Best Air Compressor for Painting (Top 5 Options)

best air compressor for painting

There is nothing that looks quite as good as a professionally painted wall, floor or even furniture. Did you ever wonder how the professionals get such a smooth coat of paint on the walls so fast? They use air compressors to spread the paint.

It doesn’t matter whether they are painting a wall or a car, an air compressor with a good bit of kick behind it will make the job effortless and fast. In reviewing the best air compressor for painting, we looked at portability, power, and pricing for three kinds of painting jobs: painting houses, painting cars and spray painting in general. Keep in mind, when you purchase an air compressor, you’ll also need to get a special attachment for the kind of paint job you’ll be doing.

best air compressor for painting

Campbell Hausfeld Quiet Air Compressor

Image result for Campbell Hausfeld Quiet Air Compressor

We liked the sound of “quiet” for interior painting jobs. This air compressor provides a steady supply of air to spread the paint evenly and quickly, but its small size makes it ideal to move around a house to get the walls painted.

Pumping out of an 8-gallon tank, this machine is about 50% quieter than others on the market. With 125 max PSI and rubber wheels for easy maneuverability, this is ideal for house painting projects. It retails for about $200USD.


Image result for Husky Air Compressor

This larger 20-gallon air compressor from Husky is maybe the best air compressor for painting cars because it offers an easy to move base and provides 175 PSI of quiet air compression. It weighs about 150 pounds and retails for about $250USD.

This is a great air compressor for body shops and garage guys who like to repair cars and paint them to look like new again. The smaller size of this tank also makes it good for quick home painting jobs and around the house tasks like cleaning out gutters.


Image result for Makita

For spray painting in general, the Makita AC001 Compact Air Compressor is a great option because of the middle of the road pricing, portability to move from room to room easily, and it’s maximum PSI of 125.

It only weighs 23 pounds, which makes it easy to carry around in both your home and garage, and it is compatible with a number of accessory kits that turn it into a painter’s dream.

This is ideal for smaller jobs around the house and car touch ups. This could also be on the list of the best air compressors for painting cars as well because of the mobility of it.

Campbell Hausfeld 60 Gallon

Campbell Hausfeld 60 Gallon

For the busy car garage, the larger and more robust Campbell Hausfeld 60 gallon air compressor is the best compressor for painting large automobiles and trucks. Offering 90 PSI and retailing for less than $600USD, this high powered air compressor is also good for running buffering tools, cleaning out tight spaces in the detailed areas of the car or truck, like the wheel wells or bumpers. It’s best left stationary because of the size of it but the quality of the compressor makes it ideal for professional settings.

Freeman Mini Air Compressor

Image result for Freeman Mini Air Compressor

This little air compressor is ideal for spray painting and other light painting jobs around the house. At less than $100USD it is perfect for the DIYer and hobbyist. This is also an excellent choice for airbrush artists who need controllable spray options in a small package.

It weighs less than 10 pounds and is less than 1 foot long: perfect for a craft room or garage. It comes ready to use with an air house, and multiple attachments are available to turn this little air compressor into the best air compressor for spray painting you’ve ever seen.


Like many other purchases we make in our lives, we have to weigh the value against the price we are going to pay. You want to think about the longevity of your purchase and ask yourself if going for the cheapest option is the right choice?

best air compressor for spray painting

For occasional painters, the Makita or Freeman air compressors will get the job done with little effort. For professional painters and garage painters, you’ll want to go with something a bit more powerful, and ultimately less affordable. There's no clear best air compressor for auto painting in these reviews and the units are pretty equal in both power and relative size, except the Freeman, so it really comes down to portability and price.

Bigger doesn’t always mean better if you can’t move it around. Overall, our choice for the best air compressor for painting is the Husky. It’s relatively light, relatively affordable, offers good coverage and accessories and provides multiple applications including home, auto, and commercial uses.

Not the type of air compressors you're looking for? Maybe these are still too big? We have also listed the best portable air compressors, so check them out now!

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Bob Campbell

By day Robert "Bob" Campbell is a residential carpenter but by night (and on the weekends) he is a non-stop DIY tinkerer. As the lead editor of Bob is able to share his passion for DIY projects and buying all the latest gear with the online world.