by Mike Riggs
One of the most annoying things about spray painting is overspray. It gets on everything.
When I paint an airplane, everything in
my garage/workshop gets covered with
nasty overspray. Yuck!
Using a high-volume, low-pressure
(HVLP) spray gun goes a long way
toward reducing overspray; however,
some type of spray booth is still needed
to filter overspray.
Overspray solution criteria:
• Portability: Can be stored out of
sight between projects.
• Safety: Fresh (filtered) air supply
and dirty (filtered) air exhaust.
• Parking: Must be able to park the
car in the garage between painting
• Setup time: Less than 15 minutes.
• Cost: Less than $100.
After reading countless Internet
forums and discussing ideas with my
wife and friends, the idea of a simple
spray tent was born. It could be easily
folded up against the ceiling between
painting sessions or completely taken
down for long-term storage.
The spray tent is not air tight; its
purpose is to contain overspray, filter
air, and keep bugs/dust out of wet
paint. Conceptually, the tent is merely
a shower curtain hung from the
ceiling. After each painting session, the
curtains are rolled up to the ceiling and
held in place with several loops of rope.
After a painting project is completed,
the curtains are taken down and stored.
Its location was determined to allow
the garage door to open and close
with the curtains down. The width
was determined by the ceiling rafter
spacing to facilitate painting 2-meter
Aerobatics fuselages. Its length is 8 feet.
After determining outline and
position, four 2 x 2s were screwed into
the ceiling, forming a rectangular
inner border. Partially sunk
outward-facing nails are used to
hang the curtains. On each side,
two additional inward-facing
nails are used as storage hooks.
Inner hooks are used to hold the
curtains against the ceiling during
Hanging holes in the 4-mil
plastic curtains are reinforced with
duct tape. Grommets can also be used
at an additional cost.
Vertical curtain seams are sealed
with duct tape. With the curtains
hanging in position, my wife held a 2
x 4 up as a backing to push the tape
against. Giving credit where credit is
due, it was her idea.
Scrap lumber is laid on the excess
curtain length, holding the curtains
The spray tent is set up and ready for a
painting session. The close-up photo on the
right shows the reinforcement and hanging
method of the spray tent.
121 Model Aviation MAY 2014