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Introduction to the Downdraft Paint Booth

A downdraft paint booth is a fully enclosed spray booth with a downward airflow design, which many experts agree creates the best environment for high-quality finish work. Downdraft paint booths are usually large enough to accommodate vehicles and other big items.

This type of booth is extremely effective at managing contaminants and overspray. Because the exhaust system requires a pit in the floor, however, a downdraft paint booth can be costly to install.

How Does a Downdraft Paint Booth Work?

As the name implies, a downdraft paint booth is designed to direct airflow in a downward direction, from the booth’s ceiling toward the floor. The air is pulled into the booth through afull length ceiling plenum. In most designs, the plenum takes up most or all of the ceiling and has an integrated filter that decontaminates the air before it enters the booth.

The airflow inside the booth is directed straight down, flowing vertically over the item being painted. This style is preferred sometimes because it controls overspray and contamination.

There is an exhaust pit in the floor that is usually a few feet wide and runs the length of the booth. This area has filters to catch overspray and remove toxic, flammable substances from the air before it’s released through the booth’s pitted exhaust system.

What Are the Top Uses for a Downdraft Paint Booth?

Downdraft spray booths are usually installed in auto body shops that repair, repaint, and refinish vehicles. There are other styles of automotive paint booths available, but a downdraft booth is often preferred by automotive painters.

Downdraft paint booths can also have some industrial applications. They are a good choice for finishing large equipment and utility vehicles.

Advantages of a Downdraft Paint Booth

A downdraft paint booth offers several benefits:

  • Pulls overspray and contaminants down toward the floor to create a flawless finish
  • Effectively directs airborne particles downward regardless of which direction the painter is spraying
  • Improves air quality and creates a safer environment for the painter
  • Provides excellent throughput capacity
  • Offers a large, fully enclosed space that accommodates big products (e.g. vehicles)
  • The downdraft booth has a heated air makeup unit (AMU) to warm the air prior to entering the booth. It also gives a cure cycle to further protect the flawless finish!

Because of the airflow design of a downdraft paint booth, it’s widely regarded as the best option for a high-quality finish.

The biggest drawback of a downdraft paint booth is that it needs space for the exhaust pit to be installed. If your shop can accommodate an exhaust pit for a downdraft booth, it’s a great way to ensure your products get a top-quality finish.

Upgrade Your Shop with a Downdraft Paint Booth

A downdraft paint booth makes it easy to get a flawless, top-quality finish on your products. Our heated downdraft paint booth offers the additional advantage of temperature control, which reduces curing time and increases efficiency.

At Standard Tools and Equipment Co., we are committed to providing every customer with the perfect spray booth for their needs. Along with downdraft style, we offer a wide range of other styles, including the cross flow, side downdraft, and semi downdraft models. If you aren’t sure which option is right for your shop or need a customized paint booth, we can help. Contact our team online or call 888-312-7488.


Introduction to Paint Booth Types: Benchtop Paint Booths

In this series, we’ll look at some of the most common types of paint spray booths and their functions and benefits. This month’s spotlight is on benchtop paint booths.

What is a benchtop paint booth?

Also known as tabletop paint booths, benchtop paint booths are different from larger booths. This type of smaller booth features a built-in “bench” that allows the user to paint or finish small pieces that need to be worked on at counter-height, about 4 feet off the ground. The front of the booth is open, and it features an integrated exhaust system in the back.

Externally, most benchtop paint booths are about 7 feet tall. They can vary in width between 2 feet and 8 feet wide. You can also find smaller models that don’t have a built-in bench because they are designed to sit on an existing counter or table.

How does a benchtop paint booth work?

A benchtop paint booth has a built-in bench inside the structure, which has three enclosed sides and a roof. The booth draws fresh air through the open front and exhausts it through a filter system in the back wall.

Our tabletop paint booths are made of 18-gauge galvanized steel and include all sealants, hardware, and fasteners. We also include all the necessary exhaust components: grids, filters, fans, and motors. Exhaust ductwork, an ETL-listed control panel, and lighting are some of the add-ons we offer.

What is a benchtop paint booth used for?

Benchtop paint booths create a safe and code-compliant environment for finishing small items. The built-in counter allows you to place an item where it’s easy to see and interact with. This means that you don’t have to kneel down in a traditional paint booth to work with a small item sitting on the floor.

A tabletop paint booth can be used to finish a wide variety of pieces:

  • Furniture (e.g. stools, end tables, accent items)
  • Cabinet doors
  • Machine parts and interior pieces
  • Woodworking projects
  • Hobby items (e.g. figurines, miniatures, models)
  • Small pieces of industrial equipment
  • DIY projects

A benchtop paint booth makes it safer and easier to create beautifully finished pieces.

Top benefits of a benchtop paint booth

Why should you add a tabletop paint booth to your business or home workshop? Here are some of the advantages you can expect:

  • Better lighting to reduce errors in the finishing process
  • A code-compliant exhaust system
  • Improved air quality with reduced paint fumes
  • Less debris and dust that can create flaws in the finish
  • Better control of flammable materials/reduced risk of fire
  • Improved workflow efficiency
  • Reduced curing time

As you can see, there are numerous benefits of adding a benchtop paint booth to your shop, manufacturing plant, or garage. This type of spray booth has a smaller footprint than a traditional full-size paint booth, and it creates the ideal environment for finishing small items. You can work efficiently in a safe environment and get high-quality finishes on even the most complex pieces.

Find the Perfect Paint Booth for Your Project

A benchtop paint booth is a fantastic upgrade for hobbyists who spend a lot of time painting miniature projects. It’s also essential for any industrial workshop that manufactures and finishes small parts, equipment, furnishings, and products.  

We offer several different benchtop paint booth models with unique features. If you aren’t sure which one is right for your needs, contact our expert team for assistance. We can even customize a paint booth for you. Contact our team or give us a call at 888-312-7488.

Almost Everything You Need to Know About Control Panels for a Paint Booth

Your paint booth has many different parts that perform specific functions, but one of the most important is the control panel. This guide covers all the essentials of spray booth control panels so you can understand how they work and how to use them safely.

What Does a Paint Booth Control Panel Do?

As the name implies, a control panel allows you to operate the paint booth’s lights and fans from one central location near the booth.

How It Works

paint booth control panel

Inside the control box, there is a contactor that’s linked to the “Fan” button on the panel. The contactor is a device that starts or interrupts an electrical circuit. So, when you push the “Fan” button, the contactor establishes the circuit to start the exhaust fans. The “Lights” button is linked to a contactor that controls the lights inside the booth.

We offer many types of control panels, including one designed for mixing rooms and others that work with different paint booths based on their voltage, horsepower, and phase requirements. For example, we have a one-motor, one-phase control panel that can control a single fan motor and is available in four different horsepower/voltage configurations. If your booth has two exhaust fans, check out our two-motor, three-phase panel that’s available in two different horsepower/voltage configurations.

Our control panels are engineered to make your booth easy to use. Along with operating the fans and lights with just a push og a button, they also have the ability to control paint spray guns through an air valve solenoid. The solenoid’s wiring is already connected inside the panel so it is an easy hookup to the AVS terminals.

SureCure control panel

We also build control panels with each of our Sure-Cure Air Makeup Units (AMU). These panels are similar, but they are larger in size because of the additional features an AMU allows. These boxes operate the fan and lights… but it also allows the operator to set the booth’s pressure and temperature as well as set the unit into “Cure” mode to complete the paint job. These control panels have a ton of safety features built into the unit for the operator’s safety

Can You Switch or Upgrade the Control Panel in Your Paint Booth?

We offer ETL-listed control panels that are certified by Intertek. These panels have internal components that meet ETL certification requirements, ensuring that they comply with the highest safety standards. This certification mark is found inside every control panel we build.

What Are Control Panel Safety Regulations?

Paint booths and their control panels are regulated by several different organizations, most of which manage electrical standards and fire safety rules. All of our control boxes meet ETL guidelines and are certified by Intertek. Our manufacturing shop is UL508A-certified, meaning we have met the standards that apply to industrial control panels for general use. Control panels are included with the ETL-listed paint booths that we offer. You can feel confident that the equipment meets the highest international product safety standards. Control panels can be sold with non-ETL booths or can be added to an existing paint booth from another manufacturer.  

For safety, our paint booth control boxes have a time-delay mechanism that’s set to three minutes. Fire code in most places requires this three-minute delay feature. This means that after you push the “Fan” button to stop the exhaust fans, they will run for three additional minutes before shutting off. This is a safety feature that allows the booth to exhaust any remaining paint fumes and vapors out of your paint booth, preventing a fire and safety hazard.

Trust Us for Top-Quality Paint Booth Equipment

employee working with paint booth control panel
employee working with paint booth control panel

At Standard Tools and Equipment Co., we have been manufacturing spray booths, mixing booths, air makeup units, and control panels since 1997. We build products that meet the highest safety and quality standards while providing a value for our customers. We design and build these products from our facility in Greensboro, North Carolina with all American-made components. Our team can answer your questions about control panels and help you choose the right ETL-listed box for your paint booth. To get in touch with our expert team, call 888-312-7488 or email sales@paint-booths.com.

FAQs About Paint Booth Fans and Motors

Have you ever wondered about the mechanics and parts inside your paint booth? You’re not alone. We get a lot of questions about the mechanical and electrical elements inside our spray booths, especially the fans and motors. Here are answers to the most common questions about paint booth fans and motors.

What kind of fan do you use for a paint booth?

In a paint booth, there are two types of fans. Each one performs a specific function: either pushing air into or pulling air out of the booth. Air is pushed into the booth through a blower fan, which in many cases is part of an AMU. This setup replaces the air that is pulled out of the booth by the exhaust fan to balance the air pressure for optimal operating conditions.

The exhaust fan for a paint booth is a tube axial fan with propeller-style blades. Our fans all use aluminum blades that are best for fire safety because they don’t spark. Non-sparking fans are important for paint booths because most paints and other finishing products are flammable.

Does a paint booth need an explosion-proof fan?

There are several different safety codes that may apply to paint booth operations from organizations such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Your state, city, or county may have additional requirements.

Depending on the exact setup of your shop and your booth, you may need to use an explosion-proof fan in your paint booth. For more information on explosion-proof requirements and our fans, contact our Customer Service Specialists.

How many CFM do you need for a paint booth?

The volume of air moving in a paint booth is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM).

There is a simple rule of thumb you can use to figure out the right CFM for your booth:

  • Side downdraft booths: Booth width (ft.) X Booth height (ft.) X 40
  • Cross flow, open face, and semi-downdraft booths: Booth width (ft.) X Booth height (ft.) X 100

So, if you have a cross flow booth that is 16 feet in both width and height, the correct CFM would be 25,600. The best way to determine the right CFM for your booth is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

How do you measure the airflow of a paint booth?

It’s a good idea to know how to measure the airflow in your booth. You may need to do this if you are concerned that a fan isn’t operating correctly or if you are trying to determine whether it’s time to replace some filters. Additionally, both OSHA and NFPA guidelines specify minimum airflow requirements for paint booths in order to reduce the concentration of flammable materials inside the booth. The airflow inside the paint booth is important for both safety and finishing guidelines. The ETL certification that comes with many Standard Tools paint booths means that the airflow has been tested for safety on those models by Intertek.

Paint booth airflow is usually measured in linear feet per minute (lfm). Older International Fire Code (IFC) requirements designated a minimum airflow of 100 lfm. However, modern codes refer to air exchange rates rather than airflow. You need to ensure a minimum of four air exchanges per minute when solvent-based or wet paints are used in the booth. For powder-coating finishes, the minimum airflow required is 60 lfm. The easiest way to measure airflow in your booth is with a special tool: a Vaneometer.

Which type of motor is used in a paint booth?

Most paint booth motors are completely enclosed, fan-cooled styles. Some types of paint booths may need more than one motor. Spray booth motors are usually available in either single-phase or three-phase models. Three-phase motors are sometimes preferred for larger loads, but the best way to know what type of motor your booth needs is to talk directly to the manufacturer as well as a licensed electrician who can tell you what power requirements your shop may have.

What is an explosion-proof motor?

Some motors are explosion-proof, which essentially means that they are designed to contain an internal explosion to prevent external damage or injury. Some common traits of an explosion-proof motor are a UL-listed conduit box and an exterior finish that’s corrosion-resistant. These motors are best for hazardous locations and might be required by certain safety regulations or local codes.

Get Expert Support for Your Paint Booth Purchase

To get the most out of your paint booth, it’s essential to ensure it has the right fans and motors for your unique operating conditions. Fortunately, you can get all your questions answered by our expert customer service team. We can even work with you to build a completely customized booth that meets your specifications. Contact us to get started.

Save Time and Money with These Top Spray Booth Accessories

If you want to get the maximum use out of your paint booth, consider investing in some upgrades. Accessories such as all-in-one control panels, LED lights, and AMUs improve your booth’s efficiency and performance, and special coatings simplify cleaning. Learn more about how to save money with the right accessories for your spray booth.

Mixing Rooms

It may seem easy to just store your paints, primers, glazes, and other chemicals in the corner of your shop, but keeping these things in the open presents a fire hazard. And it’s difficult to clean up accidental spills all over your shop’s floor.

With a well-built mixing booth, you have a dedicated and safe place to store your paints and stains. All of our mixing rooms are ETL-certified and compliant with NFPA standards. Built-in ventilation systems run continuously, removing the fumes and harmful particles created by mixing and storing paint and other chemicals.

Energy-Efficient LED Lights

Your paint booth probably has lights already, but built-in illumination isn’t always optimal, especially for finishing jobs that require a lot of precision. When you upgrade your booth to energy-efficient LED flat-panel lights. The LED lay-in panels are slim and easy to install, and are suitable for both heated and unheated booths. LED panels drastically reduce energy use, costing you less money on each power bill. Additionally, they last for an extremely long time and come with a five-year warranty.  Our panels have up to 60,000 hours of run time, which equates to over 6 years (if you left them on 24/7). Another great benefit is that your energy company may give you a credit for upgrading to LED so the upgrade isn’t as costly as you think.

Air Makeup Units (AMU)

To keep the proper air pressure in your paint booth, you need to replace the air that gets exhausted during operation. The easiest way to do this is with an air makeup unit (AMU), which balances air pressure inside the booth by automatically providing the right amount of replacement air.

Installing an AMU is a better, more-efficient solution for air pressure management than trying to use the HVAC system to regulate the air pressure in the shop. Plus, AMUs are heated, so there are even more benefits:

  • Faster finish times
  • Temperature control for even curing
  • Fewer airborne particles and contaminants inside the booth

A heated AMU can be one of the most cost-effective upgrades for your paint booth.

Air Hose Storage Solutions

Air hoses that are left can be a tripping hazard. Easily keep your air lines stored in reels to your air hoses from getting tangled or tripped on during operation. Many air line reels can be installed anywhere, and come with automatic retraction systems that prevent the hose from becoming loose or unrolling.

Easy-To-Clean Coatings

To keep your spray booth functioning properly, it’s essential to clean the overspray that gets on the ceiling, walls, and floors. This can be a tedious job, but there are several accessories that can make it easier. White Out coating is a water-based spray that creates a film that covers paint booth walls, restoring a “like new” appearance even in booths with extensive overspray. The new white walls improve light quality in the booth. When the film gets covered with overspray, you can simply peel it off and respray the White Out on your booth’s interior.

It’s vital to keep the air inside the booth as clean as possible to reduce dust and debris that can ruin the quality of a finish. This adds to the life of your paint booth filters and keeps your paint booth fan clean. The Grippy Mat is a floor mat that traps dirt, dust, and overspray, reducing the chance that these particles will enter the airflow inside the booth. Our starter bundle includes a Grippy Mat floor covering, particle control solution, and an easy-to-use sprayer.

Operational controls

A paint booth control panel simplifies operation, allowing you to manage your booth’s lights, exhaust fans, and other crucial hardware from one point of contact. All of our ETL-certified spray booths come with electric control panels. If you purchase an uncertified booth model, you can upgrade to one of our ETL-listed control boxes; we have both single-phase and three-phase models.

Optimize Your Paint Booth with Key Accessories

If you want to make it easier to operate, monitor, and clean your paint booth, consider upgrading it with some accessories. We carry a wide range of top-quality options, and you can count on our team for advice about which upgrades are best for your booth and shop. If you have any questions about choosing the right lights, AMU, or control panel for your booth, contact our friendly sales team. We’ll provide expert solutions completely customized for your needs.

What to Do If Your Paint Booth Isn’t Code Compliant

Compliance is one of the most complex issues that you may deal with as a paint booth owner. There are both local and national regulations that apply to the installation and operation of your spray booth. Making sure your booth is compliant isn’t just about avoiding fines and legal issues. Codes are designed to ensure you operate your booth safely and correctly. By following the relevant codes, you can enhance quality control and protect yourself and your employees.

Ideally, it’s best to have a thorough understanding of all the relevant code requirements before you purchase a new paint booth. However, even the most conscientious paint booth owners may find themselves with compliance issues at some point. Read on to learn how to bring your paint booth into compliance.

Understand the Requirements

There are both national and state-level codes that apply to paint booths. The federal requirements come from several different agencies:

  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules are related to workplace safety. OSHA laws for paint booths are designed to protect operators from hazardous and combustible substances (such as paints and other finishing products). There are rules about ventilation, filters, illumination, and ignition sources.
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes are designed to mitigate the fire risks of spraying flammable materials. NFPA-33 specifically, is intended for fire control for large-scale, indoor spray paint applications such as industrial spray paint booths. This code covers fire prevention, fire suppression measures, cleaning of built-up overspray, and disposal of flammable materials.
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards help reduce harm to the environment from volatile organic compounds that come from improper ventilation and/or disposal of toxic substances. There are filter codes, ventilation standards, and record-keeping requirements.

Your paint booth may also be subject to additional rules based on local ordinances. When you are pulling permits for your paint booth, carefully read through all the building codes so you understand them. You may need to choose an ETL-certified booth and/or have your setup checked by a local inspector.

Even if your paint booth is already installed, it may become noncompliant if you change the layout of your shop, disassemble and reassemble the booth, or start using different types of finishing products. Local codes can also change, requiring you to take certain actions to make your spray booth compliant again.

Mitigate Fire Risks

Local fire codes may be stricter than NFPA regulations. If your booth doesn’t meet fire safety standards, you may need to make some changes:

  • Replace clogged filters and clean out overspray buildup in the booth.
  • Install fire extinguishers, automatic sprinklers, and other fire suppression equipment as directed by the city or county fire chief.
  • Identify all ignition sources and move them away from the booth. Common sources of ignition are light fixtures, switches and certain types of fans. Make sure to store and mix paints and finishes away from spark-producing devices, ideally in a paint mixing booth.

Your paint booth itself should meet national fire safety requirements by including non-sparking fans and lights. However, taking extra fire precautions can help protect everyone in your shop.

Schedule a Field Test

Some states and cities only allow paint booths that have ETL certification. This Electrical Testing Laboratories mark indicates that the booth’s components meet certain NFPA safety requirements. In an ETL-listed booth, the electrical control panel for the lights and fans is designed to meet UL standards.

If your local codes require ETL certification, the easiest way to ensure compliance is to purchase an ETL-listed booth. You can also obtain certification for an existing booth by scheduling an official inspection and completing any required changes. However, this can be a costly certification process. If you are unsure if it will be required, it is best to purchase a booth that is already certified.

Prioritize Regular Maintenance

Once your paint booth is compliant with all relevant codes and standards, preventative maintenance is the best thing you can do to keep it that way.

  • Change filters when necessary.
  • Clean the booth regularly.
  • Check wires for wear and tear.
  • Monitor airflow and ventilation.
  • Inspect fire suppression equipment frequently.
  • Clean any overspray from the exhaust fans

If you’re not sure how to maintain your paint booth, contact an expert.

Get Reliable Support To Keep Your Booth Compliant

Paint booth compliance is about more than just following building codes; a compliant booth is safer to operate. If your booth isn’t code compliant, the best thing to do is remedy the situation right away by scheduling an inspection and completing any assigned action items. When you are purchasing a paint booth, make sure to choose one that meets federal standards and is ETL-certified (if your local codes require it). To learn more about paint booth compliance, contact our experienced team.

Upgrading Your Paint Booth: The Top Options for Improving Efficiency, Safety, and Performance

A high-quality paint booth is a significant upgrade to your shop, making it easy to create products with a gorgeous professional finish. Even if your existing spray booth performs reliably, there are several upgrades you can consider. These products can drastically increase the efficiency of your booth and ensure a top-notch finish. With strategic additions, you can improve your paint booth’s performance.

Lighting Upgrades

Most paint booths have integrated lighting, but you may want to consider upgrading the bulbs that are in your booth. Good lighting provides essential benefits:

  • Color matching is more accurate.
  • Finish issues (debris, blemishes) are easier to see and address.
  • Adequate light improves safety.
  • High-efficiency bulbs reduce operating costs.

With our wide range of lighting options, it’s easy to choose the best upgrades for your paint booth. We carry LED panels and recessed lights along with high-lumen fluorescent bulbs. You can also get clear panes of tempered glass to protect LED panels.

Air Quality Improvements

The quality of the air in your booth is perhaps the most important factor affecting the booth’s operational performance and safety. Air that’s contaminated with dust and debris will compromise the finish. Inadequate airflow contributes to uneven drying and allows the booth to become saturated with overspray. Unbalanced air pressure, inside and outside your booth, can create drafts, temperature fluctuations, and safety issues.

We carry equipment that can address all of these challenges.

These simple upgrades can drastically reduce drying time and improve the finish quality.

Safety and Storage Equipment

A well-made paint booth should meet all federal and local safety requirements and fire codes, but there are some things you can add to make your shop and your booth even safer. Protect yourself and your team with top-quality PPE. We carry supplied-air respirators and reusable full-body shoot suits.

Paint, varnishes, primers, and other finishing products are flammable and toxic. It’s essential to store and handle them safely. A paint mixing room makes it easy. This enclosed space allows you to store chemicals, paints, and other flammable materials in a safe place that’s separate from spraying operations. You can also mix all your finishes in the room. The integrated air filters minimize airborne debris, and the ventilation system continuously removes harmful vapors.

Flooring and Wall Coverings

We carry wall and floor coatings that trap airborne particles and counteract the effects of overspray.

  • Grippy Mat: It’s a padded material that protects the floor of the booth and attracts dust, dirt, and overspray. The padded mat makes standing and kneeling more comfortable, and the green color maintains good light quality in the booth. Just clean it with a vacuum when necessary.
  • Particle Control: This solution is designed for use with the Grippy Mat. Regular application keeps the mat ready to trap dust and debris.
  • White Out: This water-based spray is easy to apply to your booth’s walls, covering up overspray to restore optimal finishing conditions. Removal is easy; just peel off the coating in large sheets.
  • Clear View: Applied in the same way as White Out, Clear View is designed to protect your paint booth’s lights from overspray. It’s easy to peel and reapply as necessary.

Depending on the setup of your shop, you may also want to consider investing in a roll-up door for your paint booth. This specially designed fabric curtain allows you to control the environment in your booth without permanently impacting your shop’s floor space.

Maximize Paint Booth Performance With Smart Upgrades

It just takes a few upgrades to optimize your paint booth for peak performance and exceptional results. Add a few high-quality lights and some equipment to manage the airflow. Invest in wall and floor coatings that support a flawless finish and reduce the time between projects. Not sure which upgrades are right for you? Just contract our team. We’ll discuss your needs and recommend the ideal upgrades for your paint booth.

Paint Booth Construction: Innovative Solutions for Easy Installation

Choosing the right paint booth for your shop involves more than just picking the dimensions and features you want. You also need to think about installation and longevity. Fortunately, our booths check all the boxes; they’re durable, easy to install, and available in a wide range of sizes and configurations.

What Makes Our Paint Booths Different?

We are committed to providing the best paint booths on the market, so we build them out of top-quality materials and offer a wide range of customization options. One of the main things that sets our booths apart is how the panels are fastened together; our booths utilize Tek screws rather than nuts and bolts. While most booths on the market are designed for nut-and-bolt assembly, there are several potential downsides to this method:

  • Precut holes on the panels may not line up perfectly because floors are not perfectly level.
  • Lining up and attaching each bolt, washer, and nut is time-consuming.
  • Nuts and bolts can loosen over time.

To avoid the headaches of nuts and bolts, we use Tek screws for our booths. This innovative solution can drastically reduce the installation time for your booth without compromising structural integrity or strength.

What Are the Benefits of Tek Screws?

Tek Screws

Tek screws are so easy to use that it can seem like they may be inferior to the nut-and-bolt method. However, Tek screws are the preferred method for paint booth construction because they’re designed for the construction of large metal buildings, and a paint booth is essentially just a smaller version.

DIY-Friendly

Installing a paint booth may seem like a daunting process, but it’s actually extremely simple, especially when you use Tek screws. These fasteners make it simple and fast to assemble a paint booth without spending thousands on  a professional installer. In fact, about 80% of our customers install their booths themselves.

Self-Drilling Installation

Tek screws don’t require predrilled holes. This means you don’t have to worry about lining up the existing holes in two panels in order to attach them together. It can be especially hard to get all the predrilled holes to line up if your floor isn’t completely level or your booth panels were not manufactured perfectly. With Tek screws, these issues don’t exist. The Tek screw drills its own hole during installation, so it’s easy to ensure your panels are fastened securely and accurately.

Designed for Metal-to-Metal Applications

While nuts and bolts have a wide variety of uses, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best option for every situation. Tek screws were created for metal-to-metal applications, so they’re optimized for this type of construction. We are so sure that Tek screws are the best option for metal buildings that our 75,000 sq. ft. warehouse is constructed with them and has been for over 20 years!

Fast and Efficient

Tek screw with a drill

Assembling panels with nuts and bolts takes significantly more time to install. The predrilled holes need to perfectly align and each bolt and washer are tightened with every nut. This process is even more challenging if you are standing on a ladder.

It only takes half as long to fasten panels together with Tek screws. The process is to secure the panels by simply clamping them together and then using a drill fitted with the Tek screw itself.

Durable and Long-Lasting

Another advantage of Tek screws is that they create an extremely durable metal building. Nut-and-bolt construction can loosen over time, causing the panels to misalign or become insecure. Tek screws are designed for long-term use in heavy-duty applications, and they don’t tend to loosen on their own. Some of our paint booths constructed with Tek screws have been in use for over two decades!

Reusable

Because Tek screws drill their own holes and create such strong attachments, it may seem like they are impractical for paint booths. What if you want to move your booth to another location? Is it even possible to disassemble it without ruining the panels? Another great benefit of Tek strews is that they can be removed safely without affecting the reassembly options for your booth.

If you need to disassemble and move your booth, you can simply reconstruct it in the new location. Either reuse your Tek screws by installing them in new self-drilled holes or reuse the same holes with slightly larger Tek screws.

Find Your Perfect Paint Booth Today

When you invest in a paint booth for your shop, you want to feel confident that you are getting a high-quality building that will last for years. When you order from us, you can be sure you are getting a booth that’s made of the best materials and manufactured to exceptional standards. Tek screws allow you to assemble the booth yourself quickly and easily. You can save money on installation costs and be sure that your panels are fastened securely. Our team is here to answer all your questions, and we can even customize a booth for you. If you want more details on the installation process or need a little bit of help along the way, just contact our experts.

Top 5 Paint Booth Safety Measures

No matter what kind of paint spray booth you have, it’s essential to make sure you are taking all the necessary precautions to keep your shop and personnel safe. By following a few simple guidelines, you can reduce the risks of fire, air quality problems, and damage to your products. Here are some of the most important safety measures for spray booths.

1. Protect Air Quality

Whether your spray booth is designed for wood finishing or automotive painting, the primers, varnishes, and finishing products that it uses contain hazardous chemicals that can damage equipment and/or create health problems. A properly functioning paint booth reduces the threat of these chemicals in several ways:

  • Creating a closed space for the finishing process
  • Capturing overspray before air is exhausted outside the booth
  • Providing makeup air to maintain balanced air pressure in the booth and shop
  • Heating the air so that the finishes cure faster

To maintain good air quality in your shop, it’s essential to operate your spray booth according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure to use proper exhaust filters and ductwork. Run the ventilation system at all times during spraying operations and for a suitable time afterward to clear vapor from the air.

2. Reduce Fire Risks

Most finishing products are extremely flammable, so it’s vital to take steps to mitigate fire risk. The three components that can cause an explosion or fire are an ignition source, oxygen, and flammable material. Standard paint booth operation converts liquid finishing products into airborne particles, and these particles then collect on equipment and in overspray filters. It’s not possible to remove oxygen from the air in and around the paint booth, so you must control the last remaining element: ignition.

Many actions can create sparks: drilling, welding, and using other types of equipment with high friction levels. You can help eliminate the chance of sparks by installing mats that reduce static and ensuring light fixtures are sealed properly. Make sure both your shop and the paint booth itself have adequate fire detection systems. Automatic sprinklers and other fire suppression measures are essential as well.

An ETL-listed paint booth has an electrical control panel that meets the highest safety standards. Even if your state does not require you to use ETL-certified equipment, purchasing an ETL-listed model can help you feel confident you are mitigating fire risk as much as possible.

3. Follow All Safety Codes and Standards

Safety codes and regulations are in place to help you create and maintain a safe work environment. Paint booth safety requirements come from several different organizations, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Fire Protection Association, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Your state may have additional regulations. While you may not have the time or desire to memorize all the details of applicable safety regulations, there are a few basics you should know:

  • Paint booths should be made of strong materials, such as concrete or steel
  • Booths should have proper exhaust systems
  • Spray booths should be grounded, and electrical equipment should be designed for use in a flammable environment
  • Fans should have integrated spark-arrestor systems
  • There should be a clear space of at least 3 feet around all sides of the booth, including the top
  • You should post appropriate and clear safety instructions

You should only purchase a paint booth that complies with all relevant codes, including specifications from your local Fire Marshall, building inspector, and insurance provider. It’s also essential to make sure your booth is installed by a professional who follows local building codes.

4. Create Safe Storage and Mixing Procedures

Solvents, paints, varnishes, and other flammable liquids must be stored and handled safely. Personnel should wear proper protective equipment during all phases of operation: mixing, moving, and applying finishes.

It’s best to have a designated storage space or room that is separate from the rest of your shop and from the paint booth. It’s also important to mix finishing products in a space with good ventilation and fire suppression equipment. A paint mixing room makes it easy to safely store and mix your finishes.

5. Complete Preventative Maintenance

Setting up your shop and your paint booth properly is the first step to creating a safe operating environment. However, maintaining that environment is just as important. Follow the preventative maintenance guidelines for your spray booth:

  • Replace intake and exhaust air filters according to the manufacturer’s recommended frequency
  • Keep all hoses, fans, and other equipment clean and free of overspray and debris
  • Check your ductwork and seals periodically, and repair any leaks
  • Complete any maintenance tasks recommended by the manufacturer

Routine maintenance helps your paint booth operate safely and efficiently.

Keep Your Finishing Operations Safe

Choosing a high-quality paint booth is the first step toward creating a suitable environment for finishing operations. Other vital safety precautions include performing equipment maintenance tasks, using suitable PPE, and changing air filters frequently. When you purchase a paint booth from us, you can feel confident that your new spray booth complies with all NFPA, OSHA, and EPA guidelines. If you have specific requirements, we can also develop a customized booth for you.

Choosing the Right Paint Booth Filters & Knowing When to Replace Them

paint booth air filters

Air filters are key elements in any paint booth; they help ensure the booth operates properly, efficiently, and safely. Your spray booth cannot perform with clogged filters or incorrect media. Ignoring filter maintenance can also place everyone in the shop at risk for health and safety problems. Choosing the right filters, installing them correctly, and knowing the appropriate time to change them is essential in preventative maintenance.

Types of Paint Booth Filters

There are several different types of filter media to capture debris, foreign particles, overspray, and other contaminants.

  • Intake filters prevent dust, debris, and other small particles from entering your paint booth. Without a well-functioning filter, these tiny particles can damage the finish quality. Each type of paint booth (e.g. downdraft, cross flow) may have a different style of intake filter, but the purpose is always the same: to protect the finish from contaminants.There will be a different type of intake filters for booths that are heated with an air makeup unit.
  • Exhaust filters trap overspray and other chemicals to prevent them from building up on the fans and from being released outside the booth. There are several different types of exhaust filters, including bags and blankets. Clogged exhaust filters can allow toxic chemicals into the environment, increase the risk of fire, and/or reduce the performance of the entire spray booth.
  • AMU filters are part of an air makeup unit, which provides replacement air into the booth to stabilize interior air pressure. AMU filters capture large particles from outside air before entering the AMU and reducies the load on the booth’s other filters before entering the booth.
  • Optional filters can be added to your paint booth to create a two-sage or three-stage filtration. For example, a carbon polyester filter can capture minute contaminants responsible for unpleasant odors. A pre-filter can take care of sawdust and powder-coating particles before they enter the bag filter. Depending on what you are spraying, this may be required.

The best way to know which type of replacement filters to get for your paint booth is to check the manufacturer’s specifications. It’s vital to choose the correct style, size, and material for the replacement filters to ensure your paint booth continues to function optimally.

When To Change a Filter

By nature, filters will eventually become clogged with debris. It’s essential to replace them when they become full of debris. Using a paint booth with clogged filters drastically reduces the quality of the finish, the operational efficiency, and the safety of the shop’s personnel.

It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for determining when to change your filters. Recommendations may be based on the number of operating hours or on calendar weeks/months. There may also be OSHA, EPA, and/or state guidelines for filter maintenance that you should be aware of and follow.

The exact operating conditions of your shop can affect the time it takes for your filters to get clogged, so you may need to replace them sooner than the average time frame recommended by the manufacturer. There are several visual cues you can rely on to determine when it’s time to change your filters.

  • Intake filters: debris in the booth and/or blemishes in the finish
  • Exhaust filters: overspray remaining in the booth and/or continuous operation of the fan at 100% capacity

In general, you should wait no longer than six months to replace an intake filter. It’s a good idea to replace an exhaust filter at least every month. However, it’s best to conscientiously monitor the filters to determine when they are ready to be replaced. You can use a manometer in addition to the visual cues described above to get a clear and accurate picture of how your filters are performing.

Understanding a Manometer

Installing a manometer on your paint booth can make it easier to see when it’s time to change the filter. All booths from Standard Tools come with a Dwyer manometer to measure air pressure. You should install a manometer at the rear of the paint booth near the exhaust filter so it can measure the difference in air pressure inside the booth before the filters and on the other side of the exhaust filters. The more clogged the filters are, the less air flow there is through the filters.

Once you install and calibrate a manometer, you can monitor when the filter starts affecting the booth’s airflow and interior air pressure. We recommend changing exhaust filters when your manometer reading is 0.5” above the initial calibrated level. Watch how to install your manometer on our YouTube channel.

Proper Filter Maintenance Keeps Your Paint Booth Working Efficiently

You can use the manometer readings and visual observations to determine when the filters are full and need to be replaced. We carry a wide range of high-quality intake, exhaust, and AMU filters for various spray booth models. You can order in bulk to ensure you always have replacement filters on hand. Contact us today; our experienced team is ready to answer your questions and recommend the right replacement filters for your booth.

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