How to Build a Downdraft Paint Booth


Painting with a spray gun is one of the best ways to achieve professional looking results for a number of types of projects. Paying for painting service can be expensive, so setting up a home spray booth is a good option for anyone who wants to save money and take control of the painting process. A spray booth can be constructed from readily available materials and disassembled for storage before its next use.

Things You'll Need

  • 1-inch PVC piping
  • Duct tape
  • PVC joints
  • Utility knife
  • Transparent plastic drop cloths
  • Cotton bedsheet
  • Electric box fan
  • Measure the object you wish to paint and decide on a size for your paint booth. These instructions will be for a booth that is 8 feet tall, 15 feet long and 10 feet wide, big enough for use in painting a car. For smaller projects, or if space is limited, build a smaller booth using the same steps.

  • Cut the 1-inch PVC piping to length. Cut six 8-foot sections to serve as uprights, three 10-foot sections for braces across the top, and four 7.5-foot sections to form the length of the roof of the frame. Use two 1-inch PVC joints at the center of each side and four PVC corner joints, one at each corner of the frame.

  • Wall in the booth by draping the plastic drop cloth over the PVC frame and attaching it with duct tape. Leave the plastic on one side loose so you can draw it back to serve as an entry and exit.

  • Place a box fan against the wall in one corner of the booth. Cut away a section of the plastic wall that is slightly smaller than the fan.

  • Insert the fan into the hole, positioned so that it will blow outward. Seal the edges of the fan to the plastic wall with duct tape.

  • On the opposite wall, cut a hole of approximately the same size. Cover this hole with a cotton bedsheet and seal the edges with duct tape. The bedsheet will act as a filter for incoming air when the fan is running. Dampen the sheet with a spray bottle and clean water to ensure that it prevents any dust from entering the booth, where it could damage wet paint.

Tips & Warnings

  • To keep the interior of the booth warm and shorten drying times, consider using a silver reflective drop cloth as a floor. This will reflect light and help retain heat.
  • Occasionally wash the bedsheet filter to make sure that it stays clean and can trap the majority of dust and debris. Repair with duct tape any holes that develop in the sheet.
  • Use a box fan with an enclosed motor. This will prevent paint overspray from damaging the motor over time.
  • Keep the space outside the booth well ventilated so that people or animals don't breathe in the fumes that the fan exhausts from the booth.

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