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Do You Need A Spray Booth For Airbrushing?

Spray booth picture for use when airbrushing

From the smallest paint miniatures to more serious automobile airbrushing – for anyone considering taking on an airbrush project, you may be wondering: “Do you need a spray booth for airbrushing?”

The simple answer is that it will really depend on the size of your project. Your need for a spray booth comes down to your airbrush setup, project objectives as well as primarily the space you have dedicated to an airbrush workstation. For some, spray booths are essential. For others, a spray booth is a luxury. In specific instances, no, a spray booth is not necessary for airbrushing, but for larger projects, a spray booth comes highly recommended. As Brisbane’s leading spray paint booth installers, Searose Environmental are the professionals when it comes to installing your spray booths for projects large or small. This article will explain why you may need a spray booth and what you can do instead if a spray booth isn’t feasible for your projects.

How Does Airbrushing Work?

Airbrushing is a painting technique that uses an airbrush to give the object an even coat that provides a high level of realism. Connected to a compressed air unit, the airbrush paint is blasted in very fine particles onto the object’s surface, which is useful in creating smooth blending effects.

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Why is a Spray Booth Useful?

If you’re sceptical about installing a spray booth and deliberating on the question of, “do I need a spray booth for airbrushing?”, well, there are numerous benefits to having a spray booth installed.

1. Keeping the User Safe

Spray booths primarily act on keeping the airbrush operator and the environment around them safe by providing cleaner air. An airbrush booth uses a flexible ventilation hose to extract harmful fumes from oil or water based paints as well as every other paint. The controlled environment provided by a spray booth creates a more even painting process for your products, offering a smoother finish.

2. Controlled Environment

The controlled environment is helpful in several ways. Reducing the factors that can affect larger paint jobs like dust, temperature, and humidity is essential in ensuring a proper job.

3. Smooth Paint Application

This smooth finish airbrushing is known for can also only occur with the stable application of paint that is only possible in a controlled environment; this increases the durability of the applied paint. Spray Booths maintain air temperature, and so in large jobs like car painting, an even layer of paint is applied to the vehicle, which can bond adequately, thus giving it the smooth finish customers desire.

4. Clean Working Space

For smaller projects, airbrush spray booths help keep overspray away from items near where the artist is painting. In your designated airbrushing area, over time, there can be a significant build-up from residual overspray that can become more difficult to clean as time goes by.

5. Reducing Harmful Exposure

The number of harmful materials released is also reduced. Atomised paint particles are released into the air when airbrushing and can prove toxic at even the lowest level. For any project that you’re going to be around items that you would prefer to not get paint on, then yes, you do need a spray booth for airbrushing.

When Do I Not Need a Spray Booth?

Miniature painters can relax. You don’t need a spray booth when airbrushing smaller objects, like if you paint miniature models. That’s not to say that it wouldn’t be beneficial, however. With smaller projects, the PSI (Air pressure) you’re using will be relatively low, and any overspray will be minor and easily managed. Even with these smaller projects, it’s recommended that you use a proper respirator mask to keep your lungs free of any small paint particles.

Reasons to Install a Spray Booth for Airbrushing

1. If You Are Airbrushing at Home Or In a Small Room

If you will be doing the bulk of your airbrushing in a home, or smaller room with little ventilation, then installing a spray booth will be highly beneficial. Many individuals who paint indoors wrongly suggest simply “opening a window” when airbrushing in place of a spray booth, but this can let harmful particles into the environment without proper filtering.

2. If You Are Not Going to Use a Respirator When You Airbrush

Wearing a respirator should be a standard procedure whenever you operate an airbrush. However, if you cannot use a respirator for any circumstance, you should definitely have a spray booth.

3. For Your Pets or Those You Share a Work Environment With

Airbrush spray booths are beneficial in keeping harmful atomised paint particles out of the environment and away from others. Animals can suffer drastically from inhalation of these toxic fumes.

4. If You Have Other Objects Nearby That You Do Not Wish to Paint

Overspray is a significant issue associated with airbrushing. If you have valuables or other parts of the project you do not wish to airbrush with the same colour near your work, then it is recommended you get a spray booth to keep paint from making its way onto other objects.

5. When Using Certain Types of Paint

If you are going to be using the airbrush or use spray cans to spray enamels, lacquers, urethanes or any solvent-based paint. When evaporated, solvent paints emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that create flammable vapours. These paint fumes contribute to smog and ozone depletion when discharged into the atmosphere freely as well as causing a myriad of health issues to the painter.

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Do You Need a Spray Booth for Airbrushing Acrylic?

Airbrushing with acrylic paints is far less harmful than solvent-based paints. Acrylic paints are water-based and ideal for airbrushing beginners. They are the most commonly found paints and have a wide-ranging colour spectrum. Acrylic paint is the safest option when considering the output of fumes and are more suitable for indoor use. Always read the label when selecting and before operating the airbrush with acrylic paints, which will determine your need for a spray booth for airbrushing acrylic.

Things to Consider Before Installing a Spray Booth

When posing the question “Do you need a spray booth for airbrushing?”, it’s essential to understand some of the factors that may impact the installation of a spray booth.

Acquisition and usage costs are relatively high. Depending on the size and intended performance of your spray booth, there are several high costs to consider when choosing whether to install a spray booth. Depending on the financial output of the booth, this cost could play a significant factor.

Airbrush spray booths, in many instances, can take up a lot of space in your workspace. This could be a vital consideration for smaller workspaces when considering installing a spray booth.

Despite these obstacles in installing your next airbrush spray booth, the advantages for your work space always outweigh the disadvantages, especially if you will be a frequent user of the airbrush system.

A paint booth should also not be considered a substitute for a top-notch paint respirator system. Spray booths only reduce the number of paint particles in the air, not altogether remove them. Even with a spray booth installed, you should still wear proper equipment.

Choose Searose for Your Spray Paint Booths

So, by now, your answer to the question of “Do I need a spray booth for airbrushing?” should most likely be yes. The many health benefits of installing a spray booth will allow you to use the airbrush without hassle, for extended periods.

When it comes to installing the spray booth, you need the best. Searose Environmental have Australia’s premier range of spray booths and provide professional installation of your spray booths across both Brisbane and Sydney. We have been providing fully certified booths to painting industries for over forty years that continue to comply with the constantly updating environmental, workplace, health, and safety requirements. For further consultation, give us a call on 1300 484 849 today or submit an enquiry through our contact page.