Best Air Compressor For Painting To Give A Flawless Finish

Air Compressors

Painting beautifies craftwork and gives it a fantastic end product. Most often than not, painting requires time, patience, and attention to details. For this reason, you need to use the best air compressor for painting. Otherwise, you will get the low-quality end product, thus, causing more problems than solutions.

Furthermore, if you do more of painting or sometimes handle some DIY projects, you need to know the best air compressors for painting. Most airless paint prayers and some HVLP models need the best air compressors.

This is due because it allows you to deliver adequate airflow and pressure to your sprayer. Even a high-grade air compressor will work correctly with most paint sprayers.

However; getting the best air compressor for painting isn't as easy as it sounds. It requires an in-depth analysis of different products on the market. On our part, we have come up with some of the models you can choose today. In addition to that, if your in a hurry take a look below at the top products we recommend.

In a Rush?

Things To Consider For The Best Air Compressors

Air Compressor (Tank) Type

The reason why you need the air compressor is an important consideration when buying one. There are several types of tanks in the market. But you should be able to make a selection based on your needs.

For most painters, the stationery or upright compressors are a perfect fit for them. These air compressors are mainly used in manufacturing plants, multi-bay body shops, and garages.

They are large and bulky with a high horsepower rating. Also, these two types of air compressors are vertical designs and occupy a bit of space.

But DIYers would prefer the portable air compressors. They are smaller, lighter, and easier to manoeuvre than their stationary counterparts. Newbies and DIY painters would always prefer portable air compressors. Their compactness and portability make them popular among newbies. They also come in various styles (like wheelbarrow-shape, pancake, hot-dog) with a smaller footprint.


The use of technical terms to describe work tools make beginners and less informed DIYers roll their eyes. However, in a bid to save you from looking like a newbie when these terms are thrown at you, we'll explain the most important ones. When it comes to air compressors, PSI (pounds per square inch) and CFM (Cubic feet per minute) are the most common terms.

The most important term is the CFM because higher PSI rating doesn't translate into better performance. CFM refers to how much air is pushed through the hose at any given time. You need to purchase a unit with a high CFM rating since the goal of the air compressor is to turn the paint into tiny droplets. A higher CFM equals faster air compression, consequently translating to better performance.

Horsepower (HP)

The motor horsepower rating is another important consideration when buying the best air compressor. If you are using the air compressor for non-industrial purpose, you can opt for motors with 2 HP rating. Paint sprayers rated for 6CFM and 30-40PSI are often very useful. But higher motor rating options are better for heavy-duty applications.

Although there are other things to look out for like moisture trap feature, oil-free compressors, and noise reduction, the rating should be able to provide enough power to paint your project.

Top 7 Air Compressors For Painting Reviews

1. Graco Magnum 262805 X7 Cart Airless Paint Sprayer

Graco Magnum 262805 X7 Cart Airless Paint Sprayer

Graco has been in the industry since 1936. It's one of the leading brands in the paint spraying industry. Graco supply products for aeronautics, construction, automotive and woodworking industries. So, expect to have the best when this brand comes up. Due to the fame, Graco has acquired for sheer quality; the Graco X7 stands as one of the best air compressors for painting.

You can purchase the Graco X7 in two different sturdy frame designs; the cart or hi-boy cart design. But both models offer quality and durable artistry. The cart design comes with two wheels and offers additional portability. And it weighs just 23 pounds which makes it easy to use for various jobs due to its ease of manoeuvrability.

It also features a simple and easy to use set up even for beginners. On the Graco X7, you will have high-quality parts, including the stainless steel piston pump. This part allows the sprayer to give more reliable results plus its durable life span. For ease of operation and comfort, it comes with a flexible suction tube. Instead of having to fill and refill paint containers, the suction tube allows you to use dual paint containers.

The Graco X7 paint sprayer uses a 5/8-horsepower rated motor. This motor can supply up to 3000 PSI. Uniquely, it has a 50-foot hose and adjustable knob, which helps to keep the pressure under control. The adjustable knob feature makes it easy to push paint through a 100-foot hose.

Lastly, the Graco X7 comes with several essential accessories for added versatility. For instance, it comes with a tip extension which allows you to reach high places challenging to paint.


  • Adjustable pressure control
  • Works with both 1/5-gallon paint container
  • Portable and lightweight due to cart
  • Stainless steel piston pump
  • Power-flush adapter


  • It sometimes over-sprays
  • When masking with paper, the higher pressure rips right through it

2.  Campbell Hausfeld FP209499AV Air Compressor

Compresor de aire portable 3 galones horizontales Oilless accesorio de w/10 p.

Unlike the Graco X7 reviewed earlier, the Campbell Hausfeld FP209499AV isn't an airless paint sprayer, but an air compressor. This means it's the first air compressor for painting we will review. The Campbell Hausfeld FP209499AV has a smaller and compact design, but it's handy.

It comes with a 3-gallon horizontal tank which provides enough paint to take on almost all your project needs. The tank comes with easy to read gauges, which makes room for the adjustment and control of working pressure.  It only delivers 0.36CFM and 90 PSI, this is due to its relatively small size. Furthermore, its overall weight stands just at a little above 20 pounds. This means you can easily carry this unit to your work site due to its portability.

Also, it has an oil-free pump which lowers the chances of maintenance oil contaminating the quality of air produced. The oil-free pump feature enables you to power air tools or uses it to pump up tires on vehicles. One important thing to bear in mind before purchasing this unit is to know that it works from a power adapter. This indicates that you have to consider it before finding a place to locate the air compressor in your workshop or wherever needed. For quality assurances, it comes with a 1-year limited warranty.


  • 3 Gallon large tank
  • 0.36 CFM 90PSI ratings
  • Oil-less Pump
  • 10 Piece Accessories Kit
  • Portable and doesn't skimp on power due to size


  • Air pressure fills up slowly

3. Powermate Vx 80-Gallon Electric Air Compressor

Powermate Vx PLA4708065 80-Gallon Electric Air Compressor

The Powermate Vx PLA4708065 80 is one of the best air compressors for painting. It's a famous brand with a reputation for sheer quality in their tools. This air compressor operates with a high level of productivity and delivers efficiency to your project.

Even though this best air compressor is very expensive, it worth every dollar you invest in acquiring it. And it's a perfect unit for industrial application. It's ten times heavier than the Campbell Hausfeld FP20499AV with over 350 pounds.

You would need to bold this unit to the ground while using it to ensure stability and security. Unlike more portable units, you will need to move your tools close to the compressor. Despite its weight, it's easy to examine the unit as it stands over 6 feet above the ground.

Due to the height, the valves and adjustable are still within reach; this enables you to check something without bending or crouching down.

Furthermore, the unit has a single-stage three-cylinder with a volume of 80-gallons. The rating of this air compressor is 4.7 horsepower which enables it to reach 14 CFM at 90 PSI for a short while. It also comes with an oil-lubricated pump. The metal build quality of this unit makes it durable and worth the cost.


  • It's a powerful compressor
  • The unit features a vertical shape for easy reach
  • Fills air for a long period of time
  • Steel parts for maximum durability


  • Very heavy to transport
  • Extremely loud

4. California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor, 2 hp

California Air Tools 10020C Ultra Quiet Oil-Free and Powerful Air Compressor, 2 hp

The innovative new features of the California 10020C makes it a leading model in the industry. The California Air Tools Brand has a reputation for producing high-end best air compressors for a wide range of applications. It features unique qualities that make it one of the most outstanding air compressors for painting. It comes with an adjustable mechanism which enables the unit to offer 6.40 CFM at 40 or 5.30 CFM at 90 PSI.

This unit operates quietly, and it's an oil-free compressor. It offers state of the art technology to professional industrial workers and DIYers. Due to its mind-blowing features, we rate it as the most inexpensive best air compressor for painting.

The California Air Tools 10020C features an ultra-quiet operation at an incredibly low 70db of sound. The motor has a rating of 2.0HP at 1680 Revolution per minute. The fact that this unit has a quiet noise operation, as well as little motor wear, makes it a very durable unit.

Furthermore, it comes with a dual oil-free pump contrary to the Campbell Hausfeld FP209493. In addition to CAT's easy start valve mechanism, it offers about 3000 hours of performance and durability. It also provides more natural cold starts at lower temperatures.

Interestingly, the unit allows for a stable movement over bumpy terrain, and this is because of the absence of oil in the cylinder. If you are looking for better high performance, better airflow, inexpensive, less maintenance, and durable air compressor for painting, CAT 10020C is a right choice. Lastly, the unit owes its sheer quality to the 10-gallon tank and weighs approximately 82 pounds.


  • Steel Air Tank for durability
  • Wheel kit for portability
  • Less noise during operation
  • Dual system operation at different levels


  • Smaller tank size
  • Less ideal run time

5. Rolair JC10 Plus 1 HP Oil-Less Compressor

Rolair JC10 Plus 1 HP Oil-Less Compressor

The Rolair JC10 Plus is one of the best air compressors for painting in terms of quiet operation. It produces noise at an incredibly low rate of 70bd during operation. This unit is best suited for closed and smaller workshops. It's designed for light-duty projects; this is due to its smaller size and compactness.

Rolair JC10 Plus comes with a smaller tank size with a 2.5 gallons capacity. For this reason, it may not give you the efficiency you desire when used on more complicated projects.

Amazingly, this unit's build features a full roll cage. Full roll cage in this context means that the air compressor offers maximum durability and can withstand pressure while in use.

Just like any other best air compressor we reviewed, the Rolair JC10 plus features an oil-less design with dual pumps. This feature enables you to use this air compressor for different tasks with little or no hazard threats.

Generally, it weighs 50 pounds and offers little resistance during transportation. The 7.5 HP rated motor which revolves at 1725 RPM makes this unit quiet during operation. Also, the dual pump feature enables it to offer 3.8CFM at 40PSI and 2.4CFM at 90PSI. Again, the unit's airline regulator and pressure gauge allow you to control the working air pressure easily.


  • Less maintenance and downtime
  • 2.5-gallon tank capacity
  • Durable construction
  • Best for general household use
  • Quiet operation at less than 70db


  • Leaky drain valve
  • Not suitable for heavier tasks

6. PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor

PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor

The PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor is relatively smaller in size with high compactness. It's a famous brand with a reputation for producing high-quality power tools.

It's relatively cheap, and any DIYers or homeowner can easily purchase this tool for their projects. The PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-free UMC Pancake Compressor has a tank size of 6 gallons. This tank capacity enables long run time and shorter pauses for recharges.

The motor has a rating of 1.0HP which can deliver up to 2.6CFM at 90PSI. With only dimensions that measure 18.3×18×19 inches, it stands as a medium-sized air compressor. Although not fully a perfect first option for professionals as it is with DIYers, it makes an excellent addition to any professional workshop. It doesn’t occupy space, thanks to its pancake-shaped air compressor for additional limited space consumption.

Overall it weighs 24 pounds and stands as one of the best air compressors for painting in the portable class. With a reasonably extended run-time and 13 accessories, you can make the necessary investment in this unit.


  • User-friendly
  • Stores enough air for light duty projects
  • Stable and long lasting
  • Compact, portable and lightweight


  • Loud during operations at 82 dB
  • Takes time to fill the tank to the maximum

7.Master Airbrush Multi-purpose Gravity Feed Dual-action Airbrush Kit 

Master Airbrush Multi-purpose Gravity Feed Dual-action Airbrush Kit with 6 Foot Hose and a Powerful 1/5hp Single Piston Quiet Air Compressor

The Master Airbrush Multi-purpose Gravity is another amazing air compressor on our list. It comes with a relatively powerful motor with a rating of  1/6 HP. Although it can handle all light-duty projects, it remains ideal for the most demanding airbrushing projects.

Regardless of the sheer power it exudes, it manages to offer quiet operation. Furthermore, it has a build design that features high-end durable materials. These high-quality materials used in the construction makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications. When compared with other units on this review list, it stands as the least heavy best air compressor for painting at just 10 pounds.

Uniquely, it has an Air-on-Demand system which causes the unit to shut off the air supply when idle. This feature gives the unit a longer run-time than most similar air compressors. Also, it has adjustment controls for smooth and precise regulation. It's easier to access and accurate to regulate. Furthermore, to adjust the airflow, it comes with a water trap filter and right diaphragm pressure regulator.

With a maximum of 50 PSI, it can handle all light-duty projects effectively. Lastly, it ships with a 1-year warranty initiated n the date of purchase.


  • 1-year manufacturer warranty
  • Oil-less maintenance-free piston motor
  • Automatic On/Off Shutoff
  • Accurate Air Adjustment Control
  • Water trap filter and true diaphragm pressure regulator
  • Delivers air flow of 23L/minute


  • Less powerful motor
  • When used with other airbrushes, you need to change the airline connections


So there you have it! There are different types of air compressors to consider. And these compressors have several features to look out for. It doesn't matter whether you're running on a tight budget or looking to make a considerable investment; there are several air compressor products available. But if you want high-quality performance, you should consider the best air compressor for painting with innovative features.

However, we hope that our reviews of the best air compressors for painting and buying guide will help in your decision making. Overall, the Powermate Vx PLA4708065 stands as our top pick. If you wish to opt for another unit, not in this review list, we wish you happy hunting!