Things You Need to Know About Paint Spray Booths

A paint spray booth is a necessary addition to any custom auto shop. The ability to stylize a customer’s ride is a definite advantage to have, but a paint spray booth is not a simple purchase. First off, not every booth is built the same as there are four major types of paint spray booths. A booth’s design is dependent on the air flow that goes through it. Paint spray booths can also be fixed or portable, large or small, and affordable or ridiculously expensive. The type of booth you choose is dependent on your specific circumstances. Here are some major factors to consider.

Air Flow

The biggest thing to look for in a paint spray booth is air flow. There are four major types: Crossdraft, Downdraft, Side Draft, and Semi-Downdraft. A crossdraft system blows air across the length of the vehicle. It is more economical because it pulls air from the front not the ceiling. It also does not require concrete to build. Crossdraft systems are more vulnerable to particles becoming stuck in the finish. Semi-Downdraft system have the same exhaust output as a crossdraft system but pull air from the ceiling. It also does not require concrete and creates a diagonal path for the air that is better for the finish. Unfortunately, it puts the painter in the way of the air flow and creates a dead zone near the front of the vehicle.

Side-Draft systems draw air from the ceiling but put the exhaust in the side walls. This creates a down and away air flow that is much better for a car’s new finish. It also does not require a concrete pit for operation. It happens to be the most expensive system to operate which is a disadvantage, and the side exhaust splatters excess paint into the painter. Downdraft systems pull air from the ceiling and exhaust through the floor. They require a concrete pit for circulation which creates an added expenditure. Downdrafts are great because they are clean, efficient, and keep contaminants away from finishes. Unfortunately, they require pits and tunnels to operate which is a bit of a headache.

Additional Features

Once you have decided on the air flow, which is the biggest decision to make, it is time for some minor flourishes. Additional features also need to be considered when choosing a paint spray booth. One feature is size. Does your business have space to store a large booth or are you better off with a small spray booth

Another feature to consider is heat. Every paint spray booth can have heat and bake features added into it. Generally, you want these features if you are handling a lot of volume. Heat and bake properties allow the finish to finish faster. They are the type used by major auto brands to handle their assembly line.


The final factor is cost. Downdraft systems and Side-draft systems are the most expensive to purchase with the rest coming in at a close second. Heat and bake features add even more but are not necessary if your incoming quotas are not substantial. So, look at your budget and choose wisely.