Paint Booth Dictionary – A Glossary of Important Terms

Dual-skin? CFM? Bake Cycle? – There are a lot of different terms thrown around in the world of paint booths. Do you know what they all mean?

It’s always important to have references that you can use to clear up any confusion or misunderstandings when technical questions arise. They’re also great to have on-hand when new painters or technicians are entering the world of paint booths. This is why GFS decided to put together an ever-expanding glossary of the most commonly used terms and acronyms that you can use as a reference any time, or share with anyone who can benefit from a little more insight in to the language of paint booths and finishing systems!

Here’s Part 1 of the GFS Paint Booth Dictionary:


Utilizing auxiliary air blowers inside a paint booth to break up the slow-moving boundary layer of air that forms on the painted surface due to laminar air flow. Introducing accelerated air at opposing angles to the laminar air flow results in a rapidly sped up drying process.

Air replacement systems replenish equal amounts of fresh air in to an environment for every cubic foot of air exhausted from that environment.

Supplies conditioned and filtered air to the booth, minimizing temperature variations and removing particulates that compromise finish quality.

Managed airflow enables a painter to get maximum efficiency of the paint sprayed while directing overspray away from the painted finish. In a superior design, air is controlled to flow in unidirectional layers, either in horizontal, semi-downdraft or downdraft flow patterns, while maintaining an even velocity.

Looking at a well-balanced system, the booth is at a negative pressure (relative to the outside) from the time the fresh filtered air enters the booth until it leaves through the exhaust filters.

Parts priming and parts jamming operations are performed in open-faced or special cut-in spray booths, leaving the main booth free for assembled parts or vehicles.

A baffle type redirects airflow with offset holes in the media, which could be paper, metal, or Styrofoam. Heavier overspray cannot change direction quickly enough, resulting in paint collecting on the media.

Often used to describe the period of time required for curing the paint applied to the object being painted.

Often used interchangeabley with the term ‘Heater’ Two categories “Direct Fire” and “Indirect Fire”. Can also refer to the unit of combustion located inside the heater.

The volume of air needed to move through the booth and into the exhaust chamber is measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm).  Area x Velocity = cfm (cubic feet per minute of air)

The period of time required to cool down the booth and the painted object once curing is completed. This phase starts automatically upon completion of the bake period, and can take as much as 30 minutes for a car.

The air flows parallel to the floor, passes through the working chamber and picks up the particulate (overspray). Then the air passes through a filter bank to capture the particulate, and is 100% exhausted through ducting direct into the atmosphere.

Curing a finish means to bring it to its intended degree of hardness and luster.

Sound is measured in decibels (dB.) A change of one dB is detectable by the human ear. An increase of 10dB is a doubling of the loudness

The air flow is from overhead and moves down towards the building floor. The building floor normally has a sunken pit to accept either dry filter or water wash exhaust. A bar-type grating is laid over the pit opening. The booth can also be placed on an elevated platform in order to avoid pit construction.

Air is pulled into a downdraft side exhaust configuration through a full-length ceiling plenum. The air passes through the working chamber parallel to the walls and perpendicular to the floor. When the air reaches the floor it is pulled into and through floor level filtered exhaust plenums down each side of the booth and out into the atmosphere through ducting. No pit or elevated platform is required for this booth.

Paint booth wall panels that are constructed of two pieces of sheet metal, sandwiching a layer of fiberglass or foam insulation to provide energy savings, sound attenuation, and a cleaner, more aesthetic appearance to the exterior of the paint booth.

2 thoughts on “Paint Booth Dictionary – A Glossary of Important Terms

    1. Hi Chris,

      With a question like that, we’d encourage you to contact our Tech Support team directly at 800-848-8738 option 8 – There are multiple things that could cause an airflow fault and it will depend a lot on what equipment you have. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s