The Best Air Compressor For Painting [Spray Paint Air Compressors]

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Finding the best air compressor for painting projects can be tricky. While exploring the options, one must consider different aspects like airflow capacity, tank size etc.

I researched several air compressors for spray paint and based on my evaluation, I’ve compiled a list of the top ten best spray paint air compressors. 

The top pick from this list is Porter Cable PXCMF220VW. It has all the features that you would need in an air compressor for painting. But the remaining 8 too are best in their categories. They are divided in budget, pro, lightweight, small, portable, heavy-duty, high output, quietest, and personal kit. 

After the product reviews, there is a comprehensive buying guide. It will help you to make the final decision in choosing the best air compressor for painting. 

Begin reading to find one that is right for you.

Best Overall Air Compressor for Spray Painting: PORTER CABLE PXCMF220VW

Porter Cable Vertical Compressor delivers 5 CFM @ 40 PSI and 4.0 CFM @ 90 PSI with a 1.5 HP motor. The airflow capacity of this powerful air compressor is the best in the industry for a painting job. 

Features of PORTER CABLE PXCMF220VW 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor

  • Decibels Level: 84 dB
  • Motor Power: 1.5 HP
  • CFM: 5 @ 40 PSI & 4 @ 90 PSI
  • Maximum Pressure: 150 PSI
  • Tank Capacity: 20 Gallon

What I liked about PORTER CABLE PXCMF220VW

The Porter-Cable Air Compressor has an oil-free induction motor and a twin-V cast iron pump. This delivers dependable performance during continuous tool usage. It is low-maintenance and does not require oil checks or changes.

The low-voltage start-up decreases current draw and reduces the motor’s starting torque. I liked the steel body. It really makes it long-lasting. 

What I didn’t like about PORTER CABLE PXCMF220VW

The noise is a little loud. So, it may be a little inconvenient for you to use it in enclosed rooms. Also, you will need a hose connected always. Otherwise it leaks air.


  • Fully covered shroud
  • Good quality motor windings
  • No pulleys or belts


  • Noise level is high
  • Leaks air when no hose connected 

Who can use PORTER CABLE PXCMF220VW 20-Gallon Portable Air Compressor

It is just 97 pounds with wheels. You can move it along. So, homeowners or small workshops can use it. For professionals, too, it is one of the best compressors for painting. Because along with painting, it can be used for inflation, nailing, and wrenching. It gives out about 150 PSI and 1.5 running horsepower. Thus, definitely worth using.

Best Budget Spray Paint Air Compressor: DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor of 6 Gallon

The DEWALT Pancake air compressor is a high-efficiency machine even with a relatively small air tank. The oil-free compressor pump adds to its ease of maintenance and long life.

Features of DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, 165 PSI (DWFP55126)

  • Decibels Level: 78.5 dB
  • Motor Power: 0.9 HP
  • CFM: 3.7 @ 40 PSI & 2.6 @ 90 PSI
  • Maximum Pressure: 165 PSI
  • Tank Capacity: 6 Gallon

What I liked about DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor

The DEWALT air compressor with the two universal couplers quickly finishes the job. The air tank delivers 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI. It provides 165 maximum PSI. I liked the stainless steel body. It makes this compressor durable and the best option for small-scale painting tasks.

You get a high flow regulator with this portable air compressor. Indeed that boosts its capacity. The console cover protects the compressor controls. Moreover, the outlet tube is rerouted to avoid being a catch point. Thus, it helps in enhancing the overall functionality.

What I didn’t like about DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor

This one is also very noisy. I understand that it is an air compressor and so would make noise. However, prolonged exposure to about 100 dB noise can make you suffer from hearing issues.


  • ‎1-year warranty
  • Easy to handle and move around
  • Lightweight


  • Very noisy

Who can use DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, 165 PSI (DWFP55126)

I would recommend it for large workshops only. Small workshops or DIYers may find it difficult because of the noise. The noise is so high that you will find the surrounding items shaking at times!

Best Pro Air Compressor: Makita MAC2400

The Makita air compressor has a 2.5 HP 4-Pole motor. This boosts productivity while also reducing noise. Cast iron pumps with big bore cylinders and pistons have a faster recovery time. 

Features of Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP Big Bore Air Compressor

  • Decibels Level: 79 dB
  • Motor Power: 2.5 HP
  • CFM: 4.8 @ 40 PSI & 4.2 @ 90 PSI
  • Maximum Pressure: 130 PSI
  • Tank Capacity: 4.2 Gallon

What I liked about Makita MAC2400

The Makita MAC2400 has a massive automotive-style filter and an oil-lubricated pump. This leads it to have a greater air intake. The compressor runs at half the RPM of most competitors. Thus, you don’t have to suffer from loud noise. It also increases motor life. 

The twin-stacked 4.2-gallon tank of this best air compressor for painting provides 130 PSI operating pressure. So, you have 4.8 CFM @ 40 PSI and 4.2 CFM @ 90 PSI. I liked the roll bar handle as it adds portability and protection to the tool. As a result, no matter how tough job site conditions you have, you can easily take it.

What I didn’t like about Makita MAC2400

This tool is really bulky. For instance, if not the handle, you would not have been able to take it anywhere. Moreover, the components are on all the four sides. There is a pressure regulator and outlets, gauges on the front, the back has the tank pressure relief. Then, there is the on/off switch on the right and oil level on the left. This is actually not a problem unless you plan to keep it near the wall. 


  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Occupies less space
  • Low Amp draw


  • Heavy 
  • Components on all four sides

Who can use Makita MAC2400 2.5 HP Big Bore Air Compressor

It is very heavy and the way it is engineered, I would recommend it for industrial and commercial applications, including painting tasks. Home users can use a compressor that is movable. 

Best Lightweight Spray Paint Air Compressor: California 8010

The California 8010 air compressor offers a long run time with a pump life of more than 3000 hours. The 8.0 Gallon Steel Air Tank is a lightweight option, weighing only 48 lbs. The wheel kit makes transporting this best air compressor for painting around the job site a breeze.

Features of California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor | Ultra Quiet, Oil-Free, 1.0 hp, 8 gal

  • Decibels Level: 60 dB
  • Motor Power: 1 HP, 8.5 Amps
  • CFM: 3.10 @ 40 PSI & 2.20 @ 90 PSI
  • Maximum Pressure: 120 PSI
  • Tank Capacity: 8 Gallon

What I liked about California 8010

The powerful 1.0 HP motor delivers outstanding performance for mid-level painting and inflation tasks. People looking for an ultra-quiet air compressor can definitely rely on these California air tools. But I would say this is not an extremely quiet tool. It produces about 60 DBA sound level, which is low but not very low.

The motor speeds at only 1680 RPM. So, you have decreased noise. I liked the oil-free dual-piston pump. It lets you have high performance and gives long life to the pump.

The quick recovery time and fast filling time of 130 seconds make it the best air compressor for painting. It offers 120 maximum PSI and delivers 2.2O CFM @ 90 PSI and 3.10 CFM @ 40.

What I didn’t like about California 8010

The major thing about this compressor is that it is not properly balanced. The tool touches the floor at only one point and that is with the rubber foot. And the top of it has a lot of weight. So, when you load it onto the truck, you have to be very cautious. It may flip over if you do not surround it with heavy items that wouldn’t harm the tank. Because there are unprotected components all over. So, having any part damaged can be very distressing. Secondly, it does not come with hose. 


  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Zero maintenance pump
  • Low amperage draw


  • No hose included
  • Not properly balanced

Who can use California Air Tools 8010 Steel Tank Air Compressor | Ultra Quiet, Oil-Free, 1.0 hp, 8 gal

This one is very quiet and is not very big to not be used at home. So, I would recommend it for garages, spray painting, DIYers, and professional craftsmen.

Best Small Air Compressor For Painting: Senco PC1010

Senco PC1010 is a compact yet powerful air compressor for painting. The easy-to-handle compressor with ½ HP motor and 1 Gallon air tank delivers 125 PSI maximum pressure.

Features of Senco PC1010 Portable Hot Dog Air Compressor

  • Decibels Level: 60 dB
  • Motor Power: 0.5 HP, 4 Amps
  • CFM: 1 @ 40 PSI & 0.6 @ 90 PSI
  • Maximum Pressure: 135 PSI
  • Tank Capacity: 1 Gallon

What I liked about Senco PC1010

Despite being small, the Senco PC1010 air compressor delivers 20 to 44 drives per minute. This makes it a go-to option for beginners and entry-level spray painting amateurs.

The Senco air compressor is ultra-quiet in operation, ensuring not to disrupt the surroundings. With a difficult task in hand, you’d want a machine like Senco to be as light and simple to operate as possible.

What I didn’t like about Senco PC1010

Although the compressor is really good for small tasks like pumping tires, balloons, and smal air spray jobs it takes quite an amount of time to refill itself. Due to which you might have to take small breaks while working and it can be annoying.


  • 1-year warranty
  • Maintenance-free air compressor
  • Lightweight


  • Airflow capacity less than 12 CFM
  • Takes a lot of time to fill again

Who can use Senco PC1010 Portable Hot Dog Air Compressor,

Ideal for home renovation, low-key home maintenance tasks. Hobbyists and DIYers can use this best air compressor for painting activities. That’s because the airflow capacity is less than 12 CFM.

Best Portable Spray Paint Air Compressor: Campbell Hausfeld FP2028

Campbell Hausfeld Pancake air compressor is an airpower expert machine. It operates on a 120-volt power supply. This air compressor for painting provides 110 Max PSI, 0.36 CFM @ 90 PSI to tackle painting needs. With its one gallon the FP2028 won’t be a good fit for larger painting projects, however, for smaller spray paint tasks this air compressor is great.

Features of Portable Spray Paint Air Compressor Campbell Hausfeld FP2028

  • Decibels Level: 84 dB
  • Motor Power: 0.33 HP, 3 Amps
  • CFM: 0.50 @ 40 PSI & 0.36 @ 90 PSI
  • Maximum Pressure: 110 PSI
  • Tank Capacity: 1 Gallon

What I liked about Campbell Hausfeld FP2028

An easily accessible pressure gauge enables a quick look for air-pressure monitoring. This best air compressor for painting comes with a 25-foot recoil hose, as well as a needle adapter. Its functionality is enhanced by the two inflator nozzles and the air chuck.

This pancake compressor weighs less than 13 pounds making it the lightweight best air compressor for painting. It has a sturdy handle that makes moving it hassle-free. The tank prevents pulsations induced by piston action.

What I didn’t like about Campbell Hausfeld FP2028

For a painting job this air compressor is very useful. But, keep in mind that this makes a lot of noise. So, while working, ensure that you have ear protection.


  • Less maintenance
  • 1-year warranty
  • Onboard storage space


  • Noisy operation
  • Only one gallon tank capacity

Who can use Campbell Hausfeld FP2028

Amateurs and professionals can use this for airbrushing applications. This best air compressor for painting is helpful for inflation, stapling, and brad nailing tasks. If you are using it for home use, ensure that you have good ear protection. Also, it does not require much maintenance. So, even beginners can easily use it.

7. Best High Output Air Compressor For Spray Paint: Bostitch CAP1512-OF

Bostitch’s compact, high-output air compressor is a PSI beast. With a maximum pressure of 150 PSI, you may use a wide range of equipment, from paint guns to nail guns, without having to wait for the tank to refill.

Features BOSTITCH Air Compressor for Trim, Oil-Free, High-Output, 1.2 Gallon, 120 PSI (CAP1512-OF)

  • Decibels Level: 72 dB
  • Motor Power: 1.5 HP, 12 Amps
  • CFM: 3.7 @ 40 PSI & 2.8 @ 90 PSI
  • Maximum Pressure: 120 PSI
  • Tank Capacity: 1.2 Gallon

What I liked about Bostitch CAP1512-OF

The air compressor’s 1.5-hp motor consumes only 12 amps. This makes it easier to start up and use extension cords without damaging circuit breakers. The electric air compressor is portable, weighing only 23.5 pounds. 

The integrated control panel comes with a roll cage to protect the gauges from worksite damage. This best air compressor for painting incorporates top-mounted LED On/Off switches. They prevent low-pressure malfunctions. The integrated cord warp offers enhanced portability.

What I didn’t like about Bostitch CAP1512-OF

This air compressor also makes a lot of noise, similar to the previous one. Hence it becomes hard to work in the same room. Also, while filling till 90 psi, the operation is super fast but speed lacks while refilling from 91 to 120 psi. 


  • On-board storage compartment
  • Quick refill time
  • Pressure monitoring


  • Loud operation
  • Insufficient speed while filling from 91 to 120 psi

Who can use BOSTITCH Air Compressor for Trim, Oil-Free, High-Output, 1.2 Gallon, 120 PSI (CAP1512-OF)

Professional and small workshops can use it for spray painting. Also, it is beneficial for homeowners, DIYers for roof painting, and other similar tasks. It is just a little loud that you have to take care of. 

8. Most Quietest: Craftsman CMEC6150K

Craftsman pancake air compressor is a compact and portable model. The high-performance motor quickly starts in any weather condition, including cold temperatures.

Features of CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free with 13 Piece Accessory Kit (CMEC6150K)

  • Decibels Level: 82 dB
  • Motor Power: 10 Amps
  • CFM: 3.5 @ 40 PSI & 2.6 @ 90 PSI
  • Maximum Pressure: 150 PSI
  • Tank Capacity: 6 Gallon

What I liked about Craftsman CMEC6150K

These Pancake air compressors provide 150 maximum PSI. Such high pressures result in cut-inch pressure for a wide range of applications. With 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI, the compressor recovers within no time.

The oil-free pump is low-maintenance and extends the life of the machine. The body of this best air compressor for painting has two couplers to accommodate two users. The machine’s ultra-quiet performance is attributed to its sound levels of 78.5 dBA.

What I didn’t like about Craftsman CMEC6150K

For small jobs this air compressor is really good but if you want to use it on site for tools like finish nailers and others then this may not be suitable. It loses air pressure pretty fast. One more important aspect to look for is built quality which I feel is not that impressive compared to old craftsman air compressors. 


  • Easy setup
  • Effortless portability
  • Best for minor jobs


  • Less strength
  • Gauge may leak

Who can use CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake, Oil-Free with 13 Piece Accessory Kit (CMEC6150K)

If you are a DIY enthusiast or want to decorate small artifacts in the house then this is perfect for you. This air compressor is excellent for spray painting, in the garage for inflations and to do small jobs. I would not recommend it for big jobs because it does not hold on to the pressure for a longer duration.

9. Best Personal Air Compressor Kit: Master Airbrush

The Master Airbrush air compressor operates in the pressure range of 0 to 57 psi. It has an automatic on/off shutoff button. Although not really an air compressor, or a spray paint kit for bigger projects. This air compressor and spray paint kit might come in handy in smaller areas.

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

  • Decibels Level: 60 dB
  • Motor Power: 0.5 HP
  • CFM: 0.88 @ 40 PSI
  • Maximum Pressure: 58 PSI
  • Tank Capacity: 0.8 Gallon

What I liked about Master Airbrush Spray Paint Air compressor

The oil-free air compressor offers thermal protection. If the unit becomes too hot, it shuts down automatically. There’s an “air-on-demand system” that turns off the air when it’s not in use.

The real diaphragm pressure regulator with gauge and water trap filter allows for accurate air adjustment. The single-piston air compressor with 1/5 horsepower operates at 59 decibels. It provides 0.7 CFM volume of air and 25 liters per minute of airflow.

What I didn’t like about Master Airbrush Spray Paint Air compressor

This is one of the best air compressors you can have for the painting job. However, until it reaches its level of pressure, it keeps making noise. Otherwise, it is very quiet.


  • Built-in carrying handle
  • Best for beginners


  • Quiet loud for its size

Who can use Master Airbrush Multi-purpose Gravity Feed Dual-action Airbrush Kit with 6 Foot Hose and a Powerful 1/5hp Single Piston

It’s ideal for airbrushing, paints spraying applications, auto graphics, and painting cars. Beginners can use this best air compressor for painting. You can simply remove it from the box and start using it. It does not need much of an experience to begin working with.

My Verdict On The Best Air Compressor for Painting

The PORTER CABLE PXCMF220VW Air Compressor is my top pick when it comes to choosing the best air compressor for painting. It can run for a long time on heavy consumption tools. The rubber feet provide extra stabilization to the machine. And although being one of the louder air compressors for spray paint the pressure and tank capacity really works it wonders. Therefore I vote it the best air compressor for spray paint in this list.

Buying Guide Of Best Air Compressor For Painting

Best Air compressor for painting buying guide

Painting furniture or walls in your home is a big deal for sure. Thus, you need to follow a particular guideline and need a bit of expertise to get your desired results. Besides good paint ong with that, it is crucial that you buy the best air compressor for painting that suits all your specifications. To make your work easy, I have prepared this detailed buying guide to assist you in buying the ideal product.

How spray painting works?

Air compressors suction the air and pressurize it then push it to the tank. This tank holds the compressed air. Upon releasing this air can be used as energy to power various pneumatic tools. Few of the examples are impact wrenches, framing nailers, paint sprayers and sanders. In paint sprayers, the air pressure scatters out the paint that is to be used to paint. In simpler words, it is like an aerosol spray that lets you finish your work quicker than manual painting.

What are the types of air compressors for painting?

There are umpteen types of air compressors, and deciphering all of them would be a lengthy task. So, here is a shortlist of some well-known and best air compressors for painting.

Pancake compressors 

Just like its name suggests, this air compressor is designed in the shape of a pancake. It has a round-shaped flat steel tank that is perfect for small projects of spray painting and airbrushing. It has stable and smooth performance; however, it is not suitable for large tasks. The prime highlights of this compressor are its compactness and portability. 

Hot dog compressors

By now, you might have realized that these compressors have a bizarre yet unique name. Again, the name complements its shape; it bears a larger cylindrical tank that can handle more pressure than the pancake compressor. Due to their high PSI, these are apt for bulky painting demands but some might be heavy and difficult to move around quickly.

Pontoon compressors

This compressor is somewhat of a hot dog compressor in series; it looks like a pontoon boat. This set of compressors are high PSI and typically used by individuals with regular work tasks. It also provides enough pressure for other power tools. Even though it is more efficient than the other types, it is very difficult to move around from place to place.

What features to look for when buying the best air compressors for painting?

Whether you buy your air compressor online or offline, there are some staple things and criteria to consider before paying for it. Of course, now, it also depends on what you’ll be using it for, like if it’s some home-related work or big contract painting.


PSI is the short form for “per square inch” that determines the maximum air pressure that the device can reach. On the other hand, CFM is “cubic feet per minute,” which is to know the speed at which it pressurizes. An ideal air compressor for small-scale tasks has a CFM of 0-5 at the weight of 70-90 PSI. And for larger tasks, these numbers are very much inflated.

Weight and Compactness

If your home is your workplace, you require a lightweight air compressor. As it can fit into any mid-sized cabinets without occupying much space. But, along with reduced weight comes a reduced PSI and CFM. So, ensure that the air pressure matches your needs. On the contrary, if you’re a professional who uses air compressors to paint every day, you’ll probably have to get a heavier one. As they have higher air pressure configurations. But, if you do find one with both, go for it.


The next question to ask yourself is if you have a fixed workspace or keep moving from one to the other. If you tend to move places, you’ll need a portable compressor, possibly with wheels, to simply push it around effortlessly. But, if you have your own place, then you can also go for a stationary compressor.

Corded or cordless

The power source also depends on where you work and if you need to transport it regularly. If you’re always on the run, it is obviously better to get a cordless battery-powered compressor. But again, remember a cordless power source means low air pressure limits. A corded power socket has plenty of energy and thus is the most recommended if you need a high spray force. 

Durability and Warranty

Numerous brands sell great air compressors for painting, like Bosch, Makita, Porter-Cable, and the list is never-ending. Nevertheless, all of them use different materials to manufacture their products uniquely. Some of which are sturdy and durable, and that’s what you choose. A good air compressor brand will be more than happy to give their customers a long-term warranty to display their confidence in the product. So. make sure the material is either rust-free or stainless to increase its lifespan.


Lastly, the price has to be reasonable, which does not mean that it has to be cheap or very low priced. This means it has to offer enough features and utility for its price range. Refrain from buying either an inexpensive or costly compressor. Because a really economical one might not have great features, durability, and a high CFM. And, if it is high-priced, there are better options at an affordable price.

My Last Advice To You

The best air compressor for painting will give you the desired results. Explore each of the products listed above to get a clear picture of their specifications and benefits.

And, the reviews and the guide have been collated after thorough research and use. So, it will help you get a detailed overview of the product and its descriptions and how its buyers rated them. I’m sure that you’ll find a great air compressor for your next spray paint job.

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