Can You Paint a Car with a 30 Gallon Air Compressor?

Randy Charles
Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as...Read more

Do have plans of repainting your car? Do you have plans of doing it by yourself? And you want the car to have that perfect and professional showroom finishing? But maybe your mind is going crazy. You only have 30 gallons of air compressor. And now the big question you have burning in your head is can you paint a car with 30 gallons of air compressor?

Well, worry no more because you actually can paint a car with 30 gallons of air compressor. And it may surprise you to know that if proper attention is given to details, you can achieve that showroom finish that you have dreamed of. In this article, we would take you through those needed details. We will guide you on the process needed for you to achieve a perfect paint coating with 30 GALLONS of air compressor.

Can You Paint a Car with a 30 Gallon Air Compressor?

The most crucial factor you would have to consider when you purchase a compressor should be the CFM. Although the size of the air compressor has importance, it does not have too much effect on the outcome of the painting job. The CFM will determine how smooth the spray painting of your car will turn out. The size of the car you want to paint will also determine if you should use a 30-gallon air compressor. Also, the size of your patience will play a vital role if you are going to make use of a 30-gallon air compressor.

Can You Paint a Car with a 30 Gallon Air Compressor

Painting your car with a 30-gallon air compressor may require painting in batches. This is because you may need to allow the compressor to fill up again when the pressure becomes low before continuing your painting. So you would paint two panels at a time then resume when the pressure is up again.

What Size Air Compressor Do You Need to Paint a Car?

There are lots of factors to consider when getting an air compressor. And one of the essential factors, as mentioned earlier, is air compressor size. The factors that will determine the size of a compressor unit should also be considered. One such factor is the kind of work you want to do with it. For example, as much as a 30-gallon air compressor will be enough to paint the car, the standard is 50 to 60 gallons.

What Size Air Compressor Do You Need to Paint a Car

Getting a 50 to 60-gallon air compressor ensures that you carry out a smooth painting job. In addition, it ensures that you do not waste a lot of time waiting for the pressure of the compressor to come back up. This is very important if you are not skillful at spray painting or do not have a lot of patience.

Also, it is essential to note that you would need a bigger compressor if you want to use the compressor for the next car painting. Getting a 50 to 60-gallon air compressor would ensure that you do not overuse your compressor. Over usage tends to reduce the life span of the compressor.

For someone who is not an expert at spray painting, the standard size of 50 to 60 will ensure that you paint the car evenly. It also ensures that you paint at a steady pace and at once. For example, you might over-paint a particular part with a smaller air compressor. This will happen when you attempt to overlap the paint smoothly after waiting for the compressor to be refilled. So the bigger the size, the more even the paint will be around the car.

How Do You Select an Air Compressor for Painting?

Skill and experience will have less effect on the outcome of the painting if the compressor is inappropriate. So you must consider some very crucial factors in purchasing a compressor. These factors will ensure that you get a smooth and even painting, that you paint quickly and efficiently, and that the painting lasts for a long time. Below are essential factors to consider when purchasing an appropriate compressor.

How Do You Select an Air Compressor for Painting

CFM

The CFM rating is an essential factor that you would have to consider when purchasing an appropriate air compressor. The acronym CFM stands for cubic feet per minute. This refers to the quantity of air that the compressor can produce per minute. It should be ensured that the CFM rating of the compressor matches the CFM rating of the spray gun that you intend to use. Usually, the CFM rating of the compressor should be higher than the CFM rating of the spray gun to be used.

A CFM rating of about 14 to 18 per unit is recommended. The higher your CFM rating, the better and more even your spray painting will turn out. If you use a CFM rating of less than 10, you might get a bad painting done. You might have a car with a painting of some places, better than others.

The PSI

The acronym PSI stands for “pounds per inch”. PSI refers to how much pressure the compressor can exert. The higher the PSI, the higher the energy consumption. APSIratingbetween80and90shouldbesufficientto paint a car. The PSI rating may not be as vital as the CFM rating. Although not of equal importance with the CFM, it does play a crucial role in the process of spray painting.

CFM

A very high PSI will not guarantee that the finished work will be even. It does not also ensure an even painting. A higher PSI rating means that the compressor will store a larger amount of air in the tank. So, with a larger amount of air being stored, the pressure of air that the tank releases over time is not quickly exhausted. This also helps increase the capacity of the compressor.

HorsePower

The horsepower rating is often referred to as HP. The horsepower refers to the amount of energy the compressor requires to fill up. The more horsepower that a compressor has, the lesser the energy that the compressor will exert. But the higher the electrical energy that the compressor consumes. Therefore, horsepower is not as crucial as CFM and PSI. This is because most compressors come with the appropriate horsepower sufficient for the compressor to function.

Size of Tank

This is the least of the important factors. As discussed earlier, the tank size will be determined by the kind of work you want to do. The type of work you intend to use the compressor for in the future will also be a determining factor. The tank size ensures an even coat of paint all over the car.

Read AlsoHow Long Does Paint Stay Mixed after Shaking?

How Do I Paint a Car with a 30 Gallon Air Compressor?

Before painting your car, you must understand the process and steps involved. You should also be prepared.You would need the following to paint with a 30-gallon air compressor

How Do I Paint a Car with a 30 Gallon Air Compressor

  1. Sandpaper
  2. Spray gun
  3. Masking tape
  4. Old newspaper or magazine
  5. Paint of the desired color
  6. Primer
  7. Topcoat
  8. 30 gallons of air compressor
  9. PPE (Goggles, pair of gloves, dust mask for sanding, respiratory for painting)

Steps to Painting Your Car

Steps to Painting Your Car

  1. Put on your personal protective equipment correctly
  2. Cover up the places you do not intend to paint using the newspaper or magazine. E.g. the windows. Secure the paper with masking tape.
  3. Begin sanding the car. Sanding ensures that the old coating of paint is removed.
  4. Using your compressor, begin to apply primer. Apply in batches to allow the compressor’s pressure to increase before continuing. When the primer gets dried, reapply it. Then, apply primer about 2 to 3 more times.
  5. After applying all layers of primer. Mix paint in correct consistency according to the instructions on the package.
  6. Test spray the paint on cardboard. Adjust air paint flow if necessary. This is to ensure even coating.
  7. Once you are satisfied with the coating, you can spray paint your car. Paint evenly and paint in sections. Paint at a consistent speed.
  8. When the pressure of the 30 gallons of air compressor has reduced, allow it to fill up again. This will require patience.
  9. You paint evenly, and then you wait for the first layer to dry up before repeating if needed. After that, you must overlap each section of paint. This ensures that there are no gaps or unevenness.

After the paint has dried off, apply the topcoat evenly and steadily to give the final glossy appearance

Conclusion

Finally, we can now agree that you can paint a car with 30 gallons of air compressor. All you will need is first to perfect how you spray. Of course, you will also need a truckload of patience to achieve this. So as you begin organizing yourself to carry out this important task of spray painting your car, then worry less. This is because you now know that you would not need 60 gallons of air compressor to achieve what you could with 30 gallons of air compressor.

Randy Charles
Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as a painter earlier in my professional career. There is simply nothing about painting that I didn’t do as a painter. From painting a fridge to a multi-storied building, I left nothing. I retired from my painting job in the mid of 2018 due to back arthritis problems.

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