I have a bunch of projects that I need to paint. Usually I just put a drop cloth on the floor of my shop but I am usually left with a cloud of spray paint hanging in the air and the overspray gets on everything. I finally decided to make a paint booth to keep the shop clean. Unfortunately I do not have a lot of room so I designed a folding paint booth that can be easily stored when not in use.
This is a relatively cheap project. The box fan was free and the plastic sheet and filter were about $30. You could always substitute cardboard for the coroplast and make it even cheaper.
NOTE: The motors on most fans are not sealed and could ignite paint fumes. Vent properly, use a sealed motor, or use only with water-based paints.
- 4' x 8' sheet of coroplast (corrugated plastic)
- Box fan
- 20" x 20" x 1" HVAC filter
- Duct tape
- Industrial strength velcro
- wood or steel rod
- Straight edge
- awl or nail
Step 1: Prep the Fan
We want the filter on the back of the fan where the air is sucked in. Remove the protective grille from the back of the fan to get the best air flow and remove any obstructions for the filter. My power cord was routed out the back of the fan so I rerouted it out the front.
Step 2: Measure and Cut
My pattern is based on a box fan with a 18.25" opening and designed to give about a 36 x 29" working area. You can adjust the dimensions to fit your fan/space.
Layout your cut and fold lines on the coroplast with a pencil. Use a razor to cut it out. To help the parts fold, I cut along the fold lines through the outer layer of the coroplast on the outside of the folds.
Step 3: Add Velcro and Assemble
Add the velcro strips to the tabs. Fold and assemble everything to make sure it all fits as planned.
Step 4: Attach to the Fan
Line the funnel up with the fan. Use an awl or nail to punch holes in the funnel where the screws for the cover go. Use the original screws from the cover to attach the funnel to the fan. The extra flap on the base goes under the fan. Use duct tape to seal the funnel to the fan.
Step 5: Add the Filter
Use the duct tape to secure the filter in place. Make sure to seal the edges completely so no air/paint can leak past the filter.
Step 6: Add Bar
I drilled a hole on either side and inserted a 3/8" steel rod. This gives me an easy place to hang parts as they are painted.
Step 7: Test
Fire up the fan and check your airflow. You can see this plastic bag is sucked securely to the filter. During my first test with paint I hung a clean piece of paper behind the fan. There was not a hint of paint spray on it when I was done. The filter caught all of the overspray.
Step 8: Use, Fold, Stiore
Your spray booth is ready to use. Keep in mind this filter only collects the particulates in the air. It does not eliminate fumes. Always paint in a well-ventilated area or wear a respirator if needed. When you are done, pull apart the velcro tabs, fold it up, and store it out of the way. Now my shop stays cleaner and I find myself painting more often now that I don't have to worry about the mess or wait for perfect weather outside.