Written By Car Bibles Staff
Published May. 20, 2021

Whether you’re restoring a vintage ride or want to add a bit of extra character to your car, a coat of paint can get the job done. However, it can be virtually impossible to get the smooth results and even texture of a paint gun without the proper tools. The best automotive paint guns become an extension of your arm, smoothly applying paint to your ride. It lets you refresh the appearance of a truck, stencil in a drawing, or cover up surface scratches.

Of course, paint guns aren’t all made alike. You can get high-end (and high price tag) options for a mechanic shop. Conversely, you can opt for the best automotive paint guns for personal use. To assist, we’ve curated a list of the best automotive paint guns on the market, along with some advice on finding the right fit. 

The Best Automotive Paint Gun

The Fuji 2203G SEMI-PRO 2 system is one of the best professional automotive paint spray guns available. This handy tool caters to both professionals and homeowners who want an easy-to-use spray system that delivers a flawless finish. The Semi-Pro 2 model has a wealth of features, including a precise fan with a rear situated pattern control and a durable stainless steel tube. You can easily adjust the flow and paint pattern while you work on different areas and experiment with different cap sizes that deliver different levels of viscosity. This design allows you to switch between a gravity feed and a traditional bottom feed gun, giving you the best of both worlds in terms of versatility and air pressure control.

Despite its tough structure, this paint gun has a few downsides: the nozzle is prone to clogs, and the metal exterior will rust easily. Clean and dry the paint gun regularly, storing it somewhere dry to prevent premature wear and tear.

Key Features
  • 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
Specification
  • Brand Fuji Spray
  • Model 2203G
  • Weight 25.2 pounds
PROS

Easy to use

Precise application without wasting paint

Delivers a smooth and even finish

Great value for money

CONS

Nozzle needs regular unclogging

Metal case prone to rust

Hose attachment becomes loose over time

The Magnum X7 airless paint sprayer is a premium device with plenty to offer in terms of features and performance. You can work on all kinds of DIY projects and use up to 125 gallons of paint per year, due to this functional and affordable automotive paint gun. This airless model allows you to control the paint pressure for a smooth and accurate application. Thinning is a thing of the past due to the high-pressure stainless steel pump. The Magnum X7 uses this powerful pressure to atomize thick paints and is compatible with primers and stains as well. Fast, one-pass coverage is also possible thanks to the 5/8 HP universal motor. You will also save time and energy thanks to the handy five-gallon container and cart that are sold with this model.

While it’s nice that you can adjust the pressure on this pain jun, it is prone to over-spraying, so be diligent with paint tape and keep an eye out for errors as you work. It works quickly, but the speed can compromise the result.

Key Features
  • 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
Specification
  • Brand Graco
  • Model 262805
  • Weight 26 pounds
PROS

Easy to clean

Durable stainless-steel pump

Easy to transport

Saves time

CONS

Tends to overspray

Hose is not long enough

Sprayer tip can get clogged if you use thick paint

The 3M 16580 Accuspray gun system is a comprehensive and zero maintenance auto paint gun with a ton of features. Its one-piece design was designed for a wide variety of applications and has the necessary nozzles for all kinds of paint jobs. Each system comes with 1.4mm, 1.8mm, and 2mm atomizing heads. The smallest size is suitable for base coats and topcoats in addition to sealers, while the 1.8mm nozzle is used to apply gel and primer coats. You can also use the spray gun for more complex projects that require industrial coating or adhesives. The 3M 16580 paint spray gun has an adjustable fan diameter and includes its signature Paint Preparation System disposable liners, so your paint cup is clean and ready for use.

One thing to keep in mind is the sensitivity of the nozzles: because of the structure, they run into issues with low viscosity (thick) paints. User feedback highlights that this spray gun is better suited to higher viscosity materials. As a result, it may be better for primers instead of more nuanced paint jobs.

Key Features
  • 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
Specification
  • Brand 3M
  • Model 16580
  • Weight 1.4 pounds
PROS

Lightweight

Less time spent on mixing paint and cleaning

Durable and resistant to wear

CONS

Extra money spent on disposable parts

Heads are prone to breakage under heavy use

Complaints that it only works for thin priming

This spray gun is built with an ergonomic structure and clever trigger placement. The result is easier handling and better efficiency when applying top or base coats. The gun’s high volume and low-pressure balance make an even spray built to offer a smooth result that reduces the risk of over-spraying. With three knobs for optimal control, it’s easy to use and lends to successful results. Since it’s built primarily of aluminum, it doesn’t suffer much in the way of wear and tear. The brushes are equally straightforward to clean up, and, thanks to the well-sealed lid, it isn’t prone to spilling. Paired with the in-line drier (a part that captures oil and water particles), this gun is designed to last over the long term.

However, keep in mind that the hardware on this spray gun can rust or corrode, and the pressure dial is prone to cracking. Also, this model requires using a separate compressor, which means you have to have one on hand already or purchase one, driving up the cost.

Key Features
  • 1.4 millimeter spray gun nozzle
  • Functions at 43 pounds per square inch
  • Requires a one to three horsepower compressor
  • Made of aluminum, stainless steel, and polymer
  • Consumers one to five CFM of air
Specification
  • Brand Yescom
  • Model 31VLP002-2-1014
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Comes at a friendly price

Lightweight and easy to use

Straightforward maintenance needs

CONS

Somewhat small model

Hardware can rust or corrode

Pressure dial can crack

Requires a separate compressor

The Sprayit Gravity Feed Spray Gun is an excellent choice for those new to the world of auto paint guns. It touts a straightforward design and intuitive controls, taking the guesswork out of the paint job. The red structure incorporates an easy grip on the handle, built to prevent fatigue in the wrist and arms. With a well-angled trigger, it’s easy to reach the controls and create an even, steady flow of paint. The cup rests at the top, structured to optimize gravity’s force and channel the paint outwards. It swivels for improved control, letting you spray difficult spots with ease. Simple to take apart and clean out, this automotive paint gun makes light work out of spray painting your vehicle.

One thing to note is that this gun doesn’t come with an air compressor—if you already have one for different purposes, you can use adapters to adjoin it. Otherwise, you’ll require a new compressor which can add to the price tag substantially.

Key Features
  • Incorporates an aluminum swivel cup
  • Gravity fed for ease of use
  • Ergonomic handle and accessible trigger
  • Strong metal construction
Specification
  • Brand Devilbiss
  • Model 803558
  • Weight 1.5 pounds
PROS

Handle built to prevent fatigue

Easy to fill with paint

Simple design to clean

Durable against impact

CONS

Requires an air compressor

Must fill it multiple times per project

Some parts are susceptible to rust

The Control Max 1900 from Titan is an incredibly durable and efficient car paint gun kit that you can wheel around your vehicle with ease. This portable feature is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this model. Spray painting the bumper or any other part is simple, due to the new tip technology that reduces overspray while giving you better control over the paint flow. The pump and sprayer combo is designed to be used with unthinned coatings. This model also delivers when it comes to pressure with 1600 psi that allows you to spray up to 500 gallons each year. Moreover, this kit comes with a long, flexible hose that allows you to walk freely without wheeling the heavy gallon behind you.

While this spray painter is powerful, it comes at the expense of consistency: the spray pattern can be uneven, resulting in reduced transfer efficiency. Take your time when using more viscous paints to ensure an even result.

Key Features
  • 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
Specification
  • Brand Titan Tool
  • Model 0580008
  • Weight 37 pounds
PROS

Powerful motor and pump

High and consistent pressure

Portable with extra-long hose

CONS

Uneven spray force

Hose can get worn over time

Issues with spray direction

The Ingersoll Rand 210G is another versatile spray gun with an air adjustment valve and an easy-to-use knob that allows you to choose the pattern and flow. This model features a gravity feed with an operating pressure of 60 psi and a 1.4mm nozzle. It also has a no-drip cup and a suspension hook to store the spray gun once you are done using it. The air adjustment valves give you full control over the air pressure, so you do not end up over-spraying or wasting precious paint.

Keep in mind that this paint gun is not meant for use with all types of paints. Before you kickstart your auto painting project, ensure that the paint you plan to use will work with the gun. So long as it does, however, the lightweight, user-friendly structure makes this spray gun a good pick.

Key Features
  • 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
Specification
  • Brand Ingersoll Rand
  • Model 210G
  • Weight 3.5 pounds
PROS

Professional results

Runs on any pressure level

Easy to clean

CONS

Not suitable for heavy duty tasks

Not compatible with all paints

Complaints about it being fragile

The Air Hopper Spray Paint Texture Tool is an ideal selection for its versatility. While you can use it on drywall and concrete, it’s compatible with paint used on vehicles. Unlike other models on the market, this is designed to add texture to your car. Crafted to handle upwards of 1.4 gallons of paint, it is ideal for doing a complete coat on your vehicle. With a lightweight design and user-friendly structure, it limits strain and fatigue in your hands and arms. Featuring a well-placed handle and three nozzles, you stay in control of the flow and directions. It evenly coats the area and results in a smooth, clean finish, thanks to a gravity-fed mechanism. Cleaning and maintenance is light work since it is fortified by plastic. This painting tool is a good choice for DIY enthusiasts and is designed to last.

It’s worth a mention that this tool was originally designed for use on walls. That said, it can work with both medium and high-viscosity paints, making it a suitable choice for those planning to tackle multiple projects.

Key Features
  • Can hold over a gallon of paint
  • Creates smooth and even results
  • Ergonomic design to reduce fatigue
  • Gravity fed paint spray mechanism
  • Handles pressure of 50 to 70 pounds per square inch
Specification
  • Brand GoPlus
  • Model EP19619
  • Weight 15 pounds
PROS

Works on a variety of surfaces

Comes with several nozzles

Gravity feed results in low power demand

Slip-resistant handle

CONS

Cup size makes it better for big projects

Not compatible with low-viscosity paints

Heavy design (especially when full

The Wagner 0529031 car spray gun is a two-in-one solution for all your DIY painting needs. You can easily achieve a professional look by using two spray guns. Each gun comes with a set of efficient and durable components that allow you to control the paint flow and pattern. The first gun applies thick and heavy-duty coatings, and the result is a smooth and textured finish that looks like it was created by a professional. The high volume-low pressure technology is accompanied by a powerful motor that delivers optimum atomization without a compressor. The second gun has a special detail finish nozzle to spray thin coatings evenly and without having to use double the amount of paint for an additional layer. This model is portable and easy to clean as well.

Although the flexible and sizable hose sounds good on paper, it can lead to kinks while you work. Be sure that you have an open enough space to avoid this issue. As long as you maintain it prudently, this is a solid choice for all types of painting projects.

Key Features
  • 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  
Specification
  • Brand Wagner Spraytech
  • Model 0529031
  • Weight 8.8 pounds
PROS

Easy to clean

Flexible long hose

Affordable

CONS

Needs constant cleaning

Small container

This HVLP sprayer is explicitly crafted for efficiency, running on a 400-watt system. If used properly, it can reportedly speed the painting process up threefold. It connects to the gun through threaded polymer connections with an 800-milliliter cup and an extra 1.3-liter cup. Able to work with materials of all viscosities, the fluid dial leaves you in charge of the flow. With three spray settings—vertical, horizontal, and circular—you can adjust it to your liking. Equipped with everything from extra nozzles to paint trainers and a cleaning brush, this set comes with all the supplies you need to get started. It’s an ideal tool for home garages and renovations that is powerful enough for large projects yet lightweight enough for small tasks.

The only downside of this design is how much it relies on plastic. Since the cups thread into place using thick plastic pieces, the seal is easy to break. Take extra care when screwing it on and taking it off to prevent damage.

Key Features
  • 400-watt system works indoors and outside
  • Sprays vertically, horizontally, and circularly
  • Works with all types of paint
  • Includes 1.3 liter cup and extra nozzle
Specification
  • Brand PaintWiz
  • Model PW25150
  • Weight 4 pounds
PROS

Adjustable air cap for easy spraying

Paints large areas quickly

Fluid control dial optimizes control

CONS

Threading on plastic cup can break

Seal is easy to damage

Can be difficult to clean

Automotive Paint Gun Buying Guide

A car is an extension of its driver, so it only makes sense to keep it in good condition. Automotive paint guns are great for everything from fine-tuning your topcoat to turning your burnt orange beater car into something shiny and new.

Of course, no two paint guns are alike. It’s about finding the best option for your specific needs — and that means research. To cut through the noise, we’ve detailed everything you need to know to find the best automotive paint guns.

Related Posts: Best Car Paint Sealants and Best Automotive Touch Up Paint

What to Look for When Buying an Automotive Paint Gun

Hose Length

If you’re going to reach all the nooks and crannies on your car (from the proper angle), you’ll need a reasonable length of hose. More than just ease of use, it can help ensure that you get the consistent paint results desired. Allowing the air pressure to move freely keeps the paint balanced and facilitates overall better performance. Ensure that the hose is sturdy enough and not prone to kinking. The idea is to strike a balance between tripping over the hose and circling the whole vehicle. It might cost a bit extra to get a longer hose, but having ample reach is worth it.

Container Material

Look for containers made out of sturdy materials. The container material makes a difference in cleaning and durability purposes. Some cups attach through ample, thin threading that is crafted to offer a complete seal to prevent spills and waste. If the cup is easier to fill, then you are less likely to get paint all over the place. A broad opening and tight seal make the entire maintenance project that much easier. 

The other aspect is durability: a cup made of weak plastic versus aluminum alloy will break much sooner. Better-quality cups with more lasting seals are more expensive but worth it if you plan to tackle a larger project.

Adjustable Components

The more tasks your paint gun can handle, the better, so keep an eye out for advanced controls. Look for something that lets you control the flow over multiple settings. Another critical component is the spray pattern. Just like wood has a grain, the side of your car must be painted in a specific, controlled manner. Find an option with circular, vertical, and horizontal pattern options so that you can accommodate the surface you want to paint. 

Paint Filtration

Depending on your task, you will require a filter to adjust the texture of your paint. When managed properly, you can adjust the paint on your car to deter rust, add flash, or resist debris. Filters are designed for use with specific types of paint, accommodating the unique viscosity and flow pattern. 

Be sure that the filter is compatible with the task at hand, ranging from stylish varnish to priming the paint. Without proper filtration, you can do irreparable damage to the paint gun. Most feature a filter integrated into the system, but without it, you will need to get a filter with your paint. 

Nozzle Size and Structure

The nozzle might seem like a minor feature, but it does most of the heavy lifting since it is the component that controls the paint’s spray. The size of nozzles is measured in millimeters, ranging from 1.3 to 2.2 on average. Be sure that the nozzle you are using matches the task. Single-stage paints are best in the 1.6-millimeter range. Base coats are better with finer tips, while primers are designed for a broader spray. When buying your paint gun, make sure it includes a few nozzles (or that it’s easy to get compatible ones). 

Portability and Weight

A portable model can perform at an equally high standard, with far less tedium. Aim for either a handheld model with a medium-sized cup or a heavy-duty option with wheels. The larger options are meant for stationary use (like in a dedicated workshop). Even in small areas, they are heavy, though, so be sure you can roll it around. Handheld models are preferred for portability—some even include straps and carrying cases to make lighter work of hauling it around.

Flow Rate

The rate at which the paint moves through the paint gun is referred to as the flow rate. Not only is it important for efficiency, but this feature also prevents clogs and uneven scatter. A reasonable flow rate optimizes transfer efficiency, meaning you waste less paint. 

Measured in either GPM (gallons per minute) or CFM (cubic feet per minute), this metric lets you know how reliable and powerful the gun will be—1 CFM equals 7.5 GPM. You can find automotive paint guns with all flow rate levels. Just remember, a higher flow rate is for a bigger project, while lower flow rates are best for precision tasks. 

Related Post: Best Spray Paint For Rims

Types of Paint Guns: HVLP Vs. LVLP

HVLP: High-Volume, Low-Pressure

Given the high volume capacity, this is the preferred type for larger-scale tasks. HVLP automotive paint guns generate a low amount of pressure, resulting in paint atomization. This means that the compressor offers sufficient force to agitate viscous fluid components, turning them into the tiny drops you see in the paint stream. You can find many models at 100 CFM, generating a pressure ranging from three to eight pounds per square inch. This type of paint gun is known for improved transfer efficiency, where the amount of paint that makes it to the surface is greater than with other models. However, there are some significant downsides: HVLP models require more energy and are more prone to overheating. For its eco-friendliness and efficiency, this is a preferred type by many body shop workers.

LVLP: Low-Volume, Low-Pressure

For smaller-scale tasks, the benefits of LVLP paint guns shine. These guns are designed to prevent the waste of paint. Requiring little power to operate, they tend to be very affordable. Best-suited to use with water-heavy paints, LVLP tech doesn’t emulsify the solution like its high-volume counterpart. Compatible with most compressors with nozzles ringing in at ten pounds per square inch, these are easy to use with portable air compressors you already have in the garage. You can easily tackle the smaller paint projects on your to-do list with this type of paint gun.

Best Automotive Paint Gun FAQ:

Q: What is the best automotive paint gun?

The best automotive paint gun is user-friendly, affordable, and durable. Check out the Fuji Gravity HVLP Automotive Paint Gun for its heavy-duty performance value and ease of use.

Q: Are paint guns worth it?

If you want professional results on your car, then you need a spray gun. Paint guns spread out the paint evenly, limit the risk of error, and waste less. Plus, because paint guns work so evenly, their result is a smoother look that lets you do the work more quickly.

Q: Can you paint a car with an LVLP gun?

Yes, low volume, low-pressure spray guns are the reigning champ when spraying clear coats. You can use them on other paints, too; the efficiency simply diminishes slightly. LVLP guns are ideal for those without a strong air compressor.

Q: Can you paint a car with an HVLP gun?

High volume, low-pressure spray guns are the leaders in base coats, though they can also perform other car-painting tasks. These are well-suited to automotive applications because of the increased transfer efficiency.

Q: What is a paint gun and how does it work?

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?

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?

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?

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. Related Post: Best Epoxy Primer

Our Top Pick

After careful consideration, we’ve named the Fuji Gravity HVLP Automotive Paint Gun as our top choice. For starters, it has an impressive motor at 1,400 watts. With multiple air cap sizes and optimal flow control, it can tackle projects of all sizes. The different nozzles keep you in complete control of the fluid pattern and result in a smooth, even paint job. Durable, reliable, and energy-efficient, this paint gun model is ideal for both experienced users and total beginners.

Sources:

  1. Paint Spray Gun – How To Pick A Paint Gun – Hot Rod
  2. Safe and Healthy Spray Painting Tips – Family Handyman

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