The best automotive paint gun for beginners can help you refresh your car, RV or motorcycle without breaking the bank.
So many options exist in this category, from premium high priced models to multiple gun kits for conquering clear, base and primers. Budget models let even frugal DIYers get into the market without breaking the bank. So, what is a good car spray gun for beginners?
After our tests, the 5 paint guns below really stood out as the best beginner automotive spray guns.
Best Automotive Paint Gun for Beginners Quick Chart
Editors Choice Best Beginner Automotive Spray Guns
#1. Iwata LPH400: Premium Model: Best Gun
#2. DeVilbiss FinishLine 4 FLG 670 Runner Up Best Gun
#3. DeVilbiss Auto Paint/Priming Kit: 1st Place Kit For Beginners
#4. TCP Global Kit: Great Multi Gun Kit for Budgets
#5. SprayIt LVLP: Great Gun for Budgets
Best Automotive Paint Gun for Beginners
Premium Pro Model
#1. Iwata LPH400
- Atomizing PSI: 16.0
- Air Cap Model: LV4
- Requires CFM: 9.5
- Weighs 0.86 lbs!
Beginners get a real leg up when they invest in a quality LVLP spray gun from IWATA.
It satisfies a ton of Our requirements to be one of the best automotive paint guns for beginners. It has easy to adjust fan and fluid controls knobs accessible on the back of the gun, it’s lightweight, and ergonomically designed.
The price? Well, its a premium gun so expect to pay more. But what you get are leveled up results that blow your mind. The LPH400 comes with a 1.4mm tip and is specially designed to outperform other guns when laying down clear coat.
If you plan on buying multiple guns for different materials, the LPH400 can be your clear coat workhorse. For an LVLP, the atomizing PSI is pretty high at 16 PSI. Most LVLPs atomize paint at around 10 PSI.
The LV4 aircap it comes with chews up air pretty good, so you’ll need a decent sized compressor to run this unit. The results will be worth it, we promise.
This unit is so damn quiet, it sounds like a whisper when it’s laying down clear. We were so impressed. Wrist fatigue is a thing of the past with the ergonomically designed handle that fit so great in our hand.
It’s lightweight quality build (0.86lbs) means it’s one of the lightest spray guns on the market. The IWATA LPH400 will work hard for you if you treat it right. Some Owners have had this sprayer for up to 12 years, which is a testament to it’s quality and craftsmanship.
Not included is the 1 quart cup. For you newbs out there, this is pretty standard for a pro level gun.
You can customize it with whatever cup suits your projects: smaller cups for detailing or painting motorcycles, larger cups for painting vehicles, RVs, panels etc.
We love everything about this IWATA LVLP.
Runner Up: Best Automotive Paint Gun for Beginners
#2. DeVilbiss FinishLine 4 FLG670
- Gravity Feed HVLP Spray Gun
- All internal passages are anodized and the anodized body makes it easy to clean
- Requires 13 CFM at 23 PSI
- Multiple fluid tips included (1. 3, 1. 5, 1. 8)
- Perfect for beginners and Pros
Even though you’re a beginner, you don’t have to settle for less than stellar results. The FinishLine will provide you with a professional finish.
This spray gun is called a gravity feed gun because the paint cup in on the top. The paint is fed into the gun by using gravity rather than being fed or pulled into it.
The HVLP is because the paint is atomized at a high volume but sprayed with relatively low pressure, resulting in a softer finish.
The three included nozzle sizes mean you can use it for multiple applications instead of buying 3 different guns. You can manage your painting budget without settling for less than the best equipment.
At around half the price of our premium models, this FinishLine lays down smooth. It gets the job done right for the hobbyists out there. You’ll love what this model can do.
The FLG670 is a bit of an air hog on the job, requiring 13 CFM at 23 PSI, so this might be challenging for you depending on your air compressor set up. Check your compressors output before purchasing this gun.
It comes with a decent size 900cc or almost 1 quart cup so you’ll be able to spray for longer without having to refill your paint cup.
The FinishLine atomizes paint well, resulting in minimal overspray. The minimum recommended hose is 5/16 inches, but we found that we got better results by stepping up to at least a 3/8 inch hose.
The DeVilbiss FinishLine and DeVilbiss products in general, are some of the best automotive paint guns for beginners available. The only issue during testing was that the original tip of the gun is on soooo tight! While DeVilbiss gives you a tool to use to take it off, it’s not good enough.
We had to carefully use a wrench with gentle constant pressure. Once you’ve gotten it off, the wrench tool works every time.
We found the results on the job to be uniform and of high quality. The FLG670 can also spray thinned latex, so maybe, you can also paint those cabinets or that wall next home improvement season.
If you need the FinishLine manual, click this link up for a copy. In case you need spare and replacement parts for your spray gun, check out this link.
Can use for home projects
Hard to get tip off
#3. DeVilbiss Paint and Primer Gun Kit
- Basecoat, Clearcoat and Topcoat Spray Gun
- Gravity Feed HVLP Spray Guns
- 30 PSI delivers 10 PSI air cap pressure
- 12-13 CFM minimum required
- 1 year warranty
- 600 cc (20 ounce) cups
These HVLP gravity feed guns lay down a coat of primer pretty well. If you’re new to painting or automotive car spraying, this set will get the job done.
The DeVilbiss Auto Paint/Priming Set comes with nozzle size 1.3mm, 1.5mm and 1.8mm. We like this spray gun kit for cars because it comes with multiple guns, three different tips, and it’s DeVilbiss quality.
The price is pretty good too.
Just like the FinishLine, these paint guns do require high air volume to get the job done. You’ll be running your compressor at a minimum 12-13 CFM.
I didn’t like that the cups are only 20 ounces and would have liked to see at least 32 ounce cups included to reduce the need to stop and refill the cups while painting.
The regulator isn’t the best quality so we recommend connecting a different regulator before you start spraying. Always clean your guns before using to make sure all the gunk from manufacturing is removed, or it can restrict air flow, especially the vent hole at the top of the guns. They might be partially clogged due to the manufacturing process.
The thread machining isn’t the best: you have to be careful when putting the gun together after cleaning.
Try upgrading to the DeVilbiss DeKups system for this gun set and wow yourself with the performance you get for such a good price.
Comes with 3 tips
1 year warranty
Regulator not best quality
Clean thoroughly before using
Budget Friendly Beginner Spray Gun Kit for Cars
#4. TCP Global HVLP Spray Guns Kit w/3 guns
- HVLP Gravity Feed Spray Guns
- Spray Base-coats, Clear-coats, Single Stages, Primers and More
- The 1.4 mm Fluid Tip Gun is Ideal for Base-coats, Clear-coats and other Light to Medium Viscosity Materials
- The 1.8mm Fluid Tip Gun is excellent for Primers, Oil Base, Latex, and other Medium to Heavy Viscosity Coatings
- Use the 1.0 mm Tip Detail Gun for Tight Areas and Touchup
This gravity feed spray gun kit comes with multiple automotive paint guns, allowing you to do detail work and regular old touch ups.
Sometimes just one spray gun isn’t enough to meet your needs. This is particularly true if you’re doing some automotive work, top coats, or touch-ups. It’s small price tag for an HVLP Paint Gun Set that is unmatched in the paint spraying world.
You can spray a wide variety of materials with this set because it comes with 3 different spray guns equipped with multiple tips. Each gun has 3 possible adjustments: air pressure, fluid delivery, and spray pattern. You can dial in your spray for the types of projects and materials you are using.
TCP Global also has extra tips for purchase from 0.8 to 2.5mm to spray everything from latex paint to rubberized coatings to clear coats.
Save time cleaning up your gun after each step of the job, and consider an investment into this TCP Global HVLP Spray Gun Set.
The stainless steel needles and nozzles prevent corrosion and rust and give you full adjustment over your spray patterns, air pressure, and fluid coverage for consistent results. This kit comes with:
- extra fluid cup filters,
- a hex wrench,
- cleaning brush and
- 2 spanner wrenches
Most compressors can handle all three of these guns because the operating pressures range from 29-50 PSI. The CFM requirements are from 3.5 to 7.1, so doable for most compressor set ups. You can keep painting with these 3 guns and not have to stop painting and wait for your compressor to catch up. This delivers better results.
The nozzles sizes included range from 1.0mm to 1.8mm so they can handle many of your painting projects.
We found the surface ratio of paint to atmosphere to be about 70/30, whereas other HVLP designs can be as high as 90/10. You should expect to use a little more paint than you might anticipate. You can create professional results, however, you have to keep a close eye on your fan control. It isn’t as precise as we’d like it to be.
Fan control isn’t as precise as we’d like it, but you can’t expect miracles within this price range. The knobs are placed on the guns for right handed folks. Left-handed users will have to cross-over with their other hand to adjust the knobs on this particular spray gun set.
You should occasionally check your adjustment knobs because the vibration of using the gun can turn the knobs and randomly adjust the spray controls.
Depending on the compressor being used, it might be better to wait if your compressor is running before starting to paint once again.
Overall the experience was pretty good. Most of the accessories you can buy for this gun are at a price point we love. This includes a paint mixing kit and the Benchtop Holder Stand. You can also buy paint strainers separately.
Clean up was a bit tedious with this 3 gun set. Make the cleaning process a bit easier too with TCP’s 20 piece cleaning kit. These guns work best for the DIYer and handy person than commercial or professional applications.
3 gun set
Stainless steel needles and nozzles
Knobs are not left hand friendly
Fan control isn’t super precise
Uses more paint than other HVLP models
Ultra Budget: Best Automotive Paint Gun for Beginners
#5. SprayIt SP-33000 LVLP
- LVLP Gravity feed spray gun
- 20oz cup
- Fan pattern 7 – approx 11″
- Working PSI 28-45, MAX 60
- Air is 3.5 – 3.9 CFM @ 30 PSI
We recommend this gun if you’re a beginner because it’s a) cheap and b) works pretty well. It also gives you adjustable fluid, fan pattern and air controls.
This LVLP from SprayIt is perfect for automotive painting if you’re on a slim budget. You get a pretty good gun to get started on your DIY.
You can either grab just the gun itself, or buy the kit which come with three tips: 1.3, 1.5, and 1.7mm
The quality of the gun and the finish of the paint really surprised us during testing considering its price point. It’s not show room quality, but it’s not crap either. At least the fluid nozzle and needle are stainless steel, but only corrosion “resistant”. Make sure you clean this gun up properly and dry it each time you use it to avoid corrosion.
LVLP sprays paint at a lower pressure, which reduces overspray. This can save you money on paint.
The 20oz cup is about 600cc meaning it’s better suited for smaller projects and/or detail work. Pressure regulator glass face sometimes arrives cracked due to oddly shaped packing inside the case.
The fan pattern is a bit limited at 7 to 11 inches, where other guns in this price range will do 4 to 12 inches, so keep that in mind.
Obviously when you buy a cheaper gun, you get knobs etc. that are made of aluminum (or plastic parts) that and can easily break or get cross threaded. Take it easy when putting your gun together, cleaning your gun etc. Remember this is a budget gun so parts and build aren’t as good as with the more expensive guns. This also means that overall, the gun weighs less than others with steel construction.
The kit comes with two cleaning brushes that are essential in making sure every bit of the material is out of your sprayer. Easy to clean and takes about 5-10 minutes.
20 oz cup for detail work
Regulator is not quality
Limited fan pattern of 7 to 11 inches
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Best Automotive Paint Gun for Beginners: Buyer’s Guide
Painting your car is easier than you think. With a bit of practice on your spray technique you can lay down base, paint and clear coat almost as good as a professional. Almost.
Someone once said “Fail to plan, plan to fail” and that is 110% true about painting your car. There are certain things that, as a beginner, you need to know when choosing automotive paint guns.
Know your project requirements and then you can know which paint spray gun for beginners will take your project through to completion.
What are Automotive Paint Guns?
Automotive paint guns are paint sprayers specifically designed for car paint mediums like bases and clear coats. They also lay down paint very smoothly and leave a fine finish on metal. Most professional painters will own multiple automotive paint guns to ensure each type of paint medium is laid down with the most precision possible. They will own a gun for clear, base, regular paints, metallic, etc. If painting a car, you want to buy a spray gun specifically made for cars to ensure you get a professional looking finish.
But First Things First: Painting Masks
You 110% need a paint mask respirator if you’re using a sprayer to paint.
Paint sprayers atomize paint, which means they mix the paint with air to turn it into tiny airborne particles that smash onto your project. If you’re not wearing a mask, these paint particles will get into your lungs and screw up your breathing and health.
We tested and reviewed a ton of paint respirator masks to help you get started.
What are the Different Types of Spray Guns for Cars?
Different Types of Automotive Paint Guns
Our Recommended Type of Automotive Paint Gun for Beginners
Gravity Feed Spray Guns are called that because the cup in on the top of the spray gun feeding the paint into the gun.
They require less air pressure meaning they have less overspray so you save money on paint. They come as HVLP gravity feed or LVLP.
The low pressure also allows you to have more control over the spray and delivers a soft finish. We love the results delivered on clear coat. Make sure your gun can spray at weird angles and upside down before purchasing.
Our Recommended Type of Automotive Paint Gun for Beginners for Clear Coat and Single Stage Enamels
Low Volume Low Pressure
LVLP means low volume, low pressure. They work at a lower pressure than even HVLP, at around 10 PSI or less.
Because of the low pressure they lay down a soft finish, perfect for clear coats. It also minimizes overspray (paint waste), saving you cashola on paint.
LVLP’s don’t require much experience to use them.
Not Recommended for Painting Cars
This is not the best automotive paint gun for beginners. An airless sprayer requires more technical skill to use. They use higher pressure than other types of sprayers to atomize paint. The finish isn’t as smooth as it should be when painting your car.
This means you’ll have more paint pollution in your area, increasing your paint cost by up to 1.5x over using a gravity feed or HVLP sprayer. The trade off is, airless sprayers get large jobs done much faster than our recommended gravity feed style guns.
Siphon feed sprayers suck the paint up from a canister instead of having it fed directly to the nozzle through a cup.
For this reason, it’s not the recommended option for an automotive paint gun. Siphon feed increases the chances of air getting into the lines and resulting in splatter – not something you want to see when applying a top coat.
HVLP Spray Guns
HVLP stands for “High Volume Low Pressure.” This spray paint gun uses a high volume of air to break up the paint for spraying.
The end result is a “paint mist” which reduces your overspray, but makes it difficult to cover large surfaces rapidly. An HVLP paint spray gun is good at keeping overspray to a minimum. You will need an air compressor with an HVLP unless you buy a turbine system. HVLP doesn’t provide the best finish. Also, they might not be able to spray everything from base to clear and undercoats.
What is Your Project? What is your Project Size?
What are you painting? A whole car? A panel? Just touching up some spots? Or maybe you’re painting your motorcycle or RV? What sorts of projects do you normally take on? Answering these questions will help you pick the right spray gun for your jobs.
Features to Look for in the Best Automotive Paint Gun for Beginners
Hose length is long enough
If there are lots of tips available or your airless sprayer, you will be able to conquer a lot more painting projects with the same gun. Brand name tips usually are better quality and last longer too.
A long and flexible hose allows you to move around your project easily. If your hose is too short, you will run into problems like having to reposition yourself and your sprayer. You don’t want anything to interrupt your paint stroke.
Make sure that your compressor puts out enough CFMs to adequately power your automotive paint sprayer.
A paint sprayer should fit nicely in your hand with feeling awkward, rubbing, or causing any issues.
You should be able to adjust air pressure, spray fans, etc on your paint sprayer for ultimate performance and results.
Tip/Nozzle Size and Your Project Planning
Depending on the answers to the above questions, you might find you need an automotive paint gun that has interchangeable tips, or a kit that comes with multiple guns for base, clear and primers.
Cup size is also a factor here. Smaller cups would be OK for detailing or painting a motorcycle, but if you’ve got big projects to work through you’re going to need to get a gun with a cup that holds more paint.
What do you need to Spray?
Different materials need different sized tips. For laying down a smooth coat of primer, which is thicker, you will need a 1.8 – 2.5mm tip. Clear coat is applied with smaller tips because its thinner, so you’re looking for a 1.3 to a 1.4mm.
If you have to spray many different types of materials, get a gun with interchangeable tips or a paint spray gun kit. Most Pro use what is called a “dedicated gun”.
That means they buy separate guns that only spray clear coat or primer and base. This does put more strain on your budget as a beginner, but there are many benefits to using separate guns for clear coat.
Hose Length and Your Project Size
Your sprayer, unless cordless and airless (which we don’t recommend as the best automotive spray gun for beginners), will be attached to your compressor by a hose.
That hose will need to be long enough to reach all of the areas of your project. Then, you don’t have to stop in the middle of your painting to move your sprayer and compressor set up.
Gallons per Minute and Annual Recommended Use
Gallons per minute or GPM isn’t a standard thing across sprayer brands. It does give you a good idea if the sprayer you’re looking at can keep up if you’re mainly spraying large projects like RV’s or buses.
Annual recommended use isn’t going to be a big problem is you’re a hobbyist and not spraying everyday.
Painters that plan on kicking it up a notch and spraying regularly need to make sure the sprayer they choose offers high enough annual gallon use.
You don’t want to push so much paint through your sprayer that it needs to be rebuilt or replaced super soon. Contact the manufacturer for 100% confirmation of the recommended amount.
Do You Have an Adequate Air Compressor?
If your compressor doesn’t push out enough air pressure or PSI, it won’t supply the SCFMs needed for your sprayer. You will have to take breaks as the air compressor catches up and fills up with air again. Starting and stopping your painting will affect the results in a negative way.
It’s not something you should deal with as a beginner when you’re perfecting your technique and style.
CFMs Demystified (Cubic Feet/Minute)
CFM stands for cubic feet per minute. It’s a measure of the flow rate of air pushed out by a compressor. All spray guns, unless airless or turbine systems, will need a compressor to paint.
Each gun has a minimum required operating CFM that they need so the paint is pushed to the nozzle and then atomized properly. This is super important.
You have to match up the CFMs required on your sprayer with the operating CFMs generated by your compressor. If the CFM’s are too weak, your paint won’t be atomized properly, if it sprays at all.
Make sure to check that your compressor is heavy duty enough for your sprayer. When in doubt, contact the manufacturer.
Ease of Use
The best automotive paint gun for beginners should help you get great results. Of course, it’s not going to do the painting for you!
What we mean is the sprayer should be lightweight. It should be designed ergonomically so that it fits into your hand nicely.
All of these things reduce wrist and arm fatigue so you can get more done and increase the quality of your results.
All of the spray guns for beginners that we recommend above come with high levels of adjustability. You can really dial in your results by changing your spray pattern and fan width instead of buying multiple sprayers.
What is a Good Automotive Spray Gun for a Beginner?
I recommend the DeVilbiss Paint and Primer Kit or the TCP Global Kit for absolute beginners. They are multiple guns and tips, spray a fine smooth finish, and can be used for many different paint mediums such as clear coat, base, and primers. When first starting out, this reduces the investment required for your painting.
Automotive Paint Gun Tips
Here is a quick chart of the gun tips you should use for different car paint mediums. Check with the spray gun instructions to see the exact tips required.
What to Budget for the Best Automotive Paint Gun for Beginners
You can grab paint guns for beginners in each price range. Ultra budget models that still deliver results like the SprayIT LVLP gun above start at around 30-50$.
Internal parts on these cheaper models are not as high quality or long lasting as the more expensive Iwata guns.
Also, the atomization is lacking meaning you may end up spending more on paint, with globs of paint on your project and more sanding after your done spraying.
The mid range items like the DeVilbiss FinishLine and the Auto Paint/Priming Kit include better parts, engineered results and customer service.
Head into the higher end price range and you’ll be getting highly engineered guns geared towards Pros, which maximize atomization and create perfect results with the right technique.
The best automotive paint gun for beginners can help build your confidence while you develop your technique.
Finding a spray gun that delivers awesome results is possible within any price range. Get spraying today!
TCP Global Kit is a great way to invest in multi guns with a ton of uses for a decent price for beginner auto painters.
- Best Automotive Paint Gun for Beginners Quick Chart
- Best Automotive Paint Gun for Beginners
- Premium Pro Model
- #1. Iwata LPH400
- Runner Up: Best Automotive Paint Gun for Beginners
- #2. DeVilbiss FinishLine 4 FLG670
- #3. DeVilbiss Paint and Primer Gun Kit
- Budget Friendly Beginner Spray Gun Kit for Cars
- #4. TCP Global HVLP Spray Guns Kit w/3 guns
- Ultra Budget: Best Automotive Paint Gun for Beginners
- #5. SprayIt SP-33000 LVLP
- Join our Email List for more Tips and Info!
- Best Automotive Paint Gun for Beginners: Buyer’s Guide
- What are Automotive Paint Guns?
- But First Things First: Painting Masks
- What are the Different Types of Spray Guns for Cars?
- Our Recommended Type of Automotive Paint Gun for Beginners
- Our Recommended Type of Automotive Paint Gun for Beginners for Clear Coat and Single Stage Enamels
- Not Recommended for Painting Cars
- What is Your Project? What is your Project Size?
- Tip/Nozzle Size and Your Project Planning
- Hose Length and Your Project Size
- Gallons per Minute and Annual Recommended Use
- Do You Have an Adequate Air Compressor?
- Ease of Use
- Fully Adjustable
- What is a Good Automotive Spray Gun for a Beginner?
- Automotive Paint Gun Tips
- What to Budget for the Best Automotive Paint Gun for Beginners