Many of the tools we use for our work, our hobbies, and our crafts are powered by air. I use an air compressor to power the airbrushing tools that I use when applying picture perfect finishes to the cakes and delicacies I ice and decorate. My husband uses his to spray paint the exterior of our house, and for other outdoor painting jobs.
The paint sprayer that you use needs specific types of air compressors to operate them. We searched through many different air compressors before we choose the best air compressor for paint sprayer. We take our recommendations to our readers very seriously.
Best Air Compressor for Painting Comparison Table
Dewalt d55140 air compressor
Weight: 29.4 pounds
Size: 20.5 x 15.8 x 10.8
Voltage: 120 volts
Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP
Weight: 59.6 pounds
Size: 18 x 22 x 10
Voltage: 120 volts
Campbell Hausfeld FP209499AV
Weight: 20.7 pounds
Size: 15.7 x 7.9 x 19.6
Voltage: 120 volts
PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 Pancake
Weight: 26 pounds
Size: 18.1 x 17.2 x 18.5
Voltage: 120 volts
Rolair JC10 Plus 1 HP
Weight: 42.9 pounds
Size: 17 x 16 x 15
Voltage: 120 volts
Top 7 Best Air Compressor for Spraying
1. 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.
2. Makita Mac700 Air Compressor - Best for Painting a Car
This 2 horsepower air compressor has a cast iron pump, a big bore cylinder, a big bore piston, so it is capable of giving you the highest possible level of performance.
It has a 1,720 RPM pump and noise levels that are much lower than most air compressors of this size.
It is great for powering paint sprayers, especially if you are using the compressor indoors.
It was designed to have a low amp draw and that means that there are fewer risks of premature motor failure because you will trip the breakers less often. Tripped breakers cause voltage drops and those drops shorten the life span of your motor.’’
It is oil lubricated so the pump remains cooler while in operation and the oil reduces the wear and tear on the pump and motor.
The compressor weighs a little over 59 pounds so it is slighter more difficult to move around, but it is also harder to tip over so there are fewer worries of damages from tip-overs.
3. Campbell Hausfeld FP209499AV Air Compressor
The three-gallon air tank on this powerhouse of a compressor ensures that you have plenty of air power to do the job at hand. It also has an oil-less motor so you can take the compressor indoors to work and you do not have to be concerned that the unit will leak oil and damage flooring inside the home.
It comes with an accessory package that makes it convenient for you to use this compressor to do many of the things you want to do. The accessory package has an air hose, a blowgun, Inflation needles, and multiple fittings. You will be able to operate brad nailers, nail guns, inflate swim tubes and balls, air up bicycle tires, and power your paint gun so painting is easier to do.
This compressor is small and compact so it is easy to reposition it around the house. It is the perfect homeowner air compressor, but it is also a great companion to professionals.
4. PORTER CABLE PCFP02003 Pancake Air Compressor
This air compressor manufactured by Porter Cable is called a pancake compressor because the air tank is squatty and round kind of like a pancake. It has an air flow delivery of 2.0 SCFM and a 90 PSI pump.
The three and one half gallon air tank will be sufficient to help you in any job you take on. They can power any of your air tools, spray guns, and also air up tires and inflate pool toys and balls.
These compressors are especially handy if you are working inside a home because they are small and light so they are easy to reposition, and if you are working on a roof these air compressors are small enough to go up on the roof with you.
There is a quick coupler that is installed by the manufacturer to increase the ease of connecting your air hoses and protecting the ends of your air hoses.
5. Rolair JC10 Oil-Less Compressor
This air compressor is perfect for all of your do-it-yourself projects around the house because it weighs less than 43 pounds and measures 17 x 16 x 15 inches. It is also ultra quiet. You know that the oil-less compressors are notorious for being so loud that you cannot hear anything but them when they are running. This oil-less compressor is rated as being the quietest air compressor of its size being sold today.
Because the compressor is oil free you have less maintenance to worry about and you can take inside a home and not worry about damaging the carpeting with oil leakage.
Has a 2.3-gallon air cylinder that is crafted from cast aluminum. This means that the item is sturdy and is not going to rust up in the first year that you own it.
This unit is perfect for operating compressor for spray gun, pneumatic tools, and inflating riding water toys and tires.
6. Senco PC1010 Air Compressor
This is a quiet air compressor that produces 25.5 dB when it is idling and a 73.0 dB when it is running to refill the tank or power the tool. That is very impressive and very quiet for an oil-less air compressor.
This unit is designed to be used by homeowners, crafters, hobbyist, trim carpenters, and more. It weighs only twenty pounds so you can easily pick it up and move it from room to room in the house.
It has a one-gallon air tank that refills very quickly when it is depleted. It is powered by electricity and plugs into a standard electrical outlet.
The compressor is powerful enough to do the work you need it to do and small enough to make it easy to carry, easy to use, and easy to store when the job is complete. Carpenters who do trim work and build cabinets and delicate items will find this a very useful air compressor to have on the job.
7. Master Airbrush Compressor Review
This air compressor is specifically designed to power the airbrush art tools needed. A multi-purpose high precision airbrush even comes with the air compressor when you purchase it so it makes it the perfect compressor unit for the beginning airbrush artist.
It comes complete with air filter water trap and a six-foot air hose, an airbrush holder that is mounted on the compressor, and an instruction manual to teach you the art of airbrushing basics.
This air compressor weighs less than ten pounds and can be easily set on your tables or countertops. It is quiet and designed to be used indoors.
It can be used in cake decorating, airbrush painting of models and trinkets, and so much more. It is oil-less so there is no maintenance to worry about and no mess to clean up when you move it.
The compressor is so small and lightweight that it easily stores in a drawer, on a shelf, or in a cabinet.
How to Pick Air Compressor for Paint Sprayer
It does not matter what kind of job you are going to do, having the right tool to do the job with will make the job easier to do, allow you to spend less time on the job, and will make the finished product more attractive.
Having the right paint sprayer for the work you want to do will save you both time and money.
Types of Air Compressor Spray Painting
Paint sprayers have come a long way since their introduction in 1887. The first sprayers did not require an air compressor you had to manually operate a pump that would force air into a cylinder and then force the paint out through a nozzle.
Compressed Air Sprayers
The compressed air sprayers were the first paint sprayers introduced. These devices take compressed air and force it to release the paint that is in their holding tank in a fine mist of paint particles. These devices make painting go faster but they are very simple to use.
The problem with the compressed air sprayers is that they tend to waste more paint than they apply to your surface. The particles of paint that go into the air do not all go directly to the surface that you want to paint, so you may use more paint to cover the same amount of square footage.
High Volume Low-Pressure (HVLP) Sprayers
The High Volume low pressure (HVLP) sprayers are more popular with painters because you have more control when you are using this type of air compressor paint sprayer that you have when you use the traditionally compressed air sprayer. The paint is emitted from the high volume low-pressure sprayers in a narrow stream instead of in a fine mist.
The lower amount of air pressure that is required by an HVLP paint sprayer ensures that you will get more paint on the surface you are painting and that means you use less paint during your process. This is a money saving feature.
The HVLP paint sprayers make the job of painting less of a job and more enjoyable. They reduce the amount of time it takes to complete a painting project and they are simple enough to use that even amateurs will have no problem using the devices.
Things to Consider While Buying the Best Air Compressors for Painting
The development of paint sprayers was a time-saving invention that through the years so many modifications that improved on the original paint sprayer technology and expanded the things that you could use a paint sprayer to accomplish. Today we use paint sprayers to paint exteriors of houses, interiors of houses, trim, cakes, automobiles, and more.
Before you can select a paint sprayer you need to consider how you will use the product. A paint sprayer designed to paint walls and exterior projects is not the paint sprayer you need if you want to paint your vehicle or decorate a cake. The way you will use the spray gun determines which spray gun you need.
Before you buy a paint sprayer you need to consider the air compressor requirements of that sprayer. If you already own an air compressor then you will want to find the best air compressor for spray painting that will be functional with the compressor you already own. This means that you will need to know how many CFM the paint sprayer requires and how many CFM the air compressor is capable of.
CFM stands for cubic feet per minute. The volume of air that the air compressor can deliver to the pneumatic tool that you are using is measured in cubic feet per minute. An air compressor that has the ability to produce more cubic feet per minute will be providing more air than compressors with a lower CFM rating so they will operate more tools at one time, and they will be better suited for large jobs.
An air compressor that has a higher horsepower rating will normally produce more cubic feet per minute.
The Difference between CFM and SCFM
Sometimes you will see an air compressor rated as having a specific number of CFM and then a specific number of SCFM. The CFM number will almost always be smaller than the SCFM because when the CFM is measured the values are determined while under about 90 psi of pressure.
The best way to explain the difference of these numbers is that CFM is usually applied to air compressors and SCFM is usually applied to air tools like the air spray paint gun that connects to the air compressor.
SCFM values include the air temperature, and the humidity when calculating the values so SCFM numbers are larger, but they do not mean that the air compressor is more powerful.
The FAQ about Air Compressor Paint Sprayers
Do you need an air compressor for a paint sprayer?
If you are using a spray paint gun and it is not an airless gun then you need an air compressor to power the spray paint gun.
What CFM is required for spray painting?
12 CFM is the average CFM required by a spray paint gun.
How big of an air compressor do I need?
The size of the air compressor that you need is determined by what tools you want to power with the compressor, and what type of work you will be doing with those tools.
What size air compressor do I need to paint?
You will need an air compressor that has at least a three-gallon air tank and can produce 12 CFM or more if you will be running a spray paint gun. These spray paint guns do not require a high PSI from the compressor but they require a lot of air for an extended period of time.
The majority of homeowners and renters will find time in their life when they have something they want to paint. Paint is an inexpensive way to make something look newer, and paint is a protective coating that keeps the wood in your home or your belongings from deteriorating as quickly.
The majority of people know that painting is a difficult job that takes a lot of hard work, a lot of time, and a lot of effort. The air compressor paint sprayers reduce the time it takes to complete a painting task, and it makes the job of painting easier.
An air compressor paint sprayer can provide you with the ability to improve your home, change the look of most objects around the home, and increase the value of your home and belongings.