A Low-Cost Spray Booth
Spend your dollars on an explosion-proof fan motor
Synopsis: Jeff Jewitt explains how to build a knock-down booth for high-volume, low-pressure spray equipment that will safely ventilate your workspace. A knockdown booth is inexpensive, can be set up easily in a basement or garage, and stored out of the way. The ventilation system he uses is an explosion-proof motor driving a non-sparking aluminum fan. He explains how he built this booth and system and which accessories add conveniences worth pursuing.
Spraying a finish in a basement or a garage 20 years ago was risky business. High-pressure sprayers and flammable finishing materials were your only choices, and spraying these without proper ventilation was begging for a disaster. Not only did the risk of a fire or explosion loom large, but overspray was bound to settle on every horizontal surface in the immediate area.
With new high-volume, low-pressure (HVLP) spray equipment that drastically reduces overspray and with new water-based finishes, spraying finishes at home or in a small shop has become a viable option. One problem remains: how to ventilate the overspray. While water-based finishes are less problematic as fire hazards, the buildup of atomized finish and solvent can still be a health hazard. Spraying in an enclosed space without proper ventilation is unacceptable, so that leaves you with only a few options:
A knockdown booth may be the answer Professional refinishers use specially designed spray booths to exhaust fumes in their shops, but these are quite costly, with prices starting at about $10,000 and moving upward, depending on all of the bells and whistles. These booths can also take up a large amount of floor space. The knockdown version I made can be built for much less (about $550). It can be set up easily in a garage or a basement with a large window and stored out of the…