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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.

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