you don’t wash out the nozzle carefully, it would eventually start producing splatters on your cake.



How To Airbrush A Cake – Best Tools and Mediums to Use

There are a lot of tools and mediums that you can employ to get the best of airbrushing a cake.

Airbrush works well on fondant covered cakes, buttercream frosted and royal icing. When you want to airbrush a cake, you can use stencils or free hand drawing. You can also use an airbrush machine to create ombre effect on your cake.

Here’s a list of some products that you’ll need:-

A Cake Airbrush Kit (obviously lol)

Clear alcohol or Edible spirit

Cake paint (also known as airbrush colors)


How To Airbrush A Cake Without An Airbrush Machine 

Do you know that you can employ the technique of airbrushing without using a cake airbrushing machine?

Here are some alternatives that you can use:-

(i) A stencil and paint brush -In this method, all you need to do is place a stencil on the surface that you want to decorate. Then using a paint brush, dust on the pattern on the stencil to the cake surface.

(ii) A Stencil and a spray can  – Use the same method described above. The only difference is that you’ll spray on the surface of the cake instead of using a paint brush.

(iii) Peval Sprayer – Some cake decorators say that they have used this multipurpose sprayer to replicate the effect of an airbrush on their cakes. We do not have any personal experience with this but it may be worth a try.


This brief article would definitely not suffice in providing all the information you need. We advise that you read one of our previous articles on cake airbrush kits. It would give you more insight on the subject at hand.

Below also are some links to more resources that would help you improve in your cake decoration:- 

Airbrush Cake Decorating Kit - Watson and Webb Little Airbrush Including 13 Colors, Stencil, 1 x Airbrush Cleaning Solution and Pot, Cleaning Brushes and CaseClick here to check this out and buy on Amazon



How To Airbrush A Cake – FAQs 

How Long Does It Take An Airbrushed Cake To Dry?

The length of time it would take your airbrushed cake to dry depends on the way you spray the cake. If you spray your cake lightly, it wouldn’t take up to an hour to dry; there are even some airbrush colors that would dry immediately.  But in the situation where spray very heavily, the cake may not dry until the following day.

So factor in the thickness (intensity) of the color and also the brand of the airbrush color nto how long it would take to dry. This would help you in a situation where you are thinking of airbrushing a cake that you need to dry before use.  If also you want to spray more than one layer, then spray the first layer thin; that would allow the layer dry faster so that you can apply the second layer.

How Do You Dry An Airbrushed Cake?

To dry an airbrushed cake, you must ensure that it is in a cool dry place. If your kitchen is hot, it is not good for cake decorating. It is best that your decorating room be cool and dry; air conditioned is best because of humidity. Humidity is one factor that affects cake decoration a lot especially when working with fondant and other forms of sugar craft.

So when you are done airbrushing the cake, leave it out in an air conditioned room to dry. If you do not have an air condition spot to leave it in, you can place it in front of a fan. However, ensure that the cake is not directly in front of the fan but a little ways away from it.


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What Is The Difference Between A Single And Double Action Airbrush?

The difference between a single and double action airbrush is in the way the user can control the flow of air and paint in the airbrush gun.

With the single action, the airbrush gun works just like an aerosol can and is easy to control. The air and paint mixes outside the needle and the volume of paint sprayed is controlled by a knob in front of the needle.

A double action airbrush however has double trigger action and the paint and air mixes inside the needle. This type of airbrush gives the user more control over the airbrush gun to be able to create more intricate designs.

Our article on cake airbrush kit is very detailed on this subject; you would do well to check it out.

Why Is My Airbrush Not Spraying Paint?

There are many reasons why your airbrush may not be spraying paint and they include the following:-

(i) The air pressure is too low for the thickness of paint that’s in the paint cup

(ii) The nozzle of the airbrush gun is clogged

(iii) The nozzle is not properly fixed

So troubleshoot and find out what the problem is and fix it as follows:-

(i) Thin the color to the right consistency and ensure that it is free of even the tiniest of lumps.

(ii) Clean out the nozzle and ensure that there is no dried out color or clumps in it.

(iii) Check all the moving parts and ensure that they are all properly fixed.

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