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Paint Mixing Room

A Paint Mixing Room is a self-contained area for mixing spraying materials, storing a small volume of materials and servicing spray booth equipment.  The NFPA-33 code recognizes mixing paints and solvents as a hazardous process that requires special attention to prevent fires and control hazardous fumes.  Paint mixing rooms are very similar to spray booths in construction design, fire suppression and ventilation of fumes.  The size of a mixing room cannot exceed 150 square feet; this room is for working and limited storage.  A mixing room contains spills with barriers and by limiting the amount of materials stored within them.  This code is available on line for under $50 from Techstreet.

The benefits of a paint mixing room include increased safety and increased efficiency.  Items used for mixing and cleaning are kept in one location and not spread through the shop.  Changeovers of paint or spray equipment can be performed quicker and cleaner.

Shop Paint Mixing Rooms and Paint Booths.

What is really involved with installing a Spray Booth?

A spray booth is a system made of several components.  There is the paint booth structure with exhaust fans and possibly an air make-up unit.  The spray booth will need electrical controls, compressed air supply and exhaust ducting.  Most locations require automatic fire suppression protection.  Permitting and insurance are also required for most paint booths.

There are 2 main options for getting a spray booth in your shop. You can spend a large amount of money to have all of this done for you. Alternatively, you can save a good deal of money by doing the installation yourself.

The least expensive method of getting a spray booth installed includes:

  • completing the permit application yourself with the help of your local inspector & fire marshall
  • assembling the paint booth yourself (This takes 2-3 men, 2-3 days with most automotive-sized booths assuming limited equipment)
  • building the exhaust ductwork yourself from a pre-designed kit (if allowed in your location)
  • contracting certified installers for fire protection & electrical work
  • installing the compressed air system (compressor, dryer, lines, connections) yourself

Doing some of this work yourself can save thousands of dollars and get the paint booth in operation based on your schedule, not that of someone else. Please visit our website,  or call us (1-800-451-2425) to get more information about building your spray booth.

For industrial paint booths and woodworking spray booths, visit us at our sister site


Canada – Waterborne Conversion

As of June 18, 2010, autobody shops, manufacturers, and distributers in Canada will be required to use waterborne compliant auto refinish coatings or a similar solution to limit VOC emissions into the environment.  Automotive body shops that have remaining inventory of non-compliant coatings will be able to use up their inventory as long as it was purchased prior to the implementation date.  These new regulations will impact products in Canada as well as products being shipped to Canadian shops.

Waterborne Paint Conversion for your Auto Body and Industrial Shop

Waterborne conversion is coming soon!  Auto Body Shop and Industrial suppliers will only be able to provide low VOC products after the conversion.  Is your shop ready or do you need insight as to how to make your collision or industrial shop waterborne compliant?  You might need paint equipment upgrades as well as additional training to ensure a smooth waterborne conversion.

What has your body shop done to get ready for the new standards?

When will your auto body shop convert?

Call or email Kelly for more information.

Paint Booth Fire Protection

NFPA-33 Spray Application for Flammable and Combustible Materials requires an automatic fire protection system for all spray booths.  Here are some frequent questions about this paint booth issue.  This information is offered as a guide; your local inspector and fire marshal will be experienced in their interpretation and local codes.

  1. Who do I buy this system from? – These systems are made by only a few certified manufacturers like Amerex, Pyrochem, Anzul and Badger.  They can often be purchased through the spray booth seller.
  2. Can I do the installation myself? – No.  Installation should be done by a licensed installer.
  3. What if I have a wet sprinkler system in the building? – A self-contained system is designed to extinguish a fire in the paint booth, plenums or ductwork, all areas that the building’s system will rarely reach.  Some smaller, limited-use open-face paint booths may be approved by your local authorities as being adequately protected with the building’s wet sprinkler system.  Consult your local inspector and fire marshal for that specific application.
  4. Are there size limitations to the booth? – Yes.  Open-face spray booths should be no more than 12’ high due to the design limits of these systems.  Higher open-face booths can be protected but at a significant cost.  The larger the spray booth, the more ductwork and the greater number of fans all add to the cost of the fire protection system.
  5. What are the maintenance requirements? – After the initial installation, most system providers can be contracted for annual inspections.   This annual inspection will include checking the pressure of the chemical tanks, the mechanics of the system, the fusible links (the automatic part of the system) and the control panel.  They will apply an inspection tag much like a portable fire extinguisher’s.  This contractor should be notified after any trigger event of the system or when any question arises about the system.
  6. What is the major difference in wet versus dry systems? – NFPA-33 allows either system.  The dry system is designed using the same technology as restaurant fire protection system made to work on oil/grease fires, mush like the solvents found in most paints.  A wet system simply works with water and may not stop a solvent-laden fire as quickly as the dry system.  The dry system should work better in corners, ductwork and plenums.  The dry system should be easier to clean up after a suppression event.

Fire protection is one of the main reasons to have a spray booth, along with providing a clean spraying environment, fume/overspray controls and safe lighting.  A paint booth owner must complete the process of building a spray booth by making sure that a certified installer completes a pre-designed fire protection system and that the system is maintained.

Shop Paint Booths: Industrial Paint Booth, Woodfinishing Spray Booth, Automotive Paint Booth 


System for Cleaning Paint Booth Air

Tools USA responded to a question on a Collision Hub Blog that we wanted to share on our blog.

The paint booth user needed to replace their system for cleaning air used in their spray booth.  One company suggested they would need a refrigerated dryer.

Air refrigerators and air conditioners are equipment used for extreme environment conditions or super-sensitive spray applications. Some of these conditions may be very long periods of super-high humidity, very dirty air supplies, and nano-technology paint materials.

There are spray booths in all parts of the USA, spraying the vast majority of paints and powders, without using this expensive high-end equipment.

We recommend our most popular dryer “THE EVAPORATOR 10 LB DESICCANT AIR DRYER“. We sell a lot of these to shops for use on their paint booth just for cleaning the air prior to going into their paint gun.

Here are some of the benefits of this dryer.

• Oil-free air
• Super low relative humidity – 1.5%
• Can be mounted on wall or floor
• No electrical parts or motors to explode
• 95 times dryer than a MOTO GUARD filter
• 81 times dryer than a LAMANS Filter/Dryer
• 81 times dryer than a DeVILBLISS Filter/Dryer
• 26 times dryer than a REFRIGERATED Dryer based on 70 F entering air 100PSI

Fire Prevention in Spray Booths

Top 10 Really Bad Ideas for Spray Booths (or What a great way to have a fire!!)

  1. Using any electrical device in a paint booth.
  2. Thinking how cool it would be to have an electrical outlet in the spray booth wall.
  3. Smoking in a spray paint booth.
  4. Grinding or welding in a paint booth.
  5. Not using a licensed electrical contractor to wire the booth lights and fan.
  6. Not performing routine maintenance of cleaning the walls/ceilings/floor or changing filters.
  7. Not installing an automatic fire suppression system.
  8. Not assembling the spray booth as shown in the manual.
  9. Using your spray booth to store excessive paint or other combustible materials.
  10. Not training your booth operators about fire safety.

The NFPA-33 standard defines the safety requirements for spray booths.  This standard is available through Techstreet.  This is a good investment that will save you money, but you might not have that great fire story to tell your friends.

Shop Paint Booths at Tools USA.

Is your Auto Body Collision Shop “Going Green”?

Tell us about how your auto body shop is “going green”.

Post a comment to tell us what you are doing to help the environment.

There are several ways shops can participate in helping the environment and save on expenses.

1. Solar Power – Auto Body Shops should consider heating the shop with solar power. The shop facility will need to be located in direct sunlight away from shaded trees in order to benefit from this type of power. Installation of solar power panels can be costly but tax credits might be available to offset some of the cost.

2. Heated Shop Flooring – Auto Body Shops in colder climates should consider installing a water heated floor. This will allow the work area inside the booth to stay warmer for potentially less cost. As gas and electricity costs rise, heating a shop can become more expensive. Since hot air rises, heating the floor makes sense!

3. Recycle – Recycle scrap metal and other body shop materials some of which can be sold for income.

4. Energy Efficient Spray Booth Equipment – Install energy efficient new technology paint booth equipment.

Email to inquire about the efficiencies in newer equipment.

Spray Booth and Paint Booth Filters

Spray Booth Filters need to be changed regularly to maintain operational efficiencies for your Paint Booth.

The following are the different type of paint booth filters:

1. Exhaust Filters – Trap any leftover pollutants prior to the air entering the atmosphere.  These spray booth filters are typically changed after 50-100 working hours.

2. Intake Filters – Cleans the air coming into the spray booth.

Shop Paint Booth Filters at Tools USA.

For further questions, contact or call 1-800-451-2425.

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