Painting a car is not an easy task for everyone. Apart from the correct tools and products, it is also necessary to be a little handy so that the project does not become a disaster of epic proportions. In that case, an air compressor for painting cars is the best option for you. The choice of the right compressor is challenging.
With this short guide, we try to help the purchase by shedding light on some important factors that must be considered. In the meantime, we have reviewed the top 5 best air compressor for painting cars by comparing and testing various models on the market. They are useful both for DIY enthusiasts and for professionals active in the most diverse fields of work.
How Much CFM Do I Need For Spray Painting?
CFM is an important measurement of an air compressor for painting. Generally, every air compressor has a minimum and maximum CFM that depends on PSI. The CFM and PSI can be adjusted with a knob or regulator. CFM and PSI level increases and decreases in the proportional rate. It is recommended you can set your spray gun 12-15 PSI for base coating. For final coating, you should set it 5-7 SCFM at 40 PSI.
Note: In this section, we have covered the exact CFM level for spray painting. If you want to know more about the air compressor for painting cars, you can go through what size air compressor do I need to paint a car?
Table of content
Here is the table of content for your quick overview:
- 5 Best Air Compressor For Painting Cars
- 1. DeWalt DXCMPA1982054 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor
- 2. Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor with V-Twin Cylinder
- 3. Campbell Hausfeld 8 Gallon Portable Quiet Air Compressor (DC080500)
- 4. California Air Tools 8010 Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 1.0 hp Steel Tank Air Compressor, 8 gal, Silver
- 5. Master Airbrush Cool Runner II Dual Fan Air Compressor
- What to consider before buying an air compressor for painting cars?
- Why Should You Buy an Air Compressor for Painting Cars?
If you want to know the features of our selected products at a glance, you can do it from the comparison chart below:
DeWalt DXCMPA1982054 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor
Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor with V-Twin Cylinder
Campbell Hausfeld 8 Gallon Portable Quiet Air Compressor (DC080500)
California Air Tools 8010 Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 1.0 hp Steel Tank Air Compressor, 8 gal, Silver
Master Airbrush Cool Runner II Dual Fan Air Compressor Professional Airbrushing System Kit with 3 Airbrushes, Gravity and Siphon Feed
5 Best Air Compressor For Painting Cars
Finding an air compressor for painting cars is a very challenging task because all compressors have some missing features that will make your paint uncompleted. So, we have highlighted the top 5 best air compressor for painting cars that will save your time and ease your task.
1. DeWalt DXCMPA1982054 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor
DeWalt DXCMPA1982054 comes with 20 gallon large tank that is perfect for painting a car with a single pass. I have a 1.9 HP durable induction pump with oil that lasts longer and provides soundless operation. So, you can put it inside your house and crowd places without disturbing others. The air compressor can produce 7 CFM at 40 PSI, 5.7 CFM at 90 PSI pressure so that it will be the best air compressor for automotive painting. Also, it can be maximized up to 155 PSI that ensures better performance.
TO run the compressor, you need a 120/240V wall socket and its motor designed to save electric bills by using less current. It has a dual voltage meter that shows the volt levels so you can understand the condition of the motor. With the regulator, you can quickly set the pressure levels. Also, it has an ON/OFF switch to start the compressor with a click.
It has pneumatic wheels and a handle that makes it easier to move anywhere. The compressor is durable due to its double cylinder cast iron motor that runs with synthetic lube. You will get faster performance with its maximum torque.
Main Key Features:
- It has a large 20 gallon tank that will perfect for painting a car perfectly.
- 9 HP lubricated pump can produce a maximum of 155 PSI pressure with a 120/240V socket.
- With the regulator, it is easy to control the CFM and PSI levels.
- It has pneumatic wheels and a handle that allows to move the compressor easily.
- The torque of the compressor is 20% faster than the normal one.
2. Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor with V-Twin Cylinder
Industrial air 20 gallon belt driven air compressor runs with a drive belt that produces silent and quiet performance. It has a 1.6 HP motor that runs with lubricating oil which needs to change after 2/3 months to get a better and smooth paint job. The motor has 10 inches flywheel with the drive belt, durable ball bearing and stainless steel valves that make the compressor stand out for easy to use and durability.
The lubricated motor can produce 5.3 CFM at 90 PSI, 6.2 CFM at 40 PSI and a maximum 135 PSI pressure so you can adjust with a knob according to your needs. It can be plugged in a 120/240V outlet that makes it versatile. It has two voltage meter that helps to read the voltage level to prevent over-voltage accidents.
Its v-twin cylinder is made with cast iron that ensures durability and it weighs 160 pounds. It has two flat pneumatic tire wheels and small foot stands that allow you to move it easily, so you don’t need to worry about its heavyweight. Also, its aluminum head and plate dissipate heat that provides trouble-free performance.
Main Key Features:
- It has 20 gallon portable tank that is suitable for painting a car, walls and more.
- The 1.6 HP lubricated pump can produce a maximum of 135 PSI pressure with average CFM.
- It has 10 inches flywheel and drive belt that provides silent and quiet performance.
- Although its weight is a little bit more, you can easily move it with the flat wheels.
- Analog voltmeters allow to read the level of voltage for reliable performance.
3. Campbell Hausfeld 8 Gallon Portable Quiet Air Compressor (DC080500)
Campbell Hausfeld DC080500 air compressor comes with 8 gallon portable tank that is compatible for painting, stapling, inflation and bolting. It has a 1.0 HP motor that produces max 125 PSI pressure and doesn’t need oil lube to run so you will get a maintenance-free long time service. When you start the compressor, it makes 68 dB sound that is less than a dishwasher sound.
Its dual piston pump produces 25% more air to provide high performance so it will be the best air compressor for painting. You can plug the compressor in 120V socket and it saves your bill by reducing the usage of power. Also, it allows to reach anywhere with a long hose pipe where you want. Its accessory kit will help you to assemble the compressor and do other tasks.
It weighs about 67 pounds and creates a maximum of 8.6 bar pressure. You can easily move it everywhere with two wheels and a flexible handle. Also, its small rubberized legs stabilize the compressor on a rough surface. It has a pressure gauge that shows the level of pressure and you can control the level with the knob.
Main Key Features:
- It comes with 8 gallon tank that allows for painting, inflating, staple and more.
- 0 HP horsepower pump can produce 125 PSI pressure without lube oil that saves money.
- It makes 50% less sound than other compressors that is good for inside use.
- It can be moved anywhere with two flat wheels and flexible grip handle.
- With a 25 ft hose pipe, you can reach long distance places easily.
4. California Air Tools 8010 Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 1.0 hp Steel Tank Air Compressor, 8 gal, Silver
California air tools ultra quiet air compressor comes with 8 gallon tank that is perfect for painting cars. It has 1.0 HP pump that does not need oil lube and provides maintenance free long lasting service. The dual piston pump is ideal for indoor and outdoor use because it makes noise-free performance in 1680 RPM speed. It is designed for heavy duty use like painting cars, walls etc. perfectly.
It can produce 120 PSI pressure level at maximum level and 3 CFM at 40 PSI and 2.2 CFM at 90 PSI that boost the speed of the work. It needs 8.5 amps power that is energy saving and saves your money. Within 165 seconds, the tank refill automatically so you can stay tension free while left the compressor on starting. Its lifecycle is 3000+ working hours that ensure long time use.
It has two pressure control gauge that allows to monitor the pressure inside the cylinder. It has a thermal protection system to prevent overload and heat that provides efficient performance. You can easily transport the compressor with two wheels, small foot stands and foldable handle where you want.
Main Key Features:
- It has 8 gallon steel tank that allows to paint a car with a single pass.
- HP pump creates 120 PSI maximum pressure with 8.5 amps power.
- It has noise-free performance at 1680 high RPM that allows to use it indoor.
- The two pressure gauge helps to control the pressure of the compressor.
- It comes with wheel kit and foldable handle that helps to move it anywhere.
5. Master Airbrush Cool Runner II Dual Fan Air Compressor
Master Airbrush Air Compressor comes with G22, G25 and E91 airbrush that has different sized cup and tip to paint a car within a short time. It has 0.2 HP single piston motor that delivers 0.8 CFM at 25 PSI. Also, it has two cooling fans that keep the air compressor cool while working. When the pressure reaches 57 PSI, it will automatically shut down, which makes it the best air compressor for painting cars.
It has an airbrush cleaning set that helps clean the clogged airbrush during painting. You can mount the airbrush holder easily. Also, its 6 ft air hose allows to run works by storing it in a fixed place. Its siphon bottle helps to flow the paint and air in the tube quickly. It has high quality rotor windings that increase the longevity of the compressor.
The compressor includes an opaque color set so you can choose the color according to your needs. Also, it has color mixing wheels that help to combine color. With the cleaning brush set, you can clean the inside of the compressor easily. It can be controlled with a regulator so you can set the PSI level based on your needs.
Main Key Features:
- It comes with 3 airbrush that allows to do various types of pain jobs.
- Single piston 0.2 HP motor provides 0.8 CFM at 25 PSI that is good enough for painting a car.
- It has 6 color set so you can choose color based on your choice.
- The compressor automatically shut down when the pressure level reaches 57 PSI.
- You can check the pressure level through the pressure gauge and control it with the regulator.
What to consider before buying an air compressor for painting cars?
Choosing an air compressor for painting cars requires knowledge of specific technical aspects. Next, we will present the aspects that you should consider that will help you to buy the best air compressor for painting cars.
The storage tank is the cylinder where the pressurized air produced by the compressor motor is deposited. These tanks are made with robust materials that are capable of withstanding the high pressures of compressed air.
The tanks have a series of gauges and valves that control the maximum air pressure, in terms of their storage capacity, it is very varied, ranging from a few liters to over fifty liters or more.
Depending on the size of your car, you must choose the most reliable tanks, with ideal air storage at your load and with the best performing gauges and valves.
Knowing the airflow can be the most essential aspect when choosing a compressor. Its flow of pressure depends on the flow of paint and the power of the spray when painting. If we choose a compressor that is not capable of generating the ideal airpower for painting, your work performance will be of low quality.
Another fundamental aspect to take into account when we buy an air compressor is the power of its motor. The power depends on producing pressurized air. The maximum air compressor has 120/240 volts and some have only 120 volts capacity. It is the standard level for painting cars.
The design of air compressors for painting cars allows and demands the greatest mobility. It must have wheels, a solid structure and long wiring. These qualities help to move your compressor to different places without having so many inconveniences.
The maximum pressure of the air compressors varies according to the capacity of each motor. The valves fulfill the function of regulating the maximum air pressure that the compressor expels. In many cases, the pressure is measured by bars or PSI. It is essential to know that a PSI is equivalent to approximately 14.5Bars.
Note: In the above section, we have guided to buy an air compressor for painting cars. If you want to know more about air compressor, you could read the air compressor guide.
Why Should You Buy an Air Compressor for Painting Cars?
For several benefits, you should buy an air compressor for painting cars that will save your money and time. They are:
- Air compressor is an essential tool for the car painter. It is used to paint small or large cars with more or less paint, with a more or less covering finish. They are simple to use, are adapted to your needs and are a much more effective and economical method of painting than normal paint guns.
- Without a doubt, using an air compressor for car painting is the best way to paint more in less time. If you want to do the task quickly and with an equally satisfying finish, it will be your perfect solution.
- With it, the spray effect will have a perfect finish, whether or not you master the subject of painting cars. The finish will be smooth and perfect with a single layer.
- The air compressor for painting cars comes with small dimensions so that it will be well suited to a small place, workshop and garage for typical DIY and painting jobs.
These are the benefits of having an air compressor for painting cars. So, you can get the best one from our reviewed 5 best air compressor for painting cars that will best suit you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below, we have answered some frequently asked questions about an air compressor for painting cars.
Can you paint a car with a 30 gallon air compressor?
It will be hard to paint the whole car 30 gallon compressor.
How many CFM do you need to paint a car?
A compressor that has 4 CFM to 20 CFM pressure, it will be perfect for painting a car.
What size compressor do you need for spray painting?
A compressor with a minimum 8 gallon tank and 12-15 CFM will be perfect for spray painting.
What CFM is required for spray painting?
Minimum 5 to 7 SCFM at 40 PSI is required for spray painting.
What is the difference between SCFM and CFM?
SCFM means standard CFM that is a volume flow rate and CFM doesn’t matter the standard where the air comes from.
An air compressor for painting cars is a versatile tool that allows to paint a whole car within a short time with perfect color. So, we have reviewed 5 best air compressor for painting cars and i would like to recommend Master Airbrush Cool Runner II Dual Fan Air Compressor that has 3 master airbrush that is perfect for painting cars, allows to hold in the dual airbrush holder.
You can easily transport and stabilize it with handles and foot stands. It has 2 cooling fan that keeps the pump cool and prevents heat during working. Its pressure regulator helps to control and monitor the PSI level of the compressor. Also, it has a color mixing wheel, 6 opaque colors and cleaning kits that make your paint job easier.