Types of Spray Paint Booths and Their Benefits

While they used to be exclusively about auto shops, spray paint booths have now expanded into many other applications. This technology has proven its usefulness in various industrial settings now involving anywhere from tiny circuit boards to massive equipment.

Besides being an efficient finishing method, spray paint booths also provide a safe environment for workers, being compliant with the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), NEC (National Electrical Code) and other security groups.

Types of Spray Booths

Like most other things in manufacturing, there is likely a spray paint booth that is designed for your unique needs. Some models are made for motorcycles, boats, small plastics and so on.

Here are the main types of spray booths you will find nowadays:

Open Face

These models have three parts: a ceiling, a rear exhaust plenum, and two sidewalls. Air flows right through the front and leaves from the exhaust at the back. Woodwork and furniture finishes are two common applications of open booths. These booths are also found in auto manufacturing and repair facilities.


This type of spray booth is enclosed, and exhausts as much air as it draws in. In colder environments, temperature control and air purity are maintained with the use of an air makeup system or heater. Manufacturing and refinishing electronic devices and automobiles are common applications of pressurized spray booths, where cleanliness plays a huge part in the finish quality.


Non-pressurized booths use filters for drawing air from, as well as expelling it into the building. There are environments in which a heated air makeup unit is also needed. A lot of industries, such as fiberglass, auto manufacturing and metalwork, use non-pressurized booths.

Paint Booth Configurations

Both non-pressurized and pressurized spray paint booths can come in a whole range of airflow configurations, each having its own advantages and disadvantages.

Air flow in cross flow booths come in from the front, moving to the back and to the sides.

In downdraft booths, air comes from the ceiling going down to the floor. This configuration can have various styles, such as the “pit” (an excavated pit and tunnel form part of the exhaust system) which is also the most common.

Semi-downdraft booths have air flowing from the top of the ceiling going to the rear, while in side downdraft booths, it comes in through the ceiling and then travels to the exhaust filters installed on the two sidewalls.

Each booth is suitable for certain applications, depending on airflow needs and other requirements. When finish quality is vital, for example, the best options are side downdraft and downdraft booths.

If cost is an issue, semi-downdraft and cross draft are preferable. Finally, for applications where space is at a premium, cross draft is the most popular option.