Building a Paint Booth Inside a Shop


A paint booth is a separate area of a woodworking shop where spray finishes can be applied. The reason it must be separate is to keep any dust away from the furniture that is being finished, and to keep the fumes and overspray away from everything else in the shop, including the workers who are breathing the air. Paint booths can range from small cabinet-like units that the sprayer stands outside of, to full-size rooms that can hold multiple pieces at the same time.

Research Your Needs

  • Determine what kind of facility you will need based on the size and volume of things that you finish. If you work only with small items, you won't need a full-sized finish room.

  • Research what kind of finishes you will be using in the spray booth. Water-based sprays are much less toxic to both humans and the environment, and require less stringent controls than VOCs (volatile organic compounds), resins and other finishes.

  • Include safety features in the spray booth plans, including a fire extinguisher and proper ventilation. Large industrial applications may require a sprinkler system.

Install Proper Ventilation

  • Consult with your local zoning authority regarding regulations for furniture finishing and spray booths. Due to the volatility of some of these substances, regulations can be quite strict.

  • Install a properly-sized ventilation fan in the roof or an outside wall of the shop. Connect this fan via a sufficiently large diameter pipe to the spray booth. You will also need a source of intake air in order for the exhaust to draw out the fumes properly.

  • Install a large filter box around the outtake pipe. The idea is to to capture as much of the particles as possible in the filters as the fume-filled air is drawn out of the spray booth. Some furniture finishes are highly polluting, and filters are necessary for ventilation.

Isolate the Booth from the Rest of the Shop

  • Build a wall between the spray booth and the rest of the shop. If possible, put the spray booth in a different building or on a different floor than where the woodworking takes place.

  • Install a tightly sealing door on the spray booth in order to avoid dust from the woodworking area to enter the spray booth and ruin the finishes.

  • Finish furniture at different times than you do the woodworking if you are in a small shop and the finishing facilities are not totally separate from the woodworking area. Before using the spray booth, clean and vacuum the shop, then allow the dust to settle.

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  • Photo Credit spray image by bluefern from
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