Wall painting with a compressor

Hi, Has anyone got any experience of using an air compressor for painting walls. The machines seem readily available, but big compressors are pricey, and seem a bit over-the-top for painting, more suited to pumping up tyres and using staplers, etc, or am I being a bit of a novice (true). Secondly, the normal size paint container seems to be about a litre which to my mind seems a bit small, and will not last long. In my ignorance, I imagined that you could just stick a tube into the paint tin!

Any experience would be nice to hear.

Hi, John,

Great link - thanks a lot, just what I need. I remember when I was young, our Electrolux cylinder vacuum cleaner actually came with a paint sprayer. ! Not many vacuum cleaners these days come with a blower switch, more's the pity. Thanks again.

Hi Peter, HVLP is a high volume of air but at a low delivery pressure so paint isn't bounced off the surface as it is with normal high pressure equipment. Low cost units are often from vacuum cleaners but utilising the blow end.

Some homework reading:


Actually they are fun things to play around with....

You have reminded me that when I left London to do my degree in the West Midlands, I attended a college which atmospherically was haunted by the ghost of a previous Head of Art (I can't remember whether he was present at my interview or not, I was never taught by him) and other lecturers who pushed abstract expressionist and minimalist doctrine (less is more, etc)....and it was quite a difficult place for a figurative artist in the years after he had left, so they tended to form 'defensive clusters'.......However, all this hostility faded in time....Find a link to his(spray gun) work below.....the text makes him sound quite benevolent....and I discover that he died not long ago..



Yes it was a seperate air compressor and pistol, but I can't give you any technical info as it was borrowed from the Art/CDT dept at the school where I was working. So you could try school equipment suppliers..they vary a lot in price, but I doubt that the school would have spent more than 150 quid on one.



Size wise it was about 1ftx2ft...I don't know if that helps...I was fairly confident using it as I had experimented with it at the start of my degree course.

If you are interested in creating an unusual sutle effect , try practicing spraying on unbleached calico (very similar to canvas)...A near contemporary of mine at college, produced large scale canvases, which were produced by spraying onto the fabric (as it was 'rumpled up')..before then going on to stretch it.

This, lightly done, produces subtle shaded areas reminiscent of old relief maps......You could then apply the fabric direct to the wall......or just make some canvas panels....

Hi, Hilary,

Thanks for that - what sort of machinery did you you - separate air compressor plus a paint pistol,(if so, what size compressor) or an all in one dedicated paint sprayer machine (pistolet a peinture)?

Hi, John,

By high volume, I assume you mean the compressor. So what sort of size are we talking about - bigger than 50 L, bigger than 100L? Its for the OH, whose shoulder is giving her trouble, so I thought this would help. Have you ever tried those all in one machines?

Hi Peter,

I have used one to create a subtley gradated, sky to ground, atmospheric affect, as part of a mural....so it's good for that ( especially if you are masking out objects in the foreground..a bit like using a big airbrush),but the acrylic paint was much diluted..(using thicker paint would probably give you problems and 'gum up the works')...so if you wanted good coverage, you would need to wait to let each coat dry (otherwise it would run) and the surface would have to be well prepared and of a fairly even colouration.

That said, it could give you a lovely, subtle, shaded finish over a base coat of another colour. worth experimenting on some prepared boards....

Make sure you wear a good mask and open a window or two, you don't want to be breathing it in...

HVLP, high volume, low pressure is how they do it. Using a standard compressor and high pressure spray gun you'll fill the entire room with overspray mist if not the entire building in minutes. HVLP still produces overspray but much less. The lower price the unit the thinner you have to make the paint generally. Really expensive kit and yes you can put the tube straight in.