There are 28.3 million people living in Texas and 24 million registered vehicles, according to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Second only to California in both population and number of motor vehicles in the United States, Texas presents a huge opportunity for local body shops and service centers to provide top-notch services to the massive amount of vehicles driving around the state. Repairing and refinishing multiple makes and models of vehicles can be achieved with paint booths to provide precise, high-quality paint finishes.
So, where should you start when buying a paint booth in Texas? The following seven steps will help guide you through the process:
1. Research Paint Booth Suppliers
Although a lot of planning can be done independently, it is helpful to begin by looking into paint booth suppliers. When selecting a spray booth manufacturer, you want to choose a company that is capable of providing local support through either their own staff or local distributors. Your local paint booth distributor can help provide guidance to help you determine the paint booth size, airflow and features that will meet your needs and price point.
It is important to choose a paint booth company that is experienced in the industry, has engineers on staff, validates the performance of their products, and works with national safety and environmental organizations. They should also offer installation, maintenance programs and startup training for your new paint booth.
2. Determine the Size of Your Paint Booth
Identifying the type and size of the vehicles you will work with is step one when deciding on a paint booth size, as you want to ensure there is adequate space and airflow through your future paint booth.
For automotive refinish applications, paint booth sizes tend to be standardized, with 9-foot heights, 14-foot widths and 24-, 27- or 30-foot lengths. Higher ceilings accommodate taller vehicles and size customizations are available; however, making sure your spray booth stays within the range of ETL-listed sizes will make permitting and code compliance easier.
3. Understand Your Process
Different processes and applications will influence the type of paint booth you choose. For example, if you typically spray multiple colors, a downdraft paint booth may be the best option. An optional expanded exhaust pit can enhance airflow and help prevent overspray landing where you don’t want it.
If you are a restoration shop, you may not frequently operate on tight deadlines and need to achieve high production levels, which means the added cost of a pit for a downdraft booth might not be worth the investment. A crossdraft or semi-downdraft booth might be a better fit.
If you are doing full-body paint jobs — including the roofs of trucks and vans — you may need to purchase an oversized paint booth to provide the vertical height needed for larger jobs.
4. Define Your Space
Not only should you consider the working dimensions inside the paint booth, the space around the exterior of the booth is also important. Take the following factors into account when deciding on the layout and location of your paint booth:
- How will you transport vehicles or parts in and out of the booth? Is there a clear path into the booth?
- Does the layout of the paint booth align with your desired shop flow?
- If an air heater will be used, where will it be mounted?
- Where will exhaust ductwork go? Is there enough room between the top of the spray booth and the ceiling of your building for exhaust ductwork, or will it have to exhaust out a wall?
It is also important to remember that complementary products like Paint Mix Rooms will require additional space.
5. Pick an Airflow
After you have selected the type of booth that fits your space, you can select an airflow style. This may include crossdraft, semi-downdraft, side downdraft or downdraft. You will also need to decide whether you need your paint booth pressurized or heated.
To ensure that the vehicle gets the best possible finish, look for spray booths that provide laminar airflow — meaning that the spraying chamber is fully engineered to keep all the air moving parallel in the same direction, without turbulence that results in unpredictable spray patterns.
6. Decide on the Type of Spray Booth You Need
From the premium Ultra® Paint Booth line and budget-friendly Performer® Paint Booth line, body shops and collision repair centers depend on the efficient and high-quality paint finishes that GFS paint booths provide.
Even though GFS provides standardized models of each automotive paint booth, they can also be customized to meet your specifications. Here is a quick rundown of the automotive paint booths offered by Global Finishing Solutions in Texas:
- Ultra XL: With a 12-foot-high ceiling designed for painting Sprinter vans, commercial vehicles and full-size pickup trucks, Ultra XL brings the performance you expect from the Ultra Paint Booth line to an extended range of vehicle sizes and heights. With premium brightness, contamination control, energy efficiency and single- or dual-skin construction, Ultra XL is the perfect solution for oversized paint jobs.
- Ultra XP1: GFS’ top-of-the-line booth, the Ultra XP1 exceeds the automotive industry’s standards for a premium paint booth — production capability, performance, brightness, contamination control, ease of operation and energy efficiency.
- Ultra XD: The Ultra XD Paint Booth leads the industry in versatility and performance, with a choice of high-efficiency heat systems, intuitive control panels and downdraft or semi-downdraft airflow, along with superior lighting and contamination control.
- Ultra XS: The Ultra XS Paint Booth delivers the quality and performance you’ve come to expect from GFS’ Ultra Booths in a durable, single-skin design. Available with downdraft or semi-downdraft airflow, several heater and control options, and multiple size configurations, Ultra XS provides flexibility and efficiency to suit the needs of any shop.
- Ultra XR: The Ultra XR Paint Booth is a premium downdraft spray booth that is integrated seamlessly with the REVO Speed — electric infrared accelerated curing technology — creating a top-of-the-line spraying and curing environment.
- Performer ES: The Performer ES spray booth was designed and built with the value-minded shop owner in mind. Quality construction, durable hardware and reliable performance makes the Performer ES paint booth an excellent choice for shops in need of an affordable, all-in-one paint environment.
- Performer XD: One of GFS’ most popular automotive refinish booths, the Performer XD spray booth surpasses all others in its class. Perfect for small- and medium-sized shops, the Performer XD is an affordable spray booth with many of the key features that you expect to see in a top-of-the-line booth.
- Performer XP1: The Performer XP1 spray booth takes the standard paint booth to a new level. Our fully-loaded Performer booth model, Performer XP1 comes complete with added features such as an integrated AdvanceCure System, two-row pit, best-in-class heater and LOGIC 3 control panel for improved performance and energy efficiency.
7. Consult Local Authorities
As you work through the installation process, be sure to consult the local authorities with jurisdiction and expertise in local codes. If you are building a new facility and also installing a paint booth, working with the building inspector up front will help with permitting and make it easier to be aware of any additional safety requirements beyond general booth requirements.