9 Best Air Compressors For Painting Cars | Our Top Picks

Hand painting is a thing of the past.

With the connection of air compressors to spray painters, car painting is now easy, quick, and efficient.

However, not every air compressor can pair with a spray painter due to the small tank size and pressure.

So, today we are here with the best air compressor for painting cars.

Check them out and the buying guide below to pick a compressor that better suits your job.

1. Craftsman Air Compressor, 10 Gallon Peak 1.8 Horsepower

Why Should You Buy it?

Craftsman air compressor is the best option to paint your car or customers in the garage since it comes with wheels. It is a vertical air compressor with two wheels on the back and suction cups in front to stabilize the unit when in use. It better suits the needs of a small contractor to do paint jobs.

Detailed Analysis

This compressor has high power to keep the paint job going on. Backed by a motor of 1.8 horsepower, it keeps up the performance and allows you to paint an entire car without hindrance.

It contains two sensitive gauges that measure tank and tool pressure simultaneously. For safety, an automatic stop valve is also present in this compressor. It can be operated manually. It protects the tank in a safe pressure range so you can stay tension-free.

As it has a maximum pressure of 150 PSI, you can use it for inflating car tires, cleaning your PC, roofing, nailing, trimming, finishing, or pairing with air tools like an impact wrench. At 90 PSI, it gives off 4 SCFM for optimum performance.

Although it weighs 65 pounds, its wheels help it transport from one job site to the other. We are really impressed with its recharge time. It took 180 seconds to fill up and stand tall on the manufacturer’s description.

One of its drawbacks is that it is quite loud. It is 80 dB, so you might need an enclosed system to work inside with the ear protectors on. Also, it doesn’t come with a user manual. However, it is easy to set up and dozens of videos are available to make the procedure smooth.


  1. Handle for easy carriage
  2. Large capacity
  3. Free hoses
  4. Little noise
  5. Quick and efficient


  1. No user manual

2. WEN 2289T 10 Gal. Oil-Free Vertical Electric Air Compressor

Why Should You Buy it?

Wen 2289T air compressor is the ideal tool to have in your garage, workshop, and for small to medium contracts. This unit is quite similar to the Craftsman vertical air compressor.

Detailed Analysis

Having a large tank of 10 gallons, you can employ this air compressor to paint your car or others – when in the garage. It has a powerful motor that helps you do the paint job for long hours.

It comes with an oil-free pump that frees you from lubrication tasks. Thanks to this lubrication, the life of your air compressor also multiplies. Wen has equipped this product with two pressure gauges. One is for controlling internal pressure, while the other is for regulating airflow rate.

Since it’s a vertical air compressor, there are two wheels and a large rubber padded handle on top. Each wheel of the unit is 7 inches and helps you maneuver the compressor from point A to point B without being a burden on your arm.

This is a 2017 model of Wen, but there’s a new model launched in 2021. The difference between both models is weight alone. Wen 2017 weighs 71.5 pounds, while the newest unit has a weight of 79.2 pounds. However, there’s no difference in performance.

Keep in mind that it might bother your neighbors with its loud noise so you’d have to take care of it. The company makes it reliable by adding a 2 years warranty with the compressor – which we believe is a plus. So, check out its price and availability on this date.


  1. Easy operation
  2. Portable
  3. Perfect size
  4. Enough capacity
  5. Safe and reliable


  1. Little noisy

3. Stark Portable Quiet Air Compressor

Why Should You Buy it?

This portable air compressor of Stark will make your life easy and convenient. Like the California and Wen air compressor, it has a large tank of 10 gallons and a vertical design that occupies very little space in the garage. Besides spray painting, you can use it for woodworking, nailing, inflating vehicle tires, and around-the-house jobs.

Detailed Analysis

What makes this vertical air compressor reliable is the auto shut-off feature. It gives off the air and seizes inflation when a tire is filled. So you don’t have to eye the compressor when it performs inflation tasks.

This compressor has a large industrial air filter for increased air take that makes it incredibly efficient. On the flip side, it has the least maximum pressure of 125 PSI compared to all the air compressors here. At 90 PSI, it produces 3.5 SCFM.

We noticed that the size of this compressor’s wheel is big compared to the California air tools air compressor. It has a diameter of 10 inches and is quite smooth when you drag the unit behind.

You can use it indoors and outdoors late at night or early in the morning without waking up your neighbors. It produces very little noise and keeps you from irritation while you do the paint job.

Like the California air compressor, it lacks a manual for assembly instruction. But there are videos to help out, so it’s no big deal. Get it if you are running short on pennies. It costs you less than the two vertical air compressors above. Check out its price and availability on this date.


  1. Very little noise
  2. Portable
  3. Quick
  4. Great potential
  5. Large capacity


  1. No Instruction for assembly

4. Senco PC1010 1-Gallon Matte Finish Air Compressor

Why Should You Buy it?

Small and mighty, the Senco air compressor is built to fulfill your spray painting needs. Other than painting, you can use it for nailing and inflating the vehicle. Note that the tank size of this air compressor is 1 gallon, so you might not be able to use it for long hours of use or days of contract.

Detailed Analysis

This compressor is easy to carry due to its small size and weight of 20 pounds. Additionally, there’s a handle on top, which keep you from putting extra effort into displacing it. However, it lacks wheels which are common in hotdog air compressors.

Backed by a motor of 2 HP, it efficiently carries out tasks. This compressor is built with high power and does all sorts of jobs quickly, saving you time.

At 73 dB, its noise rating is safe for your ears. So, you don’t have to wear ear protectors for working long hours. We loved its performance and the fact that it provides 20 to 44 nails every minute.


  1. High power
  2. Portable
  3. Lightweight
  4. Compact
  5. Durable


  1. Slow recharge

5. Craftsman Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free(CMEC6150K)

Why Should You Buy it?

Craftsman air compressor is perfect for painting a small car, nailing, framing, inflating, and everything in between. It has a 6 gallon tank size that supports air tools and sprays gun so you can perform your task without hassle.

Detailed Analysis

This compressor has a top-notch motor that allows you to paint your car efficiently. Despite the town, it will serve you since it’s made to survive extreme weather, whether hot or cold.

One thing that sets it apart from other air compressors is that it comes with an accessory kit. This accessory kit is helpful for inflating tires or pool toys, making it a good bargain for the price and multiplying its versatility.

Another reason you can use it for multiple purposes is its maximum pressure of 150 PSI. In fact, it gives off 2.6 SCFM  at 90 PSI which is fair for the pancake air compressors like this.

It has an oil-free pump which requires less maintenance because you don’t need to lubricate it. At 71 dB, it produces a minimal sound that keeps your ears at ease and focuses more on your paint job.

Like the Senco air compressor, its recharge time is quite slow. Check out the price and availability of this air compressor on this date.


  1. Compact
  2. Portable
  3. Lightweight
  4. Maintenance-free
  5. Highly efficient


  1. Slow recharge

6. Stealth 20 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor

Why Should You Buy it?

If you want a versatile air compressor for the paint job, the stealth air compressor is the right option to pick. Thanks to its large tank size of 20 gallons, it pairs with a dozen of air tools, including an impact wrench, sanders, and polishers. You can do nailing, framing, finishing, inflating, and grinding with it.

Detailed Analysis

Having a mighty motor of 1.8 HP, this compressor allows you to work continuously. It gives efficient results and helps you to do flawless painting on vehicles. We believe that’s the reason it is the most expensive air compressor on the list.

Not only is it the most expensive but the quietest one. Its noise rating is 68 dB, allowing you to do your painting job in the early morning or at night without disturbing your neighbors and family.

There are two rubber tires on the bottom of the compressor. So you can move it anywhere in your garage or the job site. And, the handle on top will help you carry it smoothly. In fact, it has a large cord of 6 feet, so the painting job was convenient in the late spaces.

Although we didn’t find it a big deal, its manual drain valve is what we believe can be upgraded for the performance it gives and the price. One of its best selling factors is that it comes with a limited lifetime warranty which makes it a reliable option. Check out its price and availability on this date.


  1. Oil-free
  2. No maintenance
  3. High performance
  4. Less noise level
  5. Easy to move


  1. Manual drain valve

7. BOSTITCH Pancake Air Compressor

Why Should You Buy it?

For budget buyers, nothing could be more beneficial than the Bostitch air compressor. It allows you to take long-term contracts without breaking the bank. Just pair a spray gun to it and replace the color of your boring car with a new and vibrant one.

Detailed Analysis

Like most pancake air compressors, it comes with dual couplers. These two couplers allow you to carry out two tasks at a time. For instance, painting one by inserting a 1/4 nozzle from one and framing with the other. So, you can save your time and extra effort.

Its highest maximum pressure is 150 PSI. While the air compressor gives 2.6 SCFM on 90 PSI. Due to its efficiency and maximum pressure, you can pair it with a dozen air guns like brad nailer. It helps you carry out many tasks, including framing, woodworking, and inflating, besides painting.

This pancake design is compact in size, so you don’t need a large room to store it. And the cherry on top is its lightweight of 29 pounds and top handle, which permits you to move it here and there easily.

In our opinion, the pressure of its regulator drops when using a high air volume. However, it’s quite common with small-size air compressors like this, so it’s not a deal breaker.

One of the best features of this compressor is the noise level. At 78.5 dB, it is still easy on the ears, but you might need to wear ear protectors while working. Check out its price and availability on this date now.


  1. Lightweight
  2. Portable
  3. Oil-free
  4. Durable
  5. High performance


  1. Slow regulator

8. California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor

Why Should You Buy it?

California air tools are made for making your painting jobs easier. Here’s its 8 gallon hotdog air compressor with a motor sitting on top and small wheels to help you transport the unit from point A to point B without a problem.

Detailed Analysis

This compressor is designed to be the quietest compressor of all. Its noise rating is just 60 dB, which you mostly get with Makita air compressors. Thanks to the low noise, it permits you to work whenever and wherever you want without disturbing the people nearby.

It is an oil-free unit, so you don’t have to invest your time and bucks in its maintenance. There are two pressure control gauges so you can set the pressure according to your need – be it a paint job or installing staircases.

Alone our concern is related to its lasting. It’s a steel tank, and these tanks don’t have a long lifetime. Also, it has a maximum air pressure of 120 PSI, so it might not be as efficient for painting as others.

The good news here is that it has a long run time. You can use it for 30 to 60 minutes to save your precious time and work efficiently. We believe wheel design can be a little better. The bolts are short and keep the wheels from moving freely.

For the weight of 48 pounds, we still think having a wheeled design is the best option. Check out its price and availability on this date.


  1. Maintenance-free
  2. Less wear
  3. Durable
  4. Lightweight
  5. Easy to move


  1. Produces heat

Guide To Buy The Best Air Compressor For Painting Cars 

Type of Air Compressor

There are three types of air compressors for painting. First is a pancake that comes in small size and is portable. However, they are suitable for only small jobs. On the contrary, you can pick a hotdog or vertical air compressor for medium to big contracts, considering their tank size.

Tank Size

Choose the tank size of your air compressor wisely. An air compressor with less than 10 gallons is made to carry out small paint jobs and for little time. While more than 10 gallon air compressor is a perfect fit for contractors. In fact, they allow you to do more than painting, like inflating car tires.

Maximum Pressure

Try to get your hands on an air compressor with the highest maximum pressure. Spray painting requires quite good pressure. So, the high the pressure will be, the more efficient output you can expect.

Noise Level

Remember that a noise rating of more than 80 dB harms your ears. Make sure to buy an eco-friendly compressor for your ears that has a rating of less than 80 dB and keeps your neighbors from continuous disturbance.


It is wise to check the compressor’s price before buying it – especially if you are on a budget. Compare the products with one another so you can make one with the maximum pressure and least cost.


There we complete our edit on the best air compressor for painting cars. Consider buying an air compressor with a low noise level, big tank size, maximum pressure, and pricing that falls within your budget.

If you ask us, California air tools air compressor is the ideal option for painting a car. It is a 10 gallon tank with wheels on the bottom and a carry handle on top. You can use it for painting cars flawlessly. In fact, you can pair it with multiple air tools, including an impact wrench, nailers, and chisel.

So, if you take small to medium contracts, check out its price and availability now.