Airbrush for Chocolate Work, Etc? Argh...

Joined Mar 9, 2013
I'm beginning to work more with entremets and chocolate showpieces, so I need an airbrush to spray chocolate and colors. I did some research into what model to buy and then got totally overwhelmed.

I was looking at a Paasche, which is what they used when I was in pastry school, but I can't seem to get a solid answer out of anyone  about what models are used for larger pieces, like cakes and showpieces, and what models are used for finer detail work. And then if I need one that is self-warming or needs to be warmed under a heat source to keep the cocoa butter fluid.

Then someone told me to go to Home Depot and look at the Wagners, but they're not even airbrushes. They're paint guns. The guy who worked there damn near laughed out of the store when I said I wanted to use it for chocolate. 

I'm over this whole thing, but I still really need an airbrush. And, apparently, a compressor.

Little help? Can anyone point me in the direction of a solid airbrush to use for larger projects, like cakes, and a second model for smaller detail work? And what sort of compressor will work best for the both of them?
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Don't laugh about the Wagners, if you need to spray choc, that's what you'll use.  However, you will never get a smooth glossy surface if you're spraying choc, you will get a semi-gloss pebbly surface, but never baby-butt glossy smooth--regardless of how much you thin the couverture out with cocoa butter.  If you spray on a frozen item (frozen cake, entrement ec.) you'll get a finer pebbly rust-brown surface.

For colours, the coarser (and cheaper) airbrushes work best, you are only asking for trouble if you use a fine tip. Cocoa butter is pretty viscous and won't get through the fine tips.  I keep my brush and colour in an old oven that is warm,(+- 40 Cel) hook it up to the compresser, and spray.  No need to temper as this will temper by the time it reaches the surface you are spraying.  Stay away from the "canned air" they sell with the airbrush stuff, it's loaded with chemicals and not intended for food products.

Hope this helps
Joined Mar 9, 2013
Thanks. I wasn't laughing at them, but the guy at Home Depot sure was. Is there a Wagner model that would work best?

Someone else recommended the KopyKake airbrush, which is apparently used in a lot of cake deco shops.

I looked up Paasche models on Amazon and the reviews for a lot of them are lousy, but those folks were probably using them for other purposes and have a totally different set of needs.
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Kitchen Dork
Joined Jun 15, 2006
I've learned that you never tell the dudes at Home Depot that you're using any type of hardware for pastry purposes. They have no clue about that stuff, and they're only laughing because they don't know any better. 

I bought the standard Wagner for my chocolate spraying, and it's fine, but it's powerful and you have to practice a little to control the spray. 

I agree that the cheapo airbrushes are best (surprisingly). My fine tip brush that I bought when I didn't know what I was doing is completely useless. Anything more viscous than liquid airbrush color won't come out of it. So I went with a cheap Master and I'm happy with it. I'm sure KopyKake is fine too.
Joined Oct 28, 2005
I have a KopyKake and I only use it for spraying chocolate molds with cocoa butter. I warm the airbrush with a heat gun before using it, and then occasionally while spraying to keep it fluid.
I also have the cheap Badger 250 spray gun I use with it. I've found its a little more messy to work with since it works off a siphon, tends to want to keep leaking.

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