Smallest Air Compressor for Painting

One of the best ways to save money for construction is to purchase a device that you can use for many purposes. If you buy an HVLP painting machine, you can use it for nothing else but painting.

What you might not know is that you can buy the smallest air compressor for painting, and also use it for other tasks.

Today, I will show you my five best choices for the smallest air compressor for painting. I based my list on functionality, price, dependability, and durability. In the end, I want you to check them out and ultimately, decide which ones to buy for your painting job.

smallest air compressor for painting

Smallest Air Compressor for Painting: 5 Best Choices

1. CRAFTSMAN Compressor Combo Kit, 6 Gallon, Pancake, 3 Tool (CMEC3KIT)

Craftsman CMEC3KIT Check on Amazon

This model is a 3-in-1 tool and air compressor combo kit. It is ready to use, and it can accommodate six gallons of air. It comes with a brad nailer and a straight finish nailer upon purchase. It offers a lot for its price. Designed for portable use, it is an ideal companion for people who need the smallest air compressor for painting.

Key Features

  • Oli-Free – the electric compressor does not need oil. As such, it is maintenance-free and will last longer than gas-powered air compressors.
  • Multiple Uses – you can also use it for bolting, nailing, and stapling.
  • Excellent Build – the materials used are tough and sturdy, and they can withstand the wear and tear of regular use. It also has rubberized feet, making it stable on the ground.
  • Adjustable Power – even if it can produce 150 PSI, there are two pressure gauges where you can see how the pressure goes after adjusting it.


  • Excellent power
  • Portable device
  • Has a lot of air power
  • Hs rubbet feet for stability
  • Multi-tool included upon purchase


  • No significant drawback for this model

This particular air compressor from Craftsman, the CMEC6150 model, is part of the company’s fresh line-up. It is great for painting, inflating tires, and even basic woodworking jobs. It is a reliable compressor from one of the most trusted brands in the world.

2. Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon Pancake Compressor

BOSTITCH BTFP02012 Check on Amazon

Our next smallest air compressor for painting is the Bostitch BTFP02012. This portable air compressor is Bostitch’s answer to Craftsman. It also generates 150 PSI at 2.6 CFM. An oil-free air compressor, it is expected to last long, and no maintenance is required.

With this model, you get six gallons of air, and it does sport two separate gauges. It can support simultaneous operations, and it can perform various pneumatic construction work, including paint jobs.

Key Features

  • Powerful Motor – it houses a high-efficiency motor that can work in cold weather. It is easy to start, and it will also work with extension cords.
  • Low Noise – the machine only produces 78.5 decibels. It is one of the quietest and smallest air compressors for painting.
  • Simultaneous Use – there are two couplers in the machine, which means you can attach two hoses and perform two jobs at once.


  • Value for money
  • High air capacity
  • Sturdy and tough build
  • Has separate reading gauges


  • Low horsepower at 0.8 HP
  • Short power cord at only five feet
  • PSI rading has variance of 2

Right out of the box, I can say that this model is consistent with user expectations. It weighs only 29 pounds, making it easy to carry around. The product comes with supplies that you can use—there is no need to purchase nozzles.

Of course, it is not specifically made for paint jobs only, so you must buy the accessories that you can use for your painting projects.

3. DEWALT Air Compressor, 135-PSI Max, 1 Gallon Tank, 2.6 Amp (D55140)

DEWALT D55140 Check on Amazon

Key Features

  • Oil-Free – the pump is maintenance-free; it uses no oil, making it last longer.
  • Low Noise – the decibel level of this compressor is only 71; it is a quiet compressor, which makes it ideal for work in the city, especially in corporate buildings where workers may be disturbed.
  • Neat Interface – the controls are neatly lined at the face of the compressor; it is easy to find the pressure gauge and regulator knob.
  • Power – the compressor can produce a maximum of 135 PSI
  • Compact Design – the machine is only 19 inches wide and 24 pounds; by far, I can say that it is the smallest air compressor for painting
  • Protection – the one-gallon tank has a protective roll cage; it is a tubular metal that prevents the gallon from getting hit first.


  • Compact and esy to carry
  • Easy to use; no complicated proceses or set-up
  • Powerful yet quiet motor


  • Tank is only 1 gallon
  • Long recovery time

Before you start using it, DeWalt recommends that you break it in. To do this, open the ball valve drain and then run the machine for 15 minutes. This process should drain air and moisture from the tank.

Upon purchase, you will only get the compressor. It does not include a hose. One thing to note about this smallest air compressor for painting is that it only has one coupler. You cannot use two hoses to perform simultaneous jobs at the same time.

4. DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, 165 PSI (DWFP55126),Multi

DEWALT DWFP55126 Check on Amazon

If you think you need a bigger tank and you like DeWalt, then this model is what you need to check out. A pancake compressor, it has a higher PSI yield at 165 than the previous one. It is capable of storing 6 gallons of air.

Key Features

  • Lightweight – the entire product weighs only 30 pounds; it is easy to carry. It is also compact, making it easy to store.
  • Power – the maximum PSI is 165 at 2.6 SCFM; it has a quick recovery and extended run time. You can use it for 15 minutes at a time. It uses a high-efficiency motor that can start even if the weather is cold.
  • Quiet Compressor – the noise it makes is maxed at 78.5 decibels; while you still hear the compressor whirring, it is not deafening.
  • Oil-Free – like the other compressors we have on the list, this one is oil-free, so there is no need to maintain it. It will last longer.
  • Two Couplers – it has two couplers from which you can attach two separate hoses and devices. It is ideal for paint jobs and minor construction work.


  • High PSI at 165
  • Large tank at a capacity of six gallons
  • Quiet and powerful
  • Maintenance-free unit


  • Limited application
  • Not suitable for big jobs

What I like about this smallest air compressor for painting is that it offers high performance. The interface is at the top, and there are two gauges. Below the gauges, you will find the regulator knob. It also turns off automatically at 165 PSI, which means it is safe to use.

5. Metabo HPT Air Compressor | THE TANK™ | 200 PSI | 6 Gallon | Pancake | EC914S

Metabo HPT EC914S Check on Amazon

This model from Metabo is a job site compressor that can deliver high power at only 41 pounds. Though slightly heavier than the previous ones we discussed, it is still portable and easy to carry around.

Designed for construction work, this smallest air compressor for painting is capable of doing paint jobs. It is maxed at 200 PSI and can produce 4 CFM at 90 PSI.

Key Features

  • High Power – the compressor sports a single-phase motor at 13.5 Amp; the motor has 1.3 horsepower, and it is capable of delivering up to 5.1 CFM.
  • Oil-Free – as an electric compressor, it does not need oiling. Like the rest of our compressors in this list of best smallest air compressor for painting, it is maintenance-free and will last for a long time.
  • Safety – it has a thermal overload protector, making it safe to use. If the machine overheats, it has a mechanism that activates to interrupt the current flow of power.


  • Has a big tank
  • No need for maintenance as the pump is oil-free
  • Can run two devices at once
  • High air deliveryr 4.0 CFM


  • This machine is louder compared to other pancake air compressors
  • Heavy at 41 pounds

Overall, the Metabo HPT is an innovative air compressor. It has a Pro-Grade, and it offers a high-capacity 6-gallon tank. You can also use it for other tasks like nailing, roofing, siding, and framing.

How to Choose the Smallest Air Compressor for Painting

Before you buy the smallest air compressor for painting, there are a few factors to consider. These tips below should help you make the right decision.

First, watch for the CFM. The CFM measurement, or cubic feet per minute, tells you how fast the smallest air compressor for painting can supply air. If your tool uses air faster than your compressor can supply, you must stop working and wait for the compressor to refill. The higher the CFM, the better.

Second, choose a tank size. If the paint job is small, or if you are not in a rush, a one-gallon-tank compressor will do. However, it is obvious that a larger tank contains more air and allows you to use it for a longer time before the pressure drops.

Now, despite the size of the tank, you must always consider the CFM. If your work needs a lot of air volume, you need to get both—big tank and high CFM output.

Lastly, PSI is not always a factor. It is merely the pressure that pushes the air out of the compressor into our nozzle. Of course, a higher PSI can generate more force. High PSI is for pressure washers and big pneumatic devices.

With the above factors in mind, you can make an informed decision as to which smallest air compressor for painting to purchase.

Summary: Smallest Air Compressor for Painting

For light work, I would recommend the 135 PSI compressor from DeWalt. It is really compact, and at first glance, it does not even look like a compressor at all. However, it may not meet certain power requirements. If that is the case, feel free to choose from the other four. The smallest air compressor for painting will make the job easier and help you complete the paint work more efficiently. Happy painting!

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