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Semi-Downdraft Paint Booths: Pricing, Uses, and Pros vs. Cons

Also known as a modified downdraft paint booth, the semi-downdraft model pulls in air through the front of the ceiling and pushes air and paint overspray out through the rear of the unit. This allows air to flow through the length of the booth before hitting the exhaust system. Semi-downdraft paint booths are a popular choice for automotive and industrial painting.

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What Are Semi-Downdraft Paint Booths?

Semi-downdraft paint booths create a diagonal draft pattern, thanks to the intake filters located on the ceiling at the front of the booth, with an exhaust filter system located in the rear wall.

Modified draft paint booths come with a variety of add-ons and features, including:

  • Actuated or roll-up doors
  • Air makeup unit
  • Built-in rails
  • Conveyor system

What Are the Advantages of Semi-Downdraft Paint Booths?

Compared to cross-draft paint booths, the semi-downdraft paint booth sends air diagonally and downward, improving efficiency and control. They are also more economical than other spray paint booths, as they require no concrete or special flooring.

What Are the Disadvantages of Semi-Downdraft Paint Booths?

As in a cross-draft booth, the painter/operator still stands between the intake and exhaust systems, exposing him or her to overspray. The diagonal airflow also creates a zone at the front that receives reduced airflow. The operator can, of course, guard against this by positioning the paint surface toward the rear of the booth.

An additional concern is the increased likelihood of contaminants marring the finish. That diagonal airflow makes it more likely that dried overspray particles now circulating in the air will land on that fresh, new finish. Proper training and experience help guard against this.

Semi-Downdraft Paint Booth Uses

The modified downdraft paint booth is an excellent choice for larger equipment, as it offers higher airflow (up to 60 ft/minute), making it a highly efficient choice.

You also find both conveyer and drive-in models, making customization simple. These booths are most often used on:

  • Aircraft
  • Forklifts
  • RVs
  • Semis
  • Trailers
  • Other heavy equipment

How Much Do Semi-Downdraft Paint Booths Cost?

Costs vary widely, depending on size, features, air speed, filtration system, and more. You find these paint booths for as little as a few thousand dollars, with costs extending up to $40,000 or more as you add features.

  • A mid-size semi-downdraft paint booth averages around $7,700
  • A reverse flow semi-downdraft paint booth averages around $8,500
  • A 30' truck modified downdraft paint booth costs around $22,000
  • A semi-downdraft model with air makeup unit costs around $27,000

Additional Costs

In addition to the ticket price, you need to consider delivery/transport and maintenance costs for a paint booth.

Proper maintenance keeps your paint booth functioning safely and extends its lifespan. A dirty booth with a filter full of dried overspray is not only a fire hazard, it ruins the paint finish.

Talk to the manufacturer or vendor about maintenance programs and what, if any, maintenance is included in the purchase price. Typically, these maintenance programs cost around a quarter of the ticket price, but prices vary widely here as well. Ask about available support for any future issues, as well as training possibilities.

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