GFS’ Controlled Airflow Ceiling: A Premium Ceiling to Complement a Premium Booth

paint booth

So you’ve decided you are ready to invest in a new paint booth for your shop. That’s not the end of the decisions though. Next comes decisions on any booth options and accessories you may want to add to your new booth.

With our Ultra® Paint Booths, one option, in particular, is deciding whether or not it is worthwhile to upgrade to a Controlled Airflow (CAF) Ceiling, GFS’ patented, exclusive ceiling design. Let’s take a look at the key features of the CAF Ceiling to allow for a more informed decision.

Spray Zone

In a spray booth, it is all about maintaining and optimizing your spray zone to achieve the best finish possible. The spray zone is affected by everything from booth air pressure and temperature to vehicle placement and walking too close to the item being painted. Not only does an inefficient spray zone lead to contaminated finishes and overspray on booth walls, it also limits the number of parts that can be painted per cycle.

The Controlled Airflow Ceiling is engineered to maximize the effectiveness of downdraft airflow model booths by providing two airflow zones within the booth. The primary airflow zone creates a precise, protective envelope of air around the vehicle, while the added secondary airflow zone significantly increases the spray zone, virtually eliminating the dead air zone found in most booths.

CAF ceiling illustration

In looking back at his experiences as a painter, auto refinish technical advisor Jason Garfoot explains, “Normally I would have to split a big job up between two booth cycles in order to avoid spraying parts in the dead airflow zones of the booth.” Working in a booth equipped with a CAF Ceiling, he says he would be able to consolidate everything into a single cycle without losing quality. “This would easily save a few hours on a single job, and when you add that up throughout a full week of repairs, throughput and ultimately the painter’s paycheck, can increase dramatically,” says Garfoot.

Another benefit of the secondary airflow zone created by the CAF Ceiling is that it provides a wash of clean air to keep booth walls clean, while also removing contaminants coming from the painter and air hoses, usually the two biggest sources of contamination in the booth. This makes for happy shop owners and painters; for owners, this decreases the maintenance expenses from cleaning the booth, and for painters, as Garfoot explains, “The fewer times a painter has to go through the time-consuming process of washing off and reapplying booth coating to keep the booth clean, the happier he will be.”


A well-lit environment plays a crucial role in achieving the highest quality paint jobs. All of our auto refinish booths are designed with vertical sidewalls lights to minimize shadows and are shipped complete with color-corrected tubes for all light fixtures. With our CAF Ceiling, in addition to creating an extra zone of air compared to your average booth, it also features strategically placed lighting.

UltraXP1 Booth Lighting

The lights are placed between the two airflow zones, as opposed to at the edges of the ceiling, which is more common in paint booths. This strategic placement accomplishes two things: shadow reduction and better illumination of hard to see areas.

When lights are located at the edge of the ceiling, there is a risk of the painter obstructing the light; while vertical sidewall lights eliminate many shadows, the head and shoulders of a painter often create shadows from traditional ceiling lights. By placing lights in the CAF Ceiling 24 inches from the edge of the ceiling, light is no longer obstructed and shadows are virtually eliminated.

In addition to eliminating shadows, the lighting on the CAF Ceiling is ideally placed so painters have a better view of troublesome areas. With lighting directly over the main work area of the booth, it is perfectly located to see the wet edge of the clear coat on tricky areas such as the sail panel or the rear quarter panel.

Worriless Painting

The Controlled Airflow Ceiling is our exclusive design that maximizes the effectiveness of your booth while reducing the worries associated with inefficient airflow and inadequate lighting, allowing painters to focus on the just that: painting.

By creating a second spray zone, contaminants are not only kept away from the paint job, they are also kept from collecting on booth walls. This alleviates worries about cleaning the booth and also about painting in a dead air zone.

In placing lights in between those two spray zones, painters don’t need to worry about fighting against shadows, nor about illuminating normally troublesome areas.

On top of improvements to airflow and lighting, the CAF Ceiling also features hinged filter racks that swing down for easy filter replacement.

The Controlled Airflow Ceiling design comes standard in our Ultra XP1 Booth and can be added to Ultra XD and XS Paint Booths. To learn more about adding a CAF Ceiling to your next booth, contact us at 877-658-7900 to speak with one of our auto refinish experts.

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