How to Airbrush Cars


Draw the design you intend to make onto a piece of flexible vinyl and cut out the portions that will be painted with box cutters.


Tape the vinyl template in place on the vehicle.


Choose which color you are going to paint with first. Start with background colors and darker colors, then work into the foreground colors.


Cover anything that shouldn't be painted in the color you just chose with masking tape. If you need to cover a large area, use the masking tape to secure sheets of paper or scrap vinyl.


Airbrush the first layer on to your car. You will use one finger to regulate the flow of air and paint with a lever that is usually mounted on the top of the airbrush. Remember that the closer you hold the airbrush to the car, the smaller a surface will be covered and your color effect will be more dense.


Remove the extra covering tape once you have finished working with the first color. Select your second color and cover any portions of the art that aren't to receive that color. If you're going to paint over the first layer, let it dry first.


Continue painting, a color at a time, until your design is complete. Wait until the paint is dry before you remove the main vinyl template. This helps prevent smearing.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you like the design you've just created, save the template for future use.It might be helpful to have a photograph or drawing of how you would like the finished design to look nearby while you work. You can refer to it for guidance as needed.Make sure that you have a well-ventilated place to store your car, away from wind and rain, while it dries.
  • Always work in a well ventilated area when using airbrush paints.Wear a protective face mask and eye protection while working with airbrush paints.Cover your clothing with a smock or apron to protect it from paint.
  • Airbrushing is a fine art, but even a beginner can create high quality airbrush designs with the proper template, time and patience. Adding airbrushed graphics to your car is a sure way to attract attention, but because car art is such a highly visible medium--and difficult to remove--practice basic airbrush techniques first. Once you are ready to apply your art to cars, you can secure a well-ventilated work area, put on your protective face mask and clear goggles, then get started.