How to Build a Paint Booth

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Spray paint booth
Spray paint booth (Image: http://www.flicker.com)

A paint booth has two main functions--to keep dust particles out and keep paint over spray in. In order to achieve a pristine finish, an isolated area in which to paint is a must. Check out the following steps to learn how to build a paint booth.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic roll
  • Wood framing
  • Light source

Find a suitable area. You may have a garage you can convert for painting. If so, the job will be much easier. You will have four permanent walls on which you can simply tack sheets of plastic. The garage probably already has lighting so a light source is built in. You would want to shield the lights from over spray and that's it. If you don't have a garage or don't want to use it as a paint booth, then proceed with the following steps.

Build a booth. Frame out a booth to a size that will accommodate your project. You can build free standing wood frame walls and place them together to form the booth. Make sure they are somewhat level and that they match in size. You'll probably want to use 2 x 4s so they have enough weight to make them stable. Tack on some feet on the bottoms so they can stand on their own. Free standing walls will allow you to use one as a door and allow you to string extension cords in between for electrical power needs. This formation will allow you to put up the booth when you need it and store it away in sections when you want it out of the way.

Boat booth
Boat booth

Cover with plastic. After you have tested the walls for proper size and stability, it's time to tack sheets of plastic around the frames. This will keep dust out and over spray in.

Plastic walls
Plastic walls

Decide on a floor. If you don't care about the ground where the booth will stand, then do nothing. If you want to protect the area, a few sheets of plywood will do the job.

Work on the ceiling. Once the walls are in place you can use a ladder to tack sheets of plastic over the top. This will be best done with a friend who can help stretch it across. If the booth is too large to stretch the plastic over then build a frame to place on top and then cover the frame with plastic. Just make the ceiling frame slightly larger than the booth. Then, attach some angle braces to hold it down.

Booth in a garage
Booth in a garage

Light it up. If sunlight will not do the trick, then use a few portable lights on stands. The light stands along with the walls and ceiling being assembled in sections makes your paint booth easy to set up and tear down at your convenience.

Tips & Warnings

  • Have plenty of extra materials on hand in case of mistakes and miscalculations.
  • A booth like the one described in this article is for occasional painting only. For ongoing professional paint work, you need to build a booth that requires the proper permits and requirements set by your individual city. The codes will vary depending on where you live.
  • For your health, always wear an appropriate mask and clothing when sanding or painting.
  • If you set up lights in the booth, be sure they are not too close to the plastic sheeting or other flammable materials. Turn them off when not in use. Do not leave the booth unattended with the lights on.
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