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Home Shop Paint Booth

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  • Home Shop Paint Booth

    I was looking at a Rockler catalog today and noticed something I had not seen before (evidently it is new) and for what seems to be a decent price - a quick up and quick storage paint booth - kind of like a backpacking tent.

    I have long wanted something like that did not take much space, quick to put up and maneuver, be able to place where needed and store with little space. I have seen the 3/4 pvc pipe and visqueen several times over the years, but keeping up with the parts, taping up visqueen just didn't appeal to me. The Rockler Spray Shelter sure looks nice.

    What do you fellows use or do for a home shop spray/paint booth?

    (Wasn't sure if this was Shop layout or tools, so I put it under layout.)
    Hank Lee

    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

  • #2
    My "paint booth" is simply a temporary table outside the shop. I have a 1/4inch thick piece of useless hardboard (it has a thin vinyl layer on one side) that I lay across a 4x8 size "Centipede Sawhorse" leg set. Being in SoCal, it's rare that I don't have decent enough weather for spraying outside. More often than not the issue is simply daylight - by the time I get home from work there isn't enough daylight!

    I noticed that new Rockler "tent" in the most recent flyer yesterday. One thing about it: it doesn't have a floor; you have to provide your own drop cloth or tarp or whatever. It's a little over 5 feet tall so you'd need a low table to support whatever is being painted and you probably would be on your knees while spraying. Rocker's tent is a nice idea... but it needs to grow a bit larger I think.



    • #3
      For small parts, I use a box, and for larger I take it to the garage where I put down a plastic tarp and hang similar to act as sort of walls to minimize paint migration (and dust infiltration). I don't do a lot of that kind of thing (large stuff) lately, and the Rockler certainly does look like a good deal, not to mention how handy it appears. Having a good paint area, one should take into consideration ventilation and filtering of both air and and out of the paint booth.

      Decades ago, my company produced a product to help with paint build-up in water-wash paint booths. I wrote the documentation for that and was sort of fascinated by the whole process of paint booths, both water-wash and dry-air filtering.

      Think it Through Before You Do!


      • #4
        I am lucky that way. My BIL has a body shop. As long as the booth isn't being used, I can wheel in a project, get my spraying done, and haul out once it dries...
        Please like and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Please check out and subscribe to my Workshop Blog.


        • #5
          Three problems I can see. First, like MPC mentioned is the height. Second is the lack of airflow. Airborne particles from spraying are going to settle and cause blush in the finish as well as stick to the walls. Third, how long is the polyester material going to hold up to solvents?
          Don, aka Pappy,

          Wise men talk because they have something to say,
          Fools because they have to say something.


          • #6
            That's funny Hank, those Rockler spray booth are very simular to the 2 man backpacking tents that my neighbor uses to paint his crafts. He picked them up on closeout for $10 each, and they have a bottom in them! I don't think they retail form much more than $29 each anyway, the tents have some windows for light and zip up after you are through to keep bugs away. He sets his on a sawhorse table and clamps or screws the loop for ground stakes to the table to keep it from blowing off. The size is great for items smaller than a chair or coffee table. The bottoms of his tent is also waterproof so any spillage is not going to ruin your worktable.


            • #7
              For large objects:
              I have thought about an inexpensive 10ft square canopy such as HF's $56. with 20% coupon
              canopy and screen kit like this one, for $37 at amazon - all around. I think that is doable for close to $100, and more space. A fan could be rigged up in some way, but the netting should be stabilized.

              But, for mostly smaller items, the Rockler tent looks great.

              I have hlvp which has little overspray and I did think of ventilation. But since I don't have a spray booth or even room in my shop, and I have to do it outside in the open, it would sure beat picking bugs out and rather large dust particles or pollen. My greatest problem is gnats and mosquitoes followed by small particles such as cottonwood or dandy lion type fuzz.

              From listening to several folks here, not everyone has a large enough shop to set up a paint room within.

              I have thought many times about the PVC and visqueen, but it just seems like a pain for nearly an hour's worth of set up just to paint a chest or small table sized object. Then spend an hour taking it down, folding it, tying/bagging up PVC. Those type of tents and canopies are about 10 - 15 minute projects in themselves. IF I ddid go PVC and visqueen, once I made everything to size, the set up and break down time would be halved.

              Carl, the first thing I did was look at a large selection of tents on amazon - not to buy but to see what was available and sizes. At my age, the camping desire has long gone! Not having a bottom would not be a problem for me, as I could easily have a drop cloth under and around to help seal it.
              Last edited by leehljp; 01-07-2017, 05:47 PM.
              Hank Lee

              Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!


              • #8
                I've only been spraying finishes since last June... 2 projects. For the smaller project I hung tarps up around the garage and a large drop cloth on my workbench. For my dressers project I did all the spraying outdoors. In both cases I used lacquer so dry time was very fast.

                I love the idea of some sort of pop-up shelter for shop work though. I'm going to have to scour Craigslist for backpacking tents and the like.


                • #9
                  Master guitar repairman Dan Erlewine made a fold-away spray booth in one corner of his shop.He used to have a video about how he designed and built it, but apparently it has been taken down because he says he is improving it. But you can get a glimpse of the booth in this video about spray gun cleaning: What you don't see in that video is that there is an exhaust fan on the other side of that big green filter that goes to the outside. Of course, a booth this size is only good for spraying smaller pieces (about the size of a guitar or smaller), but you could use it as inspiration to build something bigger that would suit your needs.


                  • #10
                    I try not to use solvent based paint in my basement shop (I am not cool with solvents in the living space). My shop has big double doors that open to a patio under the deck. I hang tarps from the deck to create a booth big enough to spray a small car. The wrap around of the tarps keeps most air born dust, pollen, etc out. Once the spraying starts, the bugs head for the woods. Once it is sprayed another tarp wraps around the front to keep most everything out while the work dries. I use poly on my finer projects and have come to prefer the water based product. For that I can use the same tarp set up in the shop, wrapping around a table comprised of a steel door blank set on saw horses. I cover the table with wax paper over newspaper. The work sets on the wax paper and does not stick. I use a $20 box fan with a furnace filter to ventilate while drying. I have a washable filter I use for dust control while making sawdust and use disposable fiberglass filters for spray work. Seems to work fine and has the advantage of being pretty low cost.