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Eric
Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Car
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Experience:  Automotive Repair Shop Manager, Technician/JA Mentor
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What is the recommended size air compressor for painting cars

Resolved Question:

What is the recommended size air compressor for painting cars? (gallons, hp, psi)
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Ok, you need at the very minimum a 6.5 Horse, 60 Gallon tank with 100 psi, single stage compressor. This is so that you can paint a vehicle without having to stop to refill the air tank. If you have to stop and refill the tank, the paint has enough time to start drying and you end up with not only dry spots but two tone on the paint job.

100 psi gives you more than enough psi for the job. The paint is sprayed at a low psi - depending on type of paint used, around 20-30psi. the clearcoat is sprayed at 60-70psi.
Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.

Ok, you need at the very minimum a 6.5 Horse, 60 Gallon tank with 100 psi, single stage compressor. This is so that you can paint a vehicle without having to stop to refill the air tank. If you have to stop and refill the tank, the paint has enough time to start drying and you end up with not only dry spots but two tone on the paint job.

100 psi gives you more than enough psi for the job. The paint is sprayed at a low psi - depending on type of paint used, around 20-30psi. the clearcoat is sprayed at 60-70psi.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
What about small jobs like honda front passenger panel or bumpers? What is the smallest you would recommend I go?
Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.
HI,

If all you will ever do is panels or bumpers, but not the whole vehicle, then 5hp, 20gallon tank, 100 psi, single stage.

I wouldnt go lower than that because even with only painting a panel, you need the hp and psi to adequately spray the clearcoat. Spraying clear coat at a low psi results in runs and sags.
Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.


If all you will ever do is panels or bumpers, but not the whole vehicle, then 5hp, 20gallon tank, 100 psi, single stage.

I wouldnt go lower than that because even with only painting a panel, you need the hp and psi to adequately spray the clearcoat. Spraying clear coat at a low psi results in runs and sags.
Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 23888
Experience: Automotive Repair Shop Manager, Technician/JA Mentor
Eric and 12 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Would you do you have an opinion on the craftman oiless compressor vs a traditional gas compressor i.e. Grainger speedaire? I've heard oiless compressors failfaster tan traditional.
Expert:  Eric replied 3 years ago.
HI,

Personally, I would stick with a traditional compressor. I have seen too many of the oil less compressors failure within a year or so.
Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 23888
Experience: Automotive Repair Shop Manager, Technician/JA Mentor
Eric and 12 other Car Specialists are ready to help you

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