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Air compressors

rumblecloud

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Believe this or not, but I did a search for the title of this post and got zero results.
Anyway, I'm curious what the baseline would be for vehicle painting. I just have a pancake compressor and I know that's not good enough. So what size? Compression? All that stuff that sits on top? 120V 220V? Budget friendly (especially budget friendly)? Just curious what you use and what you can get away with? Thanks.
 


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Eddo Rogue

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based on my research and experience, I would say CFM is the most important rating. Look up the cfm requirements of the tools you want to run and base your purchase on that. I dont know why they advertise 120psi....they're almost all 120psi. And most stuff likes 90psi anyways. If they don't tell you the CFM's don't even bother. You dont need high HP or Tank capacity unless you are running a shop full of guys. Our location compressor at work is a gas powered dual hot dog tank, and it will run a few big nailers and die grinder without breaking a sweat. Its like 14 cfms or so....its up there.
 

Roert42

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It’ll depend on how often you are going to be painting and how good you want it to look.

You could get away with using an airless paint sprayer for house paint.
 

Roert42

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A bigger tank will allow the compressor to run less, as opposed to a small tank with big cfm that would have a more constant load.
 

ericbphoto

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A bigger tank will allow the compressor to run less, as opposed to a small tank with big cfm that would have a more constant load.
You still want the cfm rating or the compressor won't keep the tank full. The big tank helps even out the flow in between the compressor running.
 

Roert42

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Both is best. If you have a big tank and small compressor, you must take breaks/ do one panel at a time.
 

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I agree with eddo rogue. You need to know the consumption of the tool your using and get the compressor that will supply that cfm. Some compressors are rated at different pressures, so be aware you need to compare cfm at the same psi.
 

ford4wd08

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I had the same questions a while back.


I ended up with this one from Lowes and it served me well for my project. It wasn't always perfect, but kept up well enough. It didn't have any issues painting. DA stressed it out for sure.

 

Deiimos

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If the compressor takes a few people to move, that’s the one you want. :LOL:



Seriously though, if you wanted a bigger compressor anyway, I’d say “most” 60 gallon and bigger will have a pump head with high enough CFM (10+) for relatively steady painting. Obviously research any you see for sale to see what the specs say. When you start getting into 60 gallon size, good chance they will be 240v, so make sure you can setup any power requirements if you look at larger ones.

Don't forget it is real important to remove the moisture from the air. Can make an air cooler with drains out of copper pipe, or other methods, and get a good quality water filter or two in the system.

There should be tons of info on this via google or youtube.
 

Shran

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My 60 gallon Rolair works pretty well… my buddy painted a truck with a 30 gallon HF compressor though and it worked fine. As said, CFM is what matters, and they are all overrated by 25% or more IMO. Paint sprayers really don’t use a ton of air like a sandblaster or DA sander do so you can get away with a smaller one.
Either way the advise about a cooler/dryer/oil&water separator is spot on. You MUST have a water trap at bare minimum.
 

Eddo Rogue

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I think one of the basic things to look for is that it is at least belt driven. And yes CFM,CFM,CFM.
 

4x4prepper

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For vehicle painting the most important thing will be a high quality oil-water filter that has a high CFM. A second one right before your whip hose would be ideal.

I have considered 6 CFM at 90 psi and 20 gallons the baseline for any compressor used for automotive work and that includes painting. The Milton V-Style Hi-Flo fittings made a huge difference on my air tools, though I have not tried them on a sprayer yet since I wrecked my last one spraying rustoleum onto my truck.
 

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