Matt Smith has been busy. After some home improvements, he built a spray booth. Here’s his story!
Now that our basement work is finished, I need to build a proper spray booth. During renovations I reserved a small space in a closet where I could build a spray booth and attach venting to the duct work for our basement bathroom exhaust.
I chose to use cabinet grade plywood to construct my booth. One of my other hobbies is woodworking and I have built several cabinets in the last few years, so I had a ready stack of scrap cutoffs. I used dados to create grooves in the plywood to accept and lock together the sides of the box. I have the tools on hand to do that, but it’s not necessary. You could simply “butt” join, glue and screw the sides of the box just as easy.
The overall dimensions of the spray booth are 30-inches wide by 18-inches tall and 18-inches deep. I used a furnace filter to catch paint particles and a top mounted fan to extract the fumes. I angled the back wall of the booth to allow enough area on top to attach the fan and duct work. I initially used a brushless computer fan to extract the fumes, but it turned out to be too weak. From the closet the overhead duct for the bathroom exhaust ran 16 feet to an exterior wall of the house. Unfortunately, the computer fan just couldn’t move enough air to get good flow out of the spray booth. If you were venting a short distance, say out a nearby window, the smaller computer fan would have worked out just fine. Back to the drawing board.
After a week of contemplation and research, I found a great solution. An inline brushless (EC) fan with a 204 CFM rating. Brushless so that there were no sparks to ignite fumes and plenty of CFM’s to get the air out the booth and out the side of the house.
The fan is a multispeed AC powered fan, that is used in the grow house industry. I found this unit on Amazon for $99. It took me a while to find it as Googling sparkless fans usually came up with high end and OSHA approved fans for industrial paint applications. You should also know that brushless fans are also known as EC, or electronically commutated. These are sparkless, quiet, and low power consumption.
After I installed and tested the fan, I finalized all my duct connections. The metal joints got a couple sheet metal screws and all connections were foil taped to ensure an airtight seal. The blast gate and rubber couplings use adjustable clamps to ensure a tight seal and allow easy removal in the future. Time for some finishing touches!
I finished the spray booth with some left over bright while ceiling paint. The furnace filter is held in place with 3M fastener strips, which are like stiff plastic versions of Velcro. I added two LED light strips to each side of the booth. These strips were nice as they have adjustable light color to match your needs. I found them at the local big box store.
Some other finishing touches are the plexiglass pane on the top of the booth that allows additional light into the booth. I bought two cheap Lazy Susan spinners to allow me to rotate whatever paint subject without touching.
The sides of the booth were decked out with clear plastic shelves to hold paint. They were supposedly designed for nail salons to hold nail polish, but they hold all the major sizes of paint bottles for our hobby. They were found on Amazon and came in a ten-pack for around $30.
Having a pro paint booth has been something I’ve wanted to build for most of my life. I built many scale models as a kid. With my model railroading interests, the need is great for a proper paint space that doesn’t fill the house with fumes.
The first user of the booth was my son. He needed to paint the wing on his RC car. Hopefully my kids will be inspired to continue their hobbies and make full use of the spray booth. I’ve been building several gondola kits and they were my first models through the new paint booth.
I hope this inspires you to build a spray booth. Having proper spaces to conduct our hobbies is key to motivation for our hobby interests. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions on how or what I did with my booth. A list of parts is noted below.
Matt Smith ( flyn96 @ gmail.com )
Many thanks to Matt Smith for sharing his tips and techniques to build a spray paint booth. If you build resin freight car kits, you may want to consider building a paint booth.
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