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Things to Consider When Selecting a Booth Set-up

There are three main types of paint booth airflow:

  1. Crossdraft
  2. Semi-downdraft
  3. Downdraft.

Here’s everything you need to know about the different types of booth airflow.

Crossdraft booths

In crossdraft booths, the air travels from one end of the booth to the other.

Semi-downdraft booths

The air moves from an input area in the booth ceiling to an exhaust area along the side of the booth. In semi-downdraft booths, the exhaust area is at one end.

Downdraft booths

With downdraft booths, the air enters the booth from the ceiling and exits through the floor. There may be a pit and tunnel system under the floor, drawing the air through an exhaust located in the center of the booth floor. The booth might also take the form of a fabricated box, where a grated top allows the air to be exhausted into a box. This variation is less expensive to build than a pit and tunnel system.

Things to consider when selecting a booth set-up

Ceiling limitations

The ceiling heights of the building where you plan to put your booth may dictate the airflow style you choose. If the ceiling isn’t high enough for a downdraft system, you must go with either a cross draft or semi-downdraft system.


Crossdraft paint booths are the most cost-effective and popular for industrial applications. With a lower cubic feet per minute airflow rate, crossdrafts require smaller fans, smaller air make-up units, and fewer filters. They can also be easily pressurized for climate control.

Controlling overspray and contamination

Downdraft paint booths provide the best airflow for controlling overspray and contamination. If you repair lots of luxury vehicles, this should be your choice.

Vehicle size

Semi-downdraft paint booths are best for paint shops specializing in painting large vehicles, such as sports utility vehicles or trucks. Unlike downdraft booths, they can be installed in buildings with lower ceilings. They also offer relatively high levels of contamination control and finish quality.

When choosing a paint booth, you should do your due diligence to find the right one for you.