The Art of Airbrushing

Like most arts, the secret to airbrushing is diligent practice. Here’s a list of helpful airbrushing tips courtesy of

• Use your airbrush with food safe colors only to avoid cross contamination. Do not use the same machine for crafting and for cakes.
• Follow the use, care, and cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer of your airbrush to keep your machine running smoothly.
• Sketch out your cake design prior to beginning so you have a clear idea of which colors go where on the cake, and in what order you will spray them onto the cake.
• Just like using a piping bag, pressure, speed and angle are very important. Practice makes perfect, so airbrush onto paper towels or parchment paper to get a feel for your machine. Kids coloring books are also great for practicing because you can try to stay inside the lines.
• Cover all surrounding surfaces to protect them from airbrush color. Use butcher paper, old newspapers, science fair backboards or disposable plastic tablecloths for easy clean up.
• Hold the airbrush nozzle six to eight inches from the surface of the cake. If you get closer, the force of the air from the nozzle can cause the surface of your cake to get pocked. Further than eight inches and the airbrush color will spray everywhere.
• Spraying with the nozzle at a 45 degree angle will produce broad, soft lines. Hold the nozzle at a 90 degree angle for a sharper, more defined line. Darken colors by retracing them with the airbrush.
• Clean out the pipes between colors with a squeeze bottle full of hot water. Colors won’t get muddied, and your needle will stay clear of build-up. Cleaning the pipes well after each use will prevent ugly splatters on your cakes in the future.
• Add buttercream accents, borders and inscriptions for extra dimension.
• Stencils are easy, elegant and reusable.
• Cut out fondant flowers or shapes.