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Spray Guns for Automotive Painting – A Complete Guide

Painting a car is in many ways an art. Many painters consider a car finish one of the hardest finishes to achieve as the atomization of the paint is often the finest break up that is achieved and you have the surface of the car itself that can pose potential challenges. One critical step in achieving a given finish is choosing a proper spray gun. This guide will cover automotive spray gun options so you can choose a spray gun that will work well for your car painting needs.

Factor 1 in Choosing an Automotive Spray Gun - The Gun Manufacturer

There are a variety of automotive spray gun manufacturers and the quality of the manufacturer can be important to determine if you get a spray gun that provides a good finish. One great resource for spray gun reviews and manufacturer reviews is the gunman on youtube as he actually paints with a variety of the manufacturers from Devilbiss to others.

Factor 2 in Choosing an Automotive Spray Gun - The Gun Quality

There are a variety of spray guns within each manufacturers product line and the price of the gun will range greatly from $50 dollars for a low cost gun to $500 or more for the top spray gun in a category. As a general rule, the higher priced spray gun will allow for greater repeatability in results. However if you just plan on painting a car or two on the weekends then you can probably get a way with a mid priced gun like a Devilbiss FLG 670. Even very low cost guns can sometimes work for one job but will typically not give you good results. For more on spray gun prices and the differences between them refer to this article.

Factor 3 - The Gun Type

In general automotive painting is typically done with an HVLP gravity feed spray gun however depending on how long you have been painting you may be use to a suction feed spray gun. Typically a gravity feed spray gun is optimal but you can review the benefits and drawbacks of gravity and siphon feed spray guns here.

Factor 4 with Automotive Spray Guns - Proper Use

Even the best spray gun can end with poor results if you do not know how to set the spray gun properly. Critical steps in automotive paint include proper sanding and preparation of the car surface plus proper painting technique. Given that proper preparation of an automobile could be a complete course, will focus on the spray gun here. The two keys to using spray guns for automotive painting are to make sure your paint is thin enough and to ensure the paint is broken apart efficiently enough. Our guide on how to use a spray gun should be able to help you properly use your spray gun. For automotive finishes primer is usually sprayed with a 1.8 mm nozzle base coats are often applied with a 1.4 mm fluid nozzle while top coats typically use a smaller 1.2 mm fluid nozzle, for best results you can try best fluid nozzles out.

Additional Resources

To help you further research which automotive spray gun may be best for you, consider using the following resources.

Amazon – Amazon has a lot of spray gun reviews which can help in deciding on a choice for you

The Gunman on Youtube – The gunman is an automotive painter who showcases different spray guns in action on his youtube channel


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