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Project Notes

#576 Spray Booth

Building a $10 spray booth for light airbrush spray painting and soldering.


Here’s a quick demo..



Quality commercial spray booths can be quite expensive (starting from over $125 locally), but they can be value for money, offering strong airflow and quality construction.

But perhaps a more modest solution will suit my more modest needs - basically for fume extraction for soldering and light, small scale airbrush spray painting.


There are many examples of DIY spray booth construction just an internet search away. Here are a few I checked out.

DIY Airbrush Spray Booth Setup & Build (frostedsnow)


I Finally Built Myself an Airbrush Spray Booth!


Airbrush Spray Booth Build


Make a foldable painting booth!



OK, I’m going super cheap. My only new purchase was the fan (~$3) and filter ($2), the rest scavenged from parts bins and the trash:

  • an old cardboard box 20cm (H) x 27cm (W) x 43cm (L)
  • 120x25mm 12V DC brushless fan (1800rpm, probably only about 60cfm)
  • Daiso 20cm x 20cm ventilation port adhesive filter
  • 36 LEDs - cool white 12V LED strip
  • 18 LEDs - warm white 12V LED strip
  • 12V 1A+ power adapter
  • 2 panel-mount SPST switches
  • 5.5mm x 2.1mm panel-mount DC jack
  • some wire
  • some masking tape
  • a small plastic project case for the junction box

Testing the components:

  • the LEDs draw about 260mA at 12V. The mix of cool and warm white produces a very clear and comfortable light.
  • the fan draws about 290mA at 12V. It isvery quiet - acoustically and electrically. No voltage spikes at startup or stop, so no need for additional smoothing and supression components.

Thus a very simple circuit:



Inside the junction box:


Rear view with fan and junction box attached:


Exhaust/Ventilation Considerations

There are three main factors to consider:

  • airflow (volume/time)
  • filtering requirements
  • where and how to vent the exhaust

Actual requirements will depend on the the toxicity and volume of aerosols being released.

Since I am only dealing with low volumes of solder flux fumes and generally non-toxic water-based acrylic paint, I’m keeping this simple and probably under-engineered:

  • airflow: I’ve seen 200cfm+ being mentioned as ideal for airbrush work. For now I’m using a very quiet 120x25mm DC brushless fan that only moves about 60cfm)
  • filtering: since I’m not dealing with high volumes of toxic material, my main concern is supressing dust and paint so I’m using a cheap household grade filter
  • vent: I don’t live in a house or climate that allows easy direct venting to the outside, so this is strictly for indoor use and only to move fumes from the immediate vicinity

If I needed to upgrade this to deal with larger volumes of fumes or more toxic materials, I would probably (a) find another place to do this other than in the home and/or (b) replace the exhaust system with an industrial inline fan with ducting to extract and vent to the outdoors.

Some typical DC brushless fan specs:

size Speed Air Flow Noise (dBa)
40x10mm 5000RPM 5CFM , 0.14m3/min 33dBa
50x10mm 4500RPM 7CFM , 0.23m3/min 32dBa
60x25mm 3600RPM 22CFM , 0.62m3/min 31dBa
80x25mm 3000RPM 43CFM , 1.22m3/min 31dBa
120x25mm 2000RPM 70CFM , 2.00m3/min 33dBa

Credits and References

Project Source on GitHub Project Gallery Return to the LEAP Catalog

This page is a web-friendly rendering of my project notes shared in the LEAP GitHub repository.

LEAP is just my personal collection of projects. Two main themes have emerged in recent years, sometimes combined:

  • electronics - usually involving an Arduino or other microprocessor in one way or another. Some are full-blown projects, while many are trivial breadboard experiments, intended to learn and explore something interesting
  • scale modelling - I caught the bug after deciding to build a Harrier during covid to demonstrate an electronic jet engine simulation. Let the fun begin..
To be honest, I haven't quite figured out if these two interests belong in the same GitHub repo or not. But for now - they are all here!

Projects are often inspired by things found wild on the net, or ideas from the many great electronics and scale modelling podcasts and YouTube channels. Feel free to borrow liberally, and if you spot any issues do let me know (or send a PR!). See the individual projects for credits where due.