How to Build a Ventilated Paint Booth


When you use spray paint, you must have ventilation to carry off harmful fumes. This will not only protect your lungs, but can prevent the buildup of flammable fumes in a garage or work shed. You can build your own ventilated paint booth with some simple supplies. Create your booth in a corner near a window or door where you can set a fan to blow the paint fumes safely outside.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 drywall sheets
  • Duct tape
  • Keyhole saw
  • Air-conditioner filter
  • Cardboard
  • Dryer ventilation hose
  • Box fan
  • Stand three sheets of drywall on end. This will make a three-sided booth. Use duct tape to tape the sheets together where they meet. Cut a piece to fit on top of the sheets for a ceiling to your booth, and cut an identical piece to make a floor. Duct tape these in place, making sure to seal all places where the drywall meets.

  • Cut a hole in the center back panel of your booth. Use a keyhole saw to cut this hole. Make it the exact size of your air-conditioner filter. Use the filter as a template to trace around with a marker so you will know where to cut. Squeeze the filter into the hole. It may crumple a bit but that won’t make it ineffective. Make sure all the edges fit tightly.

  • Make a cardboard funnel that is the size of your filter at one end and the size of your dryer ventilation hose at the other. You can tape the edges to keep the cardboard from unfolding. Go around the back of your booth and tape the large end of your cardboard funnel to the edges of the opening you cut for the filter. Tape the smaller end to the end of your dryer ventilation hose.

  • Make another cardboard funnel identical to the first one. Tape the small end to the open end of the dryer ventilation hose and tape the larger end to your box fan. The result should be a sealed tunnel from your booth to the fan, with a cardboard funnel at each end of the dryer ventilation hose. Seal all leaks with tape.

  • Turn on the fan. Go into your booth and spray some paint in the air. Observe how the fan draws the fumes out. The closed tunnel will have enough suction to draw out all harmful fumes if it is sealed properly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not duct tape the filter in the hole you cut in the drywall. You will need to change the filter when it becomes clogged.
  • Make sure the fan blows into an outside area where the fumes will be carried away by a breeze.
  • Do not construct your booth near a hot-water heater. The pilot light could ignite the fumes.

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  • Photo Credit David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images
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