6 Best Air Compressor for Painting Cars 2022 [Best Budget]

The dull look of your car can be depressing. Without a doubt, your vehicle makes an appearance with you in all the important places. So, your car also needs some pampering and shine! It gets difficult and pricey to get appointments and hire someone to keep your car’s glaze and beauty on point. Well, to save you the hassle, we present you with some fantastic choices of the best air compressor for painting cars in the comfort of your home!

We have weighed the technical pros and cons of many air compressors and narrowed it down to the top 6 that are easy to use and goes with most paint sprayers. You would not want a sloppy job done on your car. Therefore, we carefully listed the ones that would give an evenly painted, smooth look to your vehicle. Not to brag, it will look as good as new!

So, sit back and go through this detailed review to find your best fit from the best ones in the market.

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Top 6 best rated air compressor for Painting Cars Reviews 2022

1. Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak, 1/2 hp running 1-Gallo, Gray/Red.

Senco PC1010 Portable Hot Dog Air Compressor

Top Features:

  • Negligible noise
  • Regulated output pressure
  • No lubricant refill is required for the pump

This beautifully built air compressor with a length of 14 inches, a width of 13 inches, and a height of 10 inches is quite the catch.

Senco PC1010 weights only 20 pounds, so you don’t have to worry about operating with heavy equipment. It uses a corded electric power source which lets you use it anywhere you want.

The Senco PC1010 has a one-gallon capacity, so you don’t have to worry about refilling too many times while doing your paint job. It provides 20 to 24 drives per minute, making it easy and time-efficient.

Senco gives smooth running of the machine as it uses one horsepower at peak and half when running. It works at a standard voltage of 115V.

The best part is it does its work all smooth and friendly with negligible noise! You wouldn’t have to worry about your kids waking up to the noise of you painting your car or any item that needs a nice glow-up.

Senco PC1010 can be a great addition to your toolset. It is one of the best small air compressors to paint a car, shed, fences, etc., quite easily.


  • It can also be used to fill tires of bikes and cycles
  • It is easy to operate.
  • Low maintenance as it does not require lubricant refills for the functioning of the pump.
  • It allows you to regulate the output pressure.
  • The maximum pressure is 120 PSI which is more than the standard 100 PSI.


  • Heavy usage of the equipment may raise issues as it runs oil-less.
  • The tank capacity is 1 gallon which might not be enough for users with big vehicles to paint.
  • Sometimes it might be challenging to find proper electric outlets for plugging the cord.

2. California Air Tools 8010 Ultra Quiet & Oil-Free 1.0 hp Steel Tank Air Compressor.

California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor

Top Features:

  • It comes with a wheel kit and air filter
  • Flexible to use in all temperatures
  • California air tools 5510se

This steel air compressor comes with a massive tank capacity of 8 gallons. It takes only 165 seconds to fill the tank from empty to full. It helps to get a big paint job done with the utmost ease.

California air compressor draws 110V and at peak works with 2 Horsepower while running it uses 1 Horsepower. It uses an electric cord as its power source, just like the previously mentioned air compressor. Only 8.5 Amps is drawn while operating this compressor.

The PSI ranges from 3 CMF at 40 PSI to 2.2 CMF at 90 PSI with a maximum of 120 PSI.

The dual piston oil-free pump system makes it durable and boosts its overall performance. It has a more incredible life cycle than other air compressors in the market by almost 2500 cycles. You can use it as frequently as you want without wearing it out.

It works at 60dBA, which is very low and almost inaudible.

This California Air Tool 8010 weighing 40 pounds for medium and regular heavy usage can be a tool you can depend on with no second thoughts to paint your big and beautiful car. It is one investment you will not regret.


  • It comes with a set of Wheel Kit.
  • It will make it easy for you to carry it around.
  • This Air Compressors can be flexibly used in all seasons without the risk of them malfunctioning.
  • It also comes with an Air Filter that will ensure you are using non contaminated air.
  • It is low maintenance and durable, so it’s a good investment.
  • The motor used in this compressor is mighty.
  • It doesn’t create interruptions while operating for a long time.
  • Huge tank capacity.


  • It might feel heavy to move around without the wheel kit.
  • Heavy-duty power outlets are needed, which might not always be available.

3. PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 3.5-Gallon 135 PSI Pancake Compressor.

PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 6-Gallon 135 PSI Pancake Compressor

Top Features:

  • Two gauges to measure the pressure
  • Built-in coupler
  • Extension cord

If you are looking for an air compressor that would have 135 PSI with a longer run time, then look no more. We bring you Porter-Cable PCFP2003, a 26Lbs air compressor to quickly and efficiently paint your car.

The air compressor comes with an extension cord. It will bridge the distance between your paint job and a suitable power outlet and save so much extra hassle.

If you wonder how this would work in winter, be pleased to know that it can easily operate in cold conditions. The 120V low amps drawing motor makes this happen with ease.

The 3.5-gallon tank capacity with 2 SCMF at 90 PSI is versatile and can be used for minor trimming, roofing, inflation, and a few more, along with painting your vehicle.

Moreover, it has a built-in coupler for detecting regulated air, which saves you the headache of wondering if the air is rightly filtered for use.

The Porter-Cable PCFP has some of the best features among the rest of the market’s air compressors. It comes with two gauges that will help you compare and note the pressurization states. You can see the meters and work accordingly. Isn’t it cool that you get to enjoy such industrial features with a tool at home?


  • This air compressor is an all-rounder with all its unique features.
  • It has an oil-free pump; hence it is super low maintenance.
  • The built coupler helps to regulate the air.
  • The overall built makes it run long and well.
  • It cost-effective


  • The noise level is at 82dBA, which is a little more than the other compressors discussed here.
  • For a beginner user, it may be challenging to use all the features correctly.
  • It is not portable.

4. California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor, 2 HP.

California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor

Top Features:

  • 3000 plus life cycle
  • Easy start valve feature
  • Wheel kit inclusive
  • Dedicated amp outlet
  • Portable air compressor for painting

This powerful air compressor made of steel is one of a kind. The 3000 plus life cycles show its long durability. The wear and tear are minimized as it operates only at 1680 rpm despite all its mightiness. They have specially designed ultra-quiet air compressor motors to help with these two factors.

The easy-start valve feature is an exciting bit. It doesn’t take up many amps to start and hence draws an overall of only 7 Amps.

California air compressor is a powerful device operating at 2 Horsepower. It comes with a 10-gallon tank which is more than enough for a big hearty paint job.

With this compressor, you get a 25 feet cord to find a suitable power outlet to connect with wouldn’t be an issue. The best part is a dedicated 15 amp port that quickly goes into any standard outlet.

We know you might be worried about the 82.5lbs weight but guess what; they come with a large 10 Gallon Steel Air Tank with a wheel kit that lets you move it around your car and paint it comfortably.

The oil-free pump lets the compressor be used in hot and cold weather without any issue. The pump runs very smoothly even if there is no lubricant for the pump.


  • Easy to maintain
  • Start valve for feature easy start
  • Dedicated Amp outlet
  • Ease to use in changing environmental conditions
  • Huge tank capacity
  • Allows smooth running with 6.40 CFM at 40 PSI & 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI.
  • Can be used at a professional level at job sites, garage, etc.
  • The noise level is at 70dBA, which is environmentally friendly.


  • It may be a little too mighty for regular usage or beginners with a car painting job.
  • The oil-less feature, And it being such a heavy-duty tool, may lead it to be heated.
  • It is a big air compressor and would require a longer cooling time.

5. DEWALT Air Compressor, 135-PSI Max, 1 Gallon (D55140)

DEWALT Air Compressor (D55140)

Top Features:

  • Roll cage protected
  • Ball drain valve
  • Universal couplers
  • Low amp rating

DEWALT Air Compressor might be the best air compressor for painting cars for you to make your car look shiny and good as new whenever you want. The air compressor leaves no stone unturned to ensure that you have the best possible experience while using this.

The DELWAT air compressor comes with a 1-gallon tank capacity with a 0.75 SCMF at 135 PSI. It undoubtedly makes it a good and efficient performer.

This unit is protected by a roll cage that ensures its long durability and protects it from damage while out for use. This feature makes it stand out from all the other ones in the market.┬áThe 2.6 Amps motor is oil-free, which ensures the machine’s smooth running with quick startup and quick recovery during operation.

This model comes with universal quick couplers, which will give you the flexibility to use it with any connection type you want. The cord wrap will easily store this compressor without taking any extra space for lengthy cords like the other ones.

It also comes with a ball drain valve for quick and effective draining of the tank without you having to worry about it constantly. It will prevent it from rusting and keep it good as new.

This compact air compressor of 24 pounds is lightweight and comes with all the supportive features to make your painting job easy. The unit’s management is also hugely backed by these exciting features, so a lot of time is saved.


  • High-performing also suitable for trimming jobs etc.
  • Heavily built with DEWALT cast iron compressor, hence heavy duty.
  • Roll cage to protect from accidents.
  • Compact design.
  • It has universal couplers and a ball drain valve.
  • Works at 69dBA noise level.
  • Low Amp rating.


  • The tank capacity will accommodate quick paint jobs.
  • Not portable.
  • Hose and nailers are omitted.

6. BOSTITCH Air Compressor for Trim, Oil-Free, High-Output, and 1.2 Gallon, 120 PSI (CAP1512-OF)

BOSTITCH Air Compressor (CAP1512-OF)

Top Features:

  • LED switch to notify misfire of air pressure
  • Non-marring rubber feet
  • Built-in the control panel

How would you like to try an air compressor with a major PSI of 150 at 2.8CFM? Well, we bring you one of the top-tiered air compressors by BOSTITCH, which will give you that along with so many more valuable and unique features.

Incredible, isn’t it? It will run smoother than Mr. Bolt with zero trippings at the circuit breakers with 2 Horsepower at peak.┬áThe compressor will notify you if there is a low-pressure misfire by switching on and off the LED light built on it!

It is designed beautifully with an integrated control panel which will keep the unit from malfunctioning or overheating. The roll cage will protect the tool from wear and tear or other accidents. This unit is compact with its cord wrap, and it also has compartments to put your necessary tools and hose storage all built-in. They have got you covered for everything.

They come with nonmarring rubber feet that will save you the worry of wearing them out while in contact with the ground. It will help you paint your car and do trimming, finish nailers, etc., as required by you. It will be a solid buy for so many purposes with one tool for a long time!

Isn’t it the best?


  • Operation is helped by LED on and off states.
  • It has a 1.2-gallon tank capacity with 150 PSI.
  • It is protected by a roll cage and in the built control panel.
  • Storage compartment included.
  • Compact, easy to store.
  • It is an Oil-free pump, low maintenance.
  • It has Weights of 23.5 pounds, lightweight.


  • Not portable
  • The tank capacity might not be enough for big paint jobs

How to Select the Best Air Compressor for Painting Cars at Home?

We have already picked and given you a tour of the top six best home air compressors with the top features to get your painting job done conveniently and successfully.

Here, we give you some technical insights to decide which best small air compressor would fit your requirements.

You can make your choice basing on the following criteria:

Air Pressure

The first thing to notice is how is the air pressure rating is, i.e., The PSI before committing to any device. It is essential for a uniform and good paint job. The usual range is from 70 to 120 PSI. If it crosses the threshold, it would be more efficient for larger paint jobs. You can settle on the PSI level to accommodate various groups of the paint job with different combinations.

However, you should see what sorts of fittings are being used to make the process easy and hassle-free. It is recommended to use fittings of the same manufacturer of the device to avoid mix match and malfunctioning of the equipment. A suitable coupler will save you from unnecessary leakage and damage.

Picking an air compressor with regulated air pressure, either inbuilt or manually regulated, will save electric costs and provide stability.

CFM – Cubic Feet per Minute

CFM refers to the amount of air compressor delivers per unit time. It controls the PSI rating as well. If you are interested in painting your car in one go, you should get a CFM with a higher rating to ensure a uniform paint job is done over the car.

14- 18 per unit range is recommended for big paint jobs, but retouches and casual use 4 per unit are sufficient. Do check out if they use SCFM, which means they use the standardized value suitable for any user level.

Tank Capacity

It honestly depends on how heavy the duties of the painting you need to do. For simpler ones, 1-2 gallons would suffice. Painting over a large surface area will require more giant tanks to provide for the process. Well, not to worry because our review covers the ones that are well above and up to has 10 gallons of tank capacity.

Bigger tank capacity will help you finish the job in one attempt and lessen the chances of uneven painting over the surface of your car. More giant tanks with good SCFM ratings help in the cooling process after some heavy operating sessions.


If you want to keep it in one fixed place and have long cords with the unit, it won’t be an issue. But for successfully painting your car, you need to move its round and might even have to lift it to get the perfect shine.

The compressor’s dimensions matter as it would be difficult to carry around a comprehensive shaped air compressor rather than a tall one. The lightweight portable air compressor would surely help in carrying it around. And the lighter is better. But for painting jobs at enormous capacities, soft types of equipment would not serve well, so you have to meet halfway to make room for both. The ones that come with a wheel kit or rubber feet can help transport the setup with ease. A corded electric power source also is an essential requirement to ensure portability by allowing it to use in varying power outlets.


You surely don’t want to work around noisy equipment or disturb the people around you. Thankfully, all the models listed here use a range below 92dBA which is very negligible and would be environment-friendly to use.

Oil or Oil-Free

Oil-free pumps are low maintenance as you don’t have to worry about refilling them or being scared about oil spills while working with them. It is cheaper and lighter. All the models enlisted here use oil-free pumps and perform smoothly.

Installing Air Compressor Kit with a Spray Gun

Find the right color, mix it as per instructions with paint solvent, and load it in the gun. Check the pressure gauge and connect the gun with the hose.


Ensure the CFM rating is higher for the air compressor than the spray gun you will use. Regulate the air pressure per CFM of the air compressor matching the spray gun you will use. Air compressor for spray painting cars.

Check the compressor unit

See if the gun uses low-pressure high volume or low low-pressure volume for functioning. Adjust it accordingly, although both need a small amount of pressure to work.

Get the proper air hose:

It is required to get an air hose matching with the spray gun you will use. Make sure it has a good length but not too long, which will reduce the air pressure. A quarter-inch hose is recommended to use for all high-volume gun spray types. But for ensuring maximum airflow, a 5/16 can be used.

Quick connectors:

Ensure fitting connectors are used to avoid loss of air pressure. The connector should fit well with the hose and the gun so that sufficient air can flow to help with the paint job.

Get a good quality high flow regulator:

For good results, use a good quality regulator that will provide high and consistent airflow. Check the consistency of it by comparing the shown in the gauge with the required airflow.

Connect the gun and start spraying:

Best paint gun for painting cars. After checking all these, connect the gun to the hose, spray on cardboard for the trail. If you are happy with the color and consistency, start streaming and making your car look all bright and new.

Operating and Maintaining Air Compressor for Painting Projects

Most of the listed air compressors here are low maintenance and easy to operate. Some even come with built-in features to help with the process.


Find the ones that are easy to set up and allows different variations to be used with it. Ensure to paint from an adequate distance to get solid results.

Stripping and Sanding

It is pretty essential for all paint jobs. Strip all the places that have dirt and stains and then do the painting. Once it is done, sand the surface to get an even and uniform coating using the right CFM level.


The primers used are thicker than the paint used for the coating. Therefore, make sure you use the connectors with a bigger diameter or thin it down for using them with a spray gun. You could use the same CFM rating if you reduce the thickness to use it over your coating. It will need a bit of psi level than usual if you use the thick primer.

best size air compressor for painting cars

Once you strip, coat, prime, and sand, make sure to paint patiently and evenly to get excellent results. So before going into this process, check your tank, mix your color, contact your hose and connectors ready to use, adjust your pressure, and paint away from your masterpiece. Do use the proper nozzle sizes with your gun to paint proportionately. You can get help with this by reading the paint packet instructions that we are sure will mention the nozzle size for painting specific bodies.

Technique to follow for small compressor tanks

You should take advantage of all the built-in features to maximize the use of small tank compressors. For instance, the ball drain valve will help drain the tank regularly, keeping the air pressure clean and suitable to use. You can always control the air pressure by keeping an eye out on the gauge and ensuring the paint job is evenly done at all ends. Small tanks are compact and will give you a sense of control while you operate with them. Small tank capacities are usually portable, so you can move its location suitably to complete your painting. Fill the tank before use. Use the time to refill to cool down the device to avoid overheating.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to use an air compressor?

It is simple. You plug the electric cord into a suitable power outlet. The electric power is converted into potential energy stored in the air in the tank. The atmosphere is compressed and pressurized in the tank. When necessary, it is brought out via connectors, hoses, etc., with strict regulation. The energy that was building up moves along as kinetic energy and helps to boost the work. It helps in inflating tires, painting through spray guns, etc., using the power built inside. The air pressure is regulated and directed for use with a hose outlet or other as per the job requirements.

What is an air compressor?

It is like a pump that compresses air and later uses that energy built to do several jobs like painting, trimming, inflating, priming, etc. It pressurizes the air in the tank to make potential energy that eventually gets directed towards other compartments to be used.

What is a good air compressor for impact wrenches?

It is to facilitate the high torque. An air compressor with a 4-5 CFM rating at 90 PSI is good to go. The greater the tank capacity, the lesser will be the delay while operating. Stationary air compressors are more suitable for impact wrenches. You will also need air compressor plugs specializing in integrated power outlets to bear the high torque.

What is the best air compressor for painting cars?

The compressors that use a CFM rating more than that of the paint guns used, with good PSI levels for uniform painting, are the best ones. The air compressors with high flow regulators that are consistent are also a must. For a good painting job, using a compressor with an excellent supporting hose, as mentioned in the guide, suitable connectors that supervise the flow are very helpful.

What’s the best compressor for painting cars?

For this portion, we would refer you to the detailed guide we just provided for you. It is difficult to pick any from all the fantastic options enlisted. Also, we have provided all the details and the criteria to help you decide which one would be the best fit to paint your car. It is safe to say whichever you would help. You give your vehicle a brand new glow. However, in our opinion, we would suggest picking one with a bigger tank capacity and with a better CFM rating and PSI level to get an even paint job on the car. Also, ensure using long cords not to be an issue to provide electric support or move it around the vehicle to use it efficiently.

Final Verdict

It is one of the items that you will not regret buying or investing in. It is now a must-have for your in-house garage with all the pros and cons and unique features.

These types of equipment are beneficial. They will not only help you paint cars but also serve other purposes around the house. If you own one of these, you need not worry about inflating tires, trimming jobs, or various house projects.

These are genuinely the blessed times for technology. It will save you from the trouble of finding a good place to paint your car. You can get it done like professionals at your convenience. So, get your list straight, find the best air compressors for painting cars, and head start on painting your car right away!

Article Source: en.wikipedia.org

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