Lets start off by saying this article focuses on setting up your spray booth. If you aren’t using a booth and spraying outdoors, then this probably isn’t going to be of interest to you! Obviously, I’m setting the booth up next to a window so I can pop the exhaust out – its actually being set up in my garage with a nearby oil heater so there is plenty of ventilation anyway too!
There are lots and lots of posts on the internet about choosing a particular spray booth. There are lots and lots of posts about maintaining the filters. What I didn’t find were any good articles about how to set up your booth in the first place to try and maintain its condition and longevity.
Its a spray booth – you are going to be spraying lots of paint, and there are going to be oversprays! The filters will pull loose particles out of the air, but lets face it … you are going to be painting the inside of the booth a lot as well as your models. You can use airbrush cleaner on the booth (generally!) but that sounds rather dangerous and a lot of work!
Now, I imagine I’ll be editing this post lots over time as I find out how effective these measures are, but this is how I’m setting up the insides of my spray booth!
Clingfilm. Lots and lots of clingfilm.
Why clingfilm? Its cheap, disposable, transparent, and easy to apply and remove. Let me explain!
The sides of my booth are translucent to allow light in for better airbrushing. If I cover them with cling film (using some masking tape to apply tightly), I instantly protect the sides for overspray while allowing light in … and its easy to replace if the paint builds up.
In the base of the booth, I am using a cheap cutting mat. The lines help me set up for consistent distances, which is especially useful as a beginner. However, I don’t want to lose all the lines to overspray … so I’m covering the mat with clingfilm.
The rotating table in the middle of the booth (on my cutting mat)? Again, a quick layer of clingfilm lets me keep it working without getting too gunked up. Easy to maintain, easy to replace, nice and cheap!
I’m also setting up a solid wood paint station (the old GW one) next to it … so I’m not tempted to start messing around too much on in the spray booth – I want to keep it for airbrushing, not damaging it with modelling knives!
As my booth doesn’t have an integral light, unfortunately, I’m setting up a cheap LED light next to it – that will given me good illumination even in the winter months – and the clingfilm will let that light in!
EDIT – An alternative solution is to reuse dry cleaning bags as an all in one booth cover, and its easy to fix into place with magnets. I like the modular nature of clingfilm in some ways – I can replace a panel here or there, rather than the whole thing, but this is a lot more environmentally friendly and easier to do in one go every so often. Certainly worth thinking about, particularly as most gamers have a stash of spare neodymium magnets.