Spray booth tent/shelter + box fan + filter?

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Forum topic by Monte Milanuk posted 12-11-2019 07:44 AM 291 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Monte Milanuk

30 posts in 4299 days

12-11-2019 07:44 AM

Topic tags/keywords: spray gun finishing question booth shelter portable

Hello there,

I’m kind of hoping that ‘Santa’ brings me one of those spray booth shelter/tent setups this year ;) to minimize on having to cover everything in sight with drop cloths to avoid any overspray, etc.

I haven’t used (or even touched) one yet, but from looking at the pictures, I’m a little bit concerned about particle/vapor/fume build-up inside the space. Granted, it’s not even remotely air-tight, but it does look like it’d benefit from something as simple as a furnace filter + box fan fitted into the back side to pull some clean air in the front and expel it out the back. I noticed one of the smaller versions does have provisions for exactly that… but it doesn’t seem to be the default.

What am I missing here? Seems like it’d be an obvious ‘feature’, at least at first glance… has anyone modified theirs this way, or have experience with a home-brew/DIY version set up like that?



4 replies so far

View controlfreak's profile


407 posts in 207 days

#1 posted 12-11-2019 11:34 AM

I would think you would want to find a delicate balance between clearing overspray fumes but not increasing airflow to the point of pulling paint away from the work and into the fan. Also don’t want enough volume to pull dust into the tent. I guess it would be like creating a negative pressure in the tent so to speak.

View OSU55's profile


2503 posts in 2595 days

#2 posted 12-11-2019 01:14 PM

Made my own temporary spray booth. Made “roman blinds” out of 10 ft long plastic sheeting. With furring strips at the bottom for string to wrap around and roll up to the ceiling. I have one across the back with 2 sidewalls, making a 10 ft x 10 ft booth, which rolls up to the ceiling when not in use. I use a 1000cfm 120v blower in a box with a 25” x 25” filter on each side with washable hvac filters, and then use paint pre filters over them. The box sits inside the booth, blowing out an 8” short duct that pokes through the back wall. Works great. Dust not an issue with the front open. I turn the blower on for 20min or so before spraying to circulate and clean the shop air.

So yes, you do need a fan to pull overspray out. If just a bench size tent 3’ x3’ or so a box fan will work, but a big one you get inside needs more air movement.

View moke's profile


1475 posts in 3382 days

#3 posted 12-11-2019 04:36 PM

I have the larger version of the tent from Rockler. It is sort of a pain to set up and take down, but it is handy. I work out of my garage with everything on castors for the moment anyway. I like it because it stops me from getting all the stuff in the garage into my finish. I do have to put down paper to stop any dust from being stirred up.

It has a specific size that it will accommodate. I recently made some shelving units which did not fit so then plastic sheeting would be nicer. But any small furniture and projects on a stand work well. All in all I would give it a b to b- rating…..It certainly helps but is a pain to set up and store…...

As for ventilation, I have not done much. I’m afraid to use anything that is not an explosion proof motor…I just wear a mask and leave while it drys, then I use a box fan and my Jet air filter after it is set up. I use an Earlex so dry time is relatively short.

-- Mike

View CaptainKlutz's profile (online now)


2229 posts in 2100 days

#4 posted 12-13-2019 09:28 AM

Funny story?

Used to have business where we sold products at outside events.
Bought a couple of 10×10 ez-up shelters like these:

Business ran it course, awnings are now over 20 years old.
Still used for parties in back yard, and you guessed it:
Paint Spray booth

Modified the back wall tarp to attach to 3×3 sheet of plywood with Velcro. Have a 20” box fan, with a dust/pollen filter in front of it, mounted to the plywood that sits on ground, blowing out. The filter slows the air to avoid to much airflow. It works too well fully closed. Seldom use the 4th wall covering behind the spray operator, unless it’s really windy outside. Even then, fold it back to use less than 1/2-3/4 of it. If closed off completely, you can see dust/dirt being drawn under the sides and out the back.

Can’t forget to use a drop clothe or plastic tarp on ground, or walking around the project can stir up dust. The freebies from HF are usually what I use as ground cover, and table covers.

It’s been used to spray; car parts, metal fabrication, and wood working projects.

Here in AZ, can spray outdoors almost year round. Just have to adjust my schedule to work within the finishes preferred temp range.

Find I only need the fan ventilation when I spray enamel, or 2 part poly, as they tend to create a fog that hangs in air longer than dye stains, lacquer, or WB finishes. Fan or no fan also depends on amount being sprayed. Small table top lacquer or enamel projects rarely need fan to clear the air. Half time only use one back panel on windward side to block wind. If finish dries fast enough, inevitable dust won’t attach.

I know box fan is not explosion proof, and don’t need any reminders. I calculated the air volume, and potential solvent density. One gun, spraying straight solvent in the 10×10 volume, can not generate enough density to create an explosion with fan on low speed with one wall open. There is danger of fire in the filter and on side walls; but that is true for any spray tent. Even though box fan is brush-less motor, don’t recommend spraying anything in to back of the box fan to test fire/explosion hazard.
Be safe, not sorry.


-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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