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Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board > Tech Help> Body - Exterior> Idea thread: Planning my semi-permanent paint booth, hoping for your input
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-08-2013 08:09 PM
reddogracing Thanks for the info. I was planning my "dream" garage, and one thing I wanted was a paint booth. But once I actually started looking at them, it was apparent that wasn't going to happen. Beyond the price of the booth, they require things like 10 hp 3 phase motors and 1.2 million BTU gas hookups, which isn't going to happen at my house
So I started thinking about why it needed that stuff. It seems like professional booths have enough airflow that one wouldn't even need a mask, and that all the air is external - the intake is outside, not shop air, and the exhaust is obviously outside. That requires a lot of heat in cold climates.
I did some calculating, and to get what I think is sufficient airflow in what seems a common size booth (24 x 14 x 9), it takes about 1600 cfm. To heat that air in cold weather would take something like 80-120k BTU/hr, depending on how cold you want to be able to paint, and how well the furnace works. This seems to fit in with a residential furnace size, has anyone ever used one to vent and heat a booth?
09-04-2013 10:47 PM
geeky2 i noticed that you asked about heating the booth.

my garage is insulated and heated - but the heater is located in the booth (could not be helped).

i have to heat the garage up as hot as i can, then shoot - then turn the heat back on. again it is a coordination thing that has to be practiced and perfected.

my mentor has a hot dawg heater outside of his booth and he draws the heated air past his paint curtain and in to the booth. he does show cars all of the time, and much of his work is done in cooler/cold months when he has more time.

i shot my daughters 2000 Mustang hood and hood scoop in January of this year and the booth was not warm enough when i did the clear - so i did run the clear (a little). for me it will take more practice and experience - or until i decide to move my operation to a different building.
09-04-2013 10:33 PM
geeky2 as previously mentioned - the pump goes away from exhaust vents some place safe. my set up (see my website for photos) is a simple single bay garage setup. i place the pump on the outside of the garage on the front and exhaust out the back.

i NEVER smell anything when i am using the SAS. i use the SAS from the minute i start mixing until i am done shooting. i set the hose up so i can walk out of the booth with the hood on, pump on, pulling the hose behind me (between coats), then do everything in reverse when i return to the booth. it takes planning and coordination, especially for a larger shoot - hence the comment i made earlier about freedom of movement.

i have seen pictures of people who put the pump in their basement so they can draw in cooler conditioned air. they even sell a "chiller" that is basically a large tub filled with water and ice and the hose is coiled inside of the tub.

the SAS comes with a high volume pump that can be used with a "two hose setup", so you can have two people in the booth at the same time. i purchased the high volume pump thinking that my dad might want to be in the booth with me from time to time.

i wish i had NOT gotten the bigger pump.

with a one hose set up (which is always the way i shoot) - the pump is too powerful and makes is somewhat difficult to keep the hood on straight.
09-04-2013 10:03 PM
Lizer Right now I'm spraying with a filtered full face respirator and full Tyvek suit. If I were to start doing a lot more spraying I'd consider getting a hobbyair. Just priming small parts I use a half face. I'll use my full face though for anything with iso's. I'll often spray 2k in front of my shop and since it's outside I'll just wear my half face for that. Totally not a pro, which is why I can get away with spraying outside.
09-04-2013 09:00 PM
mr4speed Away from where you are spraying, and away from your exhaust fan. If you are spraying in your garage then set up the intake of the fresh air system away from wherever your exiting overspray is. If you can smell fumes coming into your set up then stop right away and get it further away.
09-04-2013 05:28 PM
reddogracing So where do you draw your air from with the supplied air? While they look really good, my fear would be fumes getting sucked up by the supplied air system and piped to the mask
09-04-2013 04:24 PM
geeky2 Some of the people on this forum are QUITE knowledgeable in this area. I used their expertise when asking similar questions before deciding what I was going to do / use.

Based on feedback from others, I went with a supplied air system from i believe the actual reference to came from someone here on

Autobody Store: <B>Hobbyair and Pro-Air</B>

the person that runs is also very knowledgeable and helpful. i can also speak to his customer service.

i like my supplied air system very much and have been using it for approximately 1.5 years (or approximately 12 - 15 sessions in the paint booth). i chose it primarily because of the safety factor. however i do plan on upgrading at some point in the future - as i start doing more painting work.

the Axis (FKA HobbyAir) product that i purchased (the full hood version) is very safe and an excellent product.

my only complaint is - the hood fitment "tends" to limit my vision in some situations and the "Stick On" face shield protectors seem to accentuate my vision and glare issues. please note that this is all personal observation / experience and not everyone has these issues.

the next logical step for me may be something like this:

DeVilbiss Safety Equipment

to provide perspective for you - my painting mentor and teacher does not care for supplied air systems at all. he prefers and uses a Bandit mask and just changes it out after 8 hours. he likes the freedom of movement and there is less risk from an additional hose in the booth.

09-04-2013 12:02 PM
reddogracing Interesting thread. What do you guys use for personal protection, masks with activated carbon, supplied air respirators, something else? And do you have any provisions for heating the air in the winter, or are these three-season (one season in Michigan) booths?
06-18-2013 08:43 PM
Lizer So I finally got this thing built as I'm close to painting. It could always use more light, and is going to be a little tighter than what's ideal, but I had to work with what I had.

I have flourescent lights running parallel on the walls 2 ft high, at 45* angles in each corner at the ceiling, and then running across the ceiling. I could use another 4 ft over the trunk and hood area really. I'm going to put daylight bulbs in all the fixtures.

I'll have eye-hooks in the ceiling for hanging things. I put up a heavy duty white tarp for the ceiling. There are two 4 foot doors that open to the inside of the shop so the car can be pushed out into the shop, or large individual panels can be moved into the booth. There is a filtered fresh air supply at the center front of the booth in the ceiling; these filters also have a pre-filter over them. I have an exhaust fan that will go at the other end...that's what the large wooden thing laying on the floor is. That goes in the exterior door way, the door closes up against it, and the ducting from the exhaust goes out the hole in the wood filler piece.

All the wall sections are modular and easily come apart in 4 foot sections so it can be taken down and stored if I don't want it up anymore. This just requires putting up new plastic. Although, I'm considering keeping it up so I can park the mustang in it once it's all finished and have a relatively dust-free parking area.

I have not run the air line into the booth yet, but it will have its own dedicated filter and dessicator.
04-17-2013 08:29 PM
Lizer I scored a free fan from an old body guy that used it in his home garage to spray. He took a squirrel cage furnace blower and put it in this enclosure with filtered inlets on the top and front. It's belt driven by the motor on the side there.

Is this type of AC motor brushless? He just sprayed with the entire thing in the room, and had ducting that took it out the roof. I'll run my ducting out in a similar fashion.

Second, do the cheapie utility lights with exposed bulbs have issues with the bulbs getting coated and covered in overspray?

Third, I'm trying to figure out how to mount the lights on the side walls in terms of running power to them. The lights will have a cord that plugs in. If there were actually outlets in the booth for the lights to plug into--and outlets either had a light plugged into it or one of those outlet baby-proofing protectors you plug into it, would this present a serious risk? I ask because people mention plugging lights into extension cords and this is the same thing, it's just an outlet, not extension cord.
02-23-2013 01:30 PM
oldfart952 ya bud sounds sweet.but your hot air ducts will they cause the paint to dry in these duct holes first ????? one more thang to much fan works blow it'll suck your heat out so fast it won't stay warm.yes there's a fornual for what size fans u need . no **** i had a 36" fan on a 12'x14 high door it got cold !!!! just check it out. hey take care bud pops
02-23-2013 12:22 PM
bob wilcox I've built four booths, the first was a "not very good one". The last three were cheap and great. A spraqy booth should be 24 by 14 feet. The height should be 10 feet if possible. I framed them with metal studs--2x4--on 16" centers. at the door openings i doubled the studs, one inside of another, I used 2x6 metal studs on the ceiling on 12" centers--it doesn't cost that much more for the strength gained. I used wind braces for diagonal support. I lined it with white barn metal, not galvinized because of the weight. Run the metal horizontally and caulk the heck out of it as you install it. For the ventilation I had the fans [3] with air ducts and filerts about 6 feet from the booth and ducted the air into the ceiling corners and the center corners of the ceiling. The exhaust was through two ducts under the area where a car would sit just laying on the floor. The were heat ducts made to go inside of walls of a house, an oval or rectangular shape, they make both. these ducts were parallel and running lengthdwise nearly the full length of the car. They are made to go in a 3 1/2" wall, so they clear most cars. If they wont clear, lay 2x6 boards on the floor to drive in on and raise the car 1 1/2". cut about 3" holes in the side of the ducts for the air to go through' four per outer side of duct. Install duct work on the ends of the booth for these to slide on to. Don't make this a perminent attachment, leave it so that the ducts can be slid off of the ducting at the wall when not in use. Now you have a pressurized booth that wont draw dust and oil in when in use. Place your lights verticly on the walls so that they extend at least a foot above any car you are painting. put he ceiling lights cross ways in the booth [3]. Put the end lights about 2 feet from the end of the booth. You can add more lights, the more the better.
A good and cheap place to get lights and studs, and even a walk in door is Your local Home For Humanity outlet. Construction companys donate materials and you can get it for cents on the dollar, and the best part is that it is a tax deductable contribution. Hope this helps someone!
09-06-2012 10:46 PM
Lizer I see this thread has come back to life. I never got around to constructing the booth this summer as I was too busy with other things, but I would still like it to happen and the most recent comments have given some good info.

Yes I always do keep a fire extinguisher in the shop, no I don't think it will help me if my booth explodes, and yes, sparking is a concern of mine. I also do not plan to heat the booth as I only paint/spray in the spring, summer, and fall when the temps are warm enough.
09-05-2012 02:02 PM
johnnyg We built a small paint booth (for a wheel re-finisher) we put a restaurant type exhaust fan on the roof to draw air out.
09-04-2012 05:36 PM
Old Fool I too use the homemade spray booth and have thought a lot about ignition sources.
Box fans are not to high on MY risk list, they are a brushless motor- so no sparks from a commutator & brush assy.
Blades are plastic so no risk of sparks being generated there either.
IF a bearing were to fail then there is a risk of sparks.
BUT- the switch sparks every time you turn it, set it where you want and leave it alone.
Connect your fans to extension cords that are plugged in somewhere else outside of your booth.
Plug and unplug the cord at that location to turn the fans on and off.

Lights: I use auxiliary fluorescent lighting, the risk of sparks at the connection of the ends of the bulbs and the sockets is a concern to me.
I make sure there is no corrosion on either, then I apply some dielectric grease on the contacts before installing the bulbs.
I only spray a couple times a year, so I check and service them before each "booth setup".
I plug my lights into extension cords and do the same as the fans, plug and unplug from outside the "booth"

Air compressor: big risk - keep in another area, there are pressure switches,metal pulleys,magnetic starters, etc.
Needs to be in a remote location.
( not to mention it might be blowing oil vapors into your booth air)

Thermostats, the old contact type are a spark risk.
Solid state not a problem normally.
If either were to short out and burn up they may provide an ignition source.
I turn off at power source.

Garage door opener: possible source, unplug it.

Light switches: Danger Will Robinson! they arc internally darn near every time you turn them on or off. I turn them on before starting and do not turn them off until my "booth" is totally cleared out.

That is my routine, not saying it is safe or unsafe, just my thoughts for my "booth"
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