How to paint a car with a small air compressor : Easy guides

If you’re learning or even just practicing how to paint a vehicle using an average-sized compressor, you may want to learn a few things about compressors first.

Before I answer your questions about how to paint a car with an air compressor, it would be intelligent and wise to tell you which air compressor is best for your vehicle.

How to paint a car with a small air compressor

Gas compressors or paint sprayers – which works best?

Gas compressors or paint sprayers are compressors that increase the pressure of the fluid (gas) by reducing its initial volume (volume). They’re similar to ordinary pumps in that they both increase the pressure of the liquid inside them to fit into a narrower pipe.

And from the ideal gas law, which states that gases are compressible, the reduction of volume plays the role of spraying, and that’s where you get your paint spray to your car.

When buying or choosing an air compressor for your car, always follow your instinct. However, discussing with a painter professional won’t cost you anything.

It would help if you always used a suitable hand pump when painting your car. We’ve got everything covered; all you need to do is stay put and find better ways to solve your car painting problem.

How to Paint a Car with a small Air Compressor?

To paint your car, you first need to decide on an ideal air compressor, depending on your car painting needs (e.g., low flow vs. high flow), the type of paint you’re using (e.g., latex vs. enamel), the condition of your car (e.g., clean vs. dirty), and CFM. These buying/selection criteria play a significant role in determining the type and quality of compressor you will purchase. For example, the compressor’s CFM helps in the entire painting process.

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How to paint a car with a small air compressor

To paint your car, you will need spray paint or an air compressor to create the spray’s automation. The more the CFM or, the more influential the fan, the more your color will cover, and the faster you’ll be able to finish your project.

What size air compressor do I need?

You can always paint the car in different steps, and most of these steps require an air compressor. Our guide has already discussed some essential factors you should consider when buying or choosing your air compressor.

A typical paint compressor can handle a small car, but if you’re planning to paint a larger vehicle, you’ll need a bigger one. Using too much of this kind of compressor will damage your machine.

Don’t cover the whole car; deal with each part separately. Make sure your paint dries at the same rate as the rest of your project. When painting your vehicle using a smaller air compressor, say 15 to 20 gallons, you want to use the lowest setting possible. The trick is to drain some water after each pass to avoid being too hot and a heavy task.

It would help if you were looking for a small or minimum compressor that gives you a 14 PSI. For applications such as undercoat paint, you need a compressor with a pressure of 14 PSI. For a better coat, the suitable air compressor for the job should be 20 to 25 PSI (pounds per square inch).


How to paint a car with a small air compressor?

Unlike furniture painting, which is a piece of art requiring no adjustments to your routine painting procedures, your car is a work of art requiring some adjustments to your painting techniques. Never paint your car exterior while any of its lights, windscreen, side mirror, and rare camera lenses are exposed to the paint. Here are some tricks for painting your car.

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First step 

Cover all the windows, headlights, and rare parts with paint-resistant paper, so they don’t get scratched.

Second step 

Make sure to mix your paint thoroughly before using it. You can always get a professional painter involved if you want.

Third step 

You can use vinegar, a scrubber, or even baking soda to remove the extra coating from your car.

Fourth step 

Before starting your air compressor, clean all the spots where oil might accumulate.

Fifth step 

You can now turn on your compressor and keep a 15cm distance from the surface you’re working on. If you’re painting and drying your car in the cool air before removing the covers from your mirrors, then you should be able to get rid of any condensation.


This guide is all you need to know about air compressors and their uses; it is up to you to decide whether you want to buy an air compressor. Please find out more about different paints and their effects on drying times.

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