Can you use a airbrush for cake decorating and for paint or do you need 2 separate airbrushes?
And, I want to airbrush designs on cakes. I got an airbrush kit as a gift but I do not have a compressor – what do I get?
Thanks for the questions. Some time ago my wife and I were watching a cooking show (my excuse was there were no building shows or sports on at the time) and it was a cake building and decorating competition. I was very surprised to see the baker / artists using an air brush to “paint” the cakes. I was also interested in knowing what steps they were using to make sure that the process did not contaminate the cakes with the undesirable by products typically found in the flow of compressed air from a compressor.
If you want to use an air brush to decorate cakes, then you need to be aware of certain things. Since, I am not a baker, I don’t know anything about the “paint” that the bakers were using to airbrush their cakes. I would expect that it was something that was food grade and edible. What you use sure should be.
What concerned me most was the source of the compressed air for the airbrush gun? The compressed air that discharges from a typical compressor is full of “stuff” that you would not want to eat. Using that air to spray paint a cake would deposit that “stuff” on the cake. Yuck! You need to make sure that the compressed air blowing onto the cake is pristine. Regardless of the type of compressor you have, you will need to treat the compressed air to make it suitable and safe for food applications. Please read the pages on compressed air treatment on this web site to get a better sense of what’s coming out of the typical compressor and what equipment you need to use to get rid of it.
The air compressor you get has to be one that will provide enough compressed air at the pressure your air brush needs to do the job. The air brush itself does not care where it gets the compressed air from, just that there is enough of air at the right pressure to work. See the air brush specs for those numbers. Use any compressor you want to air brush food. Just make darned sure that the compressed air is treated (oil, particulates and water removed) before that compressed air touches the food.