What Size Air Compressor Do I Need for Painting? (Must Need To Know)

Latest Update On: December 22, 2020 | Author:

When it comes to painting a car or a wall for decoration, we usually prefer a brush. But, with an air compressor, if you choose the right size, the work will be done efficiently. Here people confused about size and asked what size air compressor do I need for painting? To paint different objects, you need to choose different sizes of compressors.

Typically 50 gallons of the size of the air compressor are perfect for painting any vehicles. But if you can spend a little extra money for an air compressor, you can buy 60 gallons if size. This capacity of the compressor will cover almost all the vehicles to paint with the help of an air compressor.

What Size Air Compressor Do I Need For Painting?

With an air compressor, it is easy to paint the vehicles. For a minimum size of car paint, you need 50 gallons of air compressor.  But, for better results, 60 gallons or more capacity of the compressor is perfect. Now, most of the people are confused about what size air compressor do I need for painting? This size factor is depending on the car size. Also, you need to consider other elements on the air compressor for painting.


At first, you need to look for CFM ratings. This rating ensures the performance of the air compressor. Calculate the CFM ratings and then buy the air compressor according to your needs. Then go for the air tank. If your tank added extra moisture, your compressor would be damaged, or the life of the compressor will be decreased. If you are unable to use the tank, then you can go for the paint gun with high CFM.

If you think of choosing the low CFM to paint the car, then you can choose the tiny air tank. But the problem with a small air tank is you can not reserve enough air on the tank. For better service, you need more air on the tank. A small tank will be clear quickly, and you need to put extra afford into painting. Also, the small tank will get hot and lose efficiency quickly.

If you are an occasional painter, then you don’t need to calculate the total size of the air compressor. You can manage with a low point spray gun to paint. But, for regular painting on vehicles, you need to calculate the size at first. Then you need to calculate the CFM, air tank capacity, horsepower, air pressure, etc.

For panting an average size of a car with an air compressor, you need 60 gallons of capacity on the compressor. Also, you need to choose the 5to 6 horsepower with 14-18 CFM ratings. And the PSI you need is 90.

How Do I Choose An Air Compressor For Painting?

If you determine to choose the air compressor for painting, then you need to follow some criteria. Some factors will help you to buy the right air compressor for painting. Below you will see what you need to choose for painting with the help of an air compressor.

How do I choose an air compressor for painting

Compressor Tank

Before buying the air compressor, it will be wise if you choose an air compressor tank. The right side of the air compressor tank will provide you with a smaller size. So, it will be easy to carry, and you can spray it by carrying on your hand.


CFM is one kind of ratings that measures the compressor’s cubic per minute. This rating determines how fast your compressor can work. Also, you can judge which one provides better performance in the marketplace.


After checking the CFM & PSI, another thing you need to look for is the horsepower of an air compressor. If you use the compressor for non-industrial applications, then 1 or 2 HP motors are enough for you.


While using an air compressor, one thing keeps in mind that the noise issue. As this is one kind generator, its noise level is high. While working, you will listen to the noise. But, some of the compressors provide little noise. So, make sure you choose the one which has less noise than others. Also, you can use the expansion mufflers to the chamber or the silencers to ignore the noises.


You can use this air compressor not only for painting purposes. If you attach some air tools with this compressor, you can use the compressor for other purposes. Painting is one of the top works with this compressor.

Frequently Asked Questions

You will find some reliable answer that comes from the reader. Those are some random questions about the air compressor that is given below.

Can I paint a car with a small air compressor?

Yes, you can use the small compressor for painting a whole car easily. But the problem is, a small air compressor cannot be able to cover the full area properly.  You may don’t work with this compressor, but the work will not be done properly.

Can I use an air compressor to paint walls?

Painting the wall by using an air compressor is possible. Also, you can swiftly do the process. Because with roller marks, you will not get the result that you want. So, it will be better if you choose the air compressor for painting walls.

Can you paint a car with a 20-gallon air compressor?

A 20- gallon air compressor is small compare to paint a car. You may be able to paint the car, but you need to use at least 15 gallons to paint the car properly.

Final Thought

An air compressor can be used for painting any objects. You can paint the car or wall easily by using this compressor. But you need to know the size of the compressor. People always ask for what size air compressor do I need for painting? This is because the different sizes of compressors are best for different objects.

If you choose the 20-gallon size of the compressor for car painting, it will not be appropriate. But, choosing the 15-gallon size of the compressor can easily do the work. This is the reason you need to know the size of an air compressor.

Jim Smith

Hello, this is Jim Smith. I am the owner of this website “power tool wiki” that will inform you about all the latest power tool machines like an air compressor, it’s related accessories and use and maintenance information. As a technical expert on this air compressor machine, I have a complete idea about its function and features. Not just because of a technician I know about this machine, I have been researching this machine for the last few years.

More Posts - Website

Leave a Comment

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.