What Size Air Compressor For Painting

What Size Air Compressor For Automotive Air Tools

What Size Air Compressor is Needed to Paint a Car?

For automotive air tools, you will need to add up the total of your tools CFM air requirements, and most workshop garages will need a 70 CFM air compressor to accommodate a fairly complete set of automotive air tools.

For 70 CFM, you can run three sizes of impact wrenches, an oil pump, a grease gun, a tire inflator, and a washer all at the same time depending on the models, of course.

Choose The Paint Gun You Will Be Using For Car Painting

The paint gun is the first contemplation that you should think about when intending to use for painting your car. It is the paint gun that determines the level of air consumed. Various paint guns need as little as 5CFM while the high-end professionals can need two or three times that to paint your car right.

Efficient and perfect car painting involves starting with two coats of base and two coats of clear coat. Leave them to dry entirely and mask all the painted areas for a day or later. After a few days, paint your doors and roofs and wait for some days before completing the job on the trunk, rear bumper, and quarter panels.

So How Do You Know What Compressor Will Do The Job

There are three main indicators to consider when choosing the right compressor to spray paint your vehicle 1) Air pressure 2) Tank or Receiver 3) CFM

Air pressure . Spray guns have a low PSI requirement and are high volume and low pressure. If you have a low volume low pressure spray gun, you might need to look at a compressor with a low PSI output. The difference between the two two types of spray guns is due to their CFM requirements, which we will cover shortly.

Tank/Receiver – your compressor has to be of a suitable size to continuously run when you’re spray painting. You’ll want a compressor that’s 100 litres plus to maximise your efficiency.

CFM is super important to factor in when spray painting as it measures how much air can be delivered at a particular pressure. Because of the continuous nature of painting, spray guns need a cfm rating that’s higher than other air tools.

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What Size Air Compressor For Air Tools

For air tools in general, you will do well to invest in an air compressor that can put out at least 90 PSI.

Most wrenches, impact drivers and air hammers operate at around this range, and you can run most sand blasters with this level of pressure, too.

The CFM requirements of air tools vary widely, though, from 1 CFM for brad nail guns to as much as 70 for sand blasters.

When planning for an air compressor for a variety of air tools, pay attention to the most demanding of your tools CFM-wise as you shop around.

How Many Cfm Do You Need For A Paint Gun

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

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the cfm you need for your paint gun will depend on various factors, including the type of paint gun you are using and the viscosity of the paint, and the air pressure you are using. However, a good general rule of thumb is that you will need about twice as much cfm as your paint gun is rated for. So, for example, if your paint gun is rated for 8 cfm, you will need about 16 cfm to operate it effectively.

Related: What Size Air Compressor for Painting a Car?

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Dewalt D55140 Air Compressor Max Trim Compressor

This compact air compressor will reduce the chances of a breaker being tripped while it is in use because it is powered by a 2.6 amp motor. The entire compressor only weighs 24 pounds so it is easy to move around and reposition. It is also small enough that storage is versatile.

It has a high-flow regulator that gives you the maximum amount of air pressure possible, and that allows you to work faster and get more done.

This device is oil free which means fewer maintenance concerns for you, and no worries about oil leaking from the compressor and ruining your work area.

There is a wrap-around roll cage on the device so you do not have concerns with the item falling over, or something falling on it, and causing damage.

You get a one-gallon air tank and a maximum of 135 PSI. The device is quieter to operate because of the 71 dBA it has. All in all, this is a great compressor for professional or homeowner use.

Key Highlights Of The Course:

Below we have handpicked a few topics out of the bunch from the course. You can see for yourself how the course talks about every technique used in the market. It tells you what to do & what to avoid.

  • Step by step guide to spray paint a car
  • The 3 steps you must do BEFORE starting on your paint job
  • The Two Rag Method
  • Discover the #1 best way to apply a clear coat
  • How to polish your topcoat using the Halo Strategy
  • Professional DIY Bodywork Repair

This course can teach you the things that those workshop pros cant teach you. As they need to make money out of you, they need you to keep coming back.

With it, you can learn the secrets of spray paint & bodywork repairs in two hours with video training that are oblivious to most car owners.

Having such knowledge will only benefit you. You will be able to take better care of your vehicle, can do all the work at home instead of spending on those expensive professionals, and you can even commercialize your skills to earn.


Lastly, this course guarantees you skill development, and if you are not satisfied, you can have your money back.

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What Size Air Compressor Do I Need For Spray Painting

Hey! This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.

If you have a spray gun or youre looking to purchase one for a painting project at home or in the workshop, you may now be wondering what size air compressor you need to run your spray gun.

This page will serve as a guide to what size air compressor you need for your spray painting by presenting all the key considerations and relevant information!

What Size Air Compressor For Hardwood Flooring

Harbor Freight Paint Gun and What Size Air Compressor Do You Need

For hardwood flooring installation, you will need a flooring nail gun specifically designed for hardwood for the best results, along with a 4 CFM air compressor.

At that volume, combined with a good capacity you lessen the risk of your air pressure dropping below recommended levels which can result in nails being underdriven.

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What Cfm Is Required For Spray Painting

CFM is vital to a gun sprayer since it determines the air compressed degree that affects the outcome of the spray.

Different spray guns meet its distinctive CFM. Hence, you need to know what CFM is required for spray painting before getting your hands on the project so you will have a better insight on the matter at hand..

In this writing, you will see how CFM fundamentally matters the factor in selecting a compressor that would be the air consumption of the sprayer.

What Size Do You Need For Tires

For home use, a simple 3- to 6-gallon tank is fine, and a CFM of 2-3 is perfect for the continuous air dispersal needed to fill a tire. The small tank size is also ideal for portability. An air compressor of this size is great for general home use and smaller-sized air tools. Check out Best Pancake Air Compressors for the perfect buyers guide.

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How To Find The Best Air Compressor For Painting Cars

If you’re wondering what an air compressor actually is, you’ve come to the right place. Simply, air compressors convert power in to air that is pressurised which is then used to power air tools such as spray guns. Air compressors are used in a wide range of applications, so naturally if you want one that will be designed for spray painting your vehicle, you want a compressor specifically made for spray guns! This way your compressor will be able to provide the right amount of power to perform the job.

What Size Air Compressor For An Air Gun

What Size Air Compressor Do I Need To Paint A Car

Air guns have small pressure chambers designed for high pressure, so you will need an air compressor that can run 3,000 PSI or more.

Since most airguns and PCP gun chambers are not that large, air volume and CFM is not the issue here, but you will need a high pressure air compressor to load up your airguns your typical 150 PSI portable air compressor will simply not cut it without a special valve that lets you gradually build up pressure in the chamber.

For loading multiple air guns, manufacturers also offer specialized air compressors that can output 4,500 PSI and up.

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What Size Compressor Do I Need For Spray Painting

While some air spray guns have a rating of lower than 10 CFM, wed recommend your compressor CFM for spray painting is at least 12 CFM. For professionals, this figure may need to be higher the important thing is youve checked your spray guns CFM requirements and chosen a compressor that exceeds that figure.

What Size Air Compressor For Painting Motorcycle

The California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor is a great option for painting your motorcycle. This compressor has a 10-gallon steel tank and delivers 2.0 CFM at 90 PSI, making it powerful enough to handle most painting projects. It also has a built-in regulator and gauge for accurate readings, and the oil-free design means you don’t have to worry about messy maintenance. Plus, at only 58 pounds, this compressor is easy to transport and store. So if you’re looking for an air compressor that can handle your motorcycle painting needs, the California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor is definitely worth considering.

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How To Use An Air Compressor Correctly

This goes back to what we mentioned aboutreading the owners manual.

While I can give you some general informationhere that will help you get an overall grasp on how it all works, the ownersmanual will give you the most detailed instructions specific to that particularproduct.

Take a little time to read it and you willfind the operation of the air compressor to be easier and more efficient.

In the meantime, there are a few quick tips Ican give that might help.

If the air compressor is electric, it can beas simple as plugging it in and turning it on.

However, even then you will probably have togive it some time to build up the pressure before actually using it for anything.

On the other hand, if it is a gas-powered compressor, it may require you to prime it, then pull on a ripcord to crank up the motor.

As with the electric-powered air compressor,you will likely have to wait a few minutes while it builds pressure.

After you have it started up and you have given it a little time, you should be good to go.

Tips for Safely Using Your Paint Sprayer Air Compressor

Perhaps the most important safety tip is tonever use a damaged air compressor.

If the integrity of the air compressor isweakened, the high amount of pressure inside could end up escaping in a suddenand violent burst that can cause serious harm or even death.

So, its recommended that you inspect the air compressor system prior to use and never use an air compressor that is dented or punctured.

Best Air Compressor For Hlvp Spray Gundewalt 27 Gal 200 Psi Portable Air Compressor

How big a compressor do you need for spray painting?

Where a small air compressor succeeds in mobility, it often falters when it comes to power. This DeWALT compressor is larger but has wheels so maneuvering it through a worksite is possible. Depending on how many standard cubic feet per minute it runs at , it can handle powering an HVLP spray gun.

Though its larger and more powerful than some hot dog compressors or pancake compressors, reviewers noted that its still fairly quietand even quieter than a few pancake compressors out there. This is part in thanks to its oil-free pump.

This unit is very easy to wheel around and the tires make it easy to move over most any reasonable terrain, wrote a buyer. Its an air compressor, so it is never going to be real quiet however I found this unit much quieter than my small 2 ½-gallon pancake compressor Overall I love it! I paired this with the 50 Dewalt retractable air hose coil and bought several pneumatic Dewalt tools .


Best for: Paint sprayer, plasma cutter, die grinder, and other tools

Maximum pressure: 200 psi

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Number 2 Factor In Choosing An Air Compressor For Painting Compressor Type

In order to be able to deliver sufficient CFM for painting, you will typically need a 2 stage compressor. A 2 stage compressor will provide approximately 4 CFM of air per horse power of the compressor. In comparison, a Single stage compressor only delivers about 1 CFM per horse power. So if you will be using your air compressor for painting or painting cars, you will want to consider a 2 stage compressor with atleast 5 Horse power to properly provide air to your spray gun.

In addition to selecting a 2 stage compressor, you will also be able to choose between different compressor types depending on the size of compressor. Common 2 stage compressor designs include rotary screw compressors and reciprocating compressors.

What Are The Air Compressor Requirements For Spray Painting

There are three key measurements to consider when compressed air spray painting. The first is pounds per square inch , the second is cubic feet per minute and third is tank size. As you can guess from the low pressure part of HVLP delivery, you wont need a lot of pressure to get the job done, but you still need to ensure you have a high enough PSI to ensure consistent delivery.

The CFM measurement is arguably the most important factor to consider when choosing your compressor. CFM measures the volume of air produced by the compressor per minute and the quantity of air the compressor can produce at a given PSI. The CFM rating of your compressor should be higher than, not equal to, the CFM requirements of your air spray gun, otherwise you risk both pressure drop and volume loss, which are the two main causes of imperfect coverage. As alluded to above, the high volume element of HVLP spray guns is a big clue that a larger compressor will be required for proper use.

Finally, tank size matters in relation to spray painting because spray gun operation requires a constant flow of air rather than intermittent supply as with many other pneumatic tools. Thus, your compressor needs to have an adequate storage to keep up with the gun.

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What Size Air Compressor For An Air Impact Wrench

Air impact wrenches are heavy-duty tools with widely varying air compressor requirements, but around 90 to 100 PSI will get you started with most models.

The volume you need to operate your air impact wrench at a good clip will depend on the size of your air tool.

The smallest 3/8 inch impact wrenches can run off a 3 CFM air compressor, while a 1/2 inch air wrench will need 4 CFM both of these sizes can be run off a 1 HP portable kit. 3/4 inch air impact wrenches, on the other hand, will need 7 CFM or more from a larger air compressor.

What Size Air Compressor For A Jackhammer

What Size Air Compressor Do I Need to Paint A Car

Jackhammers, the full size versions, have widely varying CFM needs depending on their size but even the smallest chipping hammers will usually require at least 35 to 40 CFM. You also have 60 pound breakers that need 60 CFM, and you also have the 90 CFM models.

Most air compressors designed to operate jackhammers are also rated to run several of them at the same time.

One common size of air compressor, for example, is the 185 CFM variant. At this size, this air compressor can run two 90 CFM jackhammers, three 60 CFM jackhammers, or four 45 CFM jackhammers at once.

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Cfm Delivery Capability Of The Air Compressor

CFM ratings of air compressors tend to be based on the output of the air compressor pump.

However, to understand what ability the air compressor has to deliver CFM continuously you need to multiply the CFM rating by the Duty Cycle percentage.

So an Air Compressor CFM rating of 12 CFM with a 50% Duty Cycle would have the ability to deliver:

12 CFM * 50% = 6 CFM

Example of an Air Compressor Suitable for a Small Spray Gun

Heres an example of an air compressor that delivers 2.4 CFM and the product manual describes what would be determined as a 50% duty cycle. Therefore the compressor would actually deliver 1.2 CFM .

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This would be suitable for a small spray gun given that you only require intermittent use. But, this compressor wouldnt be suitable for continuous use on any of the spray guns presented in this article.

The small Neiko spray painting gun requires 4.5 CFM, if the use was intermittent and only needed 25% of the time , then the spray gun only requires 1.25 CFM . Therefore, this compressor would be capable of providing that that CFM.

Example of an Air Compressor Suitable for a Medium Spray Gun

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