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How to Spray Paint without a Compressor – A Complete Guide

While compressed air offers a variety of ways to be able to achieve quality finishes, not everyone will be able to have access to a compressor or if you have a compressor your compressor may not be large enough to use for painting. Whichever may be the case for you, you can still spray paint without a compressor, this guide will cover options you can choose from to spray paint without a compressor.

Option 1 for Spraying Paint without a Compressor – Handheld Airless Sprayers

The first option you have when it comes to spraying paint without a compressor are handheld airless paint sprayers. These units are great because they are portable and can spray a variety of materials ranging from very thin materials to material as thick as latex. A few handheld airless sprayer options include the Graco Ultra and Ultra Max units. If you want to spray any paint even regular solvent based products, the Ultra Max is the unit that would be best. For water or mineral spirit based products only you can use the standard Graco Ultra. If you need to achieve a fine appearance when you are spraying you can add a fine finish airless tip to the handheld airless units which will allow you to get a finish similar to an air spray gun.


Option 2 for Spraying Paint without a Compressor – HVLP Turbine Unit

HVLP turbine units use electrical power to generate air that is used with a HLVP turbine spray gun. Turbine spray units will deliver finishes that are similar in quality to a standard paint spray gun, but without the need for a compressor.  Options for HVLP Turbines include the Finish Pro by Graco and the Titan Capspray units. If you plan on using the unit frequently you will want to consider a unit with a high number of stages (more on why can be read here). While an HVLP turbine unit will help you deliver the best finish quality, it can take a bit of practice to learn how to get consistent quality results as HVLP spray guns tend to require material to be thinned a bit or set properly for best results.

Option 3 for Spraying Paint without a Compressor – Airless Paint Sprayers

A third option you can use to spray paint without a compressor is airless paint sprayers that are gas operated or electric operated. Airless paint sprayers can spray materials of about any thickness, especially if you end up with a gas airless sprayer. Airless sprayers are also simple to use and for finer appearing finishes you can use a standard fine finish airless tip to get quality finish result. Gas powered airless sprayers eliminate the need for electric which make them ideal for spraying paint in new construction where electric is not available or outside.

Option 4 for Spraying Paint without a Compressor – Aerosol cans

While this may be an obvious option, it is best reserved for small work like touch up painting and similar tasks. Ultimately there are plenty of choices to spray paint without an air compressor, the option that makes the most sense for you will depend on your goals. For portability and convenience, a handheld airless sprayer will be best, for fastest speed an airless sprayer, and for greatest control of your finish results a HVLP turbine spray unit will be hard to beat.

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