If you’re new to making cosplay and are shopping around for the tools you need, you might be struggling to decide which is right for you. Everything from efficiency, results and cost matters when you’re starting up with cosplay and you have to buy all these new tools. When it comes to painting your foam, fabrics and Worbla, you need the tools that work best for your needs. So if you’re currently in the battle of airbrush vs paint brush, I’ll show you the pros and cons to help make choosing easier.


When it comes to the cost, paint brushes are by far more affordable. Even a nice set of paint brushes can run between $10 – $60. Where as an airbrush, you can get the smaller, low powered ones for $30 or more. Or if you want to get one with more capacity and power, the compressors can start anywhere from $100 and if they don’t include a good airbrush gun, you can be looking at an additional $20 or more. Overall the paint brushes are a cheaper tool than an airbrush.

The paint itself is also cheaper for using paint brushes. Airbrush paint is almost double the price of a bottle of acrylic paint.


If you’re on a con crunch and need to paint fast without compromising the quality, an airbrush is the way too go. An airbrush will give you the speed you need without sacrificing the end result, thus making it far more efficient than paint brushes. It can also save you a wrist cramp too.


In the battle of airbrush vs paint brush, the end result they create is by far the most important factor. Airbrushes bring precision and speed, but also very clean applications of the paint. The problem with paint brushes is they leave visible brush strokes. These might seem invisible from far away, but if you’re competing and have judges looking closely, they will see them.

An airbrush applies the paint smoothly and thus can leave a more desirable end result than painting by hand.


In terms of which you can use for which mediums in cosplay, both can be used for everything. From 3D prints to EVA foam, or from fabrics to Worbla, both airbrushes and paint brushes can be used on them. The biggest thing you need to keep in mind is the type of paint you use. Things like EVA foam need very specific paints used on them to avoid deteriorating.

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