How Do You Select An Air Compressor For Spray Painting Guns?

Do you get bored with old painting methods using brushes and rollers because they are no longer efficient or exciting? If so, here’s an alternative to your problem. You might be surprised to know that an air compressor for spray painting can eliminate the orange peel problem and help you achieve a smooth finish on your paint job.

The paint compressor should be compatible with your spray gun since it has various pressure limits, which is why you need to choose the right one for your project. Choosing the right air compressor for spray painting has a number of factors to consider. Let’s have a look at it!

A Guide To Choose The Right Air Compressor For Spray Painting Furniture & Walls

Kit with compressor and spray gun
Air compressor for painting house

You’ll learn everything you need to know about compressor paint sprayers and the required technical elements of an air compressor for spray painting. Fortunately, with our experience and extensive research, you’ll be able to make quick decisions about choosing a suitable air compressor for spray painting any project.

Once you know the requirements and use of a spray gun with a new compressor, you can complete each paint task with high quality. Plus, we are here to help you to get the best spray gun for cars, kitchen or bathroom cabinets, fences and much more.

Buying an air compressor for painting house is the right choice if you consider these factors.

1. CFM

CFM measures how much air moves in a minute. It is one of the key factors when it comes to choosing an air compressor for spray painting. The CFM requirements for spray guns vary from model to model, smaller spray guns requiring less CFM than larger ones. Therefore, you need to know the CFM requirements of your spray gun. After that, look for an air compressor that will produce more volume than the spray gun’s CFM.

If the compressor and spray gun have the same CFM, the results won’t be as good. So, take note of this point carefully. We recommend a high CFM rating of your compressor for constant operation.

Usually, power painting tools use air compressors ranging from 14 to 110 CFM for industrial use.

2. Pressure

Spray guns using compressed air are categorized into two main types.

1. The high volume low-pressure spray gun

2. The low volume low-pressure spray gun

PSI is the unit of pressure. As you can see, both paint spray guns require low pressure to operate, so you won’t need a lot of pressure to finish the job, but still, you need enough pressure to atomize paint into a delicate pattern and ensure even application. We recommend a pressure of 28-29 PSI to ensure smooth coating.

3. Tank Size

It is also important to consider the size of your compressor’s tank. Paint sprayers need a constant flow of air from the compressor to work correctly. Thus, the tank needs to be more significant to meet this demand.

The minimum size air compressor for painting a car is a 30-gallon. However, When selecting a compressor for painting, the CFM rating is more important than the tank size.

It is best to buy a sprayer with a large tank of 60 gallons or more. The higher the capacity of the tank, the more efficient the compressor will be to release consistent airflow over a larger surface area.

4. Weight and Durability

The high quality and durability of metals will make a product long-lasting, but at the same time, it can be cumbersome.

Therefore, it is advisable to consider both durability and weight before purchasing an air compressor to last for many years.

5. Portable Compressors for Spray Painting

The portability requirements for your painting tasks depend on your work environment.

Portable compressors aren’t an issue if you’re using them in a workshop. With a long enough high-pressure hose and a compressor, you can paint throughout your entire garage without taking it anywhere.

Moreover, a portable unit is a better choice than a non-portable one for household painting purposes.

6. Moisture Separator

Most compressors on the market include regulators at the pump, but not all come with moisture traps.

A moisture filter aims to filter out condensation that forms in the air coming from a tank.

Paint application can be affected by moisture, leading to bubbles, mainly when painting smooth surfaces like cars. The best solution is to install a moisture trap in your airline.

7. Horsepower

The next factor, horsepower specifies how much work an air compressor can handle, and it also represents its motor efficiency. A unit with more horsepower is highly recommended if you plan to use your air compressor for multiple painting projects.

8. Fuel

It is also essential to ensure that the correct fuel powers a compressor. You can either use gas or electricity as fuel.

Electric air compressors are more budget-friendly and efficient to use. In contrast, the gas-powered air compressor has the advantage of being more reliable and versatile, mainly if you will use it outdoors.

However, you should avoid using gas-filled air compressors in enclosed areas or indoor projects, which may produce pollution.

9. Warranty Note

When purchasing expensive tools like air compressors, always be sure to read the warranty conditions. The warranty of most reliable brands ranges from one to three years.


what size air compressor for spray painting?

An Air Compressor For Spray Painting

A suitable spray paint compressor is vital to avoid poor paint application. Therefore, you should buy an air compressor ideal for your paint gun as we have already covered all the factors to purchase a quality air compressor.

In light of our experience, we are sharing a few simple tips for operating different types of air compressors effectively.

You can turn on electric compressors simply by plugging them in. However, you must let the pressure build-up for a few minutes before you can use it for anything.

On the other hand, If the compressor is powered by gas, you may have to prime it and then pull the ripcord to turn it on.

Furthermore, the manual instruction provides the most detailed information about your specific spray gun. You might find it helpful to read it.

How To Use An Air Compressor For Spray Painting?

If you are trying to figure out how to use your spray gun after buying a new compressor, then you must check the precautions of spray compressor before starting a painting:

Precautions:

  • Do not use damaged or punctured air compressors for safety reasons as the high pressure can cause an explosion that may seriously injure or even cause death.
  • Always use protective equipment such as gloves, a respirator or mask, and goggles before starting work.

Requirements For Spray Painting:

  • The suitable compressor for your paint gun.
  • Flexible air compressor hose.
  • Spray gun accessories.

To get started, follow these steps:

  • Your air compressor should be linked to your air spray gun using a hose or other attachments.
  • An air compressor must have enough CFM.
  • You must mix paint and primer with solvent according to the specified ratios.
  • Testing the spray pattern on cardboard is a good way to make sure the gun is ready to operate.
  • Most HVLP spray guns allow you to adjust the spray pattern with an adjustable knob.
  • After applying a paint coat to your surface, you must enable it to dry for 12-24 hours.

How Do You Maintain An Air Compressor?

All types of air compressors require some level of maintenance to function correctly. It is advisable to check key components of the air compressor each time you use it and then service them if necessary. In this way, your air compressor will run more efficiently for more prolonged use.

Maintenance Tips For Air Compressors

1. The user manual is your best guide to troubleshooting your air compressor. Never perform any repairs on your air compressor without reading the manual.

2. The oil in a compressor should be changed whenever necessary.

3. With continuous use of an air compressor every month, some nuts and bolts are bound to become loose. Vibrations typically cause this looseness.

Loose nuts and bolts are not an indication that the machine is about to collapse, and this sign indicates that it is time to tighten them up.

4. An air compressor must have a clean intake valve and connectors to work at total capacity.

5. Inspect the hoses regularly to ensure the compressor is not affected by damaged hoses.

6. Even the air filter itself can exceed its limits, so an annual inspection of the filter is essential.

7. Moisture in the paint tank can also degrade the quality of pneumatic painting, so it is always a good idea to drain it regularly.

8. You should clean fuel tanks annually because they eventually become poisonous if not cleaned properly.

9. There are safety shutoff mechanisms connected to compressors that are activated when pressure or temperature exceeds safe levels.  You can refer to your user’s guide for information about inspecting and ensuring the proper operation of your safety system.

Bottom line On an Air Compressor For Spray Painting:

This article has tried to provide a clear picture of what your air compressor will require to handle indoor and outdoor painting projects.

Plus, If you plan to use an HVLP spray gun, you will need an air compressor that maintains constant air pressure to achieve the desired finish. A good air compressor will work well with most types of paint sprayers so that you can pick your favorite sprayer.

Using an air compressor for painting a house can save on material and time while ensuring a perfectly even finish on any surface. Hopefully, you will find the perfect air compressor for spray painting!

FAQs on Selection of An Air Compressor For Spray Painting

Q. What is the best size of air compressor for spray painting?

It is recommended to pick an air compressor with a 60-gallon tank that offers 14 to 20 CFM to operate a quality paint gun.

Q. Can you suggest the type of air compressor used for spray painting?

Spray painting is easy with Pancake air compressors, especially for small tasks because they are small and lightweight.

Q. Do two-stage air compressors perform better than single-stage ones?

An air compressor motor with two stages can deliver twice as much power as a single-stage compressor. So, if you are planning for large-scale paint jobs, it is good to have a two-stage motor.

Moreover, two-stage compressors reduce the risk of overheating and pump more CFM than one-stage models, which results in greater efficiency.

Considering cubic feet per minute is the essential factor when looking for spray guns and air compressors. Most paint spray guns require 12-20 CFM  that is suitable for optimal performance.

It would be best to choose the correct pressure (PSI) for spray painting, depending on your project and the spray gun you have. If you plan to apply a clear coat with an LVLP gun, you need to set the pressure at about 20-25 PSI, while 17 PSI is suitable for a base coat.

On the other hand, an HVLP sprayer can apply the base coat at 26-29 PSI. However, a 28-29 PSI setting will ensure better atomization and a smooth airflow for the clear coat in HVLP systems.


Meet Your Hola Paints Author

Jennifer is an experienced professional working with paint sprayers, painting tools, and other supplies. She provides valuable painting tips for visitors according to her experience.