Paint Booth Dictionary Pt. 2 — A Glossary of Important Terms

Back in August, we posted the first part of our ‘Paint Booth Dictionary’, where we defined some of the most common terms and acronyms used in the industry. Here’s the second part of the list, and we hope to add even more in subsequent Dictionary entries as we go. Hope you find this list to be a helpful reference!

Dust Collection

Any type of fan & filter assembly that collects and holds the dust produced by sanding, grinding, or spraying particulate.


Refers to the cabin or the box-like structure of the paint booth itself.

Exhaust Chamber

Compartment of paint booth that draws over spray through filters and then through channels to be recycled. All spray booth systems, regardless of their application, have a working enclosure and an exhaust chamber.


The process of quickly drying the paint to a degree at which a second coat can be effectively applied, typically through a short period of increased temperature and air speed in the paint booth.

Grain Count

Measures how effectively a paint booth and filter system will trap particulate emissions.

Intake Plenum

The box-like structure through which the air is brought into the paint booth. The plenum may be vertical and found at one end of the booth, or horizontal using part or all of the ceiling inside the booth as an aperture.

Laminar Airflow

Air that is moving in a consistent direction over the surface of an object. This type of airflow is generally accepted as the ideal type of airflow in which to spray paint, as it does an excellent job of removing overspray and contamination from the spray zone during the spray process.


National Fire Protection Association – the governing body that determines fire safety protection codes.


Occupational Safety and Health Administration – the governing body that determines workplace health and safety codes.


During application, paint that sticks to adjacent panels not being painted or that paint blows into the air while spraying.

Paint Barns

A rudimentary paint environment often used to paint large objects or vehicles. Paint barns are typically fashioned out of existing buildings or structures and provide a minimal level of contamination control. Since paint barns are usually constructed out of pre-existing structures that were not originally designed to be used as paint environments, they may or may not meet fire, safety, and air quality compliance codes, depending on their construction and usage.

Paint Booth Inserts

A paint booth insert is a pre-fabricated self-contained enclosure installed inside an existing structure for containing the process operations of the painting process. Paint booth inserts are essentially complete paint booths that are ‘inserted’ in to an existing structure, such as an aircraft hangar, and as such are specifically designed to meet all applicable fire, safety, and air quality compliance codes.

Paint Mix Room

A dedicated structure designed to provide a ventilated, contamination-controlled area to safely mix and store paints.

Paint Zone

The area inside the paint booth that provides an “envelope” of high speed air around the vehicle in which optimum levels of overspray and contamination control are achieved. This typically extends a short distance around the perimeter of the object being painted, as the air moves around it and towards the exhaust filters.


An enclosed chamber where the filtered and/or treated air collects for distribution throughout the paint booth system.


Standard Fire Prevention Code; Standard Building Code – the governing body that determines standard codes for buildings and construction safety.


The semi-downdraft booth is a hybrid combining features of both crossdraft and downdraft booths. Air is introduced to the booth through the ceiling in the first 25-30 percent of the booth. Then it’s pulled across the working chamber, over the vehicle and into the filtered exhaust chamber at the booth rear.

Side Downdraft

Side downdraft booths are an economical solution for shops that aren’t able to install a pit. Air comes into the booth through a full-length, filtered ceiling plenum, and flows downward over the product. When air reaches the floor, it is pulled into floor-level filtered exhaust plenums on both sides of the booth.


Refers to the usage of a single layer of fabricated sheet metal to form the panels and walls used in construction of a paint booth or similar structure. This is as opposed to a dual-skin construction which consists of two layers of fabricated sheet metal sandwiched to construct a box-like panel.

Spray Mode

Refers to the mode of operation of a spray booth during which the interior of the spray booth is conditioned for optimum performance for the spray application process. It is during this mode that the spray environment is ready for paint to be actually applied to the surface of the object in the booth.

Spray Zone

See “Paint Zone”

Turbulent Airflow

Air that is moving in multiple directions, creating a convection-like environment inside the paint booth. Turbulent airflow has proven to be substantially more efficient than laminar airflow to dry/cure the paint once the spray application process has been completed.


Uniform Fire Code – The set of codes set forth dictating requirements for fire safety in building and equipment construction.

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