Open Face Booth

Pros and cons. February 26, 2005

I'm looking for opinions on open faced industrial booths. Anyone using them and why?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
It's always a choice between two evils. One is enclosed, helping to keep a more controlled environment, but at the same time limiting your productivity because of limited booth size (bigger booths - bigger money!). I'd love to have a heated downdraft spraybooth, but then I think I'll have to eat sometime. For the smaller operator, an open faced booth is your best bet.

I recently put in an open faced booth in my shop. I decided on it because it is what other places I worked at before used so it was familiar, plus it fit in the spot I had, where an enclosed one wouldn't have.

In my opinion they work fine, especially when you have big, hard to move pieces where it is easier to bring them to the opening and spray without having to get the whole thing in there.

I guess it all boiled down to local regulations and what they call for, what your insurance company calls for, what type of things you are spraying and the frequency with which you will use it.

I think that you need a bigger fire suppression system for an open face. An enclosed is a "fire proof" box and you are only responsible for extinguishing what is inside of the booth. I believe that you are responsible for more area with an open face. But check with your local fire dept and salesmen.

I also understand that an open face works best if you have positive air pressure - more air coming in than going out. This keeps the dust down. I am not sure if it will effect kamikaze bugs, though.

From contributor R:
I think with an open face booth you need 15 or 20 feet of clearance around the front to any combustibles. So a 10w x 10d booth takes up 50ft wide x 30ft deep. But definitely check with local code before you buy one.

We have an open face booth, but have struggled with dust. Recently we built a solid wall enclosing the paint area, with a large sliding door that has 16 20"x20" filters in it. Sort of the best of both worlds now; it's like a giant enclosed booth on an open face budget.

Ours was installed according to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) code which says the buffer is 3'. Further, the booth can be mounted directly next to a wall as long as it is butted up tight to the wall or some flashing is used so that dust can't be drawn into a narrow space that can't be accessed to clean.

Mine is 15' wide butted up against two walls in a 20' wide room.

Fire suppression system within the booth and in the stack is required. This is relatively inexpensive.

Electrical code requires a 5' buffer zone from the booth opening to any electrical outlets or wiring. Beyond the 5' buffer you can use standard wiring and lights.

My best advice is to find your local finishing equipment supply reps and have them visit and make recommendations. Shop and compare. These people must know the code (or should) as it applies in your situation and be willing to explain it to you and defend the installation in front of code officers.