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Applying a fresh coat of car paint adds an extra appeal to your vehicle, making it an excellent way to maintain your car’s resale value, even after an accident. Also, it’s a great way to restore a vintage car or revive a car that is starting to look old and rusty in its original state.
Unfortunately, the cost of painting a car can be quite high, especially if you get it done at an auto body shop. For that reason, many DIYers are opting to tackle the car painting project on their own.
Interestingly, the task is not that complicated, provided you’ve got the right tools, including the best car paint sprayers and a respirator mask.
But, where do you even get started when looking for these tools? Well, worry not as you’re in the right place! This guide will help you find the best spray gun for car paint and things you should look out for!
First, here are some important things you should be aware of before you consider making your first purchase!
What is an automotive paint sprayer?
Also known as a spray gun, a car paint sprayer is a device that is specifically designed to apply a fine coat of paint on the car’s body. It’s one of the most efficient ways of painting your SUV, car, or truck since it wastes little to no paint.
Not to forget that it doesn’t leave rough finishes or other irregularities like brush strokes on your car’s bodywork. Basically, it acts as an extension of your arm, while providing an easy way to paint over various contours and surfaces to give your car a smooth and defined look.
In addition, a spray gun offers several benefits compared to conventional methods of painting auto body panels. For instance, the device allows you to easily apply car paint on different surfaces, even through tight spaces.
Another interesting benefit of using a spray gun is that it improves the quality of your paint job by applying a uniform layer on the body. Yet the only skills needed from you as the operator to achieve a perfect finish are some practice and steady hand movement!
A car paint sprayer is ideal for use in several applications, such as adding details like an embellished stencil/ racing stripes and restoring an entire vintage car. At the same time, it can be used to refresh the car’s color coat as well as cover surface scratches.
Other notable benefits of automotive paint sprayers include;
- Offer maximum coverage efficiently
- Provide professional-grade paintwork, even for beginners
- Gives your car a more polished & cohesive look
- Less costly than a professional paint job
- Ideal for painting small details like images or words
- Applies a high amount of car paint in a short period
- Provides more control for a smooth & detailed look
On the downside, automotive paint sprayers can be a bit costly. However, there are some more affordable options you can choose from, especially if you only plan to paint your project car. One thing you need to bear in mind though is that you will get exactly what you pay for. For instance, less expensive spray guns usually have a shorter lifespan, fewer adjustments, and are less user-friendly.
So, while cheaper models will work just fine for beginners and seasonal DIYers, be ready to shell out a little more if you want a professional automotive paint sprayer!
Different Types of Car paint Spray Guns
Since their invention, spray guns have become increasingly popular in the automotive industry. In addition, they have undergone consistent improvements to make them easier to use and are now available in various designs. As a result, there are different types of automotive paint spray guns. They include;
High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP) sprayers
As the name suggests, an HVLP spray gun uses low air pressure to mix with a high volume of material to create a uniform, well-mixed spray. This type of spray gun is more common, less costly, and easier to use compared to other types. Its only drawback is that it cannot spray out of position.
An HVLP sprayer either picks up paint from a gravity cup above the gun or a siphon cup underneath the gun.
A gravity-feed spray gun tends to be more efficient than a siphon gun since it uses gravity to supply paint to the sprayer, where it’s atomized and pushed out through the nozzle.
In comparison, a siphon feed sprayer has paint contained attached to the lower end. More importantly, it uses a vacuum to suck up the paint, which is then blasted out through the nozzle.
One notable benefit of a siphon feed spray gun can be used at a higher number of angles than its gravity feed counterpart since there is no risk of the paint spilling out from the paint cup.
On the downside, a siphon feed sprayer can be harder to clean and require more air pressure to suck the paint than a gravity feed spray gun. For that reason, gravity gin is the most widely used type of spray gun overall and is preferred by beginners.
On the other hand, a siphon sprayer is recommended for spraying truck underbodies and in positions that don’t require the sprayer to stand upright.
Low Volume Low Pressure (LVLP) Sprayers
An LVLP sprayer uses low air pressure to mix a low amount of material to create a uniform spray paint. As a result, it’s much more controllable and efficient than its HVLP counterparts.
However, they are much slower than HVLP spray guns since they spray less material and require low pressure. Therefore, you will be spending more time holding down the trigger with LVLP sprayers to cover the same area than you would with HVLP spray guns.
In addition, LVLP sprayers can either be siphon or gravity feed, but they’re usually siphon feed.
Air pressure-assisted spray guns
An air pressure-assisted spray gun uses a separate pressurized container to feed paint into the gun. The extra pressure assistance allows the device to spray out a lot more paint than its LVLP and HVLP counterparts.
For that, they’re considered the best type of spray guns for thicker materials as well as for spraying a huge area.
However, these spray guns are harder to clean and use. And like their LVLP counterparts, they have been mainly replaced by High Volume Low-Pressure spray guns in the semi–pro, and hobby sectors.
A good example of an air pressure-assisted spray gun is the TCP Global pressure kit.
Airless spray guns
Airless spray guns are commonly used to paint houses due to their ability to pump very thick materials at a high volume. And as their name suggests, this type of sprayer doesn’t use any air.
Instead, it uses a pump that simply pumps the materials straight into the sprayer with a decent amount of pressure. The main drawback of air spray guns is that operators don’t have a lot of control, which is why they’re rarely used to paint cars.
Best Spray Guns for Car Paint
1. FUJI 2203G Semi-PRO 2 Gravity HVLP Spray System
Established in 1986, Fuji Spray has become one of the leading spray equipment manufacturers, with their products being considered the best car paint guns in the world. A good example is their 2203G spray system, which exceeds the expectations of many operators with its portability and lightweight build.
As a result, this spray system is a great option for professionals and beginners alike. Besides, it comes as an entire spray system, so you don’t need a compressor to start painting your car, motorcycle, or truck!
Specifically, this non-bleed HVLP spray gun has an adjustable pattern fan control to ensure less wastage, an inbuilt 1.3mm air cap set for spraying medium to thin materials, and a 400cc gravity feed paint cap.
In addition, it comes with a metal turbine case with a convenient gun holder and a 25-ft high-flex hose with an air control valve.
The valve allows you to reduce any instances of bounce back or overspray, while the handle has an ergonomic design that allows you to use it for several hours without getting fatigued.
Another interesting feature of this device is that, unlike many HVLP spray systems, it’s not powered by low-wattage motors. Instead, it has a powerful 1400-watt 2-stage electric bypass motor contained under the metal turbine cover.
The motor generates enough power to apply any type of coating, making it one of the most powerful 2-stage spray systems on the market.
In terms of build quality, this spray gun will last longer than plastic models due to its metal construction. Not to forget that you can easily disassemble the entire gravity cup and spray gun for cleaning and maintenance.
The best part? Its replacement parts are readily available if needed!
The only issue with this unit though is that it’s not ideal for handling big projects. That’s because you’ll be spending more time mixing car paint than spraying with its 12oz cup.
Other than that, the Fuji Spray 2203G spray system is an excellent option for tackling medium to small projects. This includes; painting cars, ceilings, doors, furniture pieces, etc.
- 400cc Gravity feed cup
- 1.3mm tip size air cap set
- 2-stage turbine with 25 ft. hose
- 12 oz container size
- Metal turbine case with gun holder
- Includes a wrench and cleaning brush
- Fully adjustable spray system
- Powerful, 1400-watt motor
- 3 air-cap sizes for applying different materials
- High-quality parts
- Easy to clean & maintain
- Ideal for other projects apart from automotive painting
- Lightweight, portable design
- Small gravity cup
- A bit pricey
2. DEVILBISS 802343 Auto Painting Sprayer Kit
Seeing that this Devilbiss 80243 spray gun comes with everything you need to get a DIY car paint project done, it’s considered the best sprayer kit for beginners. More importantly, it will allow you to effectively spray a full spectrum of coatings for projects of various sizes.
In short, if you’re new to car painting, this set might be the best product for you. Here’s why!
First of all, this Devilbiss car paint/ priming sprayer set comes fully equipped with a maintenance wrench, gun cleaning brush set, gun blow-molded storage, air regulator with gauge, and a carrying case. Plus, you’ll get 1 full-size topcoat HVLP spray gun, 1 full-size priming HVLP spray gun, and a 600cc 20 oz metal cup.
In addition to multiple spray guns, this kit includes 3 different fluid tips (1.3mm, 1.5mm & 1.8mm). This makes it extremely easy to achieve a quality finish when applying the basecoat, top coat, and clear coat.
The 1.8mm setup is suitable for the atomization of primers, sealers, and thinned latex as well as other medium & heavy viscosity settings. On the other hand, the 1.5mm fluid tip is for applying primers, sealers, single-stage, and medium viscosity coatings.
While the 1.3 mm option is ideal for the atomization of light viscosity coatings like clear coats and basecoats.
On the downside, this sprayer requires a high air volume to get the job done. To be precise, it needs an air pressure of at least 12 – 13 CFM to provide the desired finish.
In addition, the paint cup has a capacity of 20 oz, meaning you’ll have to stop regularly while painting to refill them if you’re working on a large project.
- 20 oz 600cc metal cup
- Includes 3 different fluid tips (1.3, 1.5, & 1.8mm)
- Ideal for large and small car paint projects
- Comes with multiple spray guns for whole-car coverage
- Reasonable price
- Comes with a handy storage & carrying case
- Quality construction
- Ideal for beginners
- 1-year warranty
- Can be used to apply a wide range of coatings
- Small paint cup
- Regulators need to be improved
- Requires a minimum air pressure of 12 – 13 CFM
3. TCP Global HVLP Sprayer Set
Sometimes, one spray gun isn’t enough when painting your car. Besides, car painting is a process that involves applying many layers such as topcoats, base coats, and final touch-ups.
So, if you just have one spray gun, you will be forced to clean and reuse the same device, wasting a lot of time in the process.
Luckily, that doesn’t have to be the case if you get yourself this TCP sprayer set. This kit comes with 3 separate guns equipped with separate cups, steel needles, and different-sized nozzles.
The 1.8mm is ideal for oil base, latex, primers, and medium to heavy coatings, while the 1.4 mm fluid tip sprayer handles clear coats, base coats, and other clear- medium paints. On the other hand, the smallest 1.0mm tip detail spray gun is recommended for touch-ups and tight areas.
That way, you can easily paint your car fast and leave it to dry as you move on to other tasks.
Moving on, these high-performance HVLP spray guns are crafted from high-quality and long-lasting stainless steel material to protect them from rust over time. At the same time, each sprayer has an excellent knob (manual adjustment feature).
This allows you to easily control the fluid flow or air pressure and adjust the spray patterns according to your project needs.
In addition, this unit comes with nozzle sets that are equipped with standard size ¼ air inlets. Plus, this spray gun works at an operating pressure of about 29 to 50 PSI, making it one of the most effective car paint spray guns on the market. More importantly,
Lastly, this set includes an instruction manual that will guide you on how to handle larger projects. For that, it’s relatively easy to use, which makes it a great starting point for any newbie in automotive painting.
- 3 Gravity feed HVLP spray guns with cups
- 3 different-sized tips (1mm, 1.4mm & 1.8mm)
- Air regulators
- Two 32 oz aluminum fluid cups and one 50 oz aluminum fluid cup
- Consistent gravity feed spray system
- Ideal for spraying clear coats
- Comes with a 1-year warranty
- Lightweight design
- Includes a maintenance kit and an instruction manual
- The set comes with 3 spray guns
- Requires an air compressor
4. 3M Performance 26778 Spray Gun Starter Kit
Seeing that 3M makes some of the best spray accessories in the automotive industry, it should not come as a surprise that their spray gun starter kit has made it on our list.
Better yet, their 3m performance 26778 model combines all the best features of various spray guns, making it a highly versatile unit. Not to forget that it will save you a lot of time in your car painting project while delivering incredible results.
The most stand-out feature offered by this spray gun is that it has an easy-to-use PPS 2.0 system. As a result, it’s relatively easy to use since it allows you to spray paint at any angle, unlike most traditional gravity-feed HVLP sprayers.
At the same time, this device is one of the lightest HVLP sprayers on the market as it’s up to 50% lighter compared to other metal spray guns. Nonetheless, it’s equipped with a smooth trigger pull and an adjustable fan pattern, just like a metal spray gun, allowing it to deliver high transfer efficiency.
Talking of efficiency, this spray gun uses less car paint, while providing better coverage. Moreover, this sprayer is designed to keep paint out of the gun and replacement heads, making it extremely easy to replace the nozzles if anything goes wrong.
This means that you can continue painting your car instead of spending time cleaning tiny passages on the paint gun.
It’s also worth mentioning that the replaceable atomizing heads are available in various sizes (1.2, 1.3 & 1.4mm). For that reason, you can use this sprayer set to spray different high-performance coatings such as clear coats, primers, sealers, metallic, and solid colors.
- 360-degree spray angle
- Made from an impact-resistant composite material
- lightweight & replaceable nozzles
- Includes 15 gravity HVLP atomizing heads and 3M PPS 2.0 spray cup with 5 lids & liners
- Replaceable nozzles
- Super lightweight design
- Durable construction
- Allows you to spray at all angles
- Precision spray performance
- Doesn’t come with an air compressor
- Only comes with 1 spray gun
5. Campbell Hausfeld AT706099 Spray Gun Kit
Manufactured by Campbell Hausfeld, this AT706099 automotive sprayer kit is another great option for beginners. It comes with everything you need to need to finish your car painting projects quickly, plus it’s extremely easy to use.
Better yet, apart from automotive painting, this spray kit is ideal for other home projects such as painting countertops, cabinets, and carpentry.
So, if you’re looking for a full spray gun kit that you can start from scratch with, this product comes with all the essentials!
This includes; 2 spray guns, 10 paint filters, 2 regulating valves, metal files, couplers, 5 in-line paint filters, PTFE thread tape, 3 cleaning brushes, and a wrench.
In addition, the set comes with a carrying case for portability and convenient storage as well as different-sized spray tips with a diameter of 1.4mm and 1.8mm.
The 2 spray guns require compressed air at 2.1 and 0.7CFM respectively. Interestingly, despite consuming such little air, they can shoot atomized paint out through the nozzles at 40 PSI, making them ideal for handling touch-ups and larger projects.
Moreover, these gravity-feed guns are designed to deliver precise results and minimize paint wastage for maximum efficiency. On top of that, each spray gun comes with its dedicated paint canister.
The smaller sprayer has a 120 ml canister as it’s mainly designed for touch-ups, while the larger spray gun has a 550 ml canister.
In terms of construction, these spray guns have a lighter structure and aluminum body. For that, they’re quite user-friendly as you can handle them conveniently without getting hand fatigue.
- 2 spray guns
- Gravity feed design to reduce wastage
- Includes a cleaning kit (3 cleaning brushes)
- Organized kit and carrying case for portability
- Ideal for various uses
- Complete set
- Highly versatile
- Lightweight and easy-to-use design
- Includes waste reduction features
- Durable body construction
- A perfect option for beginners
- Convenient storage & portability
- Not ideal for use with latex & rubber paints
- The machine gets clogged if you use thicker paints