How to use spray gun with Air compressor

Knowledge of how to use a paint sprayer with an air compressor gives DIY fans bragging rights.

Today I will guide you on how you guys can use an air compressor with a paint sprayer in order to paint.

Method of spraying with air compressor

This guide is for newbies who are confused about whether to use or not an air compressor with their paint sprayer. And I hope this guide also helps the professionals in some way.

In fact, most do-it-yourselfers don’t even bother with this method because it’s often seen as being way too advanced for their needs.

I suggest professionals use a paint sprayer with a compressor. This guide on how to use a paint sprayer with air compressor will help you.

But if you’re an average Joe who just wants to spruce up your home with some new colors, then we suggest using this handheld turbine.

However, if you want serious kudos and the respect of your peers then there’s nothing better than pneumatic spraying.


How to set up an air compressor for spray guns & painting?

What exactly is air compressor spraying?

Airless paint sprayers use the power of an internal piston pump to move liquid.

These units are sometimes called hydraulic sprayers because gas- or electric-powered compressors pump up a chamber that contains the liquid to be sprayed.

And that’s the key — this style of painting requires an additional helping hand (or arm).

Turbines and airless sprayers, whether handheld or with an external motor, are complete off-the-shelf machines.

Give one of these units to your brother, father, or son (or daughter I guess) as a birthday present and they can take it straight out of the box, fill it with paint, and spray it.

However, we all need some help every once in a while, like when you depend on an expert to repair your car because you don’t know how to do it yourself.

However, it doesn’t matter whether you buy anyone a pneumatic gun; if they haven’t already owned it.

Or get the equipment to use a compressor and a spray gun, then it’s only going to be an expensive ornament.  

A compressor uses electricity or gas-operated power to create pressurized air in one of its tanks.

This air is then sent over to your spray gun that stores paint or gasoline that propels the coating medium through a nozzle.

Some tools which you need in order to use an air compressor

  • A sprayer (can be HVLP, LVP or gravity-fed, etc.)
  • Paint
  • Paint thinner for oil paint
  • Conditioner
  • Must have protective gear like goggles, face mask and gloves, etc
  • Air compressor suitable for your sprayer
  • Viscosity cup
  • A Teflon tapes
  • Air hose
  • Drop cloths
  • For covering stuff Masking tape
  • Sandpaper for sanding the surface before painting
  • A cloth for cleaning

How To Use A Paint Sprayer Attached To An Air Compressor?

the process of attaching air compressor with spray gun

After choosing tools and medium the next steps are as follows:

Using a spray gun with an air compressor can be quite the challenge to master but the rewards speak for themselves.

Learning how to use this tool will allow you to save time, effort, and potentially a lot of money by tackling small jobs that would cost you more to professionally get done.

I created this tutorial to allow you full access to everything you need in order to understand what equipment is needed.

As well as learn how best to utilize it so you can decide whether or not it’s worth investing in one.

Some paint suggestions down here from my experience:

  1. Primer for wood and metal surface
  2. Latex for walls and ceilings stuff
  3. Stains are good for woods
  4. Acrylic is for crafting
  5. Enamels can be used for those that area take excessive abuse and load such as kitchen cupboards
  6. Urethanes are for automotive

Prepare yourself

Now after setting up it’s time to prepare your own self with protective gear and other stuff.

In order to better protect yourself from spray painting hazards, it’s important that you wear the proper safety gear.

For example, when using a paint sprayer make sure you wear goggles and long sleeves along with rubber gloves.

Goggles will help you to save your eyes from paint drops which are unsafe for your eyes.

So, in order to protect your eyes from hazardous chemicals, you have to wear some kind of goggles.

Preferred are those which are recommended in paint manuals.

Rubber gloves for the protection of the hands and wrist area because it’s very difficult to erase and clean the paint from the skin area.

Preparation of area and object/surface

Before you start, plan out how much space you will need. Spray primer in an area that’s separate from where you’re going to paint since overspray can ruin sensitive surfaces.

The best option is to choose outdoor over indoor painting. When deciding on a location, avoid areas with trees or foliage as these will collect paint and cause potential streaking or smearing.

Also, avoid sidewalks and other public spaces because it’s illegal (and kind of tacky) to do so.

In order to paint a fence, one must prepare the area. The preparation of the base material prior to painting is pivotal, as this will ensure an unwavering outcome.

Professional painters know that whether they’re covering a car or a fence, cabinet, or table — the process is very similar.

Find out what’s required to thoroughly prepare your surface before you start painting today.

As you prepare to set up the painting area, clean the area with water (if working with oil-based paint) or spirits (when applying water-based paint).

Wipe away any remaining surface dirt and debris. Dry, and then sand. Once you’re satisfied that the area is level: Respray the area using a primer coat.

The benefit of priming is it will identify uneven areas that need smoothing out; once dry inspect the area and beautify any bumps by sanding again and washing in the same manner as above.

Preparation of paint

It’s a good idea to prepare the paint/paint mixture before you get started as you’re preparing to use it with your sprayer.

It’s also a good idea to test some unimportant areas. Mix the paint with a paint mixer to avoid any clumps in the final product.

You should also shake the mixture to ensure that the paint is mixed well.

Some things are obvious, but it can’t hurt to reiterate them. To get the best results when painting makes sure to thin your paint with the proper liquid.

Oil-based paints need mineral spirits, water-based you can dilute with water and you should also be able to add a little conditioner if your latex paint is going on thick.

Here’s a tip. Fill up your container with the coating medium. Use either a paint funnel or a can pourer to reduce the risk of mess.

Furthermore, consider using a paint filter to reduce the likelihood of debris ruining your final finish. Likewise, attach the cup to the gun by ensuring a tight seal.

Follow this guide of How To Use A Paint Sprayer Attached To An Air Compressor to the end if you want to achieve satisfactory results.

Prepare the compressor and the sprayer

Though this may not be the most rigorous process of preparation, the basic thing that you need to do before.

Using an air compressor to check the air nozzle for any kind of defect, along with the air filter.

Tilt the air nozzle downwards and listen for any air leakage. If you hear any air leakage, then forget about this piece of equipment.

If you are using a portable power sprayer, then you need to check the pressure of the compressor. This can also be done by hearing the sound of the compressor.

If it keeps making a high-pitched sound, then it is not in a good position to work. In this case, air leakage might be one of the possibilities.

Preparation of the compressor and the sprayer

Switch on the compressor and set the pressure level to the required power — depending on your gun’s requirements.

Some guns, especially HVLP types, include a separate in-line regulator, allowing you to step down the pressure to suit the shooter.

You may have to wait several minutes for the compressor to indicate it has reached the desired power output.

Although high-end models do have real-time pressure gauges which cut down time spent waiting by half.

Stick to this post on How to Use a Paint Sprayer With an Air Compressor to learn the painting process with an Air compressor.

How to Install Air Compressor Hose Fittings?

Here is a tutorial that is very useful for beginners who don’t know the method to connect hose fittings in an air compressor.

Now test the sprayer

Prime and Test Spray: The majority of spray guns, such as the SprayIt 33000 or the Campbell Hausfeld feature a material volume flow control dial.

Located on the top rear section of each unit, this dial allows you to regulate a maximum amount of volume for your projects.

The first thing you need to do is prime the spray gun. Point this nozzle into a waste bucket or towards a piece of throwaway cardboard and pull the trigger fully.

Initially, only air will be emitted from the tap, followed closely by the jet of spray paint. Keep holding down on the trigger until it stops spluttering before withdrawing it.

With paint flowing from the spray gun, turn the material flow dial clockwise to reduce the delivery range.

Until you achieve the density best suited for your medium and base materials requirements.

Adjust the spray pattern according to your need

Let’s say a painter wanted to create a horizontal stripe pattern with his spray gun.

He would adjust the nozzle, setting it for the appropriate pattern and angle for applying this specific technique.

When you are more comfortable with your spray gun, you can change back and forth from vertical to horizontal patterns.

And from smaller to larger spray patterns by simply switching out nozzles.

Vertex spray guns come standard with a V-4 vertical nozzle for normal spraying, a V-6 medium angle for flat vertical surfaces, and an LV-6 light angle for use on stucco or textured surfaces.

How to set up an air compressor kit?

Here is a complete guide to setting up an air compressor kit. Follow this complete video if you are a beginner.

Some suggestions from my experience to newbies so they can paint according to the surface and area by changing the direction.

  • Vertical for painting walls and side-to-side movements
  • Horizontal for a painting of railings or slats and best for up-down motion
  • Circular for tight corners and touchups for smaller areas

Paint the surface

Using paint sprayer with air compressor

Once you’ve finished your task, make sure you turn off the compressor and disconnect that air hose.

Don’t forget to detach that cup brush that goes with those air hoses too!

Do you know what else is awesome? If you own an air gun with a storage lid or have some kind of drop cloth handy.

You can either store our unused paint on-site outside of its original container if it has not been thinned.

And for those thinner paints, please keep that material in plastic bags or something of similar nature just.

So as to avoid any spills or contamination should any unwanted visitors happen upon your favorite location spot.

What Is Air Compressor Spraying?

An air compressor spraying is a process that uses compressed air to atomize and deliver a liquid material to a surface.

This process is often used in painting and finishing applications, as it provides a more even and consistent coating than traditional methods like brushing or spraying with a pump.

Advantages of using an air compressor

Pneumatic spraying is considered the ultimate in powder-coating coverage and I think that it’s because we are a tough bunch to please.

These are some advantages of the topic How to set up an air compressor for spray guns & painting.

Some people say it’s elitism, but I don’t think that’s entirely the case. It is true pneumatic painters can be a little picky about which entry-level turbine machine they use.

However, I think that it isn’t more so about the machine itself, but about a certain kind of camaraderie.

Together with my fellow brethren (and sister), we are all united by a sense of excellence.

We believe that being able to spray from your bare hands using an HVLP gun or perhaps even pinch spraying.

On a gravity-fed job is akin to an amateur hour – you better believe we scoff at the beginners who go for this option.

Compressor painting demands some skill, a finer touch, and significant preparation.

In fact, most of us wouldn’t even consider spray painting without detailed cleaning of the surface in question first (something compressor people seem to neglect).

Some salient advantages which I experienced with time I will mention those below:

  • Tailorability —compressor help you to adjust the air pressure flow according to your own need. Some sprayers don’t have these features. So, compressors can be a very handy tool for this purpose.
  • Money-saving — compressors help to prevent the wastage of excessive paint which sprayers do. It uses a small amount of pain to fulfill the purpose.
  • Safety — compressors PSI is safe when compared to HVLP and airless paint sprayers
  • Low-noise — produces low noise when running and less noise than hydraulic machines. Might feel louder than turbines
  • Versatility — ease of changing the tools. You can easily switch the sprayers for project needs.

Disadvantages of using an air compressor

I have discussed its advantages now let’s talk about some of its downsides which I experienced during usability.

You guys might have different opinions according to your own experience which you faced during use.

You should not use an air compressor for jobs that require consistent force. An air compressor does not have a load setting or variable pressure.

The force remains consistent only in the single mode you have chosen from your machine.

So, it’s not suitable for jobs that require consistency. For example, you cannot use it to install a ceiling fan because the pressure of the air will remain constant and might break the fan.

The cost of using an air compressor may be prohibitive for some. And, true enough, you will need to buy some extra equipment.

But if you’ve got a garage full of tools and a pneumatic powerhouse on hand, then the cost isn’t really a con.

Compressors are bulky, oily, and heavy. You won’t be using it in your living room to paint some shelves nor will you be popping the paint sprayer into your car.

And driving around to your Auntie Mabel’s to stain her antique coffee table.

Air compressor paint spraying vs airless paint sprayers

There are a few key differences between air compressor paint spraying and airless paint spraying.

Air compressor paint spraying requires an air compressor to generate the air pressure needed to operate the spray gun.

Airless paint spraying, on the other hand, does not require an air compressor. Instead, it uses a high-pressure pump to generate the necessary air pressure.

Another key difference is that air compressor paint spraying usually requires the use of thinner paint, while airless paint spraying can accommodate thicker paint.

This is because the air pressure generated by an air compressor is not as high as the pressure generated by a high-pressure pump.

As a result, thicker paint may not be able to flow through the nozzle of an air compressor paint sprayer.

Finally, air compressor paint spraying typically has a lower flow rate than airless paint spraying.

This means that it can take longer to cover a given area when using an air compressor paint sprayer.

Overall, airless paint sprayers tend to be more efficient and effective than air compressor paint sprayers.

However, air compressor paint sprayers may be a better option for certain applications, such as when a thinner paint is required.

How do you attach a paint sprayer to an air compressor?

To attach a paint sprayer to an air compressor, you will need to follow these steps:

  • Make sure that both the paint sprayer and the air compressor are turned off.
  • Locate the air inlet on the paint sprayer, which is usually marked with a symbol or label.
  • Connect the air hose from the air compressor to the air inlet on the paint sprayer using a secure fitting, such as a quick-connect coupler.
  • Turn on the air compressor and adjust the pressure regulator to the recommended pressure for the paint sprayer, as indicated in the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Once the air pressure has built up to the proper level, you can begin using the paint sprayer. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use and maintenance.

It’s a good idea to test the sprayer before starting your project to make sure it is working properly.

You can do this by spraying a small amount of water or thinning paint onto a piece of cardboard or scrap wood.

This will also give you a chance to practice using the sprayer and get a feel for how it works.

Can you use an air compressor with a spray gun?

Yes, you can use an air compressor with a spray gun. Air compressors are a common power source for spray guns.

As they can provide a consistent and controllable supply of high-pressure air to atomize the paint or other material being sprayed.

To use an air compressor with a spray gun, you will need to connect the air hose from the compressor to the air inlet on the spray gun using a secure fitting, such as a quick-connect coupler.

You may also need to adjust the pressure regulator on the compressor to the recommended pressure for the spray gun, as indicated in the manufacturer’s instructions.

It’s a good idea to test the spray gun before starting your project to make sure it is working properly.

You can do this by spraying a small amount of water or thinning paint onto a piece of cardboard or scrap wood.

This will also give you a chance to practice using the spray gun and get a feel for how it works.

What air compressor do you need with a spray paint gun?

The type of air compressor you need for a spray paint gun will depend on several factors.

Including the size and type of the spray gun, the material you will be spraying, and the volume of work you will be doing.

In general, you will need an air compressor with a high flow rate (measured in cubic feet per minute, or CFM).

And a high-pressure rating (measured in pounds per square inch, or PSI) to effectively power a spray paint gun.

The specific requirements will vary depending on the spray gun you are using, but as a general rule.

You will need an air compressor that can deliver at least 0.7 CFM at 40 PSI for a small, handheld spray gun, and at least 1.5 CFM at 40 PSI for a larger, industrial-grade spray gun.

It’s a good idea to consult the manufacturer’s instructions for your spray gun to determine the specific air compressor requirements.

You should also consider the size of the tank on the compressor, as a larger tank will allow you to work for longer periods without needing to stop and wait for the tank to refill.

How do you use an air spray gun?

To use an air spray gun, follow these steps:

  • Connect the air hose from the air compressor to the air inlet on the spray gun using a secure fitting, such as a quick-connect coupler.
  • Adjust the pressure regulator on the compressor to the recommended pressure for the spray gun, as indicated in the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Pour the paint or other material you will be sprayed into the container on the spray gun, or attach the spray gun to a can of material using the manufacturer’s recommended hose and fittings.
  • Test the spray pattern by pressing the trigger and adjusting the nozzle as needed. You can use a piece of cardboard or scrap wood to test the spray pattern and get a feel for how the gun works.
  • Begin spraying the surface you are working on, starting at the farthest point and working your way back toward the starting point. Hold the spray gun about 8-12 inches away from the surface, and use a sweeping motion to apply an even coat of material.
  • When you are finished spraying, release the trigger and turn off the air compressor. Clean the spray gun according to the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent clogs and ensure that it is ready for use the next time you need it.

It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use and maintenance of the spray gun to ensure the best performance and longevity.

You should also wear protective gear, such as goggles and a respirator when using the spray gun.

How do you connect an air hose to a spray gun?

To connect an air hose to a spray gun, you will need to follow these steps:

  • Make sure both the air compressor and spray gun are turned off and unplugged.
  • Locate the air inlet on the spray gun and the air outlet on the air compressor.
  • Attach one end of the air hose to the air outlet on the air compressor and secure it with a wrench or pliers if necessary.
  • Connect the other end of the air hose to the air inlet on the spray gun. Some spray guns have a quick-connect fitting, which allows you to simply insert the hose into the fitting and twist it to lock it in place. If your spray gun does not have a quick-connect fitting, you will need to tighten the hose onto the air inlet using a wrench or pliers.
  • Test the connection to make sure there are no leaks by turning on the air compressor and spraying a little bit of air through the spray gun.
  • Finally, tighten any connections that may have become loose during the testing process.

It is important to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions when working with an air compressor and spray gun.

What is the correct air pressure for a spray gun?

The correct air pressure for a spray gun depends on several factors, including the type of material you are spraying, the size of the spray pattern you want, and the type of spray gun you are using.

As a general rule, the air pressure should be between 30 and 60 psi (pounds per square inch) for most paint and coating applications.

However, some materials may require higher or lower air pressure.

For example, thin materials such as stains and dyes may require air pressure in the range of 15 to 20 psi, while thicker materials like latex paint may need air pressure of up to 70 psi.

It’s important to consult the manufacturer’s specifications for your spray gun to determine the recommended air pressure for your specific application.

Additionally, you can experiment with different air pressures to find the one that gives you the best results for your project.

Keep in mind that using too high an air pressure can cause the material to atomize poorly and result in an uneven, splattery spray pattern.

On the other hand, using too low air pressure can result in a slow and inconsistent flow of material.

Does a spray gun need an air compressor?

Yes, most spray guns require an air compressor to function. Spray guns use compressed air to atomize the paint or other material and project it onto the surface you are spraying.

The air compressor provides the pressure needed to atomize the material and control the spray pattern.

There are some specialized spray guns that don’t require an air compressor and use a different mechanism, such as a pressurized canister, to generate the pressure needed for atomization.

However, these types of spray guns are less common and typically have more limited capabilities than those that use an air compressor.

If you plan to use a spray gun for painting or other projects, it’s important to have a suitable air compressor to provide the necessary pressure.

The size and power of the air compressor you need will depend on the type and size of the spray gun you are using, as well as the type and viscosity of the material you are spraying.

It’s a good idea to consult the manufacturer’s specifications for both the spray gun and the air compressor to ensure that you have the right equipment for your specific application.

How do you use an air powered spray gun?

Using an air-powered spray gun involves several steps, including preparation, set up, and spraying. Here is a general guide on how to use an air-powered spray gun:

  • Prepare your workspace: Make sure the area is clean and free of debris, and cover any areas you don’t want to be painted. Also, make sure you have all the necessary equipment and materials, including the air compressor, air hose, spray gun, paint, and any protective gear.
  • Set up the air compressor and air hose: Connect the air hose to the air compressor and attach the other end to the spray gun. Turn on the air compressor and adjust the pressure to the recommended setting for the material you are spraying.
  • Fill the spray gun with paint: Pour the paint into the cup or container on the spray gun, making sure not to overfill it. If the paint is too thick, you may need to thin it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Adjust the spray pattern and fan width: Turn the spray gun so that you can access the control knobs and adjust the spray pattern and fan width to suit your needs.
  • Test the spray gun: Point the spray gun away from you and others, and spray a small amount of paint to test the pressure and pattern. Make any necessary adjustments, such as adjusting the pressure or the spray pattern.
  • Start spraying: Hold the spray gun about 8 to 10 inches away from the surface and begin spraying in a sweeping motion, overlapping each pass slightly. Move the spray gun slowly and steadily to ensure an even application of paint.
  • Clean the spray gun: After you have finished spraying, turn off the air compressor and disconnect the air hose from the spray gun. Clean the spray gun according to the manufacturer’s instructions, making sure to remove all paint residue.

It’s important to follow all the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions when using an air-powered spray gun and to wear protective gear such as gloves, a mask, and eye protection.

Additionally, always make sure the area is well-ventilated when using paint or other materials that give off fumes.

FAQ’s of How To Use A Paint Sprayer Connected To An Air Compressor

An air compressor is a must-have for any painting work. If you are planning to use a paint gun, then you will need an air compressor that has enough capacity to run the air feed on the gun accurately. The best size for an air compressor to run a paint gun is between 35 to 50 pounds per square inch. An air compressor with a higher rating means more PSI and costs less than a cheap one. This is because they are very efficient in their work because they return the energy they consume back to the motor. If you have a big enough budget, it is suggested that you go for a compressor with compressor oil injection because it keeps the compressed air clean, dry and free of impurities. With this system installed, you can practically save money in the long run because it prevents the air compressor from wearing out too soon.

yes, you have to, else you will be burning up your air compressor motor. spraying paint is not like squirting out a stream of water. It is not a continuous flow. it is actually a forced-out stream. if you don’t thin the paint, your pressure settings need to be more than they would be if you had thinned it.

When you are planning to get a spray paint compressor, there are certain things you need to be aware of. There will be different requirements for different jobs, but for the purpose of general information, we will discuss about the main requirements for the work at hand. First of all, you will require an air compressor. The air compressor should have at least 5hp. For everything else, you will need.

The process to spray latex paint is not very complicated. The first thing you need to do is to disconnect the paint sprayer from the compressor. Then, you spray some water into the valve and put on rubber gloves to protect the sprayer from getting wet. The third step involves filling the paint sprayer with water and paint. At this point, you need to check that the paint sprayer is lined up. The fourth step involves using compressed air to clean the dirt out of the paint sprayer. Then, you can spray paint on the surface.

I think the best spray gun for an air compressor is the Graco X5. These are the reasons why: The Graco X5 is an industrial grade air brush. This air brush is the kind of spray gun that you would find in a factory, or in a body shop. It can produce some great results, and it can do so for a long time. Some users have been using this air brush for up to seven years, and it is still going strong.

Actually, it is possible to use an airless gun with a compressor. A lot of manufacturers recommend against it. But if you are aware of the risks involved, you will use it at your own discretion.

Conclusion on How to use spray gun with Air compressor

Well, I have shared my experience with you guys. Now it’s up to you that you follow each and every step and get a great finish or mess things up by not following the guide.

I have explained how to use a paint sprayer with an air compressor. Now it’s up to you whether you use it or not according to your own need.

Airless spraying has been around for over 100 years, but it’s the use of high-pressure air to spray paint that’s only been around for about 20 years.

The process of airless spraying is similar to that of a conventional airbrush, but instead of using air pressure.

Paint is delivered through a gun attached to a hose that’s connected to an air compressor.

Professionals should also leave some tips in the comment section if they have some in their mind so that the amateurs in the field can also get help from them.

This was the complete guide on How To Use A Paint Sprayer Connected To An Air Compressor.

Matthew Edward

Matthew Edward is a professional painter who loves to paint and wants to share useful tips and tricks which he had learned in many years of experience in painting. He also used many products that can be used for painting he has tried and tested each and every product to give an unbias opinion about it in his review. This blog is very useful for those newbies who want to learn painting without making mistakes.

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