Best Air Compressor for Paint Sprayers

In order to find the best air compressor for paint sprayers, there are certain considerations that must be looked at during your shopping process.

Atomizing paint properly, means your paint sprayer must be hooked up to some form of an air supply such as an air compressor. 

Compressors come in many different types and with a range of CFMs, horsepower and gallon sizes.  Which one is the best air compressor for painting?

best air compressor
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Best Air Compressor for Paint Sprayers Comparison Chart

The chart below features the best compressor options that are available.  Pick the best air compressor for painting today.

Best Air Compressor for Painting: Editor’s Reviews

Premium Air Compressor

California Air Tools 1 HP 6 Gallon Compressor

California Air Tools 6010LFC 1.0 HP Ultra Quiet and Oil-Free Industrial Air Compressor, 6.0-Gallon

  • Ultra Quiet – Only 60 decibels
  •  Oil-free pump, easy to use in cold temps
  • 4.00 CFM at 40 PSI & 3.00 CFM at 90 PSI; Max 125 PSI
  • 110V 60 Hz – 7.6 Amps Steel Tank 54 lbs

This air compressor for painting from California Air Tools is ultra quiet at only 60 decibels and comes with an Oil-free pump.  Use it in your garage to work your air tools without annoying everyone in the neighborhood. Our choice for best air compressor for paint sprayers.

The motor/pump has been tested to work for a minimum 4000 before wear, outlasting many other brands.  The 6 gallon tank capacity builds up pressure and fills in about 125 seconds with a low amp draw.  Go ahead and plug it into a regular wall outlet without issues. 

It’s portability isn’t so great; the handle it comes with just isn’t long enough to pull it around even though its equipped with wheels, it just isn’t the best for mobility. 

The quick connect air hose can easily be operated with one hand. The drain handle is also super easy to use with one hand and only requires a quick turn of the handle to operate.

You need to buy an air hose for this model.

It delivers 3 CFM’s at 90 PSI, so it’s a great air compressor for painting and working with nailers, but might not be the best for impact wrenches and other high air tools, depending on what you have.  

 If you want to go all in on an air compressor for painting, grab the California Air Tools makes a 2 HP model that’s also ultra quiet. 

Ultra quiet 60 decibels
Longer lasting than other brands
Fast Compression
Oil-free pump

Max 125 PSI air pressure
Pull handle not long enough

Porter Cable 6 Gallon Pancake Compressor

PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor, 6-Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free (C2002)
  • 30 lbs
  • 1-2 mins to fill to 150 PSI
  • 82 decibles
  • 6 gallon
  • 2.6 SCFM @150 PSI
  • Oil free
  • Running HP 0.8

This tiny oil-free pancake compressor has enough power to get through your car tires and kicks butt with brad nailers of up to 18 gauge. If you’re looking for a pro level compressor, this is built more for a DIYer than a professional painter.

When testing we noticed that the tank takes about 1-2 mins to fill to 100 PSI while still being reasonably quiet, yet louder than others on this list.

You get more time to work because of the 6 gallon tank capacity, without the motor turning on or constantly running like smaller 1 gallon pancake compressors.

This unit comes with a 25 foot 1/4 inch hose with coupler and plus assembled. All connections are 1/4 inch quick connects, which are standard among compressors and paint sprayers. There are no rubberized non slip grips on the bottom of the air compressor, so it may move around, depending on the surface.

The tank is stainless steel for longevity and durability. The release valve however, is a weak point in tis compressor and may need to be replaced eventually. Drain the tank after each use to prevent rust and corrosion.

Remember to match up your air compressors SCFM’s to your sprayers or air tools requirements before purchasing.  This tank can support 2 users with the two regulated, factory installed air couplers.

With this model, you would be needing a gun that operates on the low side of low pressure or else you’ll be waiting for the compressor to catch up more than you would like.

Its a bit noisier than other models at 82 decibels and vibrates a ton. It also comes with a short 3 foot power cord, which is barely long enough to plug it in and move it anywhere.

Comes with a 15 tools accessory kit from Porter Cable that includes rubber tip, 3 inflator adapters, tire cuck with plug, etc.

Oil-free pump
30 lbs
Easy cold starts
Quick refill time
1 year warranty

110 Max PSI
82 decibels louder than most
No air hose included
3 foot long power cord

Bostitch 1.2 Gallon High Output Air Compressor

BOSTITCH Air Compressor for Trim, Oil-Free, High-Output, 1.2 Gallon, 120 PSI (CAP1512-OF)
  • 23.5 lbs
  • 1.5 HP Max Running
  • 150 PSI Max
  • 2 horsepower Max
  • 89 dB
  • 1.2 gallon
  • 2.8 SCFM @ 90 PSI

This small high output air compressor from Bostitch is a PSI monster.  With 150 PSI max, you can run a ton of tools, from a sprayer to nailers without have to wait for the tank to refill.   This compressor is great for around the house and personal shop use.

You can take your hobby building up a notch with this air compressor and redo your roof or build a garage no problem. You can pump up tires no problem with this unit, with the compressor only cycling once for each tire.

It delivers 1.5 HP running power while drawing only 12 amps so it won’t trip any of your breakers.  Because of the smaller 1.2 gallon tank capacity, you can expect this compressor to cycle more often. Be aware when buying that it can power your tools for your specific projects.

The pressure switch, safety valve, regulator, tank pressure gauges, power switch, and drain valve are all located towards the top of this compressor so they are easy to change and dial in exactly the settings you need.

Weighing in at only 23.5 lbs you can take it anywhere without breaking your back.  On board hose and tool storage, with a storage area for fasteners and fittings really makes this the entire package. 

At 89 decibels, this unit is louder than most. You might not want to use it in an enclosed space for long periods of time.

The Bostitch can be used with up to a 50 foot extension cord, paired with the supplied 6 foot cord, so you can take it everywhere.

150 PSI Max tank capacity
2HP Motor Peak, 1.5 Running
23.5 lbs
Oil-free pump
1 year warranty

Not good for framing guns

Best Small Air Compressor for Painting

Senco Air Compressor

  • 1 HP peak, .5 HP running
  • 1 Gallon tank capacity
  • 1 year warranty
  • Oil-free Pump
  • Lightweight
  • Good portability
  • 0.7 CFM at 90 PSI

This air compressor might only have a 1 gallon tank capacity, but you’re also getting a 1 HP motor with that tank.

This means you get up to 44 drives per minute, making the Senco perfect for your entry-level paint sprayers  used for interior work.  It works great with small nail guns (for trim, baseboards, etc.), airbrushing, blowing up small inflatable, bike tires, and low pressure tools.

The 0.5 horsepower allows you to power a 18 or 23 gauge nailer. If your tools require 12 CFM to operate, this quiet and portable air compressor isn’t going to deliver you results that you want. You can use it for about 7-15 seconds of straight air before it runs out. Recharge time once drained is approximately 1 minute. Folks that have heavy air usage should look at one of the other compressors below.

This model from Senco is the best air compressor for painting indoors, detail work, or airbrushing; the versatility of this compressor is impressive. Its perfect for DIYers that want to take their home improvements up a notch and don’t need a compressor for all day work. Built with DIYers in mind, it features an overload protection system that will shut the motor off before it overheats.

This air compressor is lightweight at about 20 lbs, meaning you can move and carry it around your projects without much difficulty. The tank is aluminum in a steel sleeve, and it has a knob to adjust the pressure up or down. The two gauges that read reserve air pressure and pressure available are easy to read and in an accessible location on the top of the tank.

This air compressor is oil-free, which requires less maintenance than its counterparts that contain oil. Included with this unit are the air filter, quick connect, pressure gauges and the regulator.

Senco’s air compressor uses are not limited to painting: use it to power all your air tools and get all your jobs done from nailing that trim, or building a wall or two.  You don’t need to spend a ton or take up alot of space with this compressor; it’s perfect to conquer your weekend jobs.

Running low pressure tools is possible at about 40 PSI which generates approximately 3.7CFMs. The manual states that the motor produces 68dB, which is lower than most other compressors.

The quality, quiet and staying power is going to surprise you.

1 HP capacity
Small and Quiet
1 year warranty
Only 20 lbs

Powers less than 12 CFM
Light duty work only
7-15 seconds of air before refill

Best DIY Air Compressor for Painting

DeWalt Pancake Compressor

  • 165 max PSI, 6 gallon tank capacity
  • 2.6 SCFM at 90PSI
  • Oil-free pump
  • 75.5 decibels
  • Easy cold weather starts

When you see folks discussing pancake compressors and paint sprayers, you’ll often be told that the two just don’t match up. They’re not big enough. They don’t provide enough CFM for air tools. They’re too loud.

All of those issues are effectively resolved with this handy little model from DeWalt. The 6 gallon tank capacity helps you get a max PSI of 165. This makes the DeWalt pancake compressor good for nail guns, painting, filling car tires, impact hammers, impact wrench, standard air brush, and framing nailers under 2.2CFM. This tank generates a decent amount of air, but isn’t suited for commercial or industrial applications.

You’ll receive 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI, which means most sprayers can operate with only minimal breaks for recovery. Coming with 0.2 horsepower means it may be a bit underpowered compared to other compressors on this list. One of the complaints is that the pressure reads less PSI than the tank is actually generating. Contact DeWalt directly for replacement if you get a compressor with a faulty pressure reader.

Then there’s the fact that is operates at just 75.5 dB, making it suitable to use indoors if necessary but louder than other models in this category.   That makes this model from DeWalt not only one of the best budget air compressors, but our choice for best DIY air compressor for painting.

Be aware that the hose fittings are finicky and can leak if not properly attached. Some folks had to buy different hoses and fittings to stop the leaks.

This unit weighs about 30 lbs, which is pretty lightweight compared to other air compressors.

Pair it with this WYNNsky 3/8 x 25 foot hose and accessories kit, and you’ll have everything you need to get started today.

Try this pancake compressor out yourself and you’ll like using it as much as we have.

Relatively quiet
165 max PSI Air Pressure
6 gallon tank capacity
1 year warranty

No Hose
Hose attachment bearings might leak

Wolo Tornado Heavy-Duty Compressor

  • 2.5 gallons
  • 2 steel mounting brackets
  • Powers light duty pneumatic tools
  • 55dB
  • 10 foot flexible high pressure hose

The Wolo Tornado is specifically designed for applications and tools that require high volumes of highly pressured air.

It is even strong enough to power a light-duty pneumatic tool, so there is plenty of power available for your paint spraying needs.

Perhaps the best feature of this model is its stainless-steel hose, which is strong enough to allow for the compressor to be mounted separately from the 2.5 gallon tank. 

Comes with 2 heavy duty steel mounting brackets welded onto the air compressor for quick mounting. This kit comes complete with all the mounting hardware, 10 foot flexible hose, 20 foot coiler filler hose with brass fittings.

While this compressor might appear on this list, there are a few things to complain about. The threading and fittings are poor quality, the hoses are brittle, and the legs are not welded to the frame straight. This is typical of products made in China with poor quality control. You can buy another better built compressor off this list for around the same price and we suggest you do so.

Comes with Hose
Can be mounted multiple ways
2.5 gallon tank capacity

Need space to mount it
Legs aren’t welded on straight
Threads and fittings are poor quality
Hoses are brittle

Campbell Hausfeld 1 Gallon Air Compressor

  • 110 max PSI
  • .36 CFM at 90 PSI
  • Oil-free pump
  • Includes 25 ft hose, needle + adapter, 2 inflator nozzles, air chuck
  • Weighs 14 lbs

Available in 1 gallon, 3 gallon and 8 gallon tank capacity models, you’ll find that this 1 gallon-oil free air compressor from Campbell Hausfeld can support your DIY needs. 

The lightweight pancake compressor design of only 14 lbs means this unit is one of the lightest and has the most portability of all the units we tested.  So small you can store it anywhere, the best for taking in your RV or motorhome without taking up a ton of space. 

This air compressor for painting really is best value for money.  Included is a 25 foot air hose, needle, needle adapter, 2 inflator nozzles, air chuck AND on board storage.  We did find the hose to be a bit on the cheap side, so level up to a longer and better quality hose with brass fittings. 

It’s also backed with a 1 year warranty. 

With 100 to 110 Max PSI and 90 pressure per square inch operating, this unit can power most paint sprayers and brad nailers, but not impact wrenches or other air heavy tools. If you have a ton of nailing to do, this unit tends to recycle after 2-4 nail shots, so step up to the 3 gallon model for the best air.  

We had to wear ear plugs while using this unit during testing; it’s louder than the other models we used and user reviews confirmed that this compressor is super loud.

To be honest, we would use the larger 3 or 8 gallon tanks offered because of the noise level and lack of ability to use with most tools.

Comes with hose, blow gun, inflation needles
Less than 13 lbs
On board storage
1 year warranty

110 Max PSI capacity
Louder than most

Best Budget Air Compressor for the Money

DeWalt 1 Gallon Max Trim Air Compressor D55140

  • .75 SCFM @ 90 PSI
  • 1 year warranty
  • 71 decibels during testing
  • 1 galloon
  • 9 inches wide
  • 24 lbs

This air compressor for painting from DeWalt is perfect for light work such as trim jobs and other hobby grade applications.  It comes with an oil-free pump and is super portable.   

Takes less than 1.5 minutes for the tank to fill to 140 PSI.  This unit isn’t very loud at 71 decibels. 

At only 9 inches wide and 24 pounds, you can store this powerful air compressor in your SUV, motorhome or RV without hogging space. 

Delivers .75 SCFM at 90 PSI. The constant air pressure is 135 PSI. We love the 1 year warranty and the majority of Owners are super happy with their purchase. 

The 0.6 horsepower motor takes about 1 minute and 20 seconds to fill the tank to max pressure.

If air is leaking from the main line regulator it could be the common O ring Issue.  The O ring might not be seated correctly on top of the plunger, but instead at the bottom of the valve.  

This is because the regulator may not come fully tightened from factory, or it got loose during shipping. Just fish it out and place it on top of the plunger.  Make sure the regulator is on tight to prevent this from happening again. 

You’ll need a quality air hose with brass fittings for your DeWalt compressor, but make sure you’re buying one that has Dual Male connectors to avoid being disappointed.   

We recommend wrapping your air line connections with teflon tape to really squeeze every ounce of air out of this bad boy and maximize performance. 

24 lbs, 9 inches wide
Low 71 dB rating
1 year warranty

135 max psi tank capacity
Hose not included

Master Airbrush Compressor

  • Beginner Friendly
  • Best for Airbrushing
  • 0.3 mm tip
  • 1/3 ounce gravity feed cup
  • 1 year warranty

This personal air compressor kit provides everything you need to get started with paint spraying today. You can use this small airbrushing compressor for hobbies, crafts, auto detailing, tattoos, cakes, fine art, nails, tanning and more. a great starter airbrush unit for those getting into airbrushing.

It features a gravity feed, dual-action airbrush with a 1/5 HP single-piston engine to provide a consistent flow of air for your paint, dyes, or similar content. It reaches up to 57 PSI and the installed pressure gauge makes reading much easier.

The air compressor itself is reasonably quiet, with the TC-20 model offering enough power to work the airbrush with reasonable ease.

The entire setup is very user-friendly for beginners, yet still has the features that any expert would want with a good basic system.

Think of this option as a good starting kit if you’ve never used a paint sprayer/air compressor before.  Use their custom made cleaning kit and how to guide to clean your sprayer perfectly.

We love the on demand built in air system that automatically turns off air when not in use. The Master Airbrush unit will automatically turn off if the unit becomes overheated.

If you’re going to be using multiple colors and need more paint containers, these ones are specially made for this machine.   Don’t forget to also buy caps for the containers, then you can store them without your paint drying out.

The price is right with this one, so be sure to take a closer look at it today.

Beginner friendly
1/3 oz gravity cup and .3 tip
1/5 HP motor with pressure regulator

Noisy for its size
Need to purchase cleaning kit

Campbell Hausfeld 3 Gallon Air Compressor

  • 21 lbs
  • 25 foot hose included
  • 0.36 CFM at 90 PSI
  • 110 PSI Max
  • 93 decibels
  • Accessory Kit Included

This air compressor for painting is remarkably user friendly. We also love the fact that the Hausfeld 3 Gallon is designed to minimize the vibrations you’ll receive when it is running.

It works on a standard household connection and you can get it up to about 110 PSI if you give it enough of an initial charging time. The oil free pump reduces maintenance needs.

Included is a 10 piece accessory kit with 25 foot coiled hose, blow gun, inflation needles, etc.

Because it only weighs about 20 lbs its one of the most portable units on this list.

The CFM rating is a bit low, hovering around 0.5 for most users, so you won’t be able to use high CFM sprayers with this model unless you’re chaining it together with other units.

The pressure gauges are conveniently placed so that they are easy to read on the top of the compressor.

Get around that one issue and you’ll find that you can do just about anything with this little compressor.

Accessories Kit included
21 lbs
Oil-free pump
1 year warranty

110 Max PSI capacity
Can’t use with high CFM Sprayers
Cycles every 7-8 shots while nailing
Can be slow to come up to max pressure

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Air Compressors Buyer’s Guide 

Do You Need an Air Compressor for a Paint Sprayer?

Only airless models and some HVLP models are able to get away with not having an air compressor hookup.  Those sprayers that are called “spray systems” or “turbine systems” have their own air supply but cost more than a regular old paint sprayer BUT less than a sprayer + an air compressor set up.

How to Find the Best Air Compressor for Me? 

When looking for an air compressor for your paint gun, there are a few things to consider before making your purchase.  You want to look at your spray guns PSI requirements in combination with the air compressors CFM output.

What Size Air Compressor do I need for a Spray Gun?

Most paint sprayers don’t really need a lot of PSI in order for them to operate. Many of them function well at just 10 PSI.

This means a greater focus should be placed air compressor CFM or cubic feet per minute rating that is on each compressor.

A higher CFM means a faster overall air compression process, allowing the compressor to keep up with the demands your paint sprayer places upon it.

When you’ve found your preferred paint sprayer, it is important to look at what the CFM rating is on the compressor from the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Then just compare that figure to what each air compressor has to offer and you’ll be able to match up functionality and value.

Can you Spray Paint with a 20 Gallon Air Compressor?

It doesn’t matter how many gallons your air compressor is. All that matters is the CFM’s rating that is on your compressor. The CFM rating needs to be high enough to match the CFM’s needed by your gun to spray paint. Ideally, you want it to be at least the minimum amount, but frankly, we think it should be more like in the middle.

If your compressor isn’t producing enough CFM’s for your spray gun, you will get sputtering, splatters, no paint at all, or have to take so many breaks as your compressor catches up to your gun. That will not result in a professional paint job.

What size Compressor do I need to Spray a Car?

It’s not the size of the compressor, but the CFM requirements of your gun that matter. You need enough pressure getting to your gun to be able to lay down a consistent and professional paint job. Make sure your compressor puts out enough CFM’s to power your gun.

Can I use my Compressor as a Paint Sprayer

No. All your compressor does is produce air. You need to use a paint sprayer with your compressor to paint your projects.

Features to Look for in the Best Air Compressor for Paint Sprayers

Features of the Best Air Compressor
High CFM
Name Brand
Good Warranty
Can keep up with all your air tools

High CFM – Can Keep up With all Your Air Tools

The higher the CFM, the more tools your compressor can power. Make sure you check that the CFM’s from the compressor are high enough to use all your tools, or you could be out of luck.


Some air compressors are much louder than others. You’ll notice this especially if you’re using it in an enclosed area like a garage or a bedroom. Verify the decibel level that it produces when in use either from the product listing or call the manufacturer.

Lightweight and Portable

If you need to haul your compressor around, you will need it to be lightweight and portable.

Name Brand

Let’s face it, sometimes you can get away with buying off brand products like cereal. But a compressor is an expensive item that needs to be reliable and last a long time. Grab one that has a solid reputation.

Good Warranty

Grab a compressor that has a solid warranty. You want a company that stands behind its products.


It doesn’t matter how cheap or expensive the air compressor is, it must be able to generate the pressure and CFM’s required for your spray gun and other air tools.


Most sprayers will do fine with 10 PSI. Double check this with the sprayer manufacturer. Without enough pressure and CFM’s you won’t be able to spray paint.

What does CFM stand for? CFM stands for cubic feet per minute. It’s the measure of how much air is being delivered from your compressor to your paint sprayer or other air powered tools.

Air compressors with higher CFM ratings deliver more air to your tools making them essential for larger jobs or air heavy tools.

This works even if you have some of the more rare paint sprayers, such as the HVHP [high volume high pressure] or LVLP [low volume low pressure] options.

This can become a problem for some paint sprayers. You’ll find that some models will give you a 12-14 CFM rating.

That can be difficult to provide for any portable air compressors, which means you’ll need to invest in a commercial grade dual-tank option.

The exception to the rule here is for air brushing, which uses low CFM spray guns for their delicate work. These typically require very little PSI, so just about any air compressor will work.

7 Facts when Buying and Comparing an Air Compressor For Paint Sprayers

CFM and Horsepower

#1. Just because your air compressor CFM ratings are less than recommended by the paint sprayer manufacturer doesn’t mean you cannot combine the two tools. It simply means you will not be able to paint continuously.

#2. Small air compressors can be chained together to create higher CFM levels when necessary. You can also add spare tanks to small portable compressors to get the results you need.

#3. Horsepower is an important consideration when buying air compressors, but only when measured with CFM and PSI. A 1 HP air compressor that provides you 6 CFM at 40 PSI is adequate if your paint sprayer requires 4-6 CFM to operate.  Generally, the more HP your air compressor has, the more air (higher CFM’s) it will deliver to your tools.

#4. Always try to get the most CFM and highest PSI air compressor that you can afford. If you can get a 2 HP air compressors that delivers at least 8 CFM at 40 PSI, then you’ll be able to use most paint sprayers fairly well without the need to chain additional tanks or compressors to your setup.

Name Brand Vs Off Brand Air Compressors

#5. Name brand air compressors tend to deliver more consistent results. This isn’t always true, of course, but a name brand compressor generally comes equipped with a better motor and this can help you to squeeze out an extra CFM or two.

Air Compressors, Heat and Ventilation

#6. Air compressors can generate a lot of heat while they are operating, especially the portable oil-less varieties that are used for basic DIY work.

This can affect the final results of a painted surface if the work is being completed in an enclosed room. Having an enclosed area be well ventilated is important for personal safety, but it is also important for a smooth finish as well.

#7. Air Compressors should be installed in a room with good ventilation. A level floor is absolutely necessary for best results. It can be helpful with the larger models in this category to have vibration mounting pads installed as well.

Oil vs Oil Free Air Compressors

All compressors require some form of lubrication, just like your car, to protect against normal wear and tear, friction and heat.  

Inside an air compressor, air is drawn in with a piston.  Oil-free air compressors come with a Teflon coating (or other type of chemicals) inside to lubricate the piston, pump and other parts.  This means the lubrication is permanent. 

Air compressors that need oil to lubricate the piston means that you will be adding oil on a regular basis.  This naturally means that oil compressors will require more maintenance vs oil-free pumps.

Typically, oil-free air compressors are cheaper because the designs are more basic and they have fewer parts.

It’s debatable which models last longer: oil vs oil-free air compressors.  When oil-free compressors first came out, their durability was questioned.  But the tech has come a long way since then and the difference in longevity is about equal. 

Contractors claim that oil compressors are larger in size and can push out so much air that a few workers can use the compressor at the same time and not run out of air. 

Oil compressors are less noisy than oil-free compressors, which is important if you’re working indoors or in a confined space where noise may be an issue.  Even though oil-free compressors now come with noise reduction technology, you can still hear the difference. 

How Do You Hook up a Paint Sprayer to an Air Compressor?

Your paint sprayer is connected to your compressor by an air hose.  Make sure the connections on the hose you buy are the right thread size for your sprayer and compressor and that the connections are high quality like brass or steel.

 A quality hose makes the difference here.  You need it to be flexible and long enough to meet your job requirements.  You attach your hose to your sprayer and compressor and turn on the compressor.  

Test out the PSI level that you’ve set by test spraying something random to see if it’s what you need and adjust your PSI if required.

Different Types of Air Compressors

There are two types of air compressors: positive displacement and Dynamic.  Most, if not all the compressors listed in this post (and used in your home or shop) are positive displacement, single acting reciprocating compressors. 

Check out the infographic and post below for details about the other types of compressors.  


best air compressor for paint sprayers

Common Issues with Air Compressors and Paint Sprayers

Moisture and Your Compressor

You need to have a pure flow of air for your paint sprayer to properly work.

If there is any moisture in the air that is being used to atomize the paint, then you will alter the viscosity of the paint delivered on the surface being worked on.

Solving this problem requires a filter to separate the moisture from the environment.


Tailing can also be a common problem when using paint sprayers with an air compressor.

This occurs because your pressure levels are too low. Instead of moving closer to the surface being painted to risk having the paint run, pause for a moment to let the pressure levels equalize.

Unless you have a massive compressor being used, there will be times when you’ll need to let your compressor catch up to the work you’ve been doing.

Make sure Your Air Compressor Lines are Clean

If you use your air compressor for multiple tools, such as a nail gun or a finisher, then you may find that there could be some oil contamination within your air hose lines as well.

This also changes the viscosity of your paint and can even prevent it from adhering correctly. In this instance, it is important to have lines that are specifically dedicated to the painting work you’re doing.

Reducing Noise from Your Air Compressor 

So, how do you make a compressor quieter?  First, it’s a good idea to make sure that the noise isn’t because something is wrong with your compressor.  Any rattling or metal type noises should be investigated right away. 

Typically, the cheaper the compressor, the noisier it will be.   

Design is a factor in the amount of noise your compressor generates.  A compressor with an encapsulated motor (the motor is built with a metal case around it) will always be less noisy.   

You can build an air compressor silencer box with foam paneling on the inside, (properly ventilated of course). This air compressor box will deaden the noise from your compressor.  Some folks even wrap the motor in a blanket/mat that deadens the sound. 

Remove some of the noise from impact and shock by installing rubber grommets on the motor.  This absorbs vibrations and sounds, keeping them from spreading. 

The exhaust is one of the main parts generating noise on your compressor. 

The intake, where the compressor sucks in air, is definitely another one of the loudest parts.  Otherwise called an air compressor intake silencer, you can also purchase them online.  So go a bit more DIY and attach a full blown muffler to the intake on your compressor.

How to Maintain Your Compressor 

Routine maintenance on air compressors helps you to extend the life of your compressor.  A few simple steps and about 30 minutes of your time will ensure to keep you spraying paint with your compressor.  Don’t forget to check for leaks! 

  1. If you own an oil compressor, you need to change the oil, just like in your car
  2. Removing and installing the new air filter 
  3. Checking the compressor belts and other moving parts/hoses 

For a ton of details, check out this post with an awesome preventative maintenance schedule. 

What Are the Prices of Air Compressors for Paint Sprayers?

The price range for the best compressor to start painting is quite varied. If you are looking for the best budget air compressor take a look at smaller air compressors. 

Some of the smaller air compressors can cost less than $75 if you watch for a good sale.  Just make sure they can deliver enough CFM so your painting doesn’t suffer.

At the other end of the spectrum, you will find $1,000 contractor-grade air compressors for painting that barely deliver enough CFM for you to work continuously.

Best Air Compressor for Painting Furniture

We recommend looking at portable or pancake air compressors for most DIY and projects needs.  These are the best DIY compressor options that deliver consistent results.

If necessary, you can chain two or more together and avoid the need for a 220v outlet with the right extension cords.

Should you follow that route, you can expect to pay from $150 to$250 for most air compressors, depending on what specific options you want to have on the unit and what sort of paint gun you have.

How Many CFMs do I Need to Run a HVLP Spray Gun?

Each HVLP spray gun has different CFM requirements. You will need to check with your guns manufacturer to see the minimum required CFM’s to spray paint. Usually, the CFMs are listed on the box, in the instructions, or you can google your gun to find the CFMs needed.


The best air compressor for a paint sprayer will allow you to have accurate work for projects large and small.

It’s time to take charge of your time. Improve your productivity with air compressors like these and there’s really no limit to what you can accomplish.


What is CFM short for?

CFM is short for cubic feet per minute.

How to reduce noise from your compressor

Encapsulated motor, sound blanket, rubber grommets, air intake silencer.

What about heat and ventilation and your compressor?

You must have good ventilation because compressors generate a ton of heat while working.

What’s the best small air compressor?

Senco 1 Gallon Air Compressor

What’s the best pancake compressor?

DeWalt 6 gallon

Table Of Contents
  1. Best Air Compressor for Paint Sprayers Comparison Chart
  2. Best Air Compressor for Painting: Editor's Reviews
  3. Premium Air Compressor
  4. California Air Tools 1 HP 6 Gallon Compressor
  5. Porter Cable 6 Gallon Pancake Compressor
  6. Bostitch 1.2 Gallon High Output Air Compressor
  7. Best Small Air Compressor for Painting
  8. Senco Air Compressor
  9. Best DIY Air Compressor for Painting
  10. DeWalt Pancake Compressor
  11. Wolo Tornado Heavy-Duty Compressor
  12. Campbell Hausfeld 1 Gallon Air Compressor
  13. Best Budget Air Compressor for the Money
  14. DeWalt 1 Gallon Max Trim Air Compressor D55140
  15. Master Airbrush Compressor
  16. Campbell Hausfeld 3 Gallon Air Compressor
  17. Join our Email List for more Tips and Info!
  18. Air Compressors Buyer's Guide 
  19. Do You Need an Air Compressor for a Paint Sprayer?
  20. How to Find the Best Air Compressor for Me? 
  21. What Size Air Compressor do I need for a Spray Gun?
  22. Can you Spray Paint with a 20 Gallon Air Compressor?
  23. What size Compressor do I need to Spray a Car?
  24. Can I use my Compressor as a Paint Sprayer
  25. Features to Look for in the Best Air Compressor for Paint Sprayers
  26. 7 Facts when Buying and Comparing an Air Compressor For Paint Sprayers
  27. Oil vs Oil Free Air Compressors
  28. How Do You Hook up a Paint Sprayer to an Air Compressor?
  29. Different Types of Air Compressors
  30. Common Issues with Air Compressors and Paint Sprayers
  31. Reducing Noise from Your Air Compressor 
  32. How to Maintain Your Compressor 
  33. What Are the Prices of Air Compressors for Paint Sprayers?
  34. Best Air Compressor for Painting Furniture
  35. How Many CFMs do I Need to Run a HVLP Spray Gun?
  36. Conclusion
  37. FAQs