Best Air Compressor for Spray Painting

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If you want to spray paint your car, large fence, pavement, or even your wall, you will need an air compressor that will make your work easier and more fun. Without an air compressor, you will not spray paint accurately, and to achieve accurate painting, you need the best air compressor for spray painting.

Our Top Spray Painting Air Compressor Reviews

An air compressor generates power from a motor to press air and convey it in a high-pressure flow to fulfill a task. It is a challenge to select the best air compressor for spray painting since many are in the market.

We have compiled the six most popular models to help you choose the best that works for you.

California Air-tools 10020C

The California 10020C is the best overall air compressor for spray painting on our list. It has a quiet motor that operates at about 1680 RPM, resulting in less wear and noise, than the WEN vertical air compressor.

It has an oil-free dual system, just like California 8010, that delivers outstanding performance. The absence of oil in the cylinder allows for more consistent movement over rugged terrain.

The California 10020C allows for simpler cold starts at lower temperatures. As a result, it is suitable for use in a wide range of temperature and terrain conditions.

This compressor is equipped with thermal overload protection. It protects the gadget and motor from overheating.

It also contains two pressure gauges and a regulator to keep the pressure constant. It also has two air outputs, allowing you to utilize two air tools simultaneously. One of the drawbacks with the California air tools 10020C is that its tanks start leaking after some time.


  • It’s a quiet air compressor, like the Dewalt pancake air compressor.
  • It requires less maintenance since it is an oil-free system.
  • The air compressor has thermal overload protection that protects it from overheating.


  • The tank capacity of this air compressor is not the largest. This may be inconvenient for folks who have larger or more frequent occupations.
  • It’s not an easily portable air compressor because of its weight which is 82.5.lbs

Makita MAC2400 Air Compressor

Makita MAC2400 is a strong compressor for spray painting. The cast iron air compressor comprises twin-cylinder compressors, like the craftsman air compressor which provides tremendous air pressure and volume.

The air compressor also has a low power consumption, which decreases the number of activated switches during startup. Low AMP guarantees that your air compressor starts up quickly the first time, allowing you to keep working.

The Makita Air Compressor contains a sizable industrial air filter that increases airflow and contributes to greater efficiency. This device’s couplers allow you to swiftly connect and disengage from air hoses for quick transitions in your painting endeavor or with whatever air equipment you’ve selected to employ.

Unfortunately, this gadget is not oil-free like California air tools models. This makes it one of its drawbacks since it will require regular cleaning and maintenance.


  • It has two hose connectors, thus making it more versatile than the rest of the compressors.
  • The cylinder and pump are durable, ensuring long-term performance and preventing wear.
  • The oil lubrication pump is suitable for low-temperature operations since it has a safety cage that protects it from harsh environmental conditions.


  • It doesn’t have wheels, so you must lift it, hence difficult to quickly move around with it.
  • It has a small tank, making it inappropriate, especially for larger tasks.

Craftsman Air Compressor

The craftsman air compressor is widely regarded as one of the best air compressors for painting, at least for small-scale painting projects.

It is a portable and lightweight compressor, like the Dewalt pancake air compressor. It’s ideal for individuals traveling with it or who want something simple to use.

With an oil-free pump and rapid recovery time between compressor cycles, this is a low-maintenance and simple-to-use air compressor ideal for minor painting applications compared to California Air Tools 8010 that you can use for large-scale painting.

This tool is compatible with a variety of other equipment. It comes with optional add-ons such as a brad nailer, allowing you to get started on various tasks, including all of the spray paint you could desire.

One of its drawbacks is the safety control valve, which at times tends to leak, and you may have to replace it to get the best performance.


  • With a maximum pressure of 150 psi and a flow rate of 2.6cu nominal Ft/min, this element offers rapid compression and tremendous pressure.
  • It’s lightweight, portable, making it easy to move around with.
  • 2.6 SCFM enables rapid compression and recuperation time, allowing you to get back to painting sooner.
  • It has a range of accessories that are for versatile use.


  • Due to its small size, you can only use it when you’re doing small jobs.
  • It’s not as powerful as the California Air-tools 8010 since its pressure is low.

Dewalt Pancake Air Compressor

The Dewalt Pancake air compressor can pack a powerful punch like the California air tool models, even though it’s a small air tank. It has a long run duration for your painting task, which is very useful if you’re just getting started with any DIY projects.

The high flow regulator and connectors boost air tool performance, and the oil-free pump lasts a long time with no repair. This device has a soft noise level of 75.5 dBA, making it ideal for a quiet work environment.

This Dewalt product is built of robust stainless steel and can withstand a lot of pressure, making it an excellent choice for starting painters looking for something compact yet powerful.

Unlike the California Air Tools 10020c, it is lightweight, incredibly portable, and relatively stable. Due to its low profile, you may utilize it securely on the roof of a home. At times air tends to leak, which is one of its drawbacks.


  • Lightweight weighing 30lbs, making it convenient to carry and store.
  • It’s oil-free, just like the Craftsman air compressor, thus creating less noise.
  • Has protective rubber leg covers that prevent it from.


  • The air compressor lacks wheels, so you have to lift it every time you move around as you spray paint.
  • It has some leakage issues if you don’t use it appropriately.

Wen Vertical Air Compressor

The Wen vertical air compressor is made of durable toughened steel, just like the California air tools 10020C, and has a pressure of 150 psi, making it perfect for spray painting.

The Wen compressor has an airflow rate of four cubic feet per minute and five cubic feet per minute at 40 psi. As a result of this ratio, it is one of the most reliable air compressors on the market.

The vertical tank has two 7-inch wheels that allow the compressor to travel swiftly. There are also rubber handles that are easy to grip enabling you to move the compressor while you’re working.

The WEN Air Compressor is a fantastic addition to any garage, office, or workshop. Attach staplers, nailers, spray weapons, or any other pneumatic instrument for a diverse and secure installation that may meet various joinery and painting needs.

This air compressor includes a readily accessible drain valve that easily releases all fresh air, making it suitable for storage after you’re through with your task.

This oil-free pump does not require further lubrication, unlike the Makita MAC2400 air compressor that isn’t oil-free and needs regular lubrication.


  • This WEN 10 air compressor has an extensive 10-gallon reservoir, unlike the Dewalt pancake air compressor with a smaller tank, making it excellent for heavier operations.
  • The WEN is an oil-free pump that requires less maintenance.
  • There are also easy-grip rubber grips that will assist you in moving the compressor around while working.


  • It is one of the heavier air compressors; thus, it’s difficult to move it.
  • It’s quite loud, making it inconvenient to work with at any time of the day.

California 8010 Air Compressor

The California 8010 provides a compressor for individuals seeking the best air compressor for painting with a larger tank and more power! The steel hot dog compressor delivers steady performance without slowing down bigger paint applications.

The wheelset is simple to install, and you’ll be painting and moving around in no time! After usage, the oil-free pump requires almost minimal maintenance. It can also perform perfectly at varied temperatures, just like the California air tools 10020C.

This compressor makes approximately 60dB of noise; thus, it is so quiet like the Dewalt Pancake Air Compressor. Therefore,making it the best to work with at any time since it’s unlikely to annoy your neighbors.

The California 8010 can hold and compress air at a maximum pressure of 120 psi and generates 90 psi and 2.2 cu ft/min. Its one-horsepower motor works at 1680 rpm, which keeps the twin-piston pump going, and it extends the life of the air compressor by decreasing the pump wear.

The compressor comes with a terrific pair of wheels that eliminates transportation issues! As a result, you may use the spray blower anyplace. However, there is a drawback to this excellent air compressor. You must purchase your hose and connections separately. Although they are frequently accessible, keep this additional cost in mind when making your purchase.


  • It uses less energy and efficiently distributes heat.
  • The compressor has an 8- gallon tank that allows you to do greater projects, just like the Wen air compressor.
  • It has a built-in wheel that helps you with easy transportation.
  • It’s an oil-free compressor making it have minimum maintenance.


  • Not intended for use with instruments that need a high air supply level.
  • It has low pressure, and at times it may lose the pressure making you have to wait for it to build up the pressure again.

Features to Consider for Air Compressors for Spray Painting

Selecting the finest air compressor for spray painting needs a systematic, logical approach to the pre-purchase and buying phases.

Best air compressor for spray painting


CFM is a measurement of how much air moves per minute. It is one of the most important considerations when selecting an air compressor for spray painting. Spray gun CFM requirements vary depending on the type, with smaller spray guns requiring less CFM than bigger ones.

As a result, you must know your spray gun CFM needs. Then, seek an air compressor with higher output than the spray gun’s CFM.

If the compressor and spray gun have the same CFM, the results will be subpar. Take close notice of this point. For continuous operation, we suggest a high CFM rate for your compressor.

Air compressors ranging from 5 to 10 CFM are commonly used in power painting equipment for industrial usage. The California Air-tools 10020C has the highest CFM making it suitable for large-scale projects.

The Tank Size

It is critical to examine the size of your compressor’s tank, and paint sprayers require a continuous air supply from the compressor to function correctly. Thus the tank must be more significant to meet this demand.

A 10-gallon air compressor is required for painting an automobile. However, the CFM rate is more significant than the tank size when choosing a compressor for painting.

It is advisable to get a sprayer with a big tank of at least 10 gallons like the WEN air compressor. The greater the tank capacity, the more the compressor will deliver continuous airflow across a broader surface area.


Weight determines the portability of a product. When purchasing an air compressor for spray painting, choose a compressor that you can quickly move while you are spray painting. When selecting a light air compressor, the Dewalt pancake air compressor is the right choice since it weighs 32.2 lbs.


There are different air compressors, pancake compressors, hot dog compressors, and pontoon compressors.

Pontoon compressors are the most powerful, with larger CFM ratings and longer operating times. However, they perform poorly in portability; therefore, you must account for what you require for your projects.

Pancake air compressors are excellent due to their low profile, small size, and lightweight. They are, however, not as sturdy and so cannot be employed for as many high-volume applications as the Dewalt pancake air compressor.

Hot dog compressors can handle larger print jobs and certain larger inflating operations compared to pancake air compressors. Unfortunately, they are not as portable, lightweight, or stable because of their huge size. The air tank has a longer working life and greater maximum pressure than a pancake compressor.

Best air compressor for spray painting on works


The noise of a compressor is a serious concern, and it is exacerbated if you are operating in a confined space. Regardless of which compressor has the lowest decibel level (dB), ensure that necessary accessories may be purchased and fitted.

  • It would be ideal to have expansion chamber mufflers or standard automotive mufflers to block low frequency.
  • Intake silencer filters can minimize the noise of air intake activity into the compressor’s inlet holes.

There are also some possibilities for quiet compressors, but they are quite expensive even for corporations. Sound dampers, such as fiberglass insulation, can be used in your office to stop sound and prevent it from spreading outward. The California air tool models are the best when choosing an air compressor that doesn’t make noise.


It is also critical to ensure that the proper fuel is used to power a compressor. As for fuel, you may choose between gas and electricity.

Electric air compressors are less expensive and more efficient to operate. In contrast, a gas-powered air compressor has the benefit of being more dependable and adaptable, especially if you will use it outside. Dewalt air compressor is a good example of an electric air compressor.

However, you should avoid utilizing gas-filled air compressors in enclosed places or interior work since they might pollute the environment.

Presence of Oil in the Compressor

Oil-free air compressors are becoming increasingly popular between hobbyists and skilled entrepreneurs. Oiled compressors, such as the Makita MAC2400 Air Compressor, are heavier, more expensive, and last longer.

A comparable oil-free design will be lightweight and require less upkeep – at least until the similar covering wears out.

In general, if you are a regular or just a one-time user, an oil-free air compressor is preferable.

Air Compressor Tank Type

Several people are familiar with fixed, vertical compressors. These are often seen in factories, multi-bay repair shops, and workshops. They are generally large and weighty, with a high horsepower rating for continuous use. They require less floor space because of their vertical design.

Mobile air compressors are smaller, lighter, and easier to move than permanent air compressors. California Air Tools 8010 is the way to go when it comes to portability.


When it comes to price, the portable and pancake-shaped air compressors are the best to buy. They are smaller, lightweight, and allow chaining making you not access a 220v outlet. Craftsman air compressor is the best to purchase when it comes to price since it is pocket-friendly.

Roll Cage

A roll cage protects the important components of an air compressor. The possibilities of an air compressor being crushed are high unless you have the right quality roll cage. The Dewalt air compressor is a nice example that has a roll cage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Good Size Air Compressor for Spray Painting

A large air compressor is a good size air compressor for spray painting. The minimal need is 7.5 cubic feet per minute. That implies you should select an air compressor capable of providing up to 7.5 CFM at 40 PSI.

Can I Spray Paint With a 3 Gallon Air Compressor?

No, you can’t paint with a 3-gallon air compressor. You’ll need a larger one, perhaps at least 15 gallons. Spraying paint is typically NOT a matter of pressure but air volume.

What Is a Good CFM for an Air Compressor?

The CFM differs depending on the type of tool you are using. It is generally possible to employ 0-5 CFM at 60-90 psi. It will, however, change when used on large machinery. Then you may require more than 10cfm at 100-120 ps.


Spray painting can be pretty challenging, but a suitable air compressor gets easy for you. Whether mobility, weight, or size are important to you, there is bound to be an air compressor that is ideal for your spray painting job.

California Air-tools 10020CMakita MAC2400  CompressorCraftsman Air Compressordewalt pancake air compressorwen vertical air compressorCalifornia Air Tools 8010 
Capacity10 gallons4.2 gallons2 gallons6 gallons10 gallons10 gallons
Weight82.5 lbs77 lbs22.8 lbs32.2 lbs71.5 lbs48 lbs