Best Small 20 - 30 Gallon Air Compressors for Auto Painting Projects –

Best Small 20 - 30 Gallon Air Compressors for Auto Painting Projects

Today’s topic is all about the Best 20 – 30 Gallon SMALL Air Compressors for Auto Painting!

We've been getting a lot of queries asking about the best air compressor for a mini spray gun, so I’ve decided to make a video for all of you...

I’ll be making another video for large compressors that are required to paint an entire car.

Here’s a 20-gallon Campbell Hausfeld horizontal electric air compressor. When you’re using a full size spray gun and not a mini, you should be using an LVLP Spray Gun when you’re using these smaller air compressors.

There is an exception when painting with a mini spray gun because it uses less air. So using a small air compressor for your mini gun should not be a problem in most cases. The mini spray guns are made for small jobs and graphic work.

I don’t recommend using an air compressor smaller than a 20-gallon because you need the air volume reserve when you’re painting. The smaller air tank you have, the less reserve you have of stored compressed air.

Imagine using a 5 or 6-gallon air compressor that will be running continuously to pump out air for you, which is called CFM. Then, the small air compressor will struggle, specifically if you are painting an entire car.

Smaller air compressors are ideal for painting motorcycles, car parts like a car fender or bumper covers. I recommend you use at least a 20-gallon or 30-gallon air compressor. To save space in your shop, I recommend you buy a vertical air compressor or something upright just like what I show you in the video.

This is a good deal at $189. It’s the same version as the vertical one. Check out the video as I show you some of the products that I find. When using a mini spray gun, you’ll be doing at about 25-27 psi continuous air flow since you’re only doing small areas. You will not be 40 psi.

Sometimes the gun rating says 7-12 psi of CFM rating but this will just give you a guide and may not be actually what you’re painting with. It is a gray area and tricky sometimes when you see these specifications. If you’re sanding with a 30-gallon tank, it will die out very quickly because it will need a lot more air to feed that DA Sander.

If you are looking for an awesome mini spray gun, check out the Atom Mini X16 Spray Gun on Zoolaa now. The Atom Spray Guns are the BEST alternative spray gun if you are looking for something less inexpensive than the popular brands that are out in the market.

Do you want to get cranking on your own custom projects? Grab your FREE 85-Page Auto Body And Paint Manual.



I hope you enjoyed this post,

The ZooLaa genie...


  • I spun the wheel and I won a 50% of any spray gun I would like to purchase the 27 atom spray gun with free tip kit how do I apply my discount

  • I been researching compressors. 60 gal has high reserved air. The cost is high. I know 60 gal 2 stage is best.

  • Tony, I sure do appreciate all that you do. You are one hell of a good teacher and your generosity speaks volumes. Thank you so much, I’ve learned a lot. May peace be with you and yours.

    Charles Georgoudis
  • This spray gun is amazing..😲 Coming from a Harbor Freight
    (Central Pneumatic®- Item#68843) to the Atom X-27 is like night and day! Well worth the investment!


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