What Size Compressor for LVLP Spray Gun?

The size of the compressor required for spraying with an LVLP gun depends on whether you need it for light or heavy-duty work. You will need to select the type of compressor depending on your needs so that you can get the maximum performance out of the machine.

A larger size compressor is always heavier and more expensive to purchase. But if you invest in a larger-size compressor, it will work efficiently with your LVLP gun.

A small or medium-size compressor will not be able to handle it and resulting in uneven coverage and other problems.

What is Compressor?

A compressor is a unit device that compresses air into a tank and pumps it to the spray gun.

It is an important part of spray painting equipment as it delivers paint in the form of droplets to targets.

Air compressors are rated by horsepower or kilowatts and are available in different capacities.

What is air Compressor

It is one of the important components in a pneumatic air system which is made up of a pump, (sometimes dubbed an engine), and a tank where the compressed gas is stored.

The pressure at which the gas is being pumped into the tank regulates how much volume of work can be done with it.

The Main Functions of A Compressor

A compressor in an LVLP spray gun can perform the following functions;

  • #1: It can help to pump paint from the spray gun.
  • #2: It can drive spray guns and helps them to atomize the paint.
  • #3: It will increase your work efficiency as it delivers paint at a steady rate.
  • #4: It can compress air into a tank and pumps it into the spray gun.
  • #5: It can deliver paint in the form of droplets to targets.
  • #6: It has a pressure gauge and other controls, such as a regulator valve to regulate the pressure.

Importance Of A Compressor

The compressors come in different sizes so you need one that matches your project.

The air compressors are designed to provide the air pressure to your LVLP spray guns to operate them efficiently. The size of the compressor depends largely on the size of your spraying projects and how frequently you plan on working with spray guns.

For general household use, you will only need a portable unit that can be plugged into an outlet. These are small and easy to bring along with you to any job site.

Major Categories Of Air Compressors

Air compressors come in two major categories;

#1. External Compressors; They are more commonly used because of their lower cost and easy maintenance. So they are an attractive option for those small business owners who have a tight budget.

The external compressors have also larger footprints and they take up more valuable space in the workplace. But they produce louder noise that may disturb nearby co-workers or customers.

#2. Internal Compressors; They are very expensive, but there is no need for an air tank, which makes it a space-saving option for painting contractors.

What Size Compressor Does An LVLP Spray Gun Require?

An LVLP Spray Gun requires very little air to operate, so a small air compressor can be sufficient for it.

The LVLP spray gun has a definite air consumption which is almost 3.5 CFM to 3.9 CFM at about 30 PSI. But the best ideal outcome, suitable for a working pressure is between 25 to 45 PSI.

Actually, the size of the compressor depends on the load, it needs to deliver. The most common type of compressor is a twin-cylinder.

How To Reduce The Spattering Of An LVLP Spray Gun?

In order to reduce the spatter, keep proper air pressure, because too high pressure will cause the material to spatter and on the other hand too low pressure will cause the material not to get enough force, and result in splatter.


The compressors are a very important component of an LVLP spray gun. The size of the compressor determines its spraying paint performance.

Normally, an LVLP spray gun needs a small compressor providing about 3.5 CFM to 3.9 CFM at about 30 PSI. The size of the compressor usually depends on the workload or nature of the paint.

Additional Questions

What PSI is needed for LVLP?

The maximum inlet air pressure needed for an LVLP (Low Volume Low Pressure) is 0.69 bar or 10 PSI. However, it is important to note that these results could slightly vary. To get the most accurate measurements, I recommend using a compliance air cap and gauge kit to confirm the air outlet doesn’t exceed the maximum limit.

What size air compressor do I need for a spray gun?

While some air spray guns can operate at lower ratings, it’s widely suggested by professionals, including myself, to use a compressor that can deliver at least 12 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute). The key is to ensure that your compressor’s CFM capacity surpasses the requirements stipulated on your specific spray gun for optimal results. In my experience, an underpowered compressor will fail to bring out the full power of your spray gun, leading to inefficient and unsatisfactory results.

What do you use a LVLP spray gun for?

As an expert in the field, I can tell you that LVLP spray guns are incredibly versatile tools. They’re commonly used for a variety of applications including but not limited to auto repair, home improvement projects, and general painting tasks. What makes them unique is their ability to deliver a professional finish while using a lower volume of air. They’re also a preferred option when aiming to reduce overspray and improve paint transfer efficiency, making them a popular choice amongst both professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike.

How big of a compressor do I need for a HVLP gun?

As someone who has been working with HVLP guns for years, I can confirm they require a substantial amount of air to function effectively. For a versatile HVLP gun capable of spraying a wide range of finishings, you would need a compressor with at least 2.5 to 3 HP, coupled with a tank of 75 Liters (or 20 Gallons). In this case, size certainly matters – a larger capacity compressor provides the consistent and abundant air supply that HVLP guns require to ensure high-quality, professional finishes.

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