Best Air Compressors For Painting Cars And Houses

Let’s agree on something:

There is no task that is ugly, messy, tedious and time consuming like painting. Without a superior tool like an air compressor, you won’t even enjoy the quality of the work.

Many professional painters take pride in their work because they work with superior tools like air compressors. For that reason, we’ve decided to highlight some of the best air compressors for painting on the market designed to assist you manage your painting job efficiently.


Armed with this detailed information, we’re certain and confident, that you’ll (as a professional contractor or painter) be in a position to not only to make the right decision but to choose the best product that fits your bills.

Air Compressors For Painting Cars And Houses Compared







California Air Tools 5510SE

54 Lbs


23 x 10 x 19

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DEWALT D55146 with Wheels

80 Lbs


33.5 x 44.8 x 24.5

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Makita MAC5200 Big Bore

104.4 Lbs


29 x 19.5 x 19

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26 Lbs


18.1 x 17.2 x 18.5

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When shopping for air compressors for painting, they’re lots of things that you have to consider. We take pride in our job and duty to bring you the following:

  • The bestselling air compressor for painting in 2018
  • A comprehensive checklist of the things you do need to look for in an air compressor.

Let us have a look at what is selling on the market today – the features benefit and why we think and certain; it is the best product to include in your cabinet.

Best Air Compressors For Painting Cars 2018 Reviews

1. California Air Tools 5510SE – Oil Free 1 HP Air Compressor

The California air tool is nothing but a better robust air compressor of its own kind. It is capable of performing a variety of applications with its 1.0HP motor.

From airbrushing, inflating or cleaning tasks, the California air tool has you covered in every way you look at it.

 Oil Free 1 HP Air Compressor

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Something more close that you’ll like about the California air tool 5510 SE is that it runs at 60 decibels. Making it among the quietest air compressor for painting cars on the market. In other words, you can pretty stand and talk to the next person uninterrupted with noise.

An excellent feature like 5.5 gallon tank capacity makes it even a better compressor to buy. The fact is, the bigger the tank size, the more powerful the air compressor. Aside from that huge performance, you’ll love the fact that you’ll spend little or any time on maintenance. Thanks to that because the air tool is oil-free.

On a full tank capacity you can expect the motor to air out 120PSI and take less than 40 seconds to go from 90 to 120 PSI. All these features and performance is what makes people love the California Air tool.

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2. DEWALT D55146 – Hand Carry Compressor with Wheels

If you’ve read conflicting reviews about the DeWalt D5514, then you missed something. From our point of view and experience using the DeWalt D5514, we consider it a strong durable unit with unmatched performance.

The unit features notable indicators that controls precise pressure and deliver unmatched output.

Hand Carry Compressor with Wheels

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That said, it won’t surprise you to find that the DeWalt can survive and perform in the harshest conditions like winter, making it a better tool suited for both home and professional use.

Rest assured with the 85 pounds of weight, I know it is heavy, but it comes with wheel kits and collapsed handle that makes the movement much easier. From the manufacturer’s manual, you’ll see that the machine can go up to 200 PSI, 5.2 SCFM at 90 PSI.

With this powerful potential, expect to finish your job quickly, because they’re few air compressors on the market that can take this punch. The DeWalt D55146 happens to be one of them.

With 78 decibels, consider it quiet, given that some air compressors have a rating of 90 to 100 decibels. In terms of performance, durability and quietness, you have a tool and that is DeWalt D55146.

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3. Makita MAC5200 Big Bore – 3.0 HP Air Compressor

Do you know what a 3.0 HP motor can do? It can run two framing nailers simultaneously. That’s what Makita MAC5200 does. On the performance, Makita has an airflow capacity of 6.5 SCFM at 90 enough to supply power to manage and fulfill all your needs.

Whether you are a one or two man person framing nails, Makita air compressor is something that you’ll need, I promise you. The folding handles along with sturdy wheels, makes packing and moving this air compressor easier.

 3.0 HP Air Compressor

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The addition of a storage compartment lets you store and keep all your tools in one place to prevent loss or damage. With its large piston, rest assured that motor will deliver great performance without any hitches.

The big bore power pump along with the cast iron cylinder is something that you’ll want to keep in mind if you want to compare the Makita MAC 5200 with other tools. The roll-cage design together with the cast iron material is a sign that you’re buying a long lasting product.

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4. PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 – 135 PSI Pancake Compressor

While it is not a high-end air compressor, there is a reason why this air compressor has lots of fans worldwide. Somebody might think that it has a decent price than all other compressors.

The truth lies on the performance and functionality and not the mid-range price.

135 PSI Pancake Compressor

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The Porter cable air compressor is powerful and capable of finishing nail guns, filling tires and blowing dust off. On the performance side, the Porter cable PCFPO2OO2 gives out 2.0 SCFM at 90 PSI with ability to handle all household tasks.

With its maximum pressure rated at 150 PSI, the porter cable is better than PowerPro 22o1o and Campbell hausfled FP2028 in terms of performance. Talking about protection, this consumer-graded air compressor has a thermal protector which prevents overheating of the motor.

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Read More: How to Select the Perfect Nail Gun for Fencing

How To Choose Best Air Compressors for Painting Cars and Houses

For painting and sealing work, you’ll need a different kind of compressors. Air compressors that inflate tires are different from air compressors for painting and sealing.

With sealing and painting work, you’ll need a constant supply of air for even coating. For instance, let say you’re working with cars; you’ll need a compressor with a powerful motor and a large tank.

This raises the question… What kind features should you look for in a compressor that will help with painting As an avid user of these tools, I have a comprehensive list of features that you should pay attention to:

PSI and CFM values

Any professional contractor worth his salt will tell you that they’re the most important parts features to look for in a compressor.

PSI or Pounds per Square Inch refers to the amount of pressure the air compressors can deliver for its optimal performance. While CFM or SCFM is the air capacity or the rate at which air flows in compressor.

The modern air compressors have a rating of 90 PSI and 40 PSI. Which is enough pressure to help you with any painting work? The pressure that you’ll need to handle any painting work must be lower than the PSI. That’s because spray painting and airbrushing is more about the volume.

Type of spraying gun

The type of gun you buy will tell you the specification and feature of the product. When looking at the specification pay attention to the PSI and CFM/SCFM.

For instance, if SCFM and PSI of spray gun are rated 9.8 and 90 respectively, then you’ll need to look for an air compressor with an SCFM rating of 9.8 and PSI of 90. Any less than that you’ll have uneven coating.

Tank size

The size of the tank matters a lot. A bigger tank will guarantee continuous air flow during the work process. A spray gun that has higher CFM and PSI value needs a bigger tank size for it to function better.

An air compressor with 50 to 100 gallons is what is recommended to manage all the work related to painting and sealing. Anything less than that won’t guarantee reliable air flow. For most light painting tasks, a tank size with 20 to 30 gallon can handle the job.

Moisture traps and regulators

When choosing a compressor, make sure that it comes with a moisture trap and regulator. You’ll find most of these features installed on the pump. However, not all air compressors will have these features.

The purpose of the moisture traps is to prevent condensations from building up when the air comes from the tank. This moisture cause inconsistent in paint jobs that you notice on most cars.

Read More: Sandblasters In-Depth Portable & Fixed Reviews

How To Paint With Air Compressor

Before you begin the paint, you need to make sure that you have everything together. The first thing is the air compressor and spray gun paint.

What you need:

  • Spray gun
  • Paint
  • Air hose
  • Drop cloths
  • Air compressor
  • Paint brush
  • Masking paper
  • Eye protector
  • Painter’s tape
  • Respirator

Then you can follow these steps with confidence:

Prepare the spray gun

Before you begin, you need to prepare everything before you start any painting. Start by attaching the spray gun to the air hose. All you need to do is insert the quick connect valve to the adapters of the air hose. Then you’ll need to engage the trigger lock button on the spray gun.

Second, take the quick connect plug at the end of the air hose and insert into the quick connect socket on the air compressor.

Third, take the power cord of the air compressor and plug it into an electrical outlet. Turn on the air compressor so that the pressure can build up. Keep on adjusting the control knob to get the desired pressure.

Fourth, anything that you don’t want covered with paint; make sure to cover it with a deep cloth. Pictures and any other things should be removed from the room.

Start painting

Once you’re through with the initial set preparation, the next thing is for you to start painting.

First, take a masking paper and put it on the wall, then secure it with a painter’s tape. You do this to test the paint’s field and patterns for consistence purpose. During this process make sure that the canister has enough paint.

Second, disengage the trigger-lock through the pullback button. Increase the pressure clockwise or decrease the pressure anti-clockwise by turning the knob on the back of the air. You can also get this information by reading the manufacturer’s manual.

Third, start setting the fluid pressure control. You can do this by turning the knob counterclockwise while pulling the trigger until you touch the handle. If you want to increase the pressure slowly turn the knob clockwise.

Fourth, turn the top of the knob to set the pattern control. Turning the knob on helps you start the spray pattern at the lowest setting possible.

Fifth, you can now point the gun at the masking tape, slowly pulling the trigger. You spray the paint while adjusting the spray pattern for even coating on the masking tape.

Sixth, continue adjusting the fluid pressure and pattern control knobs while you spray the paint, until you reach the set settings. When working with a spray gun make sure to hold it at least 8 to 10 inches from the wall or any surface in contact.

Final Verdict

The best air compressor for painting helps you have even coating when you’re painting. And this reduces the chances of messiness and uneven coating. Armed with this information, you’ll be in a not only select your desire air compressor on the market but also how know to choose them. Months from now, you’ll be working efficiently and effectively. Let us know if you have any questions in the comment below