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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
O.k. someone tell me the truth about air compressors. I would like to do my paint at home. I've read so many different articles that say "you should have at least X cfm @ X psi for painting" And all of the compressors I find with those specs require 220V electricity which I don't want to install since I'm renting.

Then some people say look at the requirements of the gun and buy for that.
What about HVLP guns can they use smaller compressors?

But then I've had some people tell me you don't really need that large of a compressor to use a paint gun, you only need that large of a compressor to paint continuously for a whole car etc.

Can someone straighten me out...if I want to do

a) repair panels and touch ups, how big of a compressor do I need?
b) if I want to paint my whole car what do I need?

Thanks!
 

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This is a good question that many (myself included) would like to know.


Inquiring minds!;)
 

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This guy sells the best bar none. Best compressor I've ever seen and the thing about talking on the phone next to it is no lie (I was skeptical too). Poke around on the site, it explains it all. Plus this guy answers his phone on Sundays no less......
 

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The truth is that your compressor should be able to put out as much or more air than your gun requires. Check the CFM and pressure rating of the gun and buy a compressor with at least that much capacity. Gun requirements will vary, so there is no hard and fast rule. A HVLP gun is the way to go.

You can use a smaller compressor than the gun rating, but you will be waiting for the compressor to catch up which can impact the quality of your painting. Also, as the pressure drops your spray pattern will change which is not good from a quality standpoint.

In any case, a 110 compressor will be marginal, but I have done decent paint jobs with one.
 

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The link site below has a myriad of valuable information regarding the subject and will probably answer many of your questions. It also includes great information on proper piping and filtering which is as important as the compressor.

If you are planning on painting, you must have a very good filtering & moisture extraction system or you will have all sorts of issues.

Here's the link...it should help http://www.tptools.com/statictext/tech_notes.asp?mscssid=B93FHEW2097P9H8TP61PB2RN4FEKFLKB
 

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It's not the spray gun that the compressor will have a hard time with. It's the DA and the sand blaster and any other number of high usage tools that will tax the compressor. The rule of thumb is to buy the biggest compressor you can afford (no, bigger than that!!). This is a case where bigger is much better. Look for the highest scfm @ 90 psi you can find and above all get a oil filled belt drive instead of a direct drive oil-less. Those direct drives are so loud you can hardly stand to be in the same building with them.

Bruce
 

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Ditto on the direct drive oiless...I had two of those pieces of crap and you couldn't give me one. Spring for the belt driven, oil units, two stage if you can. If you get a small one you will wish down the road that you had gone ahead and gotten a big unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Anybody heard anything about the TP Tools turbine HVLP system? For $450 you get the turbine, hose, paint gun and supposedly you don't need a compressor? they say it works great on cars etc. I suppose it is somehwate like a real-time compressor, constantly making High-volume low-pressure air.
 

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I've also heard that Eaton compressors are the best thing going. Also got a fast response from them when inquiring via email.

The conventional wisdom is that you need at least 8-9 cfm at 90psi to run air sanders, which is hard to get on a 110V compressor. I've held off on buying one, for that reason. Looks like you have to spend at least $800 to get anything decent.
 

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You can do a little better than that

I agree that you will probably need to go to 220 volt to get something big enough but I paid about $650 for a 220 volt 60 gal. unit that delivers 13.5 SCFM at 90. I use it for tools and to run a medium size sand blast cabinet. It has been fantastic. Got it from Lowes. I believe you would need to be about this size to do any serious painting. It was hard to find a 110 unit that would do more than 7 or 8 SCFM at 90 psi. Those usually ran around $400. I think you would find them pretty marginal for any sandblasting or painting.
 

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I painted alot of cars with a 7.5 CFM at 90 PSI compressor years ago when it was all I had. I connected a couple air tanks to it to increase the tank size. I had a Rodac suchion gun that was a 7.0 CFM gun and it worked OK for single stage paint without metalic in it. If you want to paint neat colors and multi stage paints get a big machine. Plug it into the dryer outlet with an extension cord if you have to. I would say get a compressor with pistons and avoid the oiless non piston units. Just get a machine that makes more air than the gun requires. I have a couple HVLP guns and don't like them but that's just me I guess. I bought a top cup gravity feed Devilbiss that I use and like OK.
 
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