A paint booth is a room that is fitted with exhaust fans and an air intake system to create a dust-free environment for painting and finishing automobiles and other vehicles. Paint booths, also called spray booths, finishing booths or powder booths, can be designed for any auto painting use. Paint booths are used in high-production professional auto shops, restoration shops, semi-truck paint shops and motorcycle custom paint shops. A paint booth should create a safe, healthy work environment.
Components of a Paint Booth
Plan the size of the auto paint booth by determining the maximum size of vehicle that will be painted in the booth. A paint booth requires an 8-foot-by-7-foot overhead door, which determines the minimum size of the paint booth. Building an auto paint booth requires knowledge of basic construction procedures, advanced carpentry skills and electrical wiring ability. Most paint booths are built inside another building, so a flat roof is acceptable, although it does not provide optimal ventilation. To maintain a fire-rated assembly, metal studs or fire-treated lumber and fire core drywall should be used on both sides of the walls and the ceiling. A service door and a window for viewing are good options.
The most critical requirements of an auto paint booth are an industrial exhaust fan installed to local Environmental Protection Agency and local building codes, florescent explosion-proof lighting mounted on both the walls and ceiling, electric power outlets, a compressed air connection with regulator, and an approved baking lamp system. It may be against local building code to exhaust paint fumes and dust directly into the outside air.
Warnings and Options
Auto painting involves working with extremely volatile, combustible paints and chemicals. The planning and building of an auto paint booth should be undertaken with the direction, supervision and/or expertise of qualified professionals. There is the risk of explosion and fire, in spite of all precautions. It may be more prudent to purchase an inexpensive, high-quality prefabricated paint booth or to purchase a used spray booth.
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