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Introduction to Paint Booth Types: Semi 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 semi downdraft paint booths.

What is a semi downdraft paint booth?

Semi Downdraft Paint Booth

A semi downdraft paint booth is essentially a hybrid of a cross flow booth and a downdraft booth. Semi downdraft paint booths are available in several different sizes, from smaller booths that are about 20 feet long to 60-foot models that can accommodate large trucks. You can even get a booth with an integrated heated air makeup unit for faster curing times.

Semi downdraft booths generally feature a completely enclosed design with two sides, a ceiling, front doors, and a back wall. Air intake filters are located in the front portion of the ceiling, pulling air from the cleaner upper areas of the shop. The back wall houses the exhaust plenum. The booth sometimes is modified to include doors on both ends for a drive-through option. This styles also features a personnel door (or doors) on the sides, giving you the option to attach a clean entry room booth to reduce contaminants inside the booth.

How does a semi downdraft paint booth work?

Semi Downdraft Paint Booth

A semi downdraft booth pulls in air through the front quarter or third of the ceiling and directs it downward and across the booth toward the back wall. In most cases, the air is pulled into filters at the exhaust plenum in the back wall and then exhausted up and out through integrated ductwork. The airflow pattern in the booth is essentially diagonal: from the front of the ceiling to the back wall.

The airflow pattern in a semi downdraft booth helps direct overspray toward the exhaust filters. It offers some of the same benefits as a downdraft booth but doesn’t require a pit in the floor, making installation easier and less expensive. The velocity of the air across the object can help the paint dry faster, and adding a heated AMU can speed up the curing process exponentially.

Top advantages of a semi downdraft paint booth

We call the “workhorse” in our booth lineup for the heavy workloads it handles with ease! It is used by more start-up auto body shops than any other model.
A semi downdraft spray booth offers several benefits:

  • More affordable than a downdraft booth
  • Minimal installation requirements (no floor pit needed)
  • Versatile applications
  • Airflow and temperature control options
  • Effective overspray and contaminant control

While a semi downdraft paint booth is an excellent choice in most applications, there are some potential drawbacks. It does not provide as much overspray control as a traditional downdraft booth. Additionally, the diagonal airflow pattern creates a “dead zone” near the front of the booth that can cause eddy currents that collect overspray, potentially harming the finish and exposing the painter to a high level of paint.

What is a semi downdraft paint booth used for?

Semi downdraft booths are very popular for numerous applications:

  • Automotive painting
  • Finishing small parts
  • Painting large vehicles: trucks, RVs, tractors, etc.
  • Finishing industrial equipment

While mostly used in finishing applications for cars, trucks, and other vehicles, the versatility and affordability of a semi downdraft paint booth makes it a great choice for many projects.

Find the perfect paint booth for your needs

Semi downdraft spray booths offer many benefits, making them useful in a range of applications. This unique paint booth style combines some of the best features of cross flow and downdraft booths at an affordable cost. The only installation requirement is a level concrete floor. Our semi downdraft booth is ETL-listed, offering you an easy-to-permit booth. This model is easily customizable to add length, width, additional light fixtures and more. If you aren’t sure which style of paint booth is best for your shop, contact our expert team. We can recommend a model that meets your needs or design a custom paint booth to your specifications. To get started, contact our team directly, email us, or call us at 888-312-7488.

Introduction to Paint Booth Types: Open-Face 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 open-face paint booths.

What is an open-face paint booth?

open face booth helium tanks

While many paint booths are designed as full enclosures, an open-face booth is different. As the name implies, this type of spray booth includes a ceiling, two side walls, and a back wall, but the front is completely open (no doors). Usually, the exhaust filter system is housed in the back wall.

Open-face paint booths are the most versatile booth type of them all and come in a variety of sizes. They are also easily customizable from our engineers. The small models start at just 2’ wide and deep, designed to accommodate small products. In fact, a benchtop booth is essentially a small open-face spray booth with a working table top.

However, you can also purchase much larger models that can accommodate big items and complicated painting rigs. For example, you could choose an open-face paint booth with an interior that’s 20 feet wide and 7 feet deep. Some popular products that are being sprayed in an open-face paint booth from Standard Tools include helium tanks, metal trash cans, Hollywood props, cabinets, and a variety of furniture pieces.

A custom open-face booth that we designed is a dual-sided open-faced booth. This is a design that has two painting areas that share an exhaust plenum. We design every paint booth to fit the need and the footprint.

How an open-face paint booth works

In an open-face paint booth, air is pulled into the booth through the open front. It flows horizontally over the product toward the exhaust in the back wall. When the air is drawn into the booth through the open front, it’s not filtered before entering the booth. It is important this booth is used in a clean shop so that the paint isn’t easily contaminated. However, this design allows air to move through the booth very quickly, which facilitates fast and efficient removal of toxic fumes, debris, and other contaminants from the work area.

Top benefits of an open-face booth

  • Affordable and simple to install
  • Easy access for items of all sizes
  • Efficient control and removal of overspray and contaminants
  • Useful in a variety of applications
  • Can be installed almost anywhere (Inside).

An open-face paint booth offers many benefits that make it an excellent choice for a wide range of applications.

What are open-face paint booths used for?

Open-face paint booths are used for a wide variety of things. They are very popular in the furniture and woodworking industries. Here are some other common uses for an open-face paint booth:

  • Painting/finishing products, parts, and equipment
  • Sanding
  • Adhesive application
  • Welding
  • Minor automotive repair/repainting jobs
  • Prepping products before they are finished in an enclosed booth

These booths are not compatible with an Air Makeup Unit directly into the booth. However, we can provide information on adding a Makeup Air unit to your shop to compensate for the air being exhausted.

If you are doing extremely detailed custom work that must be flawless, a fully enclosed paint booth would be a better choice. For many applications, however, an open-face booth is an affordable addition any shop that will significantly improve productivity.

Get a Versatile Open-Face Paint Booth for Your Shop

If you want to create a space in your shop that can be used for anything from sanding to painting, an open-face paint booth is an excellent choice. This type of booth can be installed pretty much anywhere (it does need to be inside so it is not exposed to the elements and needs to be exhausted out through the roof).

Adding a paint spray booth to your shop can significantly increase productivity and create a safer environment for your employees. At Standard Tools and Equipment Co., we manufacturer a wide range of spray booth styles and can completely customize a paint booth to fit every need and footprint. To connect directly with our expert team, give us a call at 888-312-7488.

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