Virtual Spray Booth
Best Practices in a Spray Booth

Click on the link to see any of the articles below.


Employees working in a spray booth can be exposed to a variety of chemical and physical hazards. 'Best Practices' are work procedures that have been developed by the collision repair industry in conjunction with agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. They are regarded as efficient and safe ways to make sure tasks are done productively. By following 'Best Practices' when working, employees can minimize the risk of being injured at work.

Here are examples that have been developed with the EPA for working in a paint spray booth:

Spray Paint in a Well-Ventilated Booth

A well-ventilated and properly maintained spray booth efficiently removes paint overspray from the air, minimizing painter's contact with hazardous coating materials. Regular filter changes reduce emissions of pollutants from the shop and improve the environment. A controlled flow of dust-free air improves the quality of the paint job. Among spray booths-downdraft, semi-down, and crossdraft-a downdraft is the most effective at removing hazardous overspray. Remember: It is much better practice to spray inside a booth or prep station than in an open bay and it is the law in many jurisdictions.

Use High Transfer Efficiency Spray Guns

High efficiency guns like HVLP spray guns have higher transfer efficiencies (60-70%) than conventional spray guns (20-30%). Therefore, with HVLP spray guns, more paint ends up on the car and less is lost as overspray. This efficiency is a great benefit to painters, who have less contact with toxic paint components and the shop, which also saves money in paint costs

Wear Air Supplied Respirators and Chemical Resistant Gloves and Clothing

By using a supplied-air, positive-pressure respirator, painters are much less likely to breathe harmful chemicals in paint spray. Most paint manufacturers recommend a supplied-air respirator when spraying highly toxic materials like isocyanates found in paint hardeners. An air-purifying respirator will not provide adequate protection unless you develop and implement a proper filter change-out schedule, which can be a complex process. See above under Respirator

Chemical resistant gloves and full body paint suits help prevent skin contact with harmful paint chemicals. Select gloves and clothing that offer protection from the variety of chemicals in paints and coatings. For gloves, nitrile or butyl rubber are generally recommended, but latex gloves are not. Check the MSDS for the specific paints and chemicals you are spraying, and follow the directions provided. See above under Gloves.

For more information see the EPA web site

Spray booth cleaning practices are covered in the following section "Spray Booth".



Click here to send questions or comments

Special thanks to CCAR-GreenLink®




The Virtual Collision / Paint Shop is only a graphic representation of a conceptual service and repair facility. The Virtual Collision / Paint Shop only illustrates subjects which call for environmental program management and not as an illustration of good facility layout and design practices.

We do not guarantee the correctness or accuracy of the information, and will not be responsible for incorrect or inaccurate information, or any damage or loss suffered by any person as a result of reliance on such information.

The information presented relates to environmental programs of the Federal government. Regulations, and rulings, of local governments may apply in lieu of, or in addition to, the Federal rules, and should be reviewed before taking any action in reliance on this information.