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If you’re thinking about painting your car or truck, you want a smooth and even texture that can only be achieved by using an automotive paint gun. It’s a handy tool for home mechanics and DIYers who want to refresh the surface of a vehicle without spending a lot of money. However, with so many options available it can be challenging to choose the right product. In the buying guide below, we include some of the top affordable automotive paint guns that will help you get the job done right.
The Best Automotive Paint Gun
No-bleed spray gun with adjustable pattern size
Paint holder, nozzle and needle made of durable stainless steel
Includes 1.3mm standard cap with extra caps size: 2mm and 0.8mm
Gravity feed cup can be easily replaced with bottom feed cup
Adjustable oval pattern ranging from 1 inch to 12 inches
Easy to clean and disassemble with an ergonomic handle
- BrandFuji Spray
- Weight 25.2 pounds
Easy to use
Precise application without wasting paint
Delivers a smooth and even finish
Great value for money
Nozzle needs regular unclogging
Metal case prone to rust
Hose attachment becomes loose over time
Airless spray gun with adjustable paint pressure
Durable stainless-steel pistol and pumps
Can be connected to garden hose for easy cleanup
Includes 25 ft flexible hose and 5-gallon container with cart
High power motor delivers maximum pressure of 3000 psi
- Weight 26 pounds
Easy to clean
Durable stainless-steel pump
Easy to transport
Tends to overspray
Hose is not long enough
Sprayer tip can get clogged if you use thick paint
One spray gun system with built-in filter
Includes 1.4mm, 1.8mm and 2mm replaceable atomizing heads
Paint and other fluids can be measured, mixed and filtered inside one cup
Delivers up to 12 inches of full panel coverage and vertical or horizontal patterns
PPS disposable liners eliminate the need for constant cleaning and maintenance
- Weight 1.4 pounds
Less time spent on mixing paint and cleaning
Durable and resistant to wear
Extra money spent on disposable parts
Heads are prone to breakage under heavy use
Complaints that it only works for thin priming
HVLP low spray technology with powerful 500W motor
Equipped with three nozzles sizes: 2mm-2.5mm and 3mm
1000ml paint container can be detached for easy cleaning
Flow control knob can be rotated to control paint output
Fast and efficient flow rate of 750ml/minute
- Weight 3.65 pounds
Easy to use
Limited features compared to other brands
Requires regular refilling
Complaints about blowback
Gravity feed spray gun with HVLP technology
Equipped with 3 nozzles sizes: 1.5mm-1.8mm-1.3mm
Easy to clean anodized body and fluid passages
Adjustable air valve for more control and precision
- Weight 1.5 pounds
Can be used for multiple projects
Does not have filter
Fan pattern could be wider
Needs an air compressor
Airless spray gun with operating pressure of 1600 PSI
Powerful pump with 0.70 horsepower delivers 0.40 gal/min
Includes 50 ft. hose that can be extended to 100 ft.
All-metal gun with paint filter to prevent clogging
Pressure can be controlled through on/off switch
- BrandTitan Tool
- Weight 37 pounds
Powerful motor and pump
High and consistent pressure
Portable with extra-long hose
Uneven spray force
Hose can get worn over time
Issues with spray direction
Gravity feed spray gun with 60 PSI operating pressure
Non-drip cup creates less mess and prevents paint loss
Allows you to create different patterns using spray pattern knob
Equipped with air adjustment valve for controlling air flow
Includes filter to prevent clogging
- BrandIngersoll Rand
- Weight 3.5 pounds
Runs on any pressure level
Easy to clean
Not suitable for heavy duty tasks
Not compatible with all paints
Complaints about it being fragile
Includes 3 air caps for optimal atomization
Equipped with 1.3mm and 1.4mm fluid nozzles
Ideal for solvent based and waterborne paints
Durable anti-corrosion interior and exterior
Includes DeKups adapter for use with cup disposable system
- Weight 2 pounds
Can be used in any weather
Not ideal for latex paints
2 guns – iSpray Gun and Detail Finish gun with individual nozzles
High power motor provides optimal atomization and smooth finish
Ideal for light paint and rubberized peelable coatings
Paint flow, pattern and width are all adjustable
Includes 39-foot flexible hose for easy transport
- BrandWagner Spraytech
- Weight 8.8 pounds
Easy to clean
Flexible long hose
Needs constant cleaning
Gravity feed gun with 1.4mm fluid stainless steel nozzle
Operating pressure is 29 – 51 PSI
Includes air regulator with gauge
Equipped with pattern, fluid and pressure knobs
Pattern width ranges between 5.9 to 7.1 inches
- BrandTCP Global
- Model TCP G6600-14
- Weight 2.5 pounds
Stainless steel components
Compatible with many compressors
Difficult to clean
Consumes more paint compared to other models
Issues with fan control
Automotive Paint Gun Buying Guide
The following buying guide was designed to help you choose the type of spray gun that best suits your needs. After all, there are so many factors that you need to consider such as the type of DIY project you plan on launching and the kind of paint you are going to use. Each model brings different features and components to the table, so you need to make an informed decision before adding any car paint spray gun to your online shopping cart.
What to Look for When Buying an Automotive Paint Gun
- Hose Length
Something as simple as the correct hose length can make a world of difference to your overall comfort level when working with a spray gun. Investing in a device with a long hose will help you spray areas that require a ladder since you will be able to access these places without having to carry the paint container. This is especially the case if you happen to be working on a large project with a portable spray gun set on wheels. Some models come with an extension cord so you can take advantage of those extra feet to paint fences and doors.
- Container Size
There are many sizes available from small paint guns to large ones that are better suited for professionals and automotive paint enthusiasts who have a long DIY project ahead of them. Small paint guns are ideal for less time-consuming jobs that require small amounts of paint. They can also be used for touch-ups and for surfaces that require a small spray pattern rather than a large one. If painting the entire body of your car or truck is your goal, then you will most definitely need a handy spray paint gun like the Graco Magnum X7 that comes with a cart and a sizable five-gallon container.
- Adjustable Features
One of the handiest features that you need to look for in any automotive spray gun is the knobs or buttons that allow you to control the paint flow and pattern. The key to a smooth and professional finish is using the right pressure and pattern while working, which is why these individual knobs are important. The more control you have over the spray paint gun, the better. Having a wide range of pattern options and air pressure levels to choose from is better than spending more money on a new gun or two because your first choice did not have this incredibly versatile feature.
Some paint guns require the right filter-nozzle combo in order to deliver the kind of texture and finish you see on professionally painted surfaces. Some filters are used for light substances like varnish while others were designed for primers and other heavy-duty industrial and automotive coatings that can lead to clogging issues. Many models have their very own built-in filter that helps take care of this problem.
- Nozzle Size
This is a crucial component that comes in a variety of sizes. You will need a spray paint gun that has the right kind of nozzle for the job you are about to do. Heavy coatings need larger nozzles since they are usually thicker and those include resins and primers. If you use the wrong sized nozzle, then you risk ruining the surface. Buying a device that comes with at least three sizes for different fluid viscosities and applications is the way to go.
A portable kit allows you to save both time and energy, especially if it had wheels and an extra storage compartment for all your additional gear. Being able to carry everything with you eliminates the need for constant trips to your garage where you keep all your supplies. Investing in this kind of kit will also come in handy once you start painting your car. Wheeling the portable cart is better than having a stationary container without wheels. Some small spray gun brands also come with a shoulder strap so you can keep your hands free for spraying.
- Gallons Per Minute
DIY projects take both time and effort, so you need a device that allows you to be efficient without having to cut corners in terms of quality. A good spray paint gun will have a high GPM number or Gallons Per Minute. This translates to the amount of paint the device can transfer from the container onto the desired surface in a minute. If you have a big project and want to achieve fast coverage and a flawless finish, then you can choose a design with a high GPM so you can finish your task on time.
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Types of Paint Guns: HVLP Vs. LVLP
HVLP paint guns produce low pressure to atomize the paint while releasing it in high volumes. Therefore, the HVLP stands for High Volume- Low Pressure and most of these paint guns run on turbine motors that generate around 100 CFM at a pressure of approximately 3 to 8 PSI. This design leads to a high finish quality and more money saved on paint and other materials. It also consumes more compressed air and has more energy demands when compared to the LVLP spray gun. HLVP spray paint guns are ideal for DIY ventures and for beginners who need a dependable device. High volume means less overspray and more precision in terms of application. HVLP are also approved by the Environmental Protection Agency due to their overspray reduction feature.
The Low Volume -Low-Pressure spray paint gun is very energy efficient and prevents paint from being wasted. Purchasing one of these devices is money well spent and a chance for you to add another great and handy tool to your ever-expanding toolbox. LVLP paint guns can be used for waterborne paints and deliver the best coverage and finish with watered down paints. They are also compatible with many air compressors and require around 10 PSI at the nozzle. Make sure that you purchase a device with higher volume if you plan on working with metallic or highly viscous paints. Inventing in a pricey spray paint gun is always recommended if you are a weekend warrior with plenty of DIY tasks on your to-do list.
Best Automotive Paint Gun FAQ:
Q: What is a paint gun and how does it work?
A: Paint guns are similar in shape to regular guns but were designed for paint application. They rely on the atomization process that turns fluid paint into small drops. These drops create a fine mist that escapes the gun via a special nozzle. The mist then colors the intended surface. Paint guns come with their own container and have several knobs, a trigger in addition to an air cap and nozzle. They are also equipped with either a turbine, air compressor, or motorized pump depending on their size, type, and model.
Q: Do I use more paint with a sprayer?
A: The amount of paint used depends on the type of sprayer you own. Generally speaking, it is always recommended to buy 20% more paint just to be on the safe side. Touch-ups and double coats are sometimes inevitable. HVLP spray paint guns require more paint compared to other methods like rolling and bushing. Airless paint sprayers typically need double or triple the quantity of paint compared to a roller since they depend on high pressure to atomize fluids. The same applies to sprayers that rely on air compressors.
Q: What PSI should I use to paint a car?
A: Painting any car requires consistent pressure that delivers the same amount of fluid each time. This consistency is achieved with any premium spray paint gun. Therefore, it is recommended to go big in terms of gallon and compressor capacity. In PSI, this means around 90 PSI and around 14-18 CFM or Cubic Feet Per Minute. This can be achieved by purchasing a sizable 60-gallon tank with a 6-horsepower compressor.
Q: Can I use a paint sprayer to apply primer?
A: Yes. The ideal paint sprayer for this specific undercoat is the gravity feed spray gun. Remember to always consult the instruction manual before you begin and make sure to use the right air cap size and nozzle.
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Our Top Pick
We like the 2203G Semi-Pro from Fuji Spray for several reasons. It has a 1400-watt motor, additional air cap sizes, as well as fluid pattern and flow control. It’s simple to change between different patterns while controlling the amount of mist leaving the nozzle. The stainless steel fluid passages are durable and contribute to the overall quality of this product. Cleaning and maintaining the Semi-Pro 2 is also hassle-free. The paint gun also comes with a gravity feed cup that can be converted into a bottom feed cup in a few easy steps. Overall, this Fuji Spray design ticks all the right boxes in terms of features, quality, and ease of use.