What is a Spray Booth? Why are they Necessary for Cabinet Painting?

Jul 1, 2023

Are Spray Booths Necessary for Cabinet Painting

A spray booth is generally a room or contained area that is fitted with strong air circulation and filtration, purpose-built to spray various forms of paint on furniture or cabinet doors.

The benefits of spray booths include filtering out fumes, which is important especially when the spraying is happening all day, every day!  And having continuously fed fast-moving filtered air so as to ensure the dust is removed from the air allowing for a perfect finish to any newly sprayed surface. In order to achieve a truly professional looking cabinet painting project, a spray booth is necessary to ensure the cabinet doors, drawer fronts and shelving are properly and fully sprayed, and dry with a flawless surface finish.

In the article we will talk about what makes a spray booth and why they are critical to a professional painting project, as well as the potential consequences of not having one.

What Makes a Spray Booth

A professional paint spraying booth should be a purpose-built room or location within an interior space that can be sealed off – closed door system is best.  It has a dedicated source of moving air, as well as industrial filtration and exhaust ports.

The idea of a spray booth is to have a relatively clean, well-lit environment with moving air that dries the paint and sweeps away the fumes and dust through the filters and out the exhaust. This allows for precise, quality spraying and drying to create the best looking end product possible.

Cabinet doors that are sprayed in a booth will be properly cleaned, sanded, fixed and filled as necessary, sprayed evenly on all sides, then moved to a separate and dust-free drying room. 

Why They Are Critical for a Professional Cabinet Painting Project 

For a professional cabinet painting project, every door, drawer front, shelf or other removable piece must be taken off and sprayed independently in order to achieve the best looking finish.

At a spray booth, all of these pieces can be properly organized, cleaned, sanded under sufficient lighting with the correct tools, and sprayed in a contained environment with lots of airflow.

After being sprayed evenly on all sides, they are moved to dry in a separate room where they can be thoroughly inspected. A spray booth is also necessary for filtering out the amount of dust and odour produced while spraying a set of cabinetry doors.

The removable parts (doors and shelves) often amount to two thirds of the total surface area being sprayed in a kitchen.  Having an off site spray area ensures that only the remaining one third of spraying is happening in your house.  So this means the dust and air particles in your home are dramatically reduced. Also, when moving the doors to a spray booth, there is no need to work in an area beyond the kitchen.  The time required to work in your home is reduced as well.

In terms of dust settling, most in house work is on vertical surfaces – so dust settling on the wet painted surface is less likely.  When doors are laid out in house they are all horizontal, so the dust particulate is far more likely to settle in the wet paint.

Cabinet Painting Without a Spray Booth

The pieces that are removed have to be sprayed somewhere (or they aren’t being removed and sprayed as-is, which is a major cut corner). If the contractor does not have a spray booth, those pieces are more than likely being sprayed in your home or garage. This is not ideal and results in much more dust and smell in your home.

Alternatively, a contractor may move the doors to their own garage, this is helpful to reduce the dust in your home.  But painting doors in an area that has dozens of kitchen painted with out the benefit of a spray booth to draw out the dust, means the area will contain an extreme amount of dust and is not idea for a flawless finish.

On a personal note, years ago when we first started to get into the cabinet repaint market, we didn’t have a spray booth.  (They run around $100K not including the space to install them).  But we believed in the idea that using a spray booth was critical – so we contracted that out.  But when a door got damaged in transit (or similar) I never wanted to make the client wait to get it back, so I’d have them repaired in my garage.  A single door, every once in a while – albeit without tarping the area for dust because it was only one door- added so much dust to our garage that even now, years later, its still being cleaned up.  I don’t think my husband has forgiven me.  🙂 (on a side note – this is what led to the crazy amount of prep we do onsite to contain dust!)

Quality Assurance

Having a spray booth ensures that the cabinetry doors and drawers – the front facing pieces that you see and interact with the most – are sprayed flawlessly, and look and feel brand new. When you spray cabinet doors in an uncontrolled space, you are risking the presence of airborne dust in the finish, light spots in the coverage, or an uneven dry. This is why, for quality assurance, a spray booth is necessary for any high-end kitchen or bathroom cabinet painting project. When looking for your next painting contractor, make sure they are equipped with the proper spaces, tools and expertise to achieve the cabinets you’re dreaming of.

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