4 Ways to Apply Marking Material and What You Need to Know About Each of Them
Making a decision about the way in which you want to apply your marking material can depend on the types of projects you’re working on and on your own personal preferences. Here are four application methods with pros and cons for each to help you decide which method is best for you.
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1. Aerosol Spray Cans
Many people prefer applying marking material with aerosol spray cans for the sake of convenience.
(1) The aerosol spray cans require no preparation other than shaking the can before use.
(2) Unlike the paste form of marking material, the spray cans do not require a dilution solvent.
(3) Also unlike the paste, they do not require the purchase of a secondary apparatus for application.
(4) Spray from the spray cans dries faster than applied diluted paste.
(5) There is no cleanup required after use.
(1) The aerosol cans are not as cost-effective as the paste.
(2) The spray pattern is not quite as easy to control as an airbrush system.
2. Airbrush Systems
Airbrush systems can be a good choice for people doing high-volume projects.
(1) They provide the most control over the spray pattern and allow for a light, even coat.
(2) They minimize overspray and therefore prevent waste of marking material.
(3) You can pour any leftover diluted paste back into your diluted paste bottle for use at a later time.
(1) The initial investment required to purchase the airbrush system, nozzle, and bottles.
(2) Some amount of cleanup is required after finishing the project. Specifically, you will have to pour any leftover diluted paste back into your diluted paste bottle, rinse out the empty bottle, and clean the airbrush nozzle.
If you’re interested in purchasing an airbrush system, we recommend the following system on Amazon based on our own extensive experience with the product:
Although it seems counterintuitive, we have found that single-action, low-cost nozzles work better than pricey ones. We recommend the following nozzle:
Finally, we have found that the standard glass bottle that comes with most airbrush systems is too small. Thus, we recommend buying your own larger capacity plastic bottles to use with the system. The following bottles work well:
3. Preval Sprayers
A Preval sprayer is less expensive than an airbrush system but still allows you to spray the marking material on your metal.
(1) You save money by buying the paste rather than the aerosol can or an airbrush system, and the Preval sprayer itself is inexpensive.
(2) You can save any leftover diluted paste in the bottle of the sprayer by capping it after use. All you have to do when you come back to the bottle is shake the bottle briefly before use.
(3) There is no cleanup required. You simply remove the sprayer component and cap the bottle component after use.
(1) The Preval sprayer does not provide as smooth or consistent a spray pattern as the aerosol can or airbrush system. Although the sprayer gets the job done, it is a general system used for a variety of materials and is not specifically designed for this particular application.
(2) There is more overspray with the Preval sprayer than with an aerosol can or airbrush.
(3) The Preval sprayer is a disposable item, and although it can be used many times, it will eventually run out of propellant and have to be replaced.
If you are interested in purchasing a Preval sprayer, they are available for a very low cost at our web site, at your local Home Depot, and on Amazon:
4. Foam Brushes
Some people prefer to use a foam brush, but this method is our least favorite.
(1) You save money by buying the marking material in paste form, and you need only buy a foam brush as an additional application tool.
(2) You have total control of the marking material you use and thus don’t have to worry about the waste/overspray problem.
(1) It is difficult to get an even coat without streak marks.
(2) You will eventually need to dispose of the foam brush and buy a new one.