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Types of Paint Booths – Exploring Various Spray Booth Design Options

If you want to set up your own workshop, it is important that you choose the right spray booth design. There are many different types of paint booths, so you will need to learn as much as possible about each one. The more information you get, the easier it will be to make the right choice. Each of the type of spray booths has something different to offer, so you don’t want to rush into a decision.

Crossdraft Spray Booths

Crossdraft spray booths send air across the object you are spraying. These are the most common types of paint booths for spraying vehicles. The air goes through the doors or sometimes through filtered areas in the corners of the booth. The back wall of the booth is responsible for the exhaust.


There are a number of benefits associated with crossdraft spray booths that you should know about. These types of spray booths are made with a minimal amount of materials, so the cost is significantly less than most other kinds. There is no upper plenum required, which takes a lot of the expense out. If you need to save as much money as possible on a new spray booth, this is an excellent option.

Another reason that these spray booths are so popular is that they do not require downdraft pits to work effectively. You can put one of these types of paint booths on your existing floor. No concrete work is necessary, which is a very good thing because of how expensive it can be.


One of the drawbacks of crossdraft spray booths is that dirt and dust have a larger amount of area to cover before they are removed from the booth entirely. Because the air is moving across the whole of the object, contaminants are more likely to get on the new finish. This can present a problem, but there are ways around it.

The person who is spraying is typically in the path of the airflow, which can also be problematic. If you are standing anywhere inside the booth except the front, the overspray will have to go around you to exit. This can lead to extra dust and dirt on the finish, and it could expose you to various irritants.

Semi-Downdraft Spray Booths

Semi-downdraft spray booths are similar to crossdraft booths in the sense that the exhaust occurs at the back, but the airflow comes from a small area located in the ceiling in the front. While this type of spray booth is less common than the crossdraft for vehicle paint application, it is still worth looking into.


With these types of spray booths, the air travels diagonally at a semi-downward angle, which is much better than the crossdraft booths where the air is going right across the object. These spray booths are also great choices for those who are on a budget and want to save as much money as they can. Concrete is not needed, which is why a lot of people like this spray booth design.


Because these types of spray booths have an airflow that hits at a downward angle, it is likely that you will be in its way. This means that you will be exposed to an unnecessary amount of overspray, which can be a problem. The semi-downward airflow of these booths can sometimes cause the front of the booth to not receive much airflow.

If you are planning on getting a semi-downdraft spray booth, you will need to plan ahead and properly position the object that is going to be sprayed. This will help you to keep the exhaust working as efficiently as possible. The last thing you want is for the overspray to circulate throughout the front of the workspace.

Side Draft Spray Booths

Side draft spray booths distribute air through the ceiling, and the side walls of the booth handle the exhaust. The whole ceiling of the booth will be filtered, and most of the walls are also filtered specifically for exhaust.


The way that side draft spray booth design is created results in an even distribution of airflow around the object that is being painted, taking contaminants away from it. This helps to protect the finish of the object. Side draft spray booths don’t require any concrete to work, so you won’t have to cough up the added expense.


This isn’t the best spray booth option for those who are on a budget because of how expensive it can be. A full plenum must be used with this type of spray booth design, and duct work has to be put in the side walls. If you are trying to save as much money as possible, you probably want to look at some alternative options.

It is important to consider the fact that you will get superior airflow directionality that is far better than semi-downdraft or crossdraft spray booths.

While it is true that the issue of contaminants affecting the finish is reduced with this type of booth, exposure to over spray can be a serious problem. You will need to make sure you are wearing the proper protective gear when working in a side draft spray booth.

Downdraft Spray Booths

Downdraft spray booths have an airflow that travels straight down from the ceiling. These types of spray booths sometimes require concrete pits, though they can also be raised on steel basements with the use of drive-up ramps.


One of the main reasons that a lot of people like downdraft booths is because they are easier to keep clean. This is due to the fact that the air is drawn around the object, and the exhaust is handled under it.

These types of spray booths pull all contaminants away from the object that is being painted, so you don’t have to worry about positioning yourself in any particular way when spraying. The chances of overspray contamination are minimised with downdraft booths because the overspray is pulled down and away from the worker.

When you work in a downdraft spray booth, you are more likely to get cleaner finishes, which can mean saving a significant amount of money.


There aren’t many drawbacks associated with downdraft spray booths, but they can be a bit expensive because of the need for a concrete pit.

When Choosing Between Different Types of Spray Booths Key Tips

These tips will help you meet your specific requirements while saving time and frustration.

  • Always make sure that you set aside an adequate amount of space surrounding the spray booth so you can add heat later on. You should have a detailed plan to go over with the supplier before making a final decision. Make sure that you ask them any questions you may have so you get the answers you need.
  • Check to see if the building you are going to be working in has the electric load necessary for the configuration you want. You need to know exactly where the power is going to come from as well as how much the electrical work will cost.
  • You need to be certain the fuel is always available and can be supplied to the heater. It’s also important to be aware of the costs associated with this.
  • Contact your local authorities to see if putting in the heater you need is possible with the existing codes and regulations. You don’t want to commit to this decision until you have acquired this information.

Adding Heat to Spray Booths

When you are looking for the right spray booth design, it is important to factor in the expense of heating and baking. Recycling heat is by far the most economical option, and it’s highly recommended that you consider doing this. Keep in mind that the cheapest spray booths almost always cost the most to retrofit later on. The heating configuration you choose will depend on the type of booth you have.

Semi-downdraft spray booths are usually easy to add heat to post-installation. These types of spray booths don’t require a lot of onsite work, and you can easily keep installation costs to a minimum.

Side downdraft booths are also easy to retrofit with heating because the ducts go along the walls. You can easily recycle heat with downdraft booths, but it all comes down to the layout.

Heating your spray booth is an important thing to keep in mind when you are choosing one type in particular. If you are planning on retrofitting the booth, you want to get one that will allow you to do so without excessive expense.

Final Thoughts About Different Spray Booth Designs and Types

The type of spray booth design you choose will ultimately determine how easy it will be for you to paint objects and keep the area clean. The more consideration you give to this process, the better off you are going to be. Keep in mind that some types of paint booths are more expensive than others, so you need to consider your budget.

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