Homemade Car Spray Boothby Dennis Hartman
Painting a car is one of the best ways to restore it to its original brilliance or give it a completely new, custom look. However, paint jobs can be expensive, with many auto shops charging upwards of $1,000 for a complete paint job. Constructing a home paint booth is a great way to save money while taking control of the painting process yourself.
The first decision to make in building a home paint booth is how large to make the finished booth. Booths can be built inside existing structures such as a barn or garage. A good size for a booth large enough to comfortable paint a car is 15 by 10 feet, with an 8-foot ceiling. For larger cars or trucks, consider a larger booth. If space is limited, measure the car to see if smaller booth is possible, or if building the booth outdoors is the best option. Remember to allow room for the car, the person doing the painting and the spray equipment.
Building the Frame
Construct the frame of your paint booth using 1 inch plastic PVC piping. PVC is inexpensive, lightweight, and available at most hardware stores. Use 1 inch PVC joints to assemble the frame, which should have at least three uprights along each side and cross braces on the top. Secure and loose joints with duct tape.
For the siding of the booth, use transparent plastic drop cloths. This will seal off the air inside the booth while allowing natural light in for visibility. Attach the plastic drop cloths to the frame using duct tape and seal all seams on both sides. Leave the plastic on one side of the booth loose so that it can be drawn back to form an entry and exit.
The paint booth will need an exhaust system to expel paint fumes and draw in clean air to dry the paint. To create an exhaust, cut away the plastic at one corner of the booth and insert a box fan. Position the fan so that it will blow outward and seal the edges to the plastic drop cloth wall with duct tape. On the opposing wall, cutt a hole of a similar size. Cover this hole with a cotton bed sheet and seal off the edges. This will serve as a filter for air entering the booth. Before painting, turn on the fan and dampen the bed sheet by spraying it with water from a spray bottle. This will prevent dust from entering the booth where it could damage wet paint.