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What Are the Different Types of Car Spray Booths?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are several types of car spray booths used to paint vehicles, with each having its own practical benefits. The most economical of all car spray booths and a commonly used beginner's booth is the open-front style of spray booth. Other types of car spray booths are the cross draft or cross flow and the down draft spray booth. Other booths are used for powder paint applications and are typically used for painting a vehicle's trim and sub assemblies.

The open front car spray booths are built using only three sides. The booth works by drawing fresh air into the booth through the open front, across the work area and out through an exhaust fan in the rear wall of the paint booth. This style of paint booth functions as a means to contain over-spray from contaminating the rest of the shop area. The booth does nothing to prevent contaminants from settling on a painted vehicle since the air being drawn into the open-ended booth is only as clean as the rest of the air in the garage.

An inexpensive and commonly used, fully-enclosed style of car spray booth is the cross draft type. This style of paint booth draws air in through a filtered inlet on one side of the booth and expels the air through another filtered exhaust vent on the opposite side of the paint booth. A large, electric motor powering an exhaust fan is typically mounted inside of the exhaust vent and pushes the expelled air into the garage or outside of the building through a system of duct work. The main advantage of this type of booth over the open front design is the elimination of dirt particles, insects and other airborne debris from the inside of the paint booth by pulling the air through an intake filter.

Downdraft car spray booths are the top-of-the-line and can be purchased in several configurations at differing price levels. With a modified downdraft booth, fresh air is drawn into the booth through top-mounted intake filters and is expelled through vents in the ends of the booth. The mid-grade downdraft booth pulls air in through the top filters and expels it through filters located along the sides of the booth. The top-of-the-line model and most expensive of all car spray booths is the pitted downdraft paint booth that expels the exhaust into an area under the floor of the booth.

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