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Paint Booth Maintenance: How to Clean Your Booth

Is the inside of your paint booth dusty? Are you noticing blemishes in the paint caused by dirt and debris? If so, you might think that your booth is malfunctioning; after all, a booth is made to be a controlled environment and keep dirt out.

Seeing dust in your booth can be frustrating. It’s usually an indication that it’s been too long since it’s been cleaned. 

Fortunately, cleaning your booth is a simple task. By implementing a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule, you can ensure the booth keeps producing flawless finishes in a safe and compliant environment. 

Why do you Need to Clean Your Paint Booth?

Paint booths are designed to keep dust and debris out to prevent impurities from marring the paint finish. However, even the best air filters eventually become clogged and need to be replaced. Additionally, it’s easy to accidentally bring dust and dirt particles into your booth when the doors are opened.

Your booth can last longer and perform better when it is cleaned regularly. It will also protect vital components of the booth, including the fan and motor. Taking a little time to clean up your booth can prevent imperfect finishes and lost man-hours.  

Step-by-Step Paint Booth Cleaning

Follow this guide to clean your booth from top to bottom:

  • Clean the air filters and replace them when necessary. How often they are replaced depends on how often the booth is used and how much buildup there is.
  • Sweep the floors daily with a broom. Don’t use a vacuum cleaner or shopvac unless you have one that’s approved for use in hazardous applications (spark hazard). 
  • Clean the booth’s floors and walls with a sponge mop (not cotton) and an appropriate solvent-based cleaning solution, or use a pressure washer.
  • Make sure all glass on lights and doors is cleaned and free of buildup. Keeping your lights cleaned will keep your booth well illuminated. We recommend using Clear View glass coating to protect booth lights and windows. 
  • Use a non-ferrous, non-sparking scraper to get overspray off the walls.
  • Clean overspray from paint guns and air hoses. Replace spray guns and hoses when necessary.

You can simplify the cleaning process by installing floor and wall coverings in your booth. We offer floor mats with a grippy texture that helps trap overspray and dirt particles. You can also keep the inside of your booth looking like new with our spray-on, peel-off White Out wall coating.

Preventative Maintenance and Good Habits Reduce Dust Buildup

A few proactive steps can prevent dust from gathering in your paint booth:

  • Keep the spray booth doors closed unless you’re moving objects in and out.
  • Turn the paint booth on and make sure it’s running properly before opening the doors to bring in an object to be finished.
  • Store paints, finishes, and other items in a safe place (not the paint booth).
  • Always use proper personal protective equipment (including a headcover) when painting.
  • Prep objects to be finished before bringing them into the booth.
  • Don’t sand objects in the booth (use a separate sanding booth).
  • Apply caulk and seals to all joints, corners, and doors.
  • Keep the area directly outside the booth clean.

It’s also crucial to follow a preventative maintenance routine for your paint booth:

  • Change the air filters according to the manufacturer’s guidelines or when they become saturated, whichever is sooner. 
  • Clean the AMU.
  • Check the exhaust fans for loose blades and frayed wiring.
  • Monitor the air quality inside the booth, and address any issues promptly.
  • Install a manometer to measure air pressure and determine when the air filters are full.

Dust isn’t the only thing that can affect paint booth operation. Moisture can also become trapped in the booth. When it condenses, it can mar a curing finish and damage paint guns and other tools. Refrigerant dryers can help reduce the moisture that builds up in the compressed air systems used in a paint booth.

Talk to an Expert About Cleaning and Maintenance

Regular cleaning and maintenance can keep your paint booth in top shape for optimal performance. The steps for cleaning a paint booth are basically the same for all models, but it’s always good to check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific tips and guidelines. 

If you want more details on keeping your paint booth running smoothly, our expert team can help. We can also help you with upgrades and add-ons or even customize a booth to your specifications. Email us at sales@paint-booths.com or call 888-312-7488

Introduction to Paint Booth Types: Side Downdraft 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 side downdraft paint booths.

What is a side downdraft paint booth?

A side downdraft paint booth is similar to a downdraft booth, but the airflow moves the air down and to the lower sides of the booth rather than straight down toward the floor. A side downdraft paint booth doesn’t need a floor pit because it exhausts air through the side walls.

Side downdraft models are available in many different sizes, from a model that is 23’ long for smaller shops to a much larger 60’ booth, designed to fit big trucks. Standard Tools and Equipment can customize the booth to be as long as desired. This model is a popular model to order with an air makeup unit for a heated booth option.   

How does a side downdraft paint booth work?

In a side downdraft paint booth, air comes in through the front ceiling. Most models have a double set of filters at the air intake point. This filtered air moves down and toward the sides of the booth where it’s exhausted through a set of floor-level filters along both sides of the booth.

The airflow pattern of a side downdraft booth pulls air away from the center of the booth, helping to draw contaminants and overspray away from the item being painted or finished. This setup makes painting easier and improves the quality of the finish.

Benefits of a side downdraft paint booth

Side downdraft booths offer several advantages:

  • No need for an expensive concrete pit
  • Good control of contaminants and overspray
  • Excellent finish quality (similar to a downdraft booth)
  • Filtered intake air
  • No “dead zones” like those in a semi downdraft booth

A side downdraft paint booth offers many advantages, making it an excellent choice for a wide range of applications. However, side downdraft booths require a lot of exhaust ductwork and multiple fans, so they tend to be more expensive than other styles.

Top uses for a side downdraft paint booth

Side downdraft paint booths facilitate excellent finish quality, making them ideal for top-tier projects:

  • Automotive finishing/refinishing
  • Large truck finishing
  • Large equipment production
  • Industrial manufacturing of precision equipment

A side downdraft booth is a good option for shops that produce large, high-quality items but can’t support a floor pit for a downdraft booth.

Optimize Production With a High-Quality Paint Booth

If you want to ensure your products receive a top-notch finish free of blemishes, a side downdraft paint booth is an excellent choice. It offers a downward airflow pattern that controls contaminants and overspray but doesn’t require a floor pit. Side downdraft booths are also easily installed with a Sure-Cure air makeup unit to increase production with a heated cure cycle.

No matter what kind of paint booth you need, we can help. We carry a wide selection of paint spray booths in various styles and sizes. From a heated side downdraft paint booth to a cross flow paint booth, our selection has options for every project. We can even customize a booth for your unique needs. To get started, contact our team directly, email sales@paint-booths.com, or call 888-312-7488.

Adding Heat to Your Paint Booth: Benefits, Challenges, and Planning Ahead

Shopping for a paint booth can become tedious, especially after you’ve spent hours trying to figure out exactly what type of booth you want and what size booth you need (not to mention fit your budget). You may just decide to buy a basic booth and think about upgrades later. However, taking the time to figure out what configuration and features you need can save you time and hassle down the road.

One thing that many people don’t consider at first is adding heat to the booth. Depending on the kind of booth you have, where you live, and your production goals can help determine if an air makeup unit is required for your booth. 

What are the benefits of adding heat to your booth?

One of the most advantageous upgrades to your paint booth is the ability to control the interior temperature by adding heat via an air makeup unit. Heating your spray booth provides several key benefits:

  • Increases production capacity by reducing the curing time; most projects can be completed and cool to the touch within an hour.
  • Creates an optimal environment for flawless finishes.
  • Offers a comfortable environment in cooler climates.

Having a heated booth can significantly improve your shop’s production speed. Instead of waiting for several hours for a job to dry, an air makeup unit will cure the finish and allow you to move on to the next job in no time. If you want to complete more than just a few projects a week, adding heat is the best way to expand your operations. 

Can you add heat to a paint booth that you already own?

Heat is added to a paint booth by installing a heated air makeup unit (AMU). The term “makeup air” is just that, replacement air for the exhausted air during normal operation. By replacing the expelled air, adding an AMU to a paint booth allows it to maintain consistent air pressure. The painter is able to control the booth’s pressure through the unit’s deluxe control panel. 

Stabilizing the air pressure reduces the amount of dust and other contaminants inside the booth and improves the air quality. By reducing the contaminants, it also greatly reduces the risk of blemishes in the finish.


Depending on how the air is ducted into the booth from the AMU, not every type of paint booth gives you the option of adding heat. The most common is the cross flow paint booth. This booth has front filtered doors, so it is impossible to control the air flow into the booth through the doors. 

Most other booth styles, including the downdraft, side downdraft, and semi downdraft models, can be upgraded with heat, either at time of purchase or later. For example, adding heat to a downdraft paint booth is generally simple and doesn’t require significant modifications to the booth. Likewise, you can install a heated AMU to supply air directly into the intake plenum at the front top of a semi downdraft booth

It’s also simple to upgrade a side downdraft booth with a heated AMU to supply air into the upper plenum, which runs along the entire length of the booth. Additionally, you may be able to create a setup that recycles some of the heat from the exhaust duct, improving efficiency and reducing energy requirements. 

Planning ahead gives you the option to upgrade your booth

If you decide that you may want to add heat at a later date, here are some essential things to keep in mind:

  • Location and installation: Leave enough room to accommodate an AMU and any necessary ductwork. Units can be set up directly outside the building, on the roof, or even inside the building. Units are also available in horizontal or vertical styles. If you’re not sure how much space you need, our expert team can answer your questions and help you prepare for future upgrades.
  • Electrical system: Make sure your building’s electrical system/infrastructure can handle the increased load of a heated AMU. If you aren’t sure, check with an electrician. 
  • Fuel: You will need a fuel source for the AMU (e.g., natural gas or propane). Verify the possibility and cost of bringing a fuel line to the AMU.
  • Rules and regulations: Check with your local authorities to see what codes may be applicable to install a heated AMU under local building and fire codes.
  • Lead time: Consider the lead time you will need to add an AMU. Since each unit is hand-built to your specifications, the lead time is usually between 10-14 days (this varies depending on production schedules). We suggest planning for a 3-month time frame for delivery, installation, and inspections. However, we sell them year-round!

Most paint booth styles allow you to add a heated AMU later. However, it is an easier install, easier inspection process, and more cost-efficient to incorporate heat with the initial purchase your paint booth.

Get the perfect paint booth for your shop

Whether you decide to add heat to your new paint booth right away or upgrade it down the road, our team is here to help. Our experts can discuss your needs and goals to help you choose a booth that’s the right style and size. We offer a wide range of top-quality booths for various applications, and we can even customize a booth to your exact specifications. To get started, contact our team directly, email sales@paint-booths.com, or call 888-312-7488.

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