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Airbrushing is suitable for many different art forms and offers a wide range of possibilities for creative work. However, the fine atomization of paint also has a disadvantage: When working with atomized airbrush paint, it can get into the respiratory tract. Therefore, when airbrushing, you should not only wear a breathing mask, but also use a suction system for airbrushing. You can read in our airbrush suction system test what to consider when buying such an airbrush suction system.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is an Airbrush Spray Booth?
- 2 Pros and Cons of an Airbrush Spray Booth
- 3 Best Airbrush Spray Booth Overview
- 4 What you should consider when Buying an Airbrush Booth
- 5 Commissioning of a Spray Booth
- 6 Maintaining your Airbrush Paint Booth
- 7 Hobby Spray Booth Tips
- 8 DIY Airbrush Spray Booth
- 9 Questions and Answers
What is an Airbrush Spray Booth?
The airbrush spray booth is a small cabin that is portable and easy to set up. The object to be sprayed is placed in the middle. During the spraying process, the fine paint mist is sucked off and cleaned by a filter mounted at the back.
By using an airbrush gun, the paint contained in it is atomized by compressed air. You apply the atomized paint in a controlled manner on a painting surface. Not all of the paint lands on the surface, but there are particles in the room air due to the fine atomization, which are respirable.
Therefore you should always wear a respiratory mask and safety goggles when airbrushing. In addition, airbrush paint is always deposited on objects or on your work of art or swirls around in the air for a while. In order to prevent this or at least reduce the amount of paint particles in the air, it is recommended that you use an exhaust system when airbrushing.
Most airbrush spray booths have a turntable in the middle, which makes it easier to work on small objects. Especially if you create Airbrush Art, a airbrush booth can be a very useful accessory.
Pros and Cons of an Airbrush Spray Booth
The potential damage to health is minimized by effectively sucking the spray mist generated during work out of the air.
Despite the disadvantages, the advantages of an spray booth outweigh the disadvantages, especially if you plan to use the airbrush gun often. Especially lovers of model making can profit from such a system.
Best Airbrush Spray Booth Overview
Master Airbrush Brand Lighted Portable Hobby airbrush paint booth
- Portable and Compact : Easily Folds into a Suitcase Shape w/Handle for Carrying or Storing,
- Booth Filter: 2 Layer High Density Fiberglass Booth Filter (Replacement Filters Available)
- 3 LED Light Tubes are built into the Top of the Booth Area to Insure Great Painting Vision
Looking for a hobby spray booth that is ready to use and easy to assemble? This portable airbrush spray booth easily folds into a neat case and is lightweight. The system includes LED lights, which can be found inside the top of the booth.
Inside the airbrush paint booth, you will find a 7.5-inch turntable. This table helps you to access your model surfaces much easier all around. For larger models, you might have to think about painting each smaller piece first before putting it together.
A few product features:
- Powered by a 12 Volt DC plug and includes a 110V AC Adapter
- The booth is 16.5 inches width x 19 inches depth and 13.5 inches in height
Master Airbrush Dual Units Portable Hobby Craft Airbrush Paint Booth
- Dual Units - Powerful: 25 Watts with a 4 Cubic Meters/Minute Fan Extraction Rate per unit
- Portable and Compact: Easily Folds into a Suitcase Shape with Handle for Carrying or Storing, Lightweight: Only 8.5 Lbs. (3.8 Kg)
- Booth Filter: 2 Layer High Density Fiberglass Booth Filter (Replacement Filters Available)
- Lighted On/Off Switch; 7-1/2 Diameter Revolving Turntable: Allows you to Reach all the Areas to be Painted
If you are looking for something that provides a little more work space, the Master Dual Unit Spray Booth is perfect. This booth system is easy to set up, no tools needed and effortlessly folds up into two lightweight cases.
Portable airbrush spray booth features:
- The interior is quite spacious: 33 inches wide, 19 inches deep and 13.5 inches high
- Since the design is modular, you can use either one or both Airbrush booths. The booths are not seamless, and you will find a gap between each booth.
- Each module has its own fan, which removes air at 4 cubic meters per minute.
- You will find 2 turntables as well as 2 flexible exhaust ventilation hoses
Paasche HSSB-16-13 Hobby Airbrush Paint Booth
- Compact in size and easy to assemble. Working dimensions are 16-1/2-inch W by 13-1/2-inch H by 19-inch D
- Perfect for small ceramics to Radio Control Models.
- Uses a fiberglass filter system.
- 4-inch dryer duct adapter included. Two booth can be combined in to one larger model.
This specific spray booth is about the same as other portable booths, which are used for airbrushing and other hobby work. The Paasche HSSB-16-13 Paint Booth is modular, so it can be connected to another to make a larger system.
A few product features:
- Size: 16 inches wide and 13 inches high
- Included is an adaptor, so you can set up vent ducting if you want.
- 115 V powerful fan, which is more than other spray booths.
- Noise level: 47 decibels (average human voice 60dB)
What you should consider when Buying an Airbrush Booth
The various spray booths are suitable for different purposes. First and foremost, the choice of spray booth depends on the intended use. Here the size of the airbrush cabin is also important. Depending on the application, different sizes are possible. Depending on whether you want to paint larger body parts or rather airbrush smaller model making parts, you will need a suitable spray booth. The size of an extraction booth is limited anyway and should not take up too much space.
The performance of the spray booth should also be taken into account. The power should be sufficient to effectively suck in and filter the fine paint mist. It is difficult to give an exact value for the extraction capacity, as it depends on many factors, e.g. the paint used, the rest of the equipment and the type of application.
A suction capacity of around three cubic metres per minute should be sufficient for airbrush use. More powerful equipment can also sometimes deliver up to seven cubic metres per minute as output. It is important that materials are used for the spray booth which are also resistant to solvent-based paints and which can also be used to remove thinners and cleaners.
You should also be able to assemble and dismantle the booth quickly and easily. If you only have limited space, you should choose a collapsible cabin. An integrated turntable is particularly practical, allowing you to spray an object from all sides. This makes the handling much easier and the result is better, because you don’t have to touch the object permanently to turn it.
Size of your airbrush paint booth
When it comes to the size of a spray booth, you should be able to accommodate an entire miniature or model. By fitting your model completely inside the booth, ensures that all the paint spray is captured by the booth airflow system.
Always consider the size of your spray booth and your project. Do you need a bigger paint booth, which will take up a considerable amount of space?
Is the airbrush paint booth portable?
Size matters here, as a portable airbrush booth folds up, and some fold into a convenient carry case. The portable and fold up spray booth is great if you want to store it, transport it, or create more workspace.
You can also find spray booths that are battery operated, convenient if you cannot find a power outlet. But these do not offer as much power for ventilation as the electric-powered variety.
What about Lighting?
A paint booth is an enclosed space, so lighting is an important factor. You want to be able to see what you are doing, especially for those finer details. A lot of paint booths come with integrated lighting. LED lights are quite popular and when included with the paint booth system, increases the usefulness of the unit. In most cases, the lighting does not provide very bright light, but it is good enough to see what you are doing.
Consider the noise an airbrush booth makes
When you attach a motorized fan to a booth, you most probably will get a much louder fan than normal. So, consider what type of paint booth you want, cheaper ones are fairly simple in design and do not offer much noise prevention. The noise could get annoying if used over long periods.
Consider these points:
- Think about how much time it is going to take to paint your model or miniature
- When are you going to work with the paint booth, will it be late at night? You do not want to disturb others who are trying to sleep.
When looking to buy a paint or spray booth, take note that they do not all produce the same amount of noise. You should be able to find ones that are more unobtrusive than others. In most cases, like on Amazon, the product description provides the noise level.
The Ventilation System
When it comes to a Hobby airbrush paint booth, there are two main ways that the spray booth vents or exhausts air. The motorized fan pulls the air into the filter which then:
- Takes the air through a tube and then pushes it out and away from the workspace. Also known as a vented paint booth.
- Exhausts the air or simply filters the air and pushes it back into the room. Also known as a ventless method.
The majority of hobby paint booths use the ventless method, which makes setting up the unit a lot easier. You only need to switch the fan on and off as required.
The more sophisticated spray booths have tubes, which exhausts the air out and are a bit more complicated to set-up. The one advantage of this type of ventilation system is that you can spray for longer or can manage a larger spray volume.
What power source do you need?
This is to do with the motorized fan, you will need more power to go with a stronger fan. A booth that needs to have stronger ventilation will need more power to operate the fan. When looking for a spray booth system, make sure to have a look at the power output of the fan. This will determine the amount of airflow it can manage.
However, when it comes to bigger booths, more power will be needed to pull in the air and ventilate the booth space. This will also mean a larger fan must be used.
How much are you willing to pay?
If you are looking for quality, you will naturally be paying more. You do not want to go cheaper and get inferior products that do not work properly. You can expect to pay around $70 to $100 for a quality airbrush spray booth. Bigger booths that can work for longer periods will cost around $150 to $175.
Commissioning of a Spray Booth
The construction of an airbrush spray booth is very simple, as the start-up is intuitive. You can easily open the body by unfolding the lid and the side panels. This creates a small room where the air is effectively sucked out and ensures that the spray mist cannot escape, but you have an optimal view of the object to be sprayed.
Often the ceiling is sloped for a better view and good suction performance. Some units have a rotating disc, which is always placed in the middle. It allows you to work in a very comfortable way and provides an easy way to rotate the objects 360 degrees. The fan and air filter are located at the back of the unit. There are also some high quality devices that have an additional hose that allows the sucked in air to be led out of the room.
Maintaining your Airbrush Paint Booth
As you have read above in the tips, you need to check your equipment regularly and change the filter if necessary. When it comes to a clogged-up filter, it will be a lot less effective in clearing the air. Changing the filter mainly depends on:
- The type of paint you use
- How often you paint, it all depends on usage. You might only have to replace filters once a year, or if you are busy with lots of painting, you might have to change it once a month.
When checking the filter, you should notice the following:
- Does the fan sound like it is straining to pull in the air?
- Reduced airflow
- Change in color (paint build up and can affect the appearance of the filter)
When this happens, you should think about changing the Airbrush spray booth filters.
Hobby Spray Booth Tips
There are some precautions you should take when working with a paint spray booth, you want to make sure you are not exposed to any harmful fumes or particles.
Avoid aerosol spray cans
Aerosol solvent and paint cans have fumes and harmful chemicals, which you and others are exposed to. If you do decide to use cans, spray outside, or get yourself a specially designed ventilation system for such purposes.
Use protective gear
To protect yourself to the fullest, you should get yourself a respirator mask, which you should wear all the time and only remove after you leave the spray area.
When using your airbrush, aim it in the direction of airflow leaving the booth. This is where the turntable comes in handy.
Always check your equipment
- Check the filter often and change it if necessary
- Make sure air is flowing properly through the booth
Limit the amount of overspray
- The easiest way to do this, set the airbrush for what you want to be done but try to keep it at low pressure, enough to achieve what you want.
- Hold the airbrush at about 3 to 6 inches from your model
- The airbrush should be pointed directly at the surface.
Your face should not be in the booth area
The air inside the booth will be pulled in towards the fan, but there could be overspray. So, try not to get too close to the booth spray area with your face.
DIY Airbrush Spray Booth
You can either buy a cabin or you can build your own airbrush spray booth. If you want to build an airbrush booth DIY, a lot of personal effort is required. The construction is not complicated, but you need some material and above all time and skill. So you can build your own airbrush spray booth.
To make your own paint booth, you will need the following:
- 100 V on/off switch (male-to-female)
- 3-inch flexible dryer vent hose
- 3 to 4-inch Vent adapter
- 4-inch lamp cord
- Large plastic-clear storage container
- Disposable furnace filter (will fit at the bottom of the container inside)
- Bathroom Fan
- Indoor Spray Filter
To make your own paint booth can cost you anything between $50 and $100. If you compare a store-bought paint booth, the price is similar. So, it is completely up to you whether you wish to go ahead with the DIY option, or if you would prefer the ready to use option.
The advantages of a DIY Paint Booth:
- You can easily customize your booth.
- Problems can easily be fixed, and parts can be replaced
If you are wondering if it is worth the time and effort to make your own paint booth, it all depends on whether you are at all interested or happy designing and creating such items.
- If you have a lot of space available, you can build a very simple model. To do this, assemble the wooden body and connect it to a fan. However, this is only recommended if you do not need to fold up your exhaust system. If you want to fold up your do-it-yourself unit and store it in a space-saving way, use hinges on the side walls and ceiling to fix the body.
- Saw into the rear wall of the body cut-outs and fit grilles for both the air filter and the fans. As filter you can use a standard filter mat and cut it to the right size.
- Three lines are required for each built-in fan for the connection – normally the consumption is 20 watts per fan. With a toggle switch you increase the comfort
- If you like, you can attach LEDs for optimal lighting. If you design the circuit independently of the fans, you can work with or without ventilation.
An airbrush spray booth can either be purchased or built by the customer. If you are considering to build it yourself, then you will need a certain amount of craftsmanship for the realization and accordingly some time for the implementation. Whether building your own exhaust system is financially worthwhile depends on the equipment of the exhaust system and which model you would have chosen when buying it. No matter whether you build the unit yourself or buy it: an airbrush spray booth is worthwhile in any case.
Questions and Answers
Why does an Airbrush Booth use negative pressure?
Turning the fan on in a spray booth should create negative air pressure. This means that there is more air leaving the area than is going in. The negative pressure created in the booth attempts to then pull in as much air as possible taking with it the paint particles, dust etc. from just outside the booth area.
Do you have to have an Airbrush booth?
The best answer to this is no, you do not need a spray booth for airbrushing. The airbrush booth is there to filter most of the paint particles away from a specific area. The main reason people use a paint booth is to keep any overspray from other items nearby.