Brief Discussion For What CFM Is Required For Spray Painting?

What CFM Is Required For Spray Painting?

What CFM is required For Spray Painting

CFM necessities for spray guns vary from model to model, smaller spray guns naturally require less cfm than other options. CFM is very important for spray guns as it determines the amount of air compression that affects the spray result. Other spray guns match their unique CFM. So, before starting a project, there is a necessity to find out the amount of CFM needed for spray paint to comprehend the task. 

CFM measurement is an essential factor to check out when selecting an air compressor for painting projects. 

This factor calculates the air compressor produced per minute and how much air a compressor can deliver at a given PSI. 

The cfm of the compressor must be equal to and higher than the cfm requirement of the air gun. Otherwise, you run the risk of pressure drop and volume loss, which are the two major causes of incomplete coverage.

 The bulk element of the hvlp gun is an essential indication that a larger compressor is a requirement for proper use. 

There is no definitive answer to the amount of cfm required as the cfm of the compressor depends on the nature of the painting work undertaken. 

 The quality of the spray gun also plays an essential role in selecting the exact amount of cfm needed for painting projects. 

For instance, a high-quality hvlp spray gun requires up to 20 cfm to perform an excellent task. A conventional spray gun requires about 11 -15cfm because it does not require more air than a high-quality hvlp spray gun. 

The spray of paint depends on the amount of air, not on the pressure created. In this case, more air compressor is needed to enable the sprayer gun to work harmoniously with the other parts. For instance, if a spray gun needs more CFM than the compressor can provide, the paint job will not be excellent.

What Is CFM?

What Is CFM?

CFM is the abbreviation for Cubic Feet per Minute. It is the amount of compressed air that a particular compressor can supply at a specific pressure per minute. CFM, not pneumatic, refers to the amount of air an air compressor can produce at a certain pressure, such as 90 psi. The CFM is a crucial factor to consider when purchasing an air compressor for a spray painting project. However, there are other factors such as tank size and pressure to put into consideration. 

Role Of CFM In Spray Gun Sprayer

The Optimal paint quality can be achieved with the appropriate CFM ratio. However, different painters have different requirements for painting, so it is important to consider accuracy when searching. In this case, always look at your spray gun to find the correct compressor. Compare the CFM reading from the spray gun to the CFM reading from the compressor. For best results, the CFM of the compressor should always be higher than the CFM of the spray gun. Just in case, first, check the CFM requirements for the spray gun to be used with the air compressor. After defining the gun’s CFM, you need to ensure that the air compressor you choose produces more than the gun’s CFM. It’s not worth buying an air compressor that delivers the same CFM. That should get something that generates more than the CFM of the spray gun.

Low CFM guns require less cap air. Reduction of loads from the compressor is one of the advantages of a low CFM air cap spray gun. However, reducing airflow has some drawbacks. The amount of air used by the spray gun depends on the model. In general, the lower the CFM of the air cap, the less effective the spray will be and the poorer the quality of the finish depending on the particular coating. As the spray air pressure increases, so does the CFM of the air used. Thicker body coatings usually require higher pressure and higher CFM to spray the coating properly. 

The high CFM spray gun is the most versatile. The high CFM spray gun can also provide an excellent finish. A better finish will result in more air blown into the spray gun, dissolving the coating. The main drawback of the high CFM spray gun is that it requires more air compressors. A high CFM spray gun may not be usable if the amount of air stored is limited. If the spray gun does not have enough air, you can see that the pattern is unstable or jumping due to spray air leaking in the middle of the painting.

Working principle of the spray gun

Best Spray Gun For Small Compressor (1)

A spray gun is a painting tool that uses compressed air from a nozzle to spray a liquid in a controlled pattern. The nozzles spraying work by pushing high-velocity turbulent air against the surface of a filament or liquid film, causing it to collapse into droplets of a wide range of sizes. Spray guns can be used as stationary equipment for painting cars, furniture, and home appliances. 

Spray guns transform liquid paint into thousands of tiny spray droplets. For the spray gun to attain this, it has several elements that must operate in harmony. Pistols typically come in four flavors in order of effect: 

  • Pressure
  • Siphon, 
  • Gravity Feed, 
  • High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP). 


In a pressurized gun, the liquid is pressurized in a spray gun, making the fluid ooze out of the spray gun at high pressure.

Siphon gun

The airflow inside the siphon gun creates a siphon that draws the paint out of the reservoir. 

Gravity feed

Gravity-feed guns mount a paint reservoir on top and use gravity to push the paint into the air stream. 

Hvlp gun

The hlvp guns are available in both siphon and gravity feed and designed to use low air pressure (10-20 psi) to deliver relatively high volumes of paint. 

 A reservoir is a cup or can of paint. Siphon guns can hold up to a liter of stains in a tank, while gravity guns typically hold a pint. The tank’s sole purpose is to retain the paint and allow atmospheric pressure inside, usually through a leak-proof valve or vent. 

The air cap is the part that does the job. The surface to be painted has precision drilled holes neatly positioned for the best spray pattern or pan. Air entering this hole not only sprays the paint but also creates a fan shape. The fluid tip is inside the air cap. 

The inner side of the spray gun depends on the viscosity of the material sprayed, and different sizes are available for each spray gun.

 Inside the central hole of the air, the cap is a fluid needle. The fluid needle is a tapered shaft attached to the trigger of a pistol. A light press of the spray gun opens the air valve and begins drawing the liquid into the spray gun. With a loose needle, the material flows and is sprayed with an air cap. 

The spray gun has two separate passages. 

  1. Air passage
  2. Paint passage

When the trigger pulls the tapered needle from the tip, more paints will flow through the hole in the cap. The amount of liquid increases, more air is required to spray the paint. Notice the two areas of the air horn. One is next to the liquid and the other is on either side of the crown of the air cap. 

This air outlet diverges to form a fan that exits the pistol. The spray gun can be damaged if the debris or dirt block the passages, air vents are destroyed or leaking occurs in a system. Gun cleanliness is essential for proper operation.


Effect of CFM on Spray Paint

Low Pressure

A potential problem when setting more pressure than the manufacturer recommends is low-quality spray paint. Insufficient separation of spray particles and paint particles may occur. In this case, the particles that appear may be too large, and the film may be thicker than necessary. Too much film will delay the drying of the paint, causing it to lose its luster and crack. It can leave the texture of the wall behind.

High Pressure 

 Another limitation of spray painting is the ability to apply high pressure to the gun. Setting the air pressure above the manufacturer’s recommended level can result in poor membrane formation, overspray, and poor metal control. A spray gun with a high-pressure setting can be used to split a very light medium pattern into a fan pattern with strong edges. This inconsistent spray paint pattern can cause streaks. It can lead to inefficient material consumption and also affects the durability of the coating system.

The CFM is needed for Spray Painting?

The gun works at the size of the CFM and compressor, so you need to identify the project first. It is advisable to ensure that the compressor can supply the air and pressure required by the spray gun. Most of the painters do ask themselves what cfm is required for spray painting? when deciding to purchase spray guns that will suit their needs.

 The required gun must have a low CFM but can still get the job done. The higher the CFM, the more it costs. Therefore, lower CFM and save money. Many people consider a spray gun with a range of 3 CFM at   22 PSI. On the other hand, large projects such as painting the entire house require a larger CFM and different specifications. If so, look for a motor rated at 6.5 CFM at 90 PSI. A spray gun with a specific nozzle that sprays over a wider area is necessary.

What Air Compressor do I Need for Spray Painting?

What Air Compressor do I Need for Spray Painting?

There are three essential measurements to keep in mind when spray painting with compressed air.

 The first is pounds per square inch (PSI), the second is cubic feet/minute (CFM), and the third is tank size.

 There is no need to put more pressure to complete the work, but ensure there is high PSI for consistent management. 

 The CFM necessity is an essential factor to put into consideration when selecting an air compressor for painting work. CFM measures the amount of air a compressor produces per minute and the amount of air a compressor can deliver at a particular PSI. The CFM number of the compressor should be higher than the CFM requirement of the air gun. Otherwise, there is a risk of pressure drop and volume loss, which are the two causes of inadequate coverage. 

Finally, the size of the tank plays an essential role, as the spray gun requires a constant flow of air to operate. Therefore, the compressor needs enough storage to catch up with the gun.

What is the Correct Pressure for Spray Painting?

Correct Pressure for Spray Painting

Many people prefer to purchase spray guns with the correct pressure. After all, it gives a much smoother surface and much better results than using a brush because it takes a shorter time. To get a smoother finish with spray paint, you need to consider several factors. One important factor that significantly affects the quality of the finish is the correct spray pressure.

 It is essential to have the correct pressure of the spray gun to avoid uneven staining.

 The correct painting pressure (PSI) depends on the painting project and the spray gun applied. For clear coats, the recommended spraying pressure is 26-29 psi.

 Most people recommend setting the spray gun pressure to 10-15 psi when applying a base coat. This pistol uses 5-7 cubic feet per minute with an air volume of 40 psi. 

In particular, setting the air pressure to 28-29 psi ensures the perfect finish. 

For the beginner, setting the air pressure of the sprayer gun can be done with adjustments and valves according to the few pounds the manufacturer provides.  If you are doing one-step enamel, you can lower the PSI to get more paint.

How To Achieve Correct Pressure For Spray Painting?

How To Achieve Correct Pressure For Spray Painting?

For maximum flow without the orange peel effect, use a higher capacity paint booth with a higher temperature and a lower solvent temperature. Apply two full wet coats, a clear coat, and acrylic paint. It is because medium wet coatings provide an orange peel effect even if they do not contain enough material to achieve optimal flow. 

For best results, start with a small tip of liquid. To increase the consumption and production speed of the paint, increase the pressure of the cup and use a larger chip. As the size of the chip used increases, the psi of the spray head must increase accordingly.

 For best results, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for lowering the catalytic ratio. Use a viscometer if necessary. 

The calibration meter is also essential for accurate readings from the air cap. Replacing the air cap can reduce pressure and may require additional adjustment for best results.

For heavy materials, it may be necessary to use a fully open fan setting, a liquid regulator setting, and a minimum air cap pressure for optimal spraying. 

A pressure-reducing valve with a separate cup can also be used to speed up applications on heavy materials. You can also apply a small amount of pressure to the cup.

What Size Tips to Use on a Spray Gun?

Size Tips to Use on a Spray Gun

There are several factors to consider when choosing the right spray tip size for each painting job. 

To get an excellent finish, ensure that the nozzle spraying size and angle of the fan shape are correct. Using the wrong nozzle tip sizes can harm the operation by causing the paint to harden or spread unevenly. The air cap determines the type of fan: flat shape, hollow cone shape, round shape.

 There are two main factors to consider when determining the chip size that produces the best results.

 First, find out which coating you want to spray. Heavy paintings require larger opening sizes than light coatings. For example, the primer is usually thicker than the included paint, so you should use a 1.7 or 1.8 mm tip to prime most surfaces. Most painters stick to the 1.2-2.0 mm range unless the paint applied is special. 

Next, consider the project area. It will determine the proper fan width created by the atomizer and the shape of the product coming out of the gun nozzle. Airless spray guns offer more control over fan width than traditional spray guns because the coating is pushed out of the nozzle without air spray. As a result, the points have a significant impact on the width and shape of the fan. Since most boat projects consist of large areas, wide fans extend the scope of spraying and also provide the ability to spray near the surface without creating too much debris. The smaller the surface, the smaller the nozzle tip should be to reduce overspray. 

It allows the nozzle to be focused so that it can spray further away from the surface without much waste. 

Finally, consider the spray gun to use. Ensure the spray tip you plan to use is supported by a spray gun. The most recommended nozzle tip to use is 1.3 to 1.4 inches. The tip of 1.2 is a bit small to apply heavy paint, which is more suitable for many workshops. 

Tips to consider when selecting a spray gun and compressor that matches with it

 A suitable gun is needed that works with the air compressor. If the cfm needs much more than the compressor can help, the machine should always catch up with it. 

  • Identify the best Pistol

The HVLP pistol, as the name implies, requires a large amount of air compressor. A pancake compressor is not enough for this amount. Although the 16-20 CFM air compressor is expensive, this two-stage compressor offers many long-term benefits. Small, inexpensive guns usually use less air, but operate at slightly higher pressures, wasting more paint. Therefore, be careful when choosing these types of guns.

It is essential to know the proper usage. The latest HVLP guns of the HVLP type require much higher CFM. However, the advantage of HVLP is that there is less wasted paint. The lesser the solvent that gets into the air compressor, the lesser the overspray from the spray gun.

The hvlp spray gun can apply low pressure to ensure uniform spraying and atomization. The advantage is that you do not need a powerful air compressor. This means you can do the same quality work for less money. The hvlp like the High Volume, Low Pressure (HVLP) gun, gives you the ability to create amazing parts without the high pressure. It provides controlled pressure flow in the desired direction. Save paints and money without the hassle of spraying.

  • Consider the compressor power

 It has a motor hose that represents the compressor power but is not an excellent indicator. Again, the CFM plays a role in determining the amount of air carried. The CFM also depends on temperature and humidity. The CFM and PSI values ​​are essential because they indicate the compressor that the tool can operate on. When choosing a compressor, ensure there is a required amount of air and pressure for the spray.

  • Consider the project scale air compressor

 For home garage setup, find a 20-30 gallon air tank that fits the painting work.

It is suitable for painting small cars and motorcycles with the LVLP gun. Condensation can occur, but it also occurs in large air tanks and must be subordinated. There is a need to look for a compressor with a hose capacity of 4-6 horsepower or more and 60-100 gallons for hard-core projects. 

 For home workshops, make sure you have a 240VAC wiring system to power your painting machine. 

  • Water purifier

 The Paint sprayers require dry air, but compressors don’t care if the air carried contains moisture. Water in the air means that the amount of paint in the storm is too high, creating a thicker layer than expected. Then buy an air filter to catch the water and expel it as much as possible. 

  • Air brush

The airbrush is a small amount of tool that can be combined with most compressors. Some brushes may require 20-100 PSI. A water purifier for dry air is required separately.


Spray painting is one of the most effective painting methods. A good sprayer will give you the highest quality paint job. However, spray guns do not work on their own, they require power, and in most cases, come from an air compressor. In this case, it is advisable to have the perfect combination of compressor and atomizer so that the connection works perfectly. One of the factors to consider when working with is CFM. CFM, an acronym for Cubic Feet per Minute, refers to the amount of air a compressor expels per minute. The answer to what is CFM for spray painting is 10-20psi depending on the sprayer type. Experience has shown that the CFM of the compressor should always be higher than the CFM of the atomizer.

Proper pressure spraying techniques must be mastered and can be achieved not only by reading the manual but also by experience. It is not rocket science, and anyone interested in using a sprayer for a paint project can learn it. Here are some tips and tricks for optimal results. Assemble the gun correctly and make sure the paint you use meets the specifications for the pressure gun. The exact viscosity of the material is also a requirement that needs consideration.

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