Best Air Compressor for Painting (Cars/Automotive/Spraying)

Have you ever thought about how that glossy and shimmering paint of your car came to be? However, we only think about how it would cost us if we decide on redoing the job by the professionals.

Who says you need to hire someone for any sort of paint sprayer hooked up to an air supply? What if we tell you that you can do it all by yourself with the help of the best air compressor for painting?

It is not just good news for you but also for the painters who love working with atomized paints sprayed on various surfaces. In other words, this single object can be the best friend to both DIYers and professionals.

There is a matter of selecting these air compressors as the performance or designs have evolved over the years. One can easily get lost amidst so many units.

So, follow our lead on the buying guide filled with information to help you choose the right air compressor for painting.

Best Air Compressors for Paintings

Frankly speaking, whether you are painting a car yourself or other projects, the variations of models depend on the type of paint job you mostly focus on. It is challenging but not impossible at all. Let’s go deep!

Last update on 2022-05-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Air Compressors for Painting

Does your house need repainting? We have found just the best air compressor for painting a house at a reasonable price.

Rolair VT25BIG Air Compressor

Rolair Air Compressor,2.5 HP,115V,130 psi (VT25BIG)
152 Reviews
Rolair Air Compressor,2.5 HP,115V,130 psi (VT25BIG)
  • Air Compressors and Vacuum Pumps
  • Manufacturer: Rolair
  • Country of Manufacturer: Taiwan

Last update on 2022-05-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The moment we came across this product, we knew it is one of a kind that deserves to be in our top six. What makes it so extraordinary? Our answer is its capability to tackle large projects for a prolonged period.

It is very user-friendly as the large handle with a set of wheels allows the overall smaller body to move easily. Just because the product is designed in a compact body does not mean it will not convey terrific quality.

The 2.5 HP motor comes at a more affordable price than one could expect. This is why it can be a great asset to home projects owner with renovation in mind. It is an incredible option for painting cars as well.

Furthermore, you can acquire the air compressor with all the required essentials. As a result, you can adjust it to almost all paint guns you buy or already have in possession.

It is somewhat a lucky deal to the people who already have paint sprayers that do not need replacing.

This cast-iron tank has almost 5.3 gallons capacity and it is a compact cylinder too. It means the thing is heavy alright, but also highly durable!

And to extend the pump life of the powerful motor, the unit offers a splash lubrication system.

Many users have happily acknowledged its breezy maneuverability despite the 100-pound weight the VT25BIG air compressor hold. It unmistakably describes how well the machine has been built for convenience.

The Cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating is 6.5 at 90 PSI, enabling an outstanding output upon operation without a bother.

We have found one drawback, however. We better warn you of the noise it produces, which could amplify substantially if the work area is small.

  • Premium-grade construction
  • Very simple to work with
  • Budget-friendly
  • Fantastic performance outcome
  • Compatible with various sprayers
  • High dB/loud noise

California Air Tools 8010 Ultra Quiet Air Compressor

California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor | Ultra Quiet, Oil-Free, 1.0 hp, 8 gal
2,498 Reviews
California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor | Ultra Quiet, Oil-Free, 1.0 hp, 8 gal
  • Comes complete with Wheel Kit & Air Filter | No hose included | Consider you will need a ¼” Universal / Industrial Male Quick Connector to attach your hose to the air compressor
  • Product dimensions – 26" L x 14" W x 23” H | Max Pressure – 120 PSI | Voltage – 110V / 60 Hz | Min running watts – 2500 | Noise level – 60 dBA | Max Continuous run time – 30-60 min (depending on PSI & CFM) | Low Amp Draw – 8.5 Amps
  • Oil-Free Pump for Less Maintenance & Costs | Powerful 1.0 HP (Rated / Running) 2.0 HP (Peak) Motor

Last update on 2022-05-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Another supplementary air compressor for heavy-duty painting jobs is this one by California Air Tools 8010 ultra-quiet air compressor. It may not be as powerful as the previous unit, but it is fairly sturdy to take charge.

It is incorporated with an 8-gallon tank with 1.0 HP. One must presume the motor is not so dominating. That is not true, let us tell you that!

This is a large air compressor that you can rely on not because of its size but for the high performance the motor provides.

We have marked this one as one of our favorites due to one specific reason besides other features. While other large air compressors often fail at running quietly, the CAT-8010 runs at only 1680 RPM.

It means the machine will not deteriorate even after using it for years. Plus, it creates a really low noise. It is one of the bigger units that creates only 60 dB noise.

In short, the thing will last for a long time no matter how many times you utilize it for big projects. From house to car and other accessories, it will not disappoint you with its designed 3000 plus hours of operation.

With a large product like this; come plenty of responsibilities. So, you should remember to keep it in a well-ventilated area that does not have a high percentage of humidity.

Besides, you can always move it from place to place for your convenience. It comes with sturdy dual wheels and a handle.

The product takes another pointer with the oil-free tool’s operation. Thanks to this option, setting up the sprayers to the air compressor gets much simpler. Do not worry, the unit will run just as smoothly.

  • A large tank allows multiple tasks to be done in one go
  • Ultra-quiet performance
  • Oil-free running function
  • It can go up to 2.2 CFM at 120 PSI
  • It can go up to 2.2 CFM at 120 PSI
  • Includes air filters and wheel kit
  • Ease of portability
  • Affordable
  • Not as quiet for some

Best Air Compressor for Painting Cars

If you are looking specifically for car painting air compressors, look no further. Below are the two most popular by-demand units to give you the service.

Powermate Vx Electric Air Compressor (8010 Model)

PowerMate Vx PLA3706056 60-Gallon Single Stage Vertical Cast Iron Air Compressor
8 Reviews
PowerMate Vx PLA3706056 60-Gallon Single Stage Vertical Cast Iron Air Compressor
  • cast iron twin cylinder pump
  • 240 volt heavy duty induction motor
  • 12 inch cast iron balanced flywheel

Last update on 2022-05-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You will not be able to resist owning this cylinder-style air compressor once you get to know its features. It is associated with a 240-volt and 15-Amp that effectively distributes about 4.7 HP. Also offers up to 155-PSI Maximum Air Pressure.

It is quite the power tool, is it not? The tank can hold approximately 80 gallons. which means it is a real big tank capacity air compressor. And its cylinder is forged from the unique fire engine red colored cast iron.

The Powermate air compressor has an electric motor, gaining a longer life cycle than many similar models. Furthermore, it does not run that loud.

So, if you are planning on acquiring it for DIY use at home, its noise will not irritate the neighbors, and you will have a comfortable work environment. Most of the paint sprayers can be set to this machine.

Therefore, you can already use the existing ones and save yourself from buying additional paint sprayers. Next, it will require oil-based pumping with a robust crankcase.

This type of air compressor offers more longevity than oil-free pump products. It simply ensures the device motor does not dry out and run without any issue.

The only disadvantage is the hefty weight it conveys. It is over 350 pounds without any wheels and handles to support swift portability. As a result, it is more of a workshop unit than a machine to keep in a house garage.

So, we suggest setting it up in an area where you can take the car and other tools to work with at your convenience. There are other lightweight air compressors you can find, but they will not be as powerful as this one.

You will not be disappointed with the performance, though. It will deliver a fantastic outcome with a uniform finish when used with the right paint sprayer. So, if you are seeking such a durable and tough unit, it is right within your reach now.

  • Incredibly powerful motor
  • Excellent maneuverability with an even finish
  • Provides 14-CFM at 90-PSI
  • Built for longevity
  • Emits low noise
  • Goes with many sprayers
  • Reliable and easy to operate
  • Bit Expensive

Industrial Air IL1682066 Belt Driven Air Compressor

Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor with V-Twin Cylinder
80 Reviews
Industrial Air IL1682066.MN 20-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor with V-Twin Cylinder
  • 1. 6 HP, dual-Voltage, induction motor wired for standard 120-Volt outlet and convertible to 240-Volt applications
  • 135 max psi
  • Delivers 6. 2 CFM at 40 psi and 5. 3 CFM at 90 PSI

Last update on 2022-05-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Is the last unit too much for your need? Do not worry, for we have another amazing air compressor for spray painting cars that have won the hearts of many professionals and DIYer users.

It is exclusively made to give you the perfect coating and finishing like you desire. However, we think it is rather fit for mechanic shops and the likes.

The components are constructed from heavy-duty materials where the V-twin cylinder is cast iron made. This is why the air compressor is more suitable for workshops.

But as long as the garage area is large and you can operate it in a ventilated space, you can add this to your place. The reason is simple; it is super quiet! So, you can forget about disrupting your neighbors’ peace.

This device delivers 6.2 CFM at 40 PSI as well as 5.3 CFM at 90 PSI. It will go with almost every spray paint tool, giving you the advantage of adaptability. We admit that the unit is pretty heavy for the small project commencement.

The tank capacity is full 20 gallons, even though the structure is made vertical for ease of mobility. What we liked about the unit is the aluminum valve head and plate beside the cylinder pump.

Why you may ask. This material will ensure the heat formed by compressor usage degenerates quickly. It also makes sure to prevent the inner workings from wearing faster than other comparable products.

Though it is most handy at resulting uniformed and even painting/coating of the cars, it is hard to move without the integrated wheels and the handle.

These wheels are big and allow you to move the thing around comfortably despite the bulky weight. The only trouble we thought was that the wheels need additional care.

They are large and, therefore, demands to be filled with air occasionally. If you get a flat then, it will be nearly impossible to get a replacement unless you decide to swap both wheels.

  • Highly durable with extended longevity
  • Compatible with most sprayers
  • Offers excellent dexterity
  • Includes oil-free features
  • Simple maneuverability with a handle and large dual wheels
  • Wheels require air pumping

Best Air Compressors for Spray Painting

Are you an enthusiast of spray painting and designing your workpiece? Do you wish to refurbish the old miniatures/furniture to give a better look? And looking for the best air compressor for spray painting? Then have a look at the product below.

Master Airbrush Air Compressor Model TC-20

Master Airbrush Cool Runner II Dual Fan Air Compressor Professional Airbrushing System Kit with 3 Airbrushes, Gravity...
5,043 Reviews
Master Airbrush Cool Runner II Dual Fan Air Compressor Professional Airbrushing System Kit with 3 Airbrushes, Gravity...
  • Professional Master Airbrush Multi-Purpose Airbrushing System with 3 of Master Airbrushes best selling & user friendly airbrushes. Includes bonus Master Airbrush Quick Start Guide and Airbrush Resource Center access card.
  • Master Airbrush Model TC-320 Cool Runner II superior performance powerful 1/5 hp single-piston compressor with two cooling fans that allow it to run much cooler for a longer continuous running time without overheating. Includes airbrush holder for 2 airbrushes.
  • 3 Types of Master Airbrushes: Model G22 dual-action with a 1/3 oz. gravity feed fluid cup and 0.3mm tip, Model G25 dual-action with a 1/16 oz. gravity feed fluid cup and 0.2mm tip, plus a Model E91 single-action siphon feed with a 0.8mm tip and 2 - 3/4 oz. siphon bottles.

Last update on 2022-05-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You are into crafts, but the unique designs ask for something more than just the regular paint brushes and colors. What do you do to get what you have in mind?

The Master Airbrush air compressor knows the likes of you and loves to help you out in this sort of matter. How, though?

This is the kind of air compressor that is mini and perfect for detailed graphic designs and precise artwork for home décor, cars, small craftworks, and so much more!

The list will go on, but the overwhelming result will never let you down. It is a very affordable paint sprayer for a kit; because mostly, smaller air compressors do not come in a package.

You will get a premium style dual-action airbrush that includes a gravity fluid cup of 1/3 oz. The airbrush also features a needle and nozzle of 0.3mm. This means you can spray from the hairline to 1½” with broad patterns.

It has the single-piston air compressor that is most popular for its powerful HP of 1/5. This one is a beautifully designed air compressor that will make your DIY day. The device comes with an air filter water trap alongside a pressure regulator. It will make the petite unit no less powerful.

Master Airbrush does not just offer one but two mounting airbrush holders for dual tasks. It even provides a 6-foot long air hose, giving the kit a complete look.

This one can be a great starter pack for beginners who love working with crafts, auto graphics, cake decorating, temporary tattoos, fine art, nail art, and more; indulge yourself in limitless possibilities!

  • Works quietly at 59 dB
  • Auto on/off system
  • Amazing air pressure adjustment up to 57 PSI
  • Equipped with all the necessary tools
  • Precise air flow with clean and dry air
  • Versatile use within budget
  • Includes a handle
  • The airbrush nozzle is not robust

Best Air Compressor for Automotive Painting

Below is another unit to fulfill your necessities regarding the varieties of vehicle painting. Why should you go for this one? Let us find out.

California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S (Best Quiet Portable Air Compressor)

California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor, Silver
1,997 Reviews
California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor, Silver
  • Ultra quiet only 56 Decibels
  • Oil-Free pump for less maintenance & costs
  • Lightweight for easy transporting - 29 lbs

Last update on 2022-05-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Here is an ultra-quiet oil-free air compressor that clearly is a winner compared to the other unit of the same brand. It is built for delivering the sort of mini-unit one seeks for DIY projects.

That being said, we believe it is more useful as inflating tires and such instead of automotive painting. Still, if you wish to have a device like this one at home, then you will not have to worry about various air compressor-related tasks at all.

As an outcome, you will not have to pick your favorite ride to the workshop every time something needs to be fixed. Let us give you the heads up, though.

As powerful as it is, the product comes in with only a 1-gallon tank capacity and 1.2 CFM. So, do not go overboard and expect it to run continuously.

Additionally, the compact unit also indicates that it will not be able to power bigger tools except the nailers, which offer a low CFM consumption rate. It sure has plenty of barriers, but for a small machine, this one is one adorable beast.

The CAT-1P1060S has a motor with a heat protection system for preventing overheating. It offers a big dual piston pump that comes with about 3000 hours of service.

And the fun part is you merely have to spend 50 seconds for a refill! Furthermore, the recovery time to a full 120 PSI is just 15 seconds.

Did we mention how quiet the machine is? It is as if the little thing is in hibernation every time you power it up.

The model hardly needs specific plugging connectors due to its 4.5 Amps, enabling it to plug anywhere in the house, outside/inside the garage, etc.

  • Compact; can be stored anywhere
  • Less time filling the tank
  • The motor includes thermal overload prevention
  • Absolutely noiseless
  • Suitable for small to medium painting projects
  • Cannot power larger tools

Things to Consider Before Buying (Beginner to Advanced Guide)

What requirements does need in air compressors for spray painting? It does not matter if you are an expert or at a beginner level, these factors given below are must-know ones before making a purchase.

CFM Rating

It is of utmost significance that you examine the CFM draw on the spray gun you have to the CFM rate provided on the air compressor for accurate results.

Differences in the rating will lead to erroneous performance despite buying a high-quality machine.

Tank Type

Are you planning to buy an air compressor for professional use at work? Or is it to enter the world of DIY projects at home improvement/garage projects? You should ask these questions before going for a unit without realizing the tank size since there are two kinds.

If you are into light artworks, renovating a portion of the house, or thinking about spray painting a car, we recommend opting for portable air compressors. These are the best air compressors for spray painting miniatures with appropriate accessories.

Portable air compressors are very lightweight, hence, the transportation advantages. They come in many cute styles like pancake compressorswheelbarrow air compressorshot dog compressors, etc.

Stationary, on the contrary, is the upright air compressor that you will mostly see in the factories, workshops, or garages. They have incredible horsepower and can be used for a long time.

However, they are quite huge and hefty even though the vertical design requires little space in the service or storage area.

Stationary air compressors for painting are quite effective in spray painting numbers of vehicles, houses, and other large furniture or equipment.

Did you read, one of the best pancake compressor reviews? Here: Porter Cable c2002 Compressor Review!

CFM and PSI Measurements

These are the two key measurements you should always look out for when searching for a good air compressor.

PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) deals with the force. This does not mean only higher PSI would result in optimal performance, though.

CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute), on the other hand, is believed to be a more efficient metric. Many folks consider greater CFM will support faster air compression.

In short, higher CFM enables a good match with CFM-rated spray guns you are going to utilize.


A 1 or 2 HP motor with 35 PSI sprayers is sufficient if you are thinking about non-industrial projects. The 2 HP variant has become pretty common in recent years, so getting your hands on an air compressor as such will do just fine.

Noise Level

You must always consider how some loud machines could be a source of nuisance to the whole neighborhood. It is when you are more into DIY projects than implementing them in industrial areas.

So, choose a unit that offers a low dB (decibel) rating. It is only fair to be kind to the surroundings while being passionate about your interests.

You may even find accessories to dampen the noise if the unit you purchase does not contain lower dB rates. Besides, you could insulate or even pad the walls of the space you work in to avoid bothering others.

Oiled or Oil-Free Air Compressor

There was once a time when oiled air compressors were the only solution, well, not anymore! But what is the basic difference if the air compressor oil running or not?

The answer is in the weight; pre-oiled air compressors are heavier but often more durable. They do create more noise, though.

Oil-less ones, in comparison, require almost no maintenance and, due to the lack of oil, are lightweight. Nevertheless, they may not hold out for a long period if anything goes south.


Do not think that an air compressor is limited to only spray painting because it is not. You can apply this machine to another painting job rather than car painting tools only.

It is versatile with pneumatic tools, artistic assignments/projects, inflatable objects, and so on. Therefore, you do not have to feel guilty about investing in a product like this at all.

Just make sure it is of renowned brand and quality for reliable operation.

Source of Power

There are two kinds; electric and gas.

While the electric-powered air compressor is as effective as the latter, it is not advisable in terms of frequent mobility.

The gas-powered air compressors provide more flexibility, but you need to fill up gas continually.

What Size Air Compressor for Painting Needs?

This is the big question that could change the face of the subject upon the right usage. Here are some tips to keep in mind.


The mind-boggling question about the suitable air compressor size for painting is how to figure it out. Honestly, the significance of tank size depends on the object you are painting.

Let us pick a car as an example, which is quite large for a small-sized tank, do you not think? But if you choose a 50 or 60-gallon volume of an air compressor, it will do an excellent paint job at leveling the coatings.

The auto painting will require a big air tank, whereas you can make do with medium to small tanks for small DIY projects.

Other Factors

Even if you get the smallest air compressor for painting, do not forget that the CFM rating, air pressure, and HP of the machine will play a similarly major role in delivering efficient painting.

Keep in mind that some things would require more than one coating for a thorough perfection. Therefore, our opinion suggests that smaller tanks might not suffice for some of the projects.

So, choose wisely, do not settle for a small air tank if it is because the budget for the repeated coating and refilling will cost you just the same.

What Is the Best Air Compressor for Painting Cars?

There are two air compressors for painting that have caught our attention. These are Rolair VT25BIG and Industrial Air IL1682066MN.

Rolair VT25BIG

As we have covered in the review above, there is no reason why you should not opt for a robust unit like this one. It has got everything a professional or a DIY user wishes.

Its mighty design and build efficiency allow you to even work on housing projects. The air compressor is quite impactful when it comes to power and performance.

Industrial Air IL1682066MN

Everything we had to say about this incredibly sturdy air compressor has been mentioned in its review above. Most importantly, it is probably another best one to keep within your grasp for your desired car painting purpose.

Whether you are a professional looking for something to run for a day to day service or a person who wishes to personalize his/her car in the garage; this air compressor is it!

Yes, there is the issue with the tending of the wheels from time to time. However, you can totally overlook that in comparison to the unit’s high-grade performance.

It will not get heated; it will deliver the exact force and speed you need for a perfect car makeover, and it will last for quite a long time.

How to Fix Common Issues of Air Compressor in Painting?

Before we go straight to fixing the problems, the user ought to acknowledge the issues first.


Sometimes paint sprayers tend to lose the uniformity of spraying patterns. Thus, there could be visible lines at the edge of the paint; this happens when the paint substance is not properly atomized.

You can fix it by increasing the pressure, thinning the paint, adjusting the distance and posture, or cleaning the spray tip. Sometimes you might have to consider replacing the tip.

Moisture Formation

It is without a doubt that the air of the sprayer must flow clearly. Thus, the spray gun should never be moist. Otherwise, the paint will not be equally consistent.

We advise applying a filter to prevent this damp adversity.

Jammed Airline

Always keep each line and tube clean before beginning a new task/project. It is because there could be potential oil contamination in the air compressor air hose that could taint the performance of the paint.

Cleaning up each tube and line after completing a project is the best way to avoid this trouble.

Too Hot Air Temperature

This occurs due to poor ventilation, dirt build-up on the filters and mechanism, or wound-up gasket/valves. The basic solution to this is cleaning everything from the filter to the intercooler. If it still does not work, then it is time for a new head gasket or valve plate.

Final Words

Now that you have patiently stayed with us and finished reading our reviews and buying guides, getting the best air compressor for painting will be a piece of cake!

You have now realized there are many factors and importance regarding a product that needs to be cleared up. Hopefully, we have been successful at doing that for you.

Thank you for taking the time and staying with us. One thing is transparent, though, you can now be confident to paint your project without feeling insecure.

Whether it is a car, a piece of furniture, or a section of the house, we wish you hearty good luck with the mission!

5/5 - (4 votes)

Mitchel Shawn was a Co-worker and Engineer of a Gardening Tool manufacturing company since 2013 and a passionate researcher on Machinery goods. Picking the right tools for your work-station and making life easier is an untold helping journey by SHAWN. With this Reviewer Guides Blog, you'll definitely get help in revealing the accurate product spec which actually helps in real life works.

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