Best Air Compressors For Painting

When doing painting jobs, it can be beneficial to use a spray gun powered by an air compressor. Painting with an air compressor can save time and money while also reducing waste. Once you learn to use a sprayer powered by compressed air, you can get the job done with less mess. If you're in the business of painting, whether it be cars or houses, a paint sprayer can help you earn more by allowing you to be neater with jobs and get them done efficiently. 

When looking for an air compressor for painting, it's important to find one that is designed to power tools like the sprayer you'll be using. It may be helpful to search different makes online and read past reviews to see if others have had success with using that compressor with a paint sprayer. When shopping for a compressor to use for spraying texture, it's important to know the PSI needed by your particular sprayer. 

Most are similar and will usually require a PSI between 12 and 25. Portability should also be a consideration as many compressors are bulky and heavy so you'll want to find one that can easily be moved if you plan on using it in different work spaces. The following 7 compressors are good options for painting.

This compressor has a three gallon tank capacity and weighs less than 20 pounds. It's portable and can easily be put into a truck or van without requiring much space. It comes with several accessories that would make it ideal for painting jobs and many other jobs requiring an air compressor. 

It has a 25 foot recoil hose, a female coupler, two male plugs, PTFE tape and several accessories for inflation. It is powered by electricity and has a voltage of 120. The PSI is adjustable up to 120 PSI making it versatile for many different tools. It is relatively quiet which is beneficial for working in residential areas. 

It doesn't have a handle for carrying but does have a sort of lip on one end that makes it easy to move around. The gauges are simple to read and make it easy to use even by those who aren't experienced with compressors. It can store a significant amount of air to allow you to get the job done without needing refills.

This unit from Senco weighs 20 pounds and is small and takes up minimal space in your work vehicle. It has a padded handle on top to easily move it around. The tank capacity is 1 gallon. 

It's electric powered with 1 horsepower and can provide power to many different small and medium tools for painting and other jobs. It has an adjustable pressure of up to 120 PSI for different sized jobs. 

Its design allows it to be significantly quieter than many of the pancake style compressors and it can work well for both professionals and those who need it for painting jobs around the home. 

The unit is equipped with a safety relief valve and air tank drain valve along with switches to operate motor and pressure and to prevent thermal overload. This compressor would work well for painting jobs due to its small size and easy portability.

The Bostich air compressor is one of the pricier on the list. It has a 1.2 gallon tank capacity and a maximum PSI of 150 which should work with any type of painting sprayer along with many other tools. 

The on/off switch is lit by LED to allow you to know when the unit is operating to prevent low-pressure misfires. It weighs in at 23.5 pounds, one of the heavier options, but is still quite portable especially with the handle on top of the unit. 

The high output oil-free pump allows for a powerful unit with minimal maintenance required. It features an integrated control panel and roll cage to prevent damage to the unit in hazardous conditions. 

The motor runs at 1.5 horsepower and powers up easily without tripping circuit breakers like other larger units often do. It has a convenient on board storage option for tools, hoses and accessories. 

The Master compressor was designed specifically with the painter in mind. It actually comes with an instruction book for an introduction to air brush painting for those who are new to the task. It comes with a 6 foot hose. 

It is a relatively small tank and me be suited for hobby style painting rather than painting on a larger scale. It has a maximum PSI of 60 and is preset for automatic turn on when the tank pressure is below 35 PSI. 

The best feature of this particular compressor is that it's designed to provide constant pressure with zero pulsation for great results when painting, especially if you're working with a very detailed job. This tank is very lightweight and easily portable. It's also designed to turn itself off automatically if the unit becomes overheated.

The pancake style air compressor from Central Pneumatic weighs 27.2 pounds and is gas powered. This unit is designed to be used for use in well-ventilated areas and for outdoor painting projects due to the method of power. 

It has a 3 gallon tank capacity and should be able to do many smaller scale jobs without needing a refill. It is portable and quite small so it doesn't require much storage space and shouldn't take up space in your work vehicle. 

It features thermal overload protection to prevent damage to the unit and is oil less which means less maintenance. The maximum pressure is 100 PSI and it has 1/3 total horsepower.

This unit is on the higher priced end of smaller air compressors, but it should be sufficient to do many heavy duty painting jobs. Craftsman has delivered a 3 gallon tank capacity compressor that offers a 1 horsepower motor that is guaranteed to recharge quickly. 

It has a maximum pressure of 135 PSI and can power nearly any type of painting tool along with other tools that used compressed air. It comes with a three piece accessory kit with a ball tire chuck, male plug and seal tape. It's relatively heavy at 41.7 pounds but its design is for those who need a compressor that can work for extended periods of time without needing a refill. 

It's portable and has a handle to easily move from one work site to another but is bulkier than others on the list and needs more space for storage. The oil sight glass feature eliminated the need for a dipstick to check oil levels. It has a universal one hand quick connect for easily switching of tools and attachments. It's powered by electricity and has a piston style motor that has 15 amps of power.

Freeman Pneumatics has put together a hot-dog style compressor with a 3 gallon tank that is designed to work for long periods of time on heavy jobs without needing a refill. This compressor weighs 30.5 pounds. 

It's heavier than most others on the list but it's best used for those who need a larger capacity and higher powered unit for bigger jobs. It's very portable with its convenient carrying handle on the top and works efficiently to get any job done. It's also quiet which is great if you're working in a residential setting. 

It has an oil free pump design for minimum maintenance and the pump and motor are designed to last through many hours of work. It features easy to read gauges and has a dual gauge to control tank pressure. The maximum tank pressure is 125 PSI.


Air compressors are a very useful tool when doing painting jobs. Whether you're doing hobby work or large scale painting, having a paint sprayer that is powered by a compressor can save time and energy. Using compressed air can make the job easier and less messy as well. When shopping for compressors, the PSI is the most important consideration. 

You'll want to be sure to find a compressor that is compatible with your spray gun. Also check the weight of the unit as many of them are heavy and not portable. Reviews from previous purchasers can tell you if the unit is suitable for the work you plan to do. 

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