Waterproof Paper: Choosing The Right Paper For Airbrush Art

Creating art isn’t just about having immense creativity or natural talent. It can be about those things, but it’s also about working diligently to hone your abilities and finding the best materials for the projects you have in mind. As a basic example, if you wanted to create a painting with delicate, infinitesimally small details, you wouldn’t typically choose a 4-inch paint brush. There is always going to be a certain level of flexibility and creativity when it comes to choosing any art materials, but it’s also important to have an awareness about how different options will affect your project. This is absolutely the case when it comes to making airbrush art. If you’re new to this style of art or you’re interested in trying it, here are a few things to keep in mind about choosing the right materials.

Picking Paints

If you’ve poked around the airbrush art community at all, you’ve probably noticed that there’s some impressive fluidity around paint choices. Yes, airbrush-specific paints will probably make things easier, but if you’re looking to experiment, the world is your oyster when it comes to paint choices — assuming you’re using some caution. Try watercolors or acrylics to see how they work, but be sure you’re watering them down (or adding enough pigment) to get the appropriate consistency for use in an airbrush. We don’t suggest just dropping thick acrylic paint straight into your airbrush as-is. Proceed with a bit of common sense, but get out there and experiment to see what sort of fun new colors and textures you can create with a different type of paint.

Airbrush Art Paper

Now that you’ve got piles and piles of paints to play with, it’s time to figure out what to look for in airbrush art paper. Metal and plastic are surprisingly popular alternative materials on which to create, in large part because they offer two of the key elements many airbrush artists look for: porousness and durability.

Porousness/Absorption Rate

The porousness of paper (or lack thereof) will determine how much moisture from the paint soaks into the paper. This is a particularly important element to consider for airbrush art since the paints need to be pretty liquid-heavy. A porous paper will absorb all of that moisture and the pigment in the paint will stay where the water soaked in. If you’re pretty sure about your skills, this might not be as much of a problem, but it will limit the flexibility for fixing mistakes.

Non-porous or low-absorption paper is generally preferred by many airbrush artists because it allows for a lot more creativity in terms of paint use, layering, and texture. With a porous paper, as we mentioned, you can expect heavy moisture absorption. If your design relies on layering colors — or even multiple layers of a single color to play with opacity — that high absorption rate will affect how well or poorly your layering techniques will work.

Along those lines, you’ll also want to consider how the paper’s absorption rate will affect texture.  A paper with a higher absorption rate will take in more liquid, but it’s also more likely to warp and wave. When it comes to airbrush art, most prefer low-absorption paper or non-porous paper substitutes because those options will hold onto that smooth texture and avoid warping, even after applying several after layers of paint.


The other big thing to consider is how well your airbrush art materials will hold up under heavier handling. For those wanting to play around with scratching or scraping techniques, a standard heavyweight paper isn’t going to work. Not only will you have to worry about it becoming a soggy, warped mess, but you’ll also have some serious trouble trying to scrape a porous/higher-absorption paper. For scraping techniques in particular, synthetic paper alternatives will hold up and give you much better freedom to hone your craft.

TerraSlate Waterproof Paper

TerraSlate paper is a perfect option for giving you the flexibility and qualities you need to create amazing airbrush art. Our waterproof paper is, as the name implies, completely waterproof, not just water-resistant. It’s non-porous paper, making it great for layering on colors and playing with opacity to create the visuals you want. Our waterproof paper is also rip-proof, which makes it durable enough to hold up to scratching or scraping. Now, this doesn’t mean our airbrush art paper is completely impervious to harm, but as long as you aren’t trying to cut through a page with a sharp blade, it will hold up to scraping from an X-Acto knife or comparable item.

Our airbrush art paper is made for creating vibrant, creative works of airbrush art. But, while you’re online, be sure to explore or other waterproof paper products too. All of our waterproof paper is rip-proof, grease- and solvent-repellant, and colorfast. Think about the art you could create with poster-sized waterproof paper. Explore all of our waterproof products online today and get creating!

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