The 4 Best Air Compressors for Painting Cars & Houses — Review 2019

In the absence of the right tools, painting is one tedious, monotonous, time consuming and an ugly task. It can suck all joy from the activity if done improperly or if the right tool is not in the picture. However, you need to select the right tool for the paint job. In the following review, we provide some vital information to help you get the best air compressors for painting cars.

However, air compressors make it all seem so easy and fun – painting and filling. The quality they produce is nothing short of the best. We also review a few of the best sellers in the market and maybe you will find the right one for your needs. Hop on as we jump right into it.


Best Air Compressor for Painting Cars 2019 Reviews

1. California Air Tools 5510SE Review – Oil-Free Air Compressor


This 1.0HP motor compressor is quite a robust machine that performs a variety of functions. It can clean, inflate and most importantly, airbrush. This versatile compressor maintains noise levels at 60 decibels. This means you enjoy working in a much quiet environment.

You can pick and talk on the phone while the compressor is running. It is therefore ideal in places where noise is mostly avoided like outside apartment blocks. It packs a tank capacity of 5.5 gallons and making it a better compressor than most – not many have such a large capacity.

The bigger the tank is, the more the power, and vice versa. California Air Tools 5510SE is a low maintenance tool and which is a good thing. The air tool does not need oil. The tank is made from aluminum, rust free and thus durable. It is also among the largest and comes with a wheel kit for more comfortable transportation.

This compressor packs a capacity of 120PSI and can reach 120 psi from 90 in less than 40 seconds. This is adequate for the painted task you have. We are thus in consensus that these features are what makes this compressor so attractive.

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2. DEWALT D55146 Review – Hand Carry Compressor with Wheels


This is yet another high-performance compressor that has a high level of durability. It packs some exciting features for pressure control and optimum output. It also may come to many as a surprise that the compressor performs pretty well in all conditions.

You can do your paint job in winter, summer, or spring. It is quite the hardy type any workshop would love. This compressor is 85lbs in weight. But that does not mean it is unwieldy. It comes with a handle and wheels kit makes moving it from one place to the other quite a breeze.

The maximum pressure is a decent 200 PSI. With such top of the range feature, you can expect to complete your task quicker and without much hassle. It is unmatched in that aspect, and that is why it has raked rave reviews everywhere on the internet. At 78 decibels, the compressor is relatively quiet to use in a living area. It will not prove a nuisance to the neighbors who just want to be left alone to their peace and quiet.

DEWALT D55146 is not much of an issue. It has a collapsible handle and wheels. It is also designed in such a way that storage is not a big issue. You can store it in a vertical position.

The pressure technology DEWALT D55146 employs ensures motor and pump durability. However, you will need to purchase the air hose and its attachments separately before you can start using.

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3. Makita MAC5200 Big Bore – 3.0 HP Air Compressor


Anyone in the know can tell you much about 3.0 HP motor. It packs sufficient power for two framing nailers running at the same time.

It also has a 6.5 SCFM at 90 airflow capacity – not quite shabby. The sturdy wheels and folding handles are something that makes moving the compressor from one place to the other quite easily.

Folding handles just make storage easier. And unlike the other compressors, this brand comes with a storage compartment for your tools preventing loss and damage. Backed by a large piston, you are assured of the motor’s high performance.

It comes with a cast iron cylinder and unmatched power pump putting its competitors to shame. It is durable and high performance. It has an oil-lubricated pump for durability and lower temperatures which is a good thing really.

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4.PORTER-CABLE PCFP02003 – 135 PSI Pancake Compressor


This may not be high end, but there is a pretty good reason why it has amassed countless fans all over. The price may be at the bottom of the pile in comparison to others, but its functionality and performance are something to write home about.

It packs sufficient power to fill tires, finish nail guns and blow the dust off  quite something any handyman would love about it.

And with the 2.0 SCFM at 90 PSI capability, the compressor can easily handle any task you throw at it. Its 150 PSI demonstrates high performance to excite anyone. And in terms of protection, this compressor comes with a thermal protector as a safeguard against overheating.

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How to Choose the Air Compressor for Painting Cars

Not every compressor is sufficient for painting jobs. There is a significant difference between compressors for inflating tires and for painting works. The painting and sealing compressors provide a constant flow of air for an even application.

This is something other compressors may not efficiently accomplish. For car works, a power motor compressor with a large tank is vital. And as such, there are specific features you need to look out for in a machine to accomplish the paint jobs.

The following is a list of some of these features to identify the air compressor for spray painting cars.


PSI and CFM: these are the most typical values when it comes to compressors. The Pounds per Square Inch (PSI) denotes the amount of pressure the device can produce. CFM is just the capacity of air or the airflow rate the machine can manage.

The majority of compressors have a rating of 40 PSI or 90 PSI. Typically, this pressure is sufficient for paint or sealing jobs. However, airbrushing or spray painting do not demand a significant amount of pressure as it is mostly about volume more than anything else.


Regulators and Moisture Traps: every compressor must have these components if they are to demonstrate efficiency. These features are mostly on the pump. Moisture traps prevent condensation buildup which can act as a barrier to efficient airflow needed for a painting activity. Any inconsistency can lead to shoddy paintwork that you would not be proud of.


The Size of the Tank: the bigger the tank, the better it is. A more significant tank is a source of continuous airflow for an even paint finish. Any compressor with a PSI and CFM needs a big tank for efficient functioning.

Basically, a compressor with the capacity between 50 and 100 gallons is ideal for most paint jobs and sealing. 20 and 30-gallon tanks are for smaller panting tasks.


The Spraying Gun: the type of spraying gun you have on your hands determines the kind of air compressor you go for. The SCFM and PSI ratings must all match for effective paint works.


How to Paint Using Air Compressor

Before you jump right into painting, you need to gather all the things you will need in one place. You will need: air hose, spray gun, paint, air compressor, drop cloths, masking paper, paint brush, painter’s paint, eye protector, and respirator.

Attach the air hose to the spray gun by inserting the connect valve to the air hose adapters – this shouldn’t be too hard. Then connect the air hose to the compressor and plug the compressor into the power source. Turn the power on for the pressure to start building and keep adjusting to attain the appropriate pressure.

Before you start painting, cover the areas that you want to keep off the paint with the deep cloth. And start painting. Always make sure the canister has adequate paint for continuity and consistency. Release the trigger-lock and adjust the pressure using the trigger knob to attain the desired level. Turning the knob counterclockwise sets the fluid pressure to the necessary level.

You also need to set the pattern control for the desired outcome. Continue adjusting the pattern control and fluid pressure until you reach the ideal level. Maintain a distance of at least ten inches between the spray nozzle and the surface for best results.


Final Word

The best compressor for painting cars ensures you get the best results when painting. The machine helps attain an even coat for a professional look.

When the time comes to do your shopping, arm yourself with the above information, and you will acquire the right compressor. Getting the best looking paint job may take a little bit of effort and experience. However, it plays a crucial role in attaining the best finish.

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