How much CFM do I need to spray paint


Air compressors are a kind of equipment which can be used as a power source for many other tools like nail guns, spray paints, framing nailers and many more.

The term CFM is co-related to this and a very crucial fact in terms of getting the ultimate service from a compressor. CFM refers to the amount of air that your compressor delivers. Some tools like the spray paint requires a certain amount of CMF in order to execute its task completely.

  • As we have mentioned earlier that, different types of spray paints have different requirements according to their tasks. Products like HVLP Gravity Fed Spray Paint recommends compressor with at least 4-5 HP and the overall CFM level of 10-12. The HVLP stands for ‘High Volume Low Pressure”.
  • The role of CFM for spray paints is that it catches up with the air flow through compressing the air before getting in action with the actual paint work. The aforementioned CFM is ideal for the type ‘gravity fed’ painters.
  • However, the experts suggest to have at least 30 CFM to run the HVLP spray painters to avoid any sort of atomizing issues.
  • In terms of LVLP spray guns, they are almost as same as the HVLP as they both are gravity fed.
  • Here LVLP stands for “Low Volume Low Pressure”. The gravity fed is ideal for the environment.
  • And as this type of spray paint spits less in the air and embraces the surface more efficiently.
  • As for painting cars, you will need at least 12-14CFM. The professionals do suggest for 14 because it leaves no issue while painting a car.
  • However, some compressors do supply the exact same service in lower CFM. Painters like TRADY, can easily paint a regular sized car with only 10 CFM. It has a three way spraying nozzle which allows more paint to land on the surface and this can be handy for small garage workshops.
  • The size of the tank is not that important in terms of painting a car. The CFM is the most crucial part in this case. By now you have already known that the ideal CFM is 12. But you should also keep in mind the painter requirements!
  • Once you have the accurate CFM compressor for your spray paint, the next thing you will need is the PSI. A nice 90-120 PSI compressor will work just fine.
  • But if you have a bigger workshop like an industry or something, you might need a compressor which has at least the capacity of 18 gallons. As more capacity compresses more air to generate enough CFM for your spray painter.
  • The aforementioned HVLP spray guns need at least 8 CFM to run. Although, the experts have declared that the ideal CFM should be 12. You can actually run a HVLP sprayer at 8 CFM. It causes no issues to be honest!
  • Again, car painting does require at least 12-14 CFM as we have discussed above, it is good to have 20 CFM to paint even smoother.
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