How to set up a home auto spray booth

Written by dennis hartman
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Setting up a home auto spray booth is an excellent way to save money while taking control of the painting process. Complete paint jobs can cost more than £650 at many auto shops, so even a moderate investment in a home spray booth will pay off quickly. In addition, by using common materials, you can build a spray booth that can be disassembled and reused many times. Spray booths can be built inside an existing structure, such as a garage or barn, or they can be built outdoors if more space is needed.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Lengths of 1-inch PVC piping
  • 1-inch PVC joints
  • Utility knife
  • Duct tape
  • Box fan
  • Cotton bed sheet
  • Plastic dust sheets

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    Layout and Preparation

  1. 1

    Measure your car or truck and decide on a size for your spray booth. For most cars, a 15-foot by 10-foot space will be sufficient. Eight feet of height should also be enough. The size of a spray booth can be easily modified by using longer pieces of PVC piping and more plastic dust sheets.

  2. 2

    Cut the 1-inch PVC piping with the utility knife. For a 15x10x8 booth, cut six 8-foot lengths to serve as uprights, four 7.5-foot lengths for the length of the top, and three 10-foot lengths to run horizontally across the top.

  3. 3

    Collect four 1-inch PVC three-way corner joints, and two four-way connecting joints. Ensure that the cut edges of your PVC piping fit snugly into the joints.


  1. 1

    Construct the frame by attaching the PVC piping to the joints. There will be three 8-foot uprights along each side, and three 10-foot braces across the top of the frame. The 7.5-foot lengths will be used in pairs for the length of the frame.

  2. 2

    For a larger booth, use additional cross braces and uprights. If any of the PVC joints are loose, reinforce them with duct tape.

  3. 3

    Cut the plastic dust sheets to size and drape them over the booth. Affix them to the frame with duct tape. Leave the plastic on one end of the booth unattached so that it can be rolled back to function as a door.

  4. 4

    In one corner of the booth, cut out a section of the plastic sheeting slightly smaller than the box fan. Insert the fan so that it will blow outward and seal the edges with duct tape.

  5. 5

    On the opposite wall from the fan installation, cut a hole of a similar size. Measure and cut a portion of the cotton bed sheet that is just larger than the hole and tape the sheet into place over the hole. This will function as an air filter when the sheet is dampened just before using the booth.

Tips and warnings

  • Laying down Mylar sheeting to function as a floor for your booth will make the interior of the booth warmer and increase drying time.
  • Use a spray bottle with clean water to dampen the bed sheet filter before using the booth. This will help keep dust that could damage wet paint out of the booth.
  • PVC piping is flexible, so use additional cross braces if building a larger booth.
  • If you construct a booth outdoors, consider 2-inch PVC piping so that the booth will be more able to withstand wind.

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