9 Best Air Compressor For Painting Cars At Home To Buy in 2023

best air compressor for painting cars at home

Sometimes the look of vehicles wears out faster than their actual performance. By painting a car, we can easily protect its look. Whether you are a beginner or an auto expert, the best air compressor for painting cars at home will come in handy for protecting cars from scratches. 

Air compressors are designed for making air by using power and this air is then used in a spray gun. It improves the performance of the spray gun and makes the painted car look like a new vehicle. There are many different kinds of air compressors are available that give us a better way to paint with no hassle. If you want to use your sprayer to paint, having the best air compressor for painting cars is essential for you. 

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Choosing the right air compressor for your next auto painting job can be tricky for you, but we make things simple by giving you all the details about the best air compression.

After that, we’ll give you an unbiased look at the 9 best air compressors for car paint that will make it easy for you to paint your vehicle and restore it to its look.

Top Pick Best Portable Air Compressor For Painting Cars

The charge of a professional pinter for painting a car is a few thousand dollars. And you can save those hard-earned dollars by bringing the best air compressor for home painting.

Good quality air compressors are compatible with spray guns in order to use them properly and get the most out of your job. Generally, we are required to find the perfect combination of a spray gun and a compressor.

Do not worry; We’re here to help you find the best air compressor for painting your car. Check out our top 10 air compressors for the painting below!

best air compressor for painting cars at home
DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor
  • 78.3 dB Noise level
  • 165 PSI air pressure
  • Oil-free pump
  • Electric universal motor with 120V capacity
  • 0.9 HP peak horsepower
air compressor for painting cars
Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak
  • 125 PSI air pressure
  • 0.7 CFM at 90 PSI power capacity
  • 20 lbs weight
  • 73 dB Noise level
  • 2 minutes refill time
best portable air compressor for painting cars
PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, 6-Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free
  • Oil-free pump
  • 34 Ibs weight
  • Come with a 120-volt motor
  • Dual air couplers
Our Pick4
best air compressor for painting cars
CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K 6 Gallon oil-free Air Compressor
  • Oil-free pump
  • 32 lbs weight
  • 13-Piece Accessory Kit
  • 1-year warranty
  • Pancake shape

Things to Consider When Buying Best Air Compressor For Painting Cars

There is a wide variety of air compressors available on the market, and choosing the best one is no easy task. You should choose the air compressor that is compatible with your spray gun to avoid wasting time and money.

By knowing the requirements and using a spray gun with a new compressor, you can perform all painting tasks with high quality.

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Buying the best air compressor for painting cars at home is the right choice when considering these factors.

– Air Pressure

The air pressure in the compressor is measured in PSI (pounds per square inch). PSI is simply a rating of how much air pressure a tank can deliver. 

There are two types of spray guns, the first is airless paint sprayers and the second is HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure). Airless paint sprayers require 70 PSI to 120 PSI to use. The same goes for HVLP sprayers; These require compressors with a low PSI.

– CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute)

CFM measures how much air moves in one minute. This is one of the key factors when choosing an air compressor for spray painting. 

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CFM requirements for spray guns vary from model to model; smaller spray guns require less CFM than larger ones. Therefore, you need to know the CFM requirement of spray guns. After that, look for an air compressor that produces more volume than the CFM of the spray gun.

– Tank Capacity

The size of the compressor is also an important factor in ensuring that it always has sufficient power. A larger tank capacity will help you get the job done in one go and reduce the chance of the surface of your car being painted unevenly.

Other huge tanks with good CFM values ​​support the cooling process after a few intensive hours of operation. The 5 gallon or more capacity for the compressor is suitable for vehicles of all sizes.

– Portability

The best portable air compressor for painting cars comes with a set of wheels and a handle so you can move them from one location to another.

These compressors may be too heavy to lift on your own, but they are not that difficult to move compared to others you can buy. Some air compressors weigh between 300 and 400 pounds and do not have a set of wheels.

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– Oil or Oil-Free

Oil-free compressors are required low-maintenance and inexpensive because you don’t have to worry about topping up or oil spills while you work. 

On the other hand, oiled pumps are heavier and more expensive. The best thing about them is that they last a lot longer than their oil-free counterparts. If you ever want to use the compressor once, the best for you is oil-free. If you want an air compressor for your professional work, we recommend that you use an oil compressor.

What Size Air Compressor Is Good To Paint a Car?

Size is an important factor when choosing an air compressor, and the larger your air compressor, the more gallons it can typically provide for an automotive paint sprayer. The size of the vehicle also determines the size of the compressor you will buy.

If you have a coupe or sedan, 30 to 50 gallons is fine for you. For an SUV or mini truck, you need a tank capacity of 50 to 60 gallons.

For vehicles like trucks, you will need 70 gallons or more to cover the outside trailer at one time. The bottom line is that you need to check the type of vehicle and then you need to choose the best air compressor to paint it.

How to Use an Air Compressor with a Spray Gun?

If you want to paint your car with an air compressor perfectly. You need to understand how to set up an air compressor with a spray gun. 

A slight drop in volume or pressure in the spray gun will result in paint quality poor in the car and the right settings will make your job easier. 

With the right equipment and setup, painting an air compressor with a spray gun becomes a breeze. 

This guide will help you with everything you need to know to set up an air compressor with a spray gun.

– Understands the Components

The first step in setting up the air compressor with your spray gun is understanding how the various components are included and how they work. Here it is a compressor, a regulator, an air hose, a filter, and a spray gun. You can read the user manual for the proper configuration of these devices.

– Ensure Proper Measurement of Air Hose

The hose you are using can cause pressure problems if it is too narrow or too long. If the width of the air hose is small, the air flowing through it will be less. Then less air pressure will be transmitted to your spray gun. A larger diameter hose will deliver more pressure than a smaller diameter hose. The tubing length and inside diameter must be properly balanced to reduce airflow restriction.

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– Minimize Quick disconnect fittings (QDs)

Depending on the design and volume requirements of your pressure spray gun, always choose a QD with a smaller number and a large diameter to ensure minimal pressure loss. Large-diameter QDs are considered the least restrictive and most practical if you want the best results.

– Use High-Quality Air Regulators

Air spray gun regulators are used to fix airflow and pressure, ensuring consistent results. However, From this design can also airflow restricted and create an excessive pressure drop. There are two types of paint gun filter regulators: wall-mounted and gun-mounted.

Mostly, Larger wall-mounted regulators make more air pressure on the spray gun and minimize the dreaded pressure drop.

9 Best Air Compressor For Painting Cars at Home in 2023

Now that you have read the important points and terms about the air compressor, it will be easy for you to choose the right air compressor for painting cars.

With the different types of air compressors available on the market, we will help you find exactly what you need. 

We’ve selected the 9 best air compressors for painting cars so you can find the perfect match for your spray gun.

1. DEWALT DWFP55126 Pancake Air Compressor

best air compressor for painting cars at home
  • 1-year warranty
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • 6 Gallon tank size
  • 78.3 dB Noise level
  • 165 PSI air pressure
  • Oil-free pump
  • Electric universal motor with 120V capacity
  • 0.9 HP peak horsepower

The DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor is one of the most reliable air compressors for painting cars. This compressor is light and therefore easy to transport. 

This compressor gives you an air pressure of 165 PSI, which is decent air pressure to keep a constant flow of paint into your tools when painting your vehicle.

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Its engine is highly efficient to start quickly even in cold weather. It comes with highly efficient flow regulators and couplings to maximize air tool performance. The 78.3dB noise level and 6-gallon tank size are good for smooth work. You also get a 90-day money-back guarantee and a 1-year guarantee.


  • The motor can work in low and high temperature
  • Provides a long runtime.
  • Easy to carry due to lightweight
  • Efficient performance
  • Paint compressor easily operable


  • Leakage problem
  • The regulator knob is not fixed

2. California 8010 Oil-Free Portable Air Compressor

best air compressor for painting cars
  • Portable air compressor
  • 8 Gallons tank size
  • 120 PSI air pressure
  • Oil-free pump
  • 3000+ hours life cycle
  • 60 dB noise level
  • 48lbs weight
  • 2.2 CFM @ 90 PSI painting Capacity

The California 8010 Air Compressor is the best portable air compressor for painting cars that runs from 1HP to 2HP to handle most of your daily painting projects.

Air pressure is generated by this 120 PSI which is good for completing any type of interior paint with ease. This air compressor is oil-free, so it operates at any temperature and a 3,000+ hour life is suitable for any painting project.

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The most promising feature of this product is its quick response. The pump takes less time to fill. According to most of the buyers, this product takes less than three minutes to fill the tank when it is empty.

The best thing about this compressor is its portability, so you can easily move it from one place to another.


  • Easily movable
  • Take just 165 seconds to fill up the tank.
  • Ultra Quiet
  • Work in any weather


  • It has a low CFM rating.
  • build quality is not good

3. Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak

air compressor for painting cars
  • 1 Gallon tank size
  • 1-year warranty
  • 125 PSI air pressure
  • 0.7 CFM at 90 PSI power capacity
  • 20 lbs weight
  • 73 dB Noise level
  • 2 minutes refill time

If you are looking for an affordable, yet powerful, quiet air compressor for car paintwork, the Senco PC1010 1HP is for you.

The Senco air compressor takes care of all painting work efficiently with 1 HP in peak operation and ½ HP in run time. The compressor has a one-gallon capacity, which is perfect for small-scale paint jobs on vehicles. With 20 pounds, the portable design helps you complete any task with the utmost ease.

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Because of the lightweight, you can carry the tool more comfortably. It’s so quiet that you don’t even notice there’s a tool working that close.


  • Has a compact shape and size
  • Highly portable and light-weight 
  • great for painting small objects
  • Backed by a 1-year limited warranty


  • Not powerful to do heavier painting tasks
  • One gallon capacity tank

4. PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, 6-Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free

best portable air compressor for painting cars
  • 6-gallon tank size
  • 150 PSI air pressure
  • 2.6 CFM @ 90 PSI power capacity
  • Oil-free pump
  • 34 Ibs weight
  • Come with a 120-volt motor
  • Dual air couplers

The PORTER-CABLE compressor comes with two air couplings that allow two people to paint at the same time and get the most out of it. Its protective cover guarantees the protection of the components.

This compressor has a maximum capacity of 150 PSI, which is perfect for optimal performance and long run times. It is the best air compressor for painting cars due to its low maintenance property.

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Its high-quality components are designed to make lifetime performance without causing a lot of headaches. The C2002 comes with a powerful 120-volt motor and an alow-amp motor that starts easily in cold weather.


  • Long-lasting lifetime
  • Performs efficiently
  • Oil-free tank
  • Lightweight
  • Value for money


  • It’s quite loud
  • It is not portable

5. Makita MAC5200 Big Bore Air Compressor

best air compressor for painting cars 2022
  • 5.2-gallon tank size
  • 140 PSI air pressure
  • 6.5 CFM @ 90 power capacity
  • 90dB noise level
  • 1-year warranty
  • Rugged wheels for portability
  • 3.0 HP motor

The Makita MAC5200 air compressor is perfect for everyone who is looking for a reliable air compressor to complete car painting tasks.

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With its enormous power, this motor can drive the pump to deliver a maximum air pressure of 140 PSI.

The approximately 90 pound Makita air compressor is very easy to transport or move from place to place with the sturdy wheels attached. With its high level of performance and powerful engine, it can serve two tasks at the same time.


  • Can be easily moved
  • Quick air refill
  • Powerful 3HP motor


  • The wheels are hard to fix

6. Ford Silent Series FCE6150QV 15 Gallon Air Compressor

best air compressor for paint spraying
  • 15 Gallon Vertical Air Tank
  • 2.9 CFM @ 90 PSI power capacity
  • 59dB noise level
  • Dual Pump for increasing pump life
  • Oil-Free pump
  • 2 pressure gauges
  • NPT quick coupler 
  • Portable Design

Ford is known for building rugged and reliable vehicles. We can find the same in the Ford Silent series air compressor.

This compressor has a 15-gallon tank size and a very low noise level of 59 dB, which is necessary to efficiently paint in a quiet environment for a long period. Along with an oil-free pump that prevents component wear. You can also monitor pressure with the two easy-to-read gauges on the machine.

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These top-notch features, along with the handle and never-flattening wheels for moving it easily, make the FCE6150QV the best air compressor for painting cars at home.


  • No-Flat wheels for portability
  • Ultra-quiet
  • Powerful motor
  • Easy-to-read gauges
  • Oil-free pump


  • Expensive

7. Industrial Air Contractor 4 Gallon Portable Air Compressor

best air compressor for hvlp painting
  • 4 Gallon tank size
  • 155 PSI air pressure
  • 5-Horsepower premium gas engine
  • Pontoon-style tank design
  • 2-year warranty
  • Has a cooling system to lower the temperature
  • Oil-free pump

The portable industrial air compressor is the most reliable paint job air compressor with a 4-gallon double tank design and a 5-horsepower Honda engine. 

This compressor features a patented two-part cooling system that lowers the temperature and maintains cooling in the system and extends the life of the pump. 

The compressor has a superior camshaft design, which makes the engine easier to run, reduces fuel consumption, and increases work efficiency. With 155 psi air pressure, you’ll get smoother, more streamlined painting operations.


  • Very powerful
  • Low maintenance required
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Fuel-Efficient


  • Smaller fuel tank capacity

8. California 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free Air Compressor

best air compressor for spray painting
  • 10 Gallon tank size
  • 125 PSI air pressure
  • 70 dB noise level
  • 6.40 CFM at 40 PSI power capacity
  • 3000 hours life cycle
  • 2 HP engine
  • Easy start valve feature
  • Wheel kit inclusive
  • Dedicated amp outlet

California Air Tools 10020C has a compact design with wheels so that anyone can easily move it around. This compressor has a lifespan of over 3000 hours, so you don’t have to worry about long car paint jobs.

This gives you a 2 HP motor that ensures you never get lost in the efficiency department. It features an amazing 10-gallon tank made from solid stainless steel.

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In addition, it also has an antioxidant coating, so this function protects the compressor from corrosion or oxidation. The most effective benefit of this product is that you can work with it for hours without disturbing your neighbors, as it is extremely quiet.


  • Easy to use
  • Easy to move with plastic wheels
  • Has fewer maintenance costs.
  • Has a large 10-gallon steel tank


  • It has a few design flaws
  • It’s quite expensive

9. CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K 6 Gallon oil-free Air Compressor

best air compressor for painting cars
  • 6 Gallon tank size
  • 150 PSI air pressure
  • Oil-free pump
  • 32 lbs weight
  • 13 Piece Accessory Kit
  • 1-year warranty
  • Pancake shape

The CRAFTSMAN CMEC6150K compressor is a premium air compressor for painting cars. It offers an oil-free pump so that it requires less maintenance to operate. 

It packs some really strong horsepower with its 6-gallon size and 150 PSI air pressure. Its pancake shape and handle design help us to easily maneuver this lightweight air compressor from place to place. 

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This compressor comes with a 13-piece accessory kit that includes a coupling, plug assembly, PVC air compressor hose, and 3 inflator adapters. Craftsman air compressors come with a one-year warranty. You can work with this air compressor for a long time without any problems.


  • Oil-free pump
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Accessory Kit


  • Slightly Noisy

Top FAQs About Best Air Compressor For Spray Painting

What is the best air compressor for painting cars?

The best air compressor for painting cars comes with some specifications that you should know before buying them. These specifications are one that makes them the best air compressor for painting. Know top factors that decide the best air compressor:-


The productivity of an air compressor mostly depends on its motor power. If you are looking for good enough compressors for painting cars, then you need at least a 2-horsepower motor. 

Air pressure:

Air pressure in an air compressor is measured by PSI (pounds per square inch). 90PSI is at least the number required for the proper working of the compressor. If you want decent air pressure from the compressor, then 125 PSI or more is good for you.


CFM is used for measuring how much airflow comes in 1 minute. A good CFM is between 4-6.5 CFM at 90 PSI.

Tank Size:

Tank size determines how much air is stored in the compressor. 5 gallons or more are required for the efficient painting of cars.  So consider all these points for selecting the best air compressor for painting cars

What type of air compressor do I need to paint a car?

The type of air compressor you need depends on your preferences. The best portable air compressor for painting cars is good for you if you want to move it frequently. And if you want to use it professionally, consider choosing a high-capacity tank size for air compressors like 50 gallons or more. 

Otherwise, 5 gallons or more is sufficient for personal use. The oil-free pump is also good because it requires little maintenance.

What Size Air Compressor should I Need To Paint A Car?

The minimum size of an air compressor that you need for painting a car is start from 5 gallons. According to your requirements, you can take a higher capacity air compressor tank. 

For a full-size sedan, a 30 to 50-gallon air compressor is good. And for SUV you need a 50-60 gallon air compressor.

How many CFM does it take to paint a car?

In general, spray paint guns require a higher CFM rating compared to other pneumatic tools. A spray gun typically works at 0.3 to 12 CFM. This also means that you will need a compressor that can deliver between 4 CFM and 19 CFM to paint cars. 

In particular, an air compressor with a low CFM is not recommended as it could cause uneven paint flow or paint splatter.

Which compressor is better at constant or stop and start?

Commercial businesses need a constant air compressor to run their work without interpretation. Smaller compressors are generally “stop-start” and are more suitable for homeowners. The choice also depends on what you are using the compressor for and how often.

How much time should I take to change the oil in an air compressor?

Like a car, you need to change the oil in a compressor regularly. In the case of oil pump compressors, these must be changed every 90 days. Screw compressors can run 7000 to 8000 hours of continuous use before you need to change the oil.

Which is better between Two-Stage Air Compressors and Single-Stage Ones?

A two-stage air compressor motor can provide twice the power of a single-stage compressor. So if you plan to paint large areas, a two-stage motor is an advantage. In addition, two-stage compressors reduce the risk of overheating and pump more CFM than single-stage models, resulting in greater efficiency.

How much horsepower Is required in an air compressor for painting a car?

For most home improvement or non-professional applications, 1-2 horsepower is sufficient on a 40-50 PSI, 6 CPM compressor.  Nowadays there are compressors with 2 HP motors available on the market. All are fine when the compressor delivers at least 8 CFM at 40 PSI.

Final Thought

Every air compressor has different specifications and efficiencies. According to buyers’ needs, we discussed the best air compressor for painting cars at home. 

Most of the compressors listed above are portable and lightweight. If you are a novice or a professional, after considering all of the things we have discussed, you can easily choose the best one for your projects from the options listed.


Ritambra is an absolute car fanatic who loves to drive and write about cars. Explore new car launches, automobile technologies, best car deals and more with entertaining, informative and delightful reading that will surely quench your thirst for automobiles.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Kenneth Jenson

    If you have a car, you need to paint.So air compressor is very important part for car painting.When you have air compressor you need to remove water from your compressor.I have read an article how to remove water from air compressor. It helps me to maintain my air compressor.

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