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

A spray paint booth employs a steady airstream to protect the finish of the object being painted. Operators paint everything from circuit boards to multi-ton heavy equipment, using a paint gun. The enclosed booth includes ventilation with filtered intake and exhaust systems.

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What Is a Side Downdraft Paint Booth?

In a side downdraft paint booth, air enters the booth through an intake system located in the ceiling, and leaves it through a sidewall exhaust system. Filters cover the majority of both the ceiling and sidewalls. Airflow begins where air enters the booth through the ceiling, then moves over the painted object and out through the sidewalls.

What Are the Advantages of a Side Downdraft Paint Booth?

Compared to a cross- or semi-downdraft paint booth, you get a more even airflow with a side downdraft model. This is because it draws contaminants away from the object. These models also don't require the extra expense of a concrete floor.

What Are the Disadvantages of a Side Downdraft Paint Booth?

Thanks to its design, the side downdraft paint booth is typically the most costly model. Its construction includes ductwork and an exhaust system built into the sidewalls, and a full intake system in the ceiling. These items make the manufacture of the side downdraft style more expensive than either the cross draft or modified downdraft models. Many users consider the extra cost worth it, however, thanks to the superior finish achieved, as the side downdraft introduces fewer contaminants to the painting process.

Uses of Side Downdraft Paint Booths

You may use a side downdraft booth for any number of manufacturing and finishing applications, including:

  • Automobiles
  • Automotive parts
  • Circuit boards
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Heavy equipment
  • Motorcycles

The superior finish quality makes this style an especially popular choice for auto detailing and refinishing.

How Much Does a Side Downdraft Paint Booth Cost?

Pricing varies widely depending on booth size and features. Smaller models average around $5,000, while larger units start at around $10,000. A paint booth that handles vehicles or heavy equipment ranges between $20,000 and $40,000. Add around $15,000 to the ticket price if you choose a model with a heated air makeup unit.

If you are interested in leasing a booth, you may be able to get one for between $100 and $300 per month. As always, that price depends on special features and add-ons, as well as the type of maintenance plan the lease includes, and the length of the lease itself.

Spray Paint Booth Maintenance

Since improved safety is one of the primary reasons for using a paint booth, proper maintenance is vital to reduce the likelihood of fire due to paint buildup in the exhaust system. Dried overspray particles also create dangerous breathing conditions for the operator. What's more, they introduce contaminants that mar the paint finish, so maintenance is important to both the safety of your workers and the quality of your product.

Talk to the manufacturer or your vendor about maintenance and what is included with your purchase price.

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