Top Tips: DIY Spray Booth and Easy Canvas Coating

If you’re a photographer or fine-art printer, chances are you produce a lot of canvas prints. And with that, the need to apply a protective coating, which can be messy and expensive.

However, you don’t need to set aside a large space or spend a lot on a spray booth. In fact, we’ve created a guide to show you how to build a three-sided spray booth for less than $70, that can be accomplished in an afternoon using PVC pipe and plastic sheeting.

You can see the booth in action in the video above, which illustrates the application of Sunset Satin Coating using a high-volume, low-pressure spray gun. To see how easy it is to build a DIY spray booth, check out the video below. You can download a PDF with all of the detailed instructions HERE.

Making Your Own Spray Booth for Coating Prints, with Dan Johnson

How to make your own studio sized spray boothYou may remember Dan Johnson from such LexJet Blog posts as, Night and Day: Flowing City Panorama Printed on Satin Cloth, and the ArtPrize competition in Grand Rapids, Mich., Dan’s hometown. Dan recently called in and told me he had been searching for a way to spray coat his canvas prints, but lack of space at his studio, Dan Johnson Photography, was his nemesis. So, Dan went searching for a way to build his own space-saving spray booth. Here’s what Dan, in his own words, found…

“So we have always wanted to be able to spray our Sunset Select Matte Canvas prints with LexJet’s Sunset Satin Coating instead of rolling it on, but did not think we had the room for an actual spray booth in our small studio. After some thought, we took a small space and made it happen.

We had some storage shelves in the studio that were not all full. After moving some of the shelves up and down we were able to create a large enough space to build a booth large enough for us to spray a 40″ x 40″ print (see the photos). Here are the details of the booth:
2 clamp lights, $12.32
40×46 pegboard, $7.52
4×8 sheet of 1/2″ OSB, $7.97
36″ dowel, $2.44
Surge protector, $8.97
Wood glue, $1.98
2 clamps we already had, $0.00
Wagner professional spray gun $23.60 (on clearance)
Total price, $68.69 (without ventilation unit)

The great employees at Lowe’s gladly cut my plywood down to size for me at no charge. I took the parts home and with some glue and a brad nailer we had it put together in about half an hour.

The most expensive part of the booth was a ventilation unit that we purchased afterwards from eBay.  This unit – an Artograph 1530 spray booth system for about $340 – vacuums in most of the overspray. We did not install the top part of the unit. Instead, we flipped it over and it rests on a shelf above our booth facing down into the booth. We probably could have done it without this, but it does help contain the spray.

Now we coat prints in about half the time with less mess and better results. Nice!”