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Cross Draft Paint Booths: Pricing, Uses, and Features

Spray paint booths come with a variety of benefits, from streamlining manufacturing to improving worker safety. Operators enjoy a clean, controlled working environment for painting nearly any object, from small plastic parts to multi-ton vehicles.

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How Does a Cross Draft Paint Booth Work?

As the name implies, a cross draft paint booth draws air horizontally across the object being painted. The booth pulls air from the surrounding environment and through intake panel filters located in the spray booth's doors. Some units pull air from a makeup system at the top of the booth. In this case, you find the intake filters on either side of the booth instead of in the doors.

The booth then sends paint overspray through exhaust filters (also known as paint arrestors). The exhaust filter removes and collects paint as it travels through the exhaust system, preventing paint buildup and extending the life of the unit.

What Are the Benefits of a Cross Draft Paint Booth?

Since the cross draft unit doesn't pull air through the ceiling, it does not require the upper plenum for circulation that other types of paint booths use. This means that it uses less material in its manufacture.

Of course, the number one benefit of these paint booths is their price, which is typically much lower than the cost of other paint booths, especially downdraft models. This is due in part to the fact that you don't need to alter the floor under the booth. The unit uses less floor space and fits into smaller areas, requiring no pit construction.

You may also choose add-on features for a cross draft booth, such as lighting options, bake features, and air makeup units. Customized door options are also available, including actuated, bi-fold, rollup, and side-load. All paint booths come with a variety safety benefits, as they help control hazardous materials by preventing contamination and spills.

What Are the Disadvantages of Cross Draft Units?

The main advantage – price – is due in part to lower finish quality. Most people recommend cross draft booths for industrial applications, where finishing quality is less important.

Another disadvantage is the cross draft itself, which creates a longer path for any foreign object, such as dust, to cover before traveling out of the booth through its exhaust. This dramatically increases the odds of a contaminant landing on the finish (hence the lower finishing quality mentioned above). This draft also affects the operator, who often stands within the path of the draft, exposing him or her to the paint overspray.

What Are the Uses of a Cross Draft Paint Booth?

The most common applications for a cross draft pain booth are the manufacturing and finishing of:

  • Automotive parts
  • Circuit boards
  • Electronic equipment
  • Furniture
  • Motorcycles

In addition, detailing and finishing shops often choose a cross draft model.

How Much Does a Cross Draft Paint Booth Cost?

Thanks to a variety of factors, paint booth pricing varies widely. The type of filtration system the unit uses, its size, and any add-on features all significantly impact price.

A cross draft booth designed to handle furniture, handheld goods, or motorcycle restoration starts at around $1,000 for a basic, open-faced model, ranging to around $5,000. Expect to pay up to $10,000 for a larger model with extra features. Businesses with lower paint volumes may prefer to invest in a used model, which typically clocks in at around 60 percent of the price of buying new.

An industrial-sized booth designed for painting larger vehicles, boats, and metalwork ranges from the low end of around $12,500 to over $40,000 depending on extra features, airflow design, and manufacture. On average, though, a cross draft paint booth designed for industrial use costs around $20,000.

Additional Costs

Of course, as with all major pieces of equipment, the ticket price does not represent the sum total of your costs. You also need to factor in delivery and maintenance. When obtaining quotes, make sure you look at the entire cost of the unit and what it includes.

Maintenance is vital to ensuring the long life of your equipment. You also significantly impact its safety, as regular maintenance removes the buildup of flammable materials, and improves the quality of your paint finishes.

Follow the manufacturer's instructions as regards maintenance for optimum performance. Preventive maintenance helps catch problems early, while they are still easy (and inexpensive) to fix. Talk to the vendor to see what type of support it offers and if maintenance is included in the price. This includes items such as changing filters and cleaning the booth itself.

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