In a spray paint booth, you can paint your car, bike, or truck without worrying about contaminating your surroundings and keeping the finish on your paint job perfect.
But most of us don’t need one every day or even every week unless we’re professional. So it makes sense to hire one of the different kinds of spray booths available.
Typically, daily paint booth rental costs fall between $75 and $150, depending on size and features. Alternatively, a double booth with a heater costs around $400 for two days. Probably, you’ll also get a discount for longer rentals and when buying the paint and hiring spray tools from the shop where you’re renting a paint booth.
When hiring a paint booth you:
- Fully enclose your vehicle.
- Allow incoming and exhaust air through filters capturing any dust and pollutants.
- Isolate your working space from dust and grime.
- And protect the outside environment from toxic contamination.
In this article, we‘ll help by looking at paint booth rental costs in North America.
How Much Does It Cost To Rent a Spray Paint Booth?
Below we‘ve outlined typical hire prices for various automotive paint booths in North America. The cost of renting a paint booth depends on multiple factors, which we‘ll talk about later. For now, we‘ll mention the different types and their approximate rental costs and see how much they would cost to buy. This information on rental paint booths will emphasize how much value for money you get by hiring.
These have three walls, so one side is always open to your surroundings. If you use an ‘air make-up unit,’ unfiltered air pulls through the open side and out of the exhaust filter on the opposite side.
Unfortunately, because one side is open to the environment, particles of dust and grit get sucked into the painting area and stick to the wet paint, thus spoiling the finish. However, on the good side, providing a positive pressure within the paint booth means that fumes and overspray always get removed, minimizing exposure to hazardous chemicals. But, the main reasons for using these are when you don’t want paint polluting your workshop, and you aren’t worried about the finish quality.
Typical hire prices will be from around $75 to $100 per day, depending on size and type.
These booths have four walls, completely enclosing the spraying area and completely isolating it from the rest of the building. The ‘air make-up unit‘ draws clean air through the inlet filter into the booth. The contaminated air then exhausts through filters on the other side of the booth to the outside atmosphere. This situation is especially useful if the spray booth is a small part of a garage or workshop and other activities occur concurrently with spraying.
The ‘air make-up unit‘ also provides fresh air to the enclosed space at a constant temperature. Wide temperature variations cause problems with paint drying times and subsequent finishing problems.
Prices range from around $90 to $120 per day, depending on size and features.
A down–draft booth has walls and a ceiling, completely enclosing it like a cross-flow booth. However, the air enters the booth through filters in the roof and exits to the atmosphere through filters placed along the booth’s sides. This type is more advanced than a cross-flow configuration. The incoming air moves evenly across the vehicle surface from the roof and down the sides before exiting lower down near floor level.
These are the most expensive paint booths for rent and cost from $130 to $150 or more, depending on size and features.
Purchasing paint booths
Although this article is primarily about spray booth rentals, it’s useful to see the purchase price if you decide to buy. To purchase a basic factory–built paint booth costs from $2,000 to $10,000. A simple open-faced booth sits at the lower end while a down–draft booth is at the expensive end.
If you need constant temperature and ventilation rates, an ‘air make-up unit‘ costs extra to buy. A typical price for one of these units ranges from $10,000 to $15,000.
These prices are okay if you want to give your car or pick-up a paint job. But for larger trucks, boats, and aircraft, you‘ll need to buy a custom-made booth costing in the region of around $15,000 to $20,000. In exceptional cases, your booth can cost up to $100,000.
Remember that booths should only be as large as necessary to provide a safe working area around the vehicle. Therefore, most booths consist of panels that can be taken apart and assembled depending on the job’s size.
Compared to rentals, these purchase prices are only cost-effective if you are a professional paint sprayer so think again if you only use one occasionally.
Paint Booth Rental Cost Factors
Auto spray booth rental prices vary depending on a few different factors. You must consider these and have them clearly in your mind before approaching the hire shop.
Length of rental
There are two types of activities that affect the rental length. Spraying operations that take a long time or time spent allowing the paint to dry.
Many paint jobs need time for each coat to dry and harden before applying further coats. Therefore, a simple spray paint job, which would normally only take a few hours, might last for a few days. While waiting for the paint to dry, you want to continue protecting the finish from dust and grit particles, so continual filtered air is essential.
Even though the top-end car paint booth rentals sit at around $150 per day, you‘ll probably be charged for additional days. The extra charges will usually be at the same daily rate. But, it might be at a reduced rate, especially if you rent regularly.
Alternatively, you might be charged full price for the time spent spraying and a reduced rate for drying time. Paint spray hire shops vary with their pricing policy depending on the size of the operation and the demand they have for their services.
This is a big factor when considering charges.
You could spray paint many items, and each one is a relevant factor regarding price. For example, you might paint:
- Wooden or metal furniture.
- Engine parts.
- Circuit boards.
- Electrical components.
- And many more items.
Each one is a different size and will need a different quality finish. These factors determine the size and type of spray booth and whether you need an air make-up unit or not. It also determines the time spent within the booth’s controlled environment.
You can hire small one–man booths for hobby work. Alternatively, the booth might be motor bike–sized, car–sized, or truck–sized.
Each version also needs varying sizes of ventilation units and filters.
Relations with supplier
Sometimes, it helps if you know the booth rental company. In cases like this, you may be lucky, and the cost to rent is significantly reduced on days when they don‘t have work already booked. Suppose you’re a regular or a local business owner. In that case, you might have a better hire rate than the usual DIY enthusiast. Some companies also offer reduced rates for veterans.
Questions to Ask Rental Company
When approaching a spray–paint booth hire company, there are a few things to find out before going ahead with the transaction.
Hire rates too cheap
Although a cheap hire rate might seem attractive, you should ask yourself why they are so low. Is the floor made from dusty concrete? Have they the correct licenses? Or are they trying to cram as many customers in as possible? The latter might not be useful to you if you need longer than anticipated.
Many paint booth rentals also incorporate an automotive paint store, so you can choose and buy the paint from them. This isn‘t always a bad thing as you will be sure to buy good quality paints that don‘t interfere with or damage the paint spray guns. Many places offer a reduced rate if you purchase the materials from them and use their paint guns.
Paint spraying tends to leave paint overspray on the floor and walls as well as in the filters. Does the hire charge incorporate a deposit for clean-up after your session, or is the deposit extra?
We‘ve talked a bit about this already. You might need time for the paint to dry between coats. Drying time could be anything from 10 to 48 hours, and the item is just sitting and waiting for the paint to harden. Can you leave your car or truck in the booth overnight? Does the booth supply heated air to speed up the drying time, or must you allow additional air–drying time?
Does the booth comply with the US government‘s regulations for spray booths? We go into this in more detail later in this article.
There are always bits and pieces that you forget to bring with you. Things like masking tape and other supplies can hold up a job if you need to find a place to buy these from. If the shop also sells automotive paint, they will probably also sell, masking tape, sandpaper, thinners, and many other supplies. Before you arrive on the day, check whether you can purchase items from them or whether you have to bring your own.
Minimize the time spent in the spray booth by doing as much as possible beforehand. Obviously, you will try to do everything you can at home before you arrive. But, you can best do tasks like applying masking tape and removing wing mirrors in a preparation area. Does the shop have such a space for your use?
Rules on spray guns
Many serious DIYers own their equipment which they prefer to use. However, most hire facilities will only allow equipment of a specified quality complying with the regulations. If you turn up to your slot with an antiquated spray gun that belonged to your father, don‘t be surprised if the company cancels your job. Every reputable company will only allow third–party equipment that doesn‘t jeopardize their license. If that‘s the case, and you have such a spray gun, can you rent or purchase one from them? Ask before you turn up.
A booth with a proper maintenance program provides a good service. It functions safely and efficiently and is less of a fire hazard. Furthermore, dirty filters full of dried paint overspray ruin the paint finish and are a serious fire hazard. Please speak to the salesperson before you book and find out how often the booth gets maintained and when they change the filters.
Get a receipt for your booking
Many spray–booth hire establishments rely on a quick turnaround. They might forget your booking if you turn up without proof that you‘ve already paid, especially if the guy you originally paid isn’t there on the day.
Also, be sure what you are paying for. Many rental sessions only include the use of a booth and compressed air hose for a gun. You have to supply everything else. Make sure you know what you are paying for and if you need extras, pay for them beforehand. Then, get it in writing so that your reserved items are ready when you arrive.
Types of Auto Spray Paint Booths
We‘ve already talked about open-faced booths, cross-flow booths, and down–draft booths elsewhere in this article. So we won‘t duplicate this information. However, you should know about a few other types.
These units pull air into the booth through one end of the ceiling and exit the air at the other end near the floor. This allows air to travel along the entire booth‘s length before leaving through the filter. Semi-downdraft booths create a diagonal airflow within the booth, which is more efficient, offers more control, and is more economical for the owner. This method of draft control is ideal for large items such as vehicles, trailers, and boats.
This ventilation system allows air to enter the booth in the ceiling and removes it through a side-wall exhaust. Vents with filters often cover the entire ceiling and side-walls, so there’s a constant airflow across the item. Compared to the semi-downdraft or cross-flow booth, its main advantage is the even airflow that removes contaminants by drawing them away from the item.
Heated paint booths
If you have a paint spraying business, your income relies on getting the vehicle out of the booth as quickly as possible without adversely affecting the paint quality. Therefore, a heater within the booth will substantially decrease drying time. Usually, the air make-up unit incorporates a heater. The fan blows warm air through the booth, so it’s in contact with the item‘s entire surface.
Portable spray paint booths
Portable paint booths are usually inflatable and can easily be inflated or deflated using an electrically powered pump. A private individual might hire it for use on their property. It might be a company asset when space is limited in the factory. Or used as a spray booth by a company offering mobile detailing. They need only inflate the booth when required. Otherwise, they can put the booth into storage until needed again. Portable booths come in various sizes, from tabletop versions to a size big enough for painting an airplane. However, because they are continually being inflated and deflated, they are prone to damage over time.
Following Safety Codes & Compliance
Whether mobile or not, all spray painting booths must comply with the so-called 6H Rule of the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants. The rule involves companies that use primers, thinners, and paints containing hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). The company must supply a detailed survey to the EPA showing how they comply with the regulations. The company must:
- Operate spray paint booths that meet the requirements.
- Have trained staff who have EPA 6H certificates renewed every five years.
- Offer training manuals for all spray guns.
- Have a state air permit.
Make sure the company you deal with has 6H compliance. If it doesn‘t, it‘s breaking the law, so go elsewhere.
If you intend to purchase a booth, make sure your choice complies with the following standards:
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
- National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
- National Electrical Code.
Also look for a booth that is ETL listed and complies with North American safety standards.
Automotive paint booth rentals are very useful if you enjoy giving your vehicle a paint make-over, so it stands out from the crowd. Or you might own a small engineering business making widgets for engines. Whatever you do, spray painting isn‘t your main business, and you can‘t justify spending out on a spray paint booth of your own.
Complete the form on this page, and you‘ll receive 2 to 3 quotes from spray booth rental companies in your area detailing their hire rates.
Jason is a B2B sales veteran spanning 3 decades and Founder of ApprovedCosts. Jason has scaled sales and marketing teams at a variety of enterprises and is a recognized expert in the field. Jason holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business.