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  1. #1

    Default sprayer/air compressor for auto painting

    Looking at getting the compressor and spray gun below. First time painting a car. This should do the job, right?

    https://www.harborfreight.com/17-gal...sor-69666.html
    https://www.harborfreight.com/20-oz-...gun-68843.html

    Also, don't know if it matters but would you go with PVC or rubber hose?

    Will be also adding some air tools as well to the mix.

    Thanks in advance for the help.
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  2. #2
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    The compressor will not work well for painting a car. Too small and too little capacity. The HVLP guns of today have huge air consumption needs. That's the High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP) nature of them. In my experience and opinion trying to paint a car well with any compressor smaller than a 5 HP 80 gallon compressor is going to be a difficult task. I can attest to painting parts and pieces of several projects just recently with both an old 5 HP 33 gallon unit that only had enough air capacity to paint a fender, door, etc. at a time before running out of air or running low on pressure. I just finished painting a 1986 Bronco mostly in pieces when possible with a borrowed 5 HP 60 gallon unit. Overall worked in most cases, but again doesn't work really well when trying to paint an entire vehicle at once.

    The spray gun will work just fine, although personally I would either buy the cheaper HF guns if you don't plan on doing much painting after this, or possibly spend a little more and go with the Eastwood setup or or even one of the less expensive Sharpe, Devilbiss, etc.

    You are going to have similar air volume and pressure issues with the above compressor if using with other air tools, such as ratchets, impact guns, drills, cut off wheels, etc. They all require a decent amount of air volume and plenty of pressure for them to work properly. The compressor rating of Air delivery: 4 CFM @ 90 PSI, 5 CFM @ 40 PSI is your biggest issue for many air tools. The spray gun linked to shows average consumption of 15 CFM @40 PSI, so that compressor will not supply it well at all. Most spray guns today will require at least 6-10 CFM @ 40 PSI to function properly. Hope this helps although not the answer you were looking for I am sure.
    ​Trey

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  3. #3
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    I have a TP Tools turbine system. The kit included everything. The turbine unit, large spray gun (gravity feed) and small touch-up gun (siphon feed), hoses. The only thing I had to buy was a few different needle/tip sets. I just looked it up and it appears they're no longer available. I'm sure someone else makes them, but I'm not sure who. It's the perfect setup for a hobbyist like myself, but you'll need to learn the specifics of painting with this type of system, as there are a few important differences. There is no compressor needed. You never run out of cfm's and you don't have to worry about moisture/oil getting into it like you do with regular compressors.

    The kit was around $600, iirc and each extra tip/needle set was $50.
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  4. #4
    FEP Supporter webestang's Avatar
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    +1 on Eastwood paint system. I used a $10 gun and a 13 gal compressor and got this.....


    Scotty
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  5. #5
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    Picked up a older similar upright HF compressor at a swap meet. Is my go to unit.
    Was not pumping air but intake valve plate repair fixed that. Common failure over time.
    Rarely paint the car but works fine for everything else.

    One thing- found having a mix of air, battery, and corded tools works out good.
    Sometimes one type will work better for the situation or to take over same task.
    Air and battery have variable limits to time used.

    Gas powered compressors are an option for hd use.
    Lowes has a Dewalt cast iron twin cyl dual volt 30 gal but it aint cheap.
    CFM and tank size are key.

    Can always trade up to larger like boat owners do.
    Oiless, one stage, two stage, the ultimate rotary screw type.

    Keep hose connection air leaks to a minimum or none.
    Make it a habit to drain tank regularly. PITA without auto drain.

    Have six 120v portable compressors. Turn up occasionally at garage, estate sales cheap.
    The HF 2.5 hp 21 gal 125 oilless tank type- works better than expected
    Sanborn 2hp 20 gal cast iron belt drive one stage, vintage bought new. 6 cfm/90, 7/40- works great
    CH 1 hp tankless, heavy, vintage bought new in the 70's. 5/90, 6/40- works great
    CH oilless dual tank portable- found at curb. Minor repairs fixed it.
    BD vintage white/orange 1/4" hose tankless mini compressor with spray gun. Painted a VW with one.
    One portable 10 gal tank. Fill and go. Also as added storage tank with compressors.

    Thing is the big upright stationary single or dual stage are best but not everyone has 240v for them or the space.

    Did some car panel painting. Inexpensive gravity gun, Duplicolor premix black lacquer.
    Trick is to practice getting the gun and air pressure set up close. Use air and water filters.
    Turns out about like spray cans (which can give decent results) only faster coverage.
    All run air tools. How long depends on air use of tool. No d/a sanders. Use corded for that.

    Hose-
    My fav is a blue Coleman Powermate 50' x 3/8" PVC. Inexpensive, flex -20 to 150.
    Stored hose on a Suncast garden hose reel. Very quick to deploy and wind up.
    H Depot has them
    Another fave is Craftsman black polyurethane coiled 25' which is handy and ready fast. Dont get nylon.
    One 25' 3/8" pvc hose for extending and quick use.
    Also have 25' Goodyear 3/8 rubber hose. Is ok, less flexible, gets dirty, harder to coil up without reel.
    Whatever choice, go with minimum 3/8 hose. 1/4" ends hamper real good tool operation.

    Tools used with small compressors:
    Milton lever style blow gun with rubber tip
    CP air hammer with tips- works magic
    IR composite 400# impact- lug nuts, bolts- intermittant use.
    IR 3/8 lever air wrench- like factories use for small fasteners
    CP right angle cutoff tool- intemittant use. Mainly use corded type when space allows.
    Dewalt brad nailer kit- handy, low air use
    HF staple gun- works fine, low air use
    CH HVLP two spray gun kit- works fine
    CH geared buffer- sucks too much air
    CH 5" d/a sander- sucks a lot of air- corded sanders better
    CH air caulking gun- works great, low air use- the only way to caulk period.
    HF metal flanging and punch tool
    HF 1/4" air riveter
    Air chucks for tires
    Boxes for tools and fittings
    All manuals stored in 3 ring binders.
    Extra gauges, extra shut off valves, various filters, regulators, quick fittings, swivels, multi air tap blocks, air tool oil.
    2 garden hose reels for hoses.

    Have run 3 compressors and portable air tank together. Not recommended but worked great.
    Multiple compressors can add cfm and storage, provided house electric is up to it.
    Last edited by gr79; 06-05-2020 at 06:03 PM.

  6. #6
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    gr79, I was going to ask if you had ever ganged compressors. I've thought about it but haven't had the need, yet. A guy could maybe borrow a compressor from a buddy. If your electrical system isn't up to it, you could run one compressor off a generator. You do have a generator, don't you?

  7. #7
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    I'll give my two cents as a rookie painter.

    I bought and used a 30 gallon compressor for the work I have done. Agreed that a larger capacity tank and the output of the compressor are to be considered.

    For me, this compressor has done what I need. When spraying the larger parts of the car or more continuously, the compressor will kick in and basically keep running. For my projects though, I never did run out of air pressure but I would pause in between coats until it caught up. Never ran into any duty cycle issues or an overload situation from running this way. The HVLP does use a lot of air, especially with the proper settings for the clearcoat.

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    For spray guns, I found and used the Devilbiss starter set. Comes with two guns. Did mostly everything I needed. Looks like Eastwood carries it too.

    https://www.eastwood.com/devilbiss-a...ng-system.html

    I also bought a Harbor Freight level touch up gun (Princess Auto is a similar Canadian retailer). It works okay too but I keep it cleaned good. The quality of the gun is suspect as one adjustment knob came off after a few uses. I do not use that one very often though so serves my purposes.

    https://www.princessauto.com/en/deta....pal-prod-com1

  8. #8
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    ganged compressors
    That is what i meant in saying "Have run 3 compressors and portable air tank together."
    Read it can damage them.
    Used 3 separate 15 amp circuits and started each compressor by itself.
    They did not trip any breakers restarting when refilling the tanks.
    Used tee blocks and quick connect fittings to connect all the hoses to.
    Actually was an experiment to see if it worked. Ran the da sander fine.
    Took a while to connect everything, hoses and cords everywhere.

    The HF one holds enough air to take 5 lug wheels off.
    Pauses during work procedures usually is enough time for it to top off its air.
    Plus i take a lot of breaks.
    It is things that need run long like sprayers and sanders that drain tanks.

    Yes have a Coleman 1600 generator too. 1978 house is 100a mains power.

  9. #9

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    as was pointed out early. the paint gun wants 15 cfm and the compressor you picked makes 5 cfm. you will have troubles with that system. think of buying one or two used compressors. i have 2 belt driven 2 hp compressors, about 10 cfm and 40 gallons of tank. this will work but a pro would not be happy. also if in your area it is humid you might need 30 feet of 3/4 pipe for cooling the air before the filter. the first time your gun / tool spits water on the project this will become more important. good luck.

  10. #10
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    The switch went bad on my twin tank unit. Used that one all the time.
    Was ready to pick up ;another switch when the HF one turned up at the meet.
    Figured for 30.00 it did not run and would salvage the switch and tank.
    Turned out fine once the valve plate in head was repaired. No cost.
    Needed to sand some bondo the other day.
    The d/a would work normal for about 15 sec then slow down.
    Got out the corded sander.
    Faster than teaming up the compressors for a 20 minute job.

    Funny with owning 5 still look at new compressors.
    That upright black Sandborn is nice.
    Wonder if things have changed with the higher pressure tanks?

    Painted the side of the car one time. Black lacquer no clear.
    Came out smooth and shiny after sanding and buffing.
    So went to do the other side on another day.
    Dull sheen
    The pressure was set too low. Needed 35# got 15.
    Set pressure needed when tool is operating, not before.
    It was at 35 but drops quick with paint gun.
    Last edited by gr79; 06-06-2020 at 10:13 AM.

  11. #11
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    The Eastwood gun that only requires 4.5 cfm does look intriguing.
    79 Pace Car - 331, t5
    79 Cobra - working on 351w, t5
    86 coupe - rotbox roller
    86 coupe - working on 408w, c4
    88gt - 302 efi, t5

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