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How-To: Homemade spray booth
Written by Booman   
Saturday, 19 August 2006 13:26
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How-To: Homemade spray booth
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Homemade Spray Booth


When you spray paint out-doors you will notice a lot of debris, dust, and anything else that floats in the air, in your finish.  If you don't have a garage or a warehouse, then this tutorial may benefit you. I decided to create a spray booth that has the same concept as spray booths for cars. My goal is to minimize dust and debris while reducing the intake of paint in my lungs.


Materials needed

  1. PVC pipe - 1/4 inch (thin), comes in 10 ft. lengths (hardware store)
  2. 8 total - 90 degree corners 1/4 inch(hardware store)
  3. 8 total - "T" junctions 1/4 inch(hardware store)
  4. 3ft x 3ft square of carpet or cardboard
  5. 4 ft. of Sticky Back Velcro tape (craft/hobbie store)
  6. 3 clear shower curtain liners (home improvement store)
  7. 1 box of 100 zip ties (electrical/hardware store)
  8. 14"x8" plexi glass (hardware store)
  9. Small desk fans (hardware store)
  10. Folding stools (home improvement/hardware store)
  11. Rotating tray

Tools Needed

  1. Hack saw or special PVC pipe cutters (hardware store)
  2. Wire cutters (hardware store)
  3. Tape measure (hardware store)
  4. Vacuum for clean up
  5. Dishwashing gloves (hardware store)
  6. Scissors

Total Cost

The parts you'll need cost about $50, plus you'll need a few tools.  I spent a little more due to mistakes and planning ahead since I wasn't sure exactly how much material I needed.

Step One

Start with measuring each PVC piece needed to create the top, bottom, and posts.

  • 8 qty. - 60in (5 ft.)
  • 8 qty. - 18in.
  • 8 qty. - 12in.
  • 8 qty. - 6in.

Assemble all the 18-inch, 12-inch, and 6-inch tubes with the corners and "T" junctions like in the picture.  Start with the 12-inch tube in your left hand and slide it into a "T" on its right side.  then slide a 6-inch into the right side of the "T", and next slide another "T" on to the 6-inch tube. Lastly, slide the 18-inch into the right side of the "T".  Make 8 of these exactly the same.


Step Two - Base and Top

Now, assemble those by sliding the 90 angle over each of the 18-inch pieces.  Then align those with the 12-inch pieces so it ends up as a square. Make sure all of the "T" pieces are facing upwards. This will be the bottom.

Next make that same square but with the "T" pieces facing down.  This will be the top.


Completed base section.

Step Three - Insert Uprights

Lay the bottom frame with the "T" junctions pointing up and insert the 60-inch pieces.  At this point you can use some PVC glue to make these connections permanent , but I found that just sliding them in holds very well. I also had to consider human error before making anything permanent.

Have someone help you hold the 60-inch pieces while you take the top frame and slide it on accordingly. Here is where you will see if you put all the frame pieces in the right order. Don't force any of the pieces together. Try twisting and pulling/pushing on the PVC to get everything to slide together.

Step Four - Attach Liner

Now its time to start attaching the shower liner to the frame.  Your goal is to have four separate pieces of frame that can be dissasembled and stored without using a lot of space. Because of this, I had to cut four equal sections of liner to wrap around each corner. Each piece would start at the middle 6-inch PVC and wrap around to the next. I also made sure there was some overlapping of the liners so I can attach the velcro to hold the sections together.  Each piece ended up being 48 inches or so. Make sure to measure them longer than needed so you can just cut the extra off when you attach the velcro.  Now just line up the holes in the top of the liner with the PVC and slide the zip tie around it. When you are done attaching the liner, cut the zip ties with your wire cutter.  Then rotate the zip ties so the sharp edge is inside the liner.

Your finished section should look like this picture.



Now just continue each section of frame.  Don't forget to make the liner overlap at the 6-inch PVC pipe area.

Step Five

Get out your sticky back velcro and first attach both sides together, then start cutting it into 1-2 inch pieces.  If you want an almost air-tight booth then buy 10 feet of sticky back velcro and you can attach it up and down each edge of the liner.  In my case, the smal strips work well because I am painting outside.  At each 6 inch PVC area where the liner overlaps, attach the velcro pieces about every foot or so. Start by peeling off the paper on one side and attaching it to the inside liner over the vertical PVC pipe. This will give you something to push on when you attach the liners together. I tried to be consistant and made sure I attached the "looped" side of the velcro on the inside liner. Attach your velcro pieces all the way down to the bottom, then one at a time, peel off the paper on the other side and attach the outside liner to it. Make sure to pull a bit on the outside liner to make it tight. Not too tight though, we want it to flex a little.  Complete all four sides with these steps.





Step Six

Now we create a window. Its almost impossible to see what you are doing through a shower liner, so a window is the perfect solution.  I found an extra piece of plexi-glass from an earlier mod and picked a corner to place it in. You may want to try a side or create several different windows (I'm happy with one).  I traced the plexi-glass on the liner and then cut out a rectangle an inch inside of my origional line. This is to leave room for the velcro to hold the plexi-glass on. Next I followed the same procedure for attaching the velcro in step five. Then simply attach your plexi-glass window. Again if you want something more air-tight, then you will want to cover all the edges of the plexi-glass with velcro. You will also want to cut two holes near the window for your hands to enter the booth.  I decide the cheapest way was to simply cut two slits with some scissors (one for your spraying hand and the other for the rotating hand).  To keep the overspray off my skin, I wear some dishwashing gloves.

(Click for larger image)
(Click for larger image)
(Click for larger image)

Step Seven

With some left over liner, I attached two pieces over the top with zip ties and velcro. I measured the length of the frame from the sides and then measured half of the other side. When you cut the liner, always leave some extra for error sake. I used the same technique as in step four to attach one side of the liner with zip ties and then to attach the velcro on the other three sides.

Step Eight

After doing some trial painting I thought there may be a need for fans to suck out floating particles of spray paint. As you are spraying a lot of overspray will float and dry in the air. This may leave a coat of dust on your finish or in between the layers of you finish.  I bought some small $5 fans and installed them on both sides of the booth at the top. I think the top of the booth is the best spot because it will suck out any overspray before it falls back on the piece you are painting. I used zip ties to hang the fans up-side-down and made sure the power cables could reach the same powerstrip or outlet.  This will reduce any overspray that may stick to your case but also increase inhalation of paint because it sucks the paint from inside and blows it outside. I recommend painting a few times without the fans and see how your finish looks. If you have any problems, then the fans can be installed quickly.

(Click for larger image)


After a few more test paintings, I found that something needed to cover the ground under the booth. Some over spray that isn't sucked out by the fans will fall to the ground. I ended up using an old blanket. Even a piece of cardboard or masonite would work.  I also found a couple of cheap stools for putting a case on, and I use a rotation tray with bearings to spin the case around as I paint.  You can find those at a home improvement store or an antique store.  They are made for holding condiments on a kitchen table.  You will have to clean off the window from time to time because it will be coated with overspray.

(Click for larger image)



To disassemble the booth, make sure to unfasten the top liners first.  Then unattach each overlapping liner at the 6 -inch areas pull it apart.  This should create four corners of the booth to flip around and set inside each other while it is standing.  It can easily fit in a corner of a laundry room or storage shed.


Got Questions?

As always, Comment in the forums!

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