How to Make a Spray Paint Booth for Cars

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Whether you are looking to add it as a hobby or to build a business, crafting your own paint booth for cars may be something you want to investigate.  

There are a lot of factors and options when it comes to this, and even though you may be gung-ho about it, you can still feel a little stressed and overwhelmed. 

Let’s start with how paint a booth for cars works before we dive into how to make one.

paint booth for cars
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How Does a Spray Booth for Cars Work? 

Simply put, a paint booth takes air and moves it through a chamber for working, and the exhaust system attached captures any overspray from your car paint sprayerThis system also removes any hazardous fumes that are created during the painting process. There are multiple versions that all have different airflow systems.  

Here are the four main options for ventilating your paint booth for cars that you have to choose from:

  • Downdraft
  • Semi-downdraft
  • Side downdraft
  • Cross Draft 

Downdraft 

This type of paint booth is one of the most efficient and does a great job with contamination and overspray. The air comes into the booth through a ceiling intake chamber that is filtered and flows downward over the vehicle. The air then is taken into the exhaust system that is built into the floor. This system helps keep the airflow even throughout the whole booth. 

Semi-Downdraft 

This system takes some aspects from the downdraft and the cross-draft version. The air is taken in through the ceiling, and then that air is pulled through the work chamber. The air is carried over the car and then filtered through the exhaust system in the back of the booth. 

Side Downdraft 

In this model, the air is brought into the booth through a full-length ceiling fan or intake chamber. The airflow is carried downward over the car. The exhaust air filter is designed with a layout that allows for even airflow throughout the booth. Then, when the air gets to the floor level of the booth, the exhaust filters the air from both sides of the booth. 

Cross Draft 

This system pulls air in from the front through an intake chamber and pushes the air through the booth horizontally along the floor. The air, once circulated, leaves the booth through an exhaust system in the back of the booth. 

Are Inflatable Paint Booths for Cars Legal? 

Inflatable paint booths are legal and can be purchased through many online vendors. You will want to make sure that those options meet all standard laws and regulations, but they can be quite affordable and efficient if you don’t have a set space to build a paint booth for your car. 

When buying a portable paint booth for cars like this, you will need to grab yourself 2 blowers to obviously blow it up and keep in inflated while you spray your car.

Check out this video of an inflatable paint booth for cars below. It's a bit long BUT you get to see it from unboxing to being blown up.  We love it and you can find it here (it's from China BUT it isn't cheap).  Let's check it out!

Portable Paint Booth for Cars: Pros & Cons 

There are many options for spray booths, and one of the most popular just might be a portable option. There are a lot of great things that come with using a portable paint booth for cars, but there are also a few disadvantages to think about. 

PROS

  • Low upkeep
  • Perfect Lighting
  • Portability
  • Easy to set up
  • Doesn't take up much space

CONS

  • Easy to damage
  • Time to set up and take down

How Big is a Spray Booth for Cars? 

There are different varieties of paint booths for cars, and they come in a wide range of sizes that can accommodate a lot of different vehicle sizes. You can, of course, buy paint booths that are designed for these same vehicles.  

When you are building your spray booth, you can range from an 8 x 10 x 12’8 for things like motorcycles and mopeds to a larger option that goes up to 14’ x 24’ x 10’. The larger size is perfect for most standard vehicles. 

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How Much Does a DIY Spray Booth for Cars Cost to Build? 

All in all, when you add up everything, you can craft a well-made and efficient booth for as little as $200. If you want to get a little fancier, you can spend more, and if you are looking to make it more than a hobby, you may want to look into that. 

What Do You Need to Make a Homemade Spray Booth for Cars? 

Though there are plenty of options for materials to be used in the creation of a homemade spray booth, there are some consistent ones that need to be included. In order to build the perfect booth, you will need to get: 

  • Plywood 

  • Lumber (2x4) 

  • Nails 

  • Light fixtures  

  • x2 HVAC fans 

  • Filters for an HVAC system 

  • Vinyl sheets 

Though you can add other equipment and materials to make your spray booth more advanced, these are the bare necessities to get you on your way to painting your car. 

How Do You Build Your Own Automotive Paint Booth? 

By building a paint booth for cars, you can optimize the cleanliness and make your paint jobs smoother. In order to use your garage, you will want to build a frame and add some plastic sheeting. The process of building your own paint booth follows the steps laid out below. 

Steps to Build a Paint Booth for Cars

  • Preperation Time
  • Pipe Connecting
  • Booth Enclosure
  • Ventilation

Preparation 

Depending on your project size and your garage dimension, you will want to measure your garage and then sketch out the design you want to use so that you can determine how many poles and the sizes of the pole that you will need.  

Once you have the sketch and the sizes and types of poles you will need, you can begin making the poles where you will need to cut. Then you will secure the pipe and use a PVC saw to slice through the pipe. If you need to clean up the ends, you can use sandpaper to rub it down. Then lay them out and group them together. 

Pipe Connecting 

You should start by connecting the T-connector to the elbow connector for each corner. Then work your way to assembling the rest of the side pipes. Connect them to the corner poles and then start on the support pipes. Once this is all done, you will want to finish off the frame by connecting all the joints tightly with PVC joints. 

Booth Enclosure 

You will want to cut a plastic sheet big enough to place over the entire paint booth. Make sure to leave a little extra so you can pull the covering over the pipes. You will then want to begin trimming and draping the plastic. Make sure that the bottom is flush with the floor. Then tape the plastic around the corner pipes.  

Repeat the same process on the sides and backs. When this is all done, make sure to smooth out the plastic, so there are no bubbles. Lastly, use the duct tape to seal the inside of the frame’s plastic sheeting. 

Ventilation 

The last phase of building your own paint booth for cars is the filtration system. Place a step ladder outside of the booth on one side. Then cut a hole large enough for a box fan. Make sure the fan faces the inside of the booth and then use duct tape to seal the edges.  

Then add a filter to the back of the fan and attach it with duct tape as well. On the other side, where you cut the whole attach another furnace filter also using duct tape. Make sure to keep the filters changed at regular intervals for optimal airflow. 

Follow these steps, and you will end up with a well-made spray booth that is perfect and safe to use for all your painting projects. Just take your time and make sure you use good quality materials. 

DIY Car Spray Paint Booth Filter System 

When setting up your filter system, you will want to pay close attention to the laws and requirements put forth by OSHA and the EPA. You can maximize efficiency by paying attention to the fans, filters, and the overall design. All of the attention to high-quality build and parts will help you eliminate hazards like toxic fumes, fire hazards, or poor finish quality. 

In order to keep a well-functioning ventilation system, you should follow the following guidelines: 

  • Check and replace air filters regularly 
  • Maintain the booth’s cleanliness 
  • Regular inspections 
  • Heat the booth 

The filtration system may be the most important part of your build, so make sure to take time and do it right. A poorly built filtration system could lead to several hazards, both environmental, like fires, and health problems from the inhalation of dangerous fumes. 

Conclusion 

Figuring out how to make a spray booth for your car is one step in the process of taking on new projects. Once you have the perfect spray booth built, you may find that you want to paint more than your car. 

Hopefully, with our guide, we have helped you figure out how to do it with little to no stress. Just make sure when you do, you take your time and make sure all the components are top-notch, and all you will have to do is roll your vehicle in and get spraying. 


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