Do you use a paint spray booth when you airbrush? If you do, what type? Is it a homebrew one you made or a store bought booth? For those with a store bought booth, is it the portable plastic collapsible suitcase style sold on various internet sites, (btw, how well does it work and would you recommend it to other airbrush users)? 

If you have one you bought, do you use it for all airbrushing jobs or just certain ones?

Please share your feedback on the use of spray paint booths for airbrushing. Thank you.




Original Post

I had a bunch of scrap pieces of 1/4 luann plywood so I made my own and framed it up with 1x2s.    I put an old storm window on the top and set lights up there to shine into the booth.     I also have a track likght on the front.     I have not yet installed a fan.   I do wear a respierator (a "good" one from the hardware store) when I paint.    I hve been using more and more acrylics so not so smelling and I have hot water heat so there is no air flow out through the house.

I have look at the ones for sale and all I have seen are too ssmall for O scale.    they are HO sized and not long enough for a big engine or an 80 ft (21 inch) passenger car.  

If you find one that is big enough it should work.    You want to keep the spray contained and you want it well lit.    Air brush spray is a lot less volume than spray cans by the way.    

I have a home-brew one I made from plywood and painted the inside with leftover latex interior paint to knock out any wood fuzz. It has an exhaust fan in the top I got from an electronics surplus house. I use cheap 12x12 furnace filters over the exhaust fan. I put in an under-counter florescent fixture for lighting. I salvaged the glass turntable out of the dead family microwave, before it went out to the trash, and mounted that to the floor. I made a little hook on the side to hang my air brush on. Finally the whole thing is on wheels so I can move it around, and it has a shelf for my 2 gal air compressor and extra paints.

CJ Meyers


I made one using a clear plastic bin from Target (<$10), cut a hole in the back (starting with a drill, then using small saws and wire nippers) and attached a cheap bathroom exhaust fan from Home Depot ($15), and taped a small furnace air filter inside (<$10).  I already had a bunch of small fluorescent fixtures to drop on top.  If you want to work indoors you'll need a dryer lint tube snaked through a window.  Cheap and effective.

Yes. Built one on a shelf at the club out of odds and ends we had lying around, and bought a large Paasche for home. Both are large enough to house a large diesel.


Matt Jackson
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I have a home-made unit built from 3/16" luan and 1 x 2's.  A cheap bathroom exhaust fan, a 16 x 25 furnace filter, and some 4" flexible ducting to an outside window take care of filtering the over-spray and the noxious fumes to the outside.  A box store fluorescent light and a cheap, plastic Lazy Susan from Wally World take care of the the turning and illuminating chores.  I built to be usable at a comfortable standing height.  A secondary lower shelf holds multiple rattle cans of spray paint and spray adhesives.  Although about 6' tall, it's fairly light weight and easily movable.

I mainly built this unit so I could spray rattle can paint in the basement during the wintertime - too danged cold to do it outside during the winters.  The wife and kid used to complain about the fumes stinking up the whole house before this, but after I built it, no more complaints.  As an added bonus, I can paint year-round at my convenience without having to wait for decent weather outside.

Complaints or not, I should have built the blasted thing a long time earlier.  I don't paint THAT much, but is it ever a lung & nostril saver when I do! 




2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high in either case.

I love the smell of fresh-brewed creosote first thing in the morning.

If the government knew how much fun O-gauge railroading was, they'd outlaw it!

Common sense is my second best trait.  Nonsense is my first, of course. 

I don't use a paint booth for airbrushing.  However living in Arizona I can airbrush outdoors about 70% of the year.  I use an old milk crate with a few wood 2x's to put my models on.  While this isn't possible everywhere I like the fact that it is safer than spraying indoors, I have 360 degree access to my model while airbrushing it, and clean up is fairly easy afterwards in the area I use. 

There are downsides of course.  During our very hot summers, I can't spray paint very effectively.  Wind can be an issue with all the dust and pollen in this arid climate.  However, for the projects I have done over the years, these are minor to me.



I have a Pace paint booth, and it is truly awesome. It is 36” across and 24” deep. It can handle any project I’ve ever done and have it hooked to an outdoor ventilation. 

Always wear a respirator mask no matter what method you use for painting including outdoors!!!

Jeff Sohn

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