How To Choose An Air Compressor For Spray Painting in 2024

A decent air compressor for spray painting provides you with the efficiency, unblemished finish, and even courage for your job. Equipment that you are going to use is probably the most important thing after your painting skills.

How to choose an air compressor for spray painting?

A piece of wrong equipment can lead to the problems of too lightly or heavy spray. It is good to choose wisely instead of facing such issues later. Many factors can help you choose the best air compressor for spray painting.

While purchasing the air compressor for spray painting, you need to make sure these things that I am going to list below.

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Types of spray guns:

The first and foremost factor you need to consider while making the sale is the type of spray gun. You can use an air compressor with spray guns of two types, LVLP and HVLP. LVLP (Low Volume Low Pressure) spray gun consumes low air and you can use it with a normal air compressor as well. It is a great option for semi-professional jobs. It is cheap and comparatively less costly to use.

HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) spray gun, on the other hand, works with a high volume of around 10-25 CFM and low pressure of less than 10 PSI. These spray guns are excellent for DIY and indoor jobs.

You can choose between both of them depending on your work requirements. HVLP is good for large-scale jobs while a VLVP spray gun can brilliantly paint the small things.

Air pressure:

Spray painting requires an air compressor with 10 to 30 PSI pressure. The pressure although varies in HVLP and LVLP spray guns. The air pressure usually lies between 25 to 30 PSI while the minimum air pressure could be around 10-15 PSI.

Before choosing an air compressor, make sure that it is compatible with the spray gun or other tool you are going to use.


CFM (cubic feet per minute) of an air compressor is the amount of air produced by it in one minute. CFM plays a direct role in the air compressor and hence is the most important factor here. CFM is neither the force nor the pressure of air. It is the volume flow of air.

The air compressor you are going to purchase should have the capability to deliver the CFM which your spray gun requires. Otherwise, you will not be able to obtain efficient performance from it.

Tank size:

You cannot ignore the tank size of the air compressor. A spray gun requires a continuous supply of air to accomplish the painting job. The sporadic flow of air can interrupt the painting operation. Refilling also wastes a lot of time.

Experts recommend a compressor tank size of around 50 gallons. You can decide the tank size according to your requirements but it should not be less than 10 gallons.


Another important thing on this list is Horsepower which is the rate at which work is done. An air compressor having motors with 1 to 2 horsepower is considered excellent for this kind of job. Remember that horsepower is as important as CFM and PSI (pounds per square inch). An air compressor with less than the required horsepower is nothing other than useless equipment.

Other factors:

Many other factors can help you in making the best decision for the selection of an air compressor for spray painting. You should always prefer a highly versatile air compressor over others as you will be able to use it in many other applications.

Budget can also be an important heading here. You should go with an air compressor which is comparatively inexpensive than others. Also, you should not compromise on quality.

Apart from them, a lightweight, small-sized, and less noisy air compressor will be fine for you otherwise you may face some issues while using it.


Before going out for shopping, you should keep in mind these points I have mentioned above. In short, your target should be an air compressor that can not only accomplishes your work but also meets the requirements of the spray gun.

I hope my article will help you in choosing the air compressor for spray painting. I have tried my best to explain each and everything but still, if you think I have missed something then let me know. You can contact us for further queries.

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