Airbrush VS HVLP: What’s The Difference?

Airbrush and HVLP spray guns are the two common ways to paint or color an object. They are used for many different types of coating, such as automotive, furniture refinishing, body painting, floor painting, and much more. They are very popular with artists and newbies.

An airbrush is an air-operated tool for spraying a liquid material to produce small particles, atomized or ultra-soft fine art spray paints. The HVLP is a method of spraying paint using a high-pressure compressed air system.

They have different features and purposes, so it is important to know the difference between them. If you are wondering which one to choose for your project, Airbrush vs. HVLP Spray Gun, this article will help you take a decision.

Airbrush VS HVLP Spray Gun

The main difference between an airbrush and an HVLP spray gun is the atomization. The airbrush is so delicate, pen-like sprayer designed to atomize paint or liquid with high pressure and high efficiency, while an HVLP gun uses lower pressure to atomize paint with low efficiency and delicacy.

The airbrush is the perfect tool for delicate and detailed work. It is a device that sprays paint or ink by blowing air through a narrow opening.

But the HVLP is a mode of spraying where nozzle pressure is low and air volume is high. It is used to achieve a thin film with an extremely high degree of smoothness.

#1. Structure Difference

Airbrush is a small structure spray gun primarily used to spray painting or to apply makeup by skilled artists.


While an HVLP spray gun is bigger than an airbrush and is used to apply paint to different surfaces. It can be used easily by skilled and beginners.

#2. Transfer Efficiency

The HVLP spray gun is great for a lower level of finish and has a better transfer efficiency than an airbrush. That’s why; you get a low level of finishing.


#3. Material Handling

The airbrush is an air gun that uses a stream of compressed air to force paint through a narrow opening at high speed.

It can handle soft material with more efficiency while the HVLP spray gun is especially suited to thick materials, heavy trim, and large surfaces.

#4. Paint Finishing

An airbrush sprayer is more efficient and versatile than an HVLP spray gun. It sprays material smoother and is soft than HVLP.

As it is also used to complete delicate projects, so it sprays so nicely and makes the surface silky and glossy.

So the airbrush usually has a better painting effect, but the HVLP spray gun has better performance for rough painting.

#5. Power Difference

Here, the airbrush sprayer is less powerful than the HVLP gun. HVLP spray gun is strong and sturdy that can bear the weather effects.

It is cheaper and faster than an airbrush but produces a rougher finish and limited control.

#6. Project Handling

The airbrush is normally used to handle small projects but an HVLP spray gun can handle larger projects also.

They are much more beneficial for commercial applications and sophisticated for professional artists.

The HVLP system is a great development in the world of spray paint. It is very different in its design and operation.

In general, the airbrush is a small type of spraying tool that is better for a fine finish.

But HVLP spray gun can get more materials, so it’s more suitable for large-scale spraying

#7. Detailed Finish

An airbrush spray is great for those who want a really detailed finish that can last longer and needs the ultimate attention.

On the other hand, the HVLP spray gun is the greatest gun that sprays faster and can cover a lot of ground.

It’s great for you especially when you need to paint something quickly or need to use a lot of material to cover a surface quickly.

#8. Price Difference

An airbrush costs less than an HVLP spray gun, so you’ll save your hard earned money too.

It is the better option of the two because it is more cost-effective and can be used for more projects.

It provides you with a fine finish and a higher level of precision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key differences you find between the HVLP spray gun and the airbrush?

These both tools are made for different purposes with one common feature. They can atomize paint by using compressed air.

The HVLP Spray guns are usually designed to cover larger areas, but on the other hand, the airbrushes focus on accuracy and efficiency.

What is the benefit of using an HVLP spray gun?

The benefit of using an HVLP spray gun is that it can atomize paint faster and accurately at a lower pressure than other traditional spray guns.

It sprays softer and even. It can cover larger areas without many touchups. Its lower pressure reduces air pollution.

For what purpose, can I use an airbrush?

The designers of an airbrush use it to apply color to a surface. They spray makeup on the skin with an airbrush.

They also use it to spray acrylics on plastic and watercolor on paper. It can powerfully break a liquid into small droplets particularly when you connect it to an air compressor.

Can I use an airbrush easily?

No, it is not an easy task to use an airbrush, if you have just started working with it. You need more practice to use it properly.

What do I need more to paint my car using an airbrush?

You need your favorite paint, an airbrush gun, a compressor, a buffer, a powerful sander, and 1200 to 2000 grit sandpaper for painting your car with an airbrush.

In a Nutshell

Airbrush is a paint sprayer that can spray paint in more atomized and finer quality than an HVLP spray gun. With airbrushing, you can achieve a smoother finish with good coverage and detail. While the HVLP spray gun provides faster painting with less need for thinning and cleanup.

I hope the article will help you a lot to decide better. Good Luck.

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