Getting an airbrush was a game-changer for me. I absolutely love it. I’ve done the brush on primer and I’ve done the rattle can primer. I prefer the airbrush any day of the week.
Once I got past that initial hesitation that comes from trying something new, it’s been a breeze. That’s an “air” joke, get it?
Like any new set up, there are many quality-of-life things you can get to make the experience better. (Check out my complete list of essential gear and fun extras here.)
One of those things, for airbrushes, is a spray booth.
It can be as simple as a cardboard box or something more elaborate that vents out fumes, filters the air, has trays that rotate, and has lights to illuminate your project.
SO! Today, I’ll talk about the best airbrush spray booths for painting models and miniatures.
The Quick Solutions Are:
1. Ultra Simple DIY: Cardboard box and a respirator. Seriously, that will do it. Your only concern here is fumes and venting them. The respirator helps, but if it’s in your home, you want to be near an open window.
2. Done for you purchase: This is what I ended up getting and I love it: Master Airbrush Spray Booth. I’ll do a full review of it below, but the short version is this does everything you need it to do.
3. More involved DIY: Black Magic Craft just did an awesome build here. If you’re up for it and have the room, this is a killer set up.
Let’s face it…airbrushing your miniatures is all fun and games until you see that it has ruined your belongings nearby or splashed paint on your wife’s favorite wall.
The spray booth is exactly what you need to keep the paint from getting where it shouldn’t and to remove the fumes and keep dust away from your miniatures while you’re airbrushing.
In other words, the process of airbrushing your miniatures and models just got easier and a whole lot more fun!
And seriously, it really is fun. At least for me. Maybe after I’ve been doing it for 100 years I’ll get bored.
If you’re totally new to airbrushing and miniature painting, head over to my main airbrushing page to find answers to common questions, tips for mastering the use of an airbrush, and lots more info.
Things to Consider Before You Buy and Use a Spray Booth
To be completely honest, I was pretty confused after going through the wide range of options there are online for airbrush spray booths.
Of course, I wanted to invest in something that offered maximum value for the money and gave me peace of mind in the long run.
So, my journey to research and find the best spray booths began!
Before I dive in and reveal my favorites, there are few things you should consider before buying and using a spray booth.
Let’s take a quick look.
First and foremost, you should ask yourself, “How much space do I need for painting my miniatures?”
Hint: the size of your models will help you figure this out.
Always make sure there is enough space in the spray booth for you to easily place your miniatures and models inside, rotate them, and take them out without smearing the paint.
You need good lighting to make sure you’re doing the job right. The spray booth should be well lit, no questions asked.
Make sure you check if the one you’re buying has a good lighting source. If not, you’ll want to get an external light source. An LED desk lamp like this would work just fine.
Check out my complete guide “The Best Lighting for Hobbies and Miniature Painting” for other options and to see what I use personally.
Proper ventilation is crucial to maintain a healthy, breathable environment during an airbrushing session.
It’s best to choose a spot near a window so that the fumes can easily vent away. More important safety information and tips on ventilation can be found in this article.
Although this is a very basic point, it is worth mentioning for all excited miniature lovers who can’t wait to get started with their first airbrush painting session.
Make sure there’s a power source nearby for powering up the lights and/or fan in the booth.
If you’re reading this in preparation for setting up an airbrushing station but haven’t quite decided on an airbrush model yet, don’t buy anything before reading my complete guide to airbrushes here.
Review Time! What are the Best Airbrush Spray Booths Out There?
As you probably already know, I love DIY solutions for anything related to miniature figures – and so, I’ll be starting this review with a simple trick.
By the way, I totally understand how confusing it can be when you’re just getting started with the hobby and trying to figure out what exactly you need.
That’s why I put together The Miniature Painting Level Up Guide, my latest book packed with everything I wish I had known when I was first getting started.
It’s filled with all the equipment you’ll want as a beginner and fun toys and advanced gear you’ll drool over as you become more advanced.
Starting guides, tips to improve, where to find the best minis, and more. This book has got it all!
1. The DIY Solution
If you have enough time on your hands and you’re feeling creative, why not build an airbrush spray booth yourself!
Complex DIY Spray Booth
Again, here is the build I mentioned above by Black Magic Craft.
Simple DIY Booth
If you’re looking for a DIY booth, want something more than the simple cardboard option, but not QUITE as involved as the build above, give this one a try.
Here’s what you’ll need for the simple option in the video above:
- 18 x 24” corrugated plastic sheets (inexpensive and durable)
- 6” duct flange
- Rotary tool – like the Dremel 3000 – an incredibly useful, versatile tool
- 20 x 20” exhaust filter
- Piece of an aluminum dryer vent duct
Follow these instructions:
- Take a corrugated plastic sheet and place the duct flange on it towards the left side.
- Trace the round shape of the duct on the sheet with a pencil and make 5-6 dots surrounding the circle.
- Use the rotary tool to cut out the center section of the traced circle.
- Drill the holes for the fasteners.
- Use a strip of duct tape to hold the back piece to the bottom while sizing up the left wall.
- Make sure the edges are square.
- Use shoe goo and duct tape to secure all the walls.
- Install the flange to the wall from the back of the box, fixing the bolts into the drilled holes.
- Attach a leftover piece of an aluminum dryer vent duct.
- Cut a square piece of the sheet that will hold the filter in place up against the spray booth’s back.
- Fit the exhaust filter in the box and secure it in place by fitting in a sheet in front.
The resulting booth won’t only be rigid but also spacious enough for large miniature figures and models.
Ok, now we are up to the premade options and this is the one I personally own. The Master Airbrush Hobby Spray Booth is a great option to consider.
So, here’s my admittedly biased opinion, but I’m trying to be objective here!
It does everything you need it to do, but it costs more than a simple DIY booth would. That’s the trade-off.
DIY saves you money and you can tailor it to your specific needs. Premade saves you time and gives you everything in a neat and professional package.
Size: This is all great assuming whatever you’re airbrushing fits inside. If you’re painting miniatures or scale models, it’s plenty big enough.
You can also stack two side by side to make it even bigger.
Here’s a picture of my setup and booth to give you a better sense of scale:
Features: You get a fan to vent fumes, a duct that goes out to a window, a rotating tray, and lighting.
Cons: Price – at $129.96 it’s spendy. Also, the fan is not whisper quiet. It’s no louder than a normal fan, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Bottom Line: I have one and I’d definitely buy it again. It’s a great tool.
This is pretty cool! It’s a pop-up version with plenty of room and an option to strap a standard fan on the back to vent. If I had a garage workshop I’d probably pick this option.
For in the house it’s okay too, maybe a step up from a cardboard box. The problem here though is with venting the fumes. The fan is just going to blow it around.
It does the job of keeping your spray contained though. With dimensions of 35” W x 30” D x 39” H, it’s a nice size and at $103.99, it’s a nice price.
Additional Gear to Make Your Miniature Painting Session Safe
Once you’ve chosen the best airbrush spray booth for your needs, you should consider investing in a couple of additional items to make sure your miniature painting experience is pleasant.
To prevent yourself from inhaling the potentially harmful fumes that fill the spray booth while you’re airbrushing, you’ll need a good-quality paint respirator.
Even if you get a vented option, I’d still grab one of these. I use mine a lot.
The 3M Paint Project Respirator is FANTASTIC. I really love this thing. It actually smells good, and it’s really soft and comfortable.
I wear this every time I airbrush and also when messing around with my new Epax X1 Resin Printer! Booyah!
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It features sweptback cartridges to make it easier for you to see the objects you’re painting.
It protects you from airborne contaminants as well as the fumes by keeping the particles away from your nose, mouth, and lungs.
When combined with some filters, it may also help in fighting odors.
Disposable Rubber Gloves
Rubber gloves are an essential piece of equipment for your airbrushing session if you’re handling your miniatures and models while painting.
These Nitrile Gloves by MedPride are great. I actually enjoy wearing these too.
I mostly wear them when playing with the 3d printer, but they’re also excellent for the airbrush. They keep your hands paint free, and they’re cheap, effective, and purple!
These gloves come with textured fingers, palms, and fingertips to make it easier for you to grip your miniature figures and other models, even in wet conditions.
They are powder and latex free. Hence, are perfectly safe for use. They are even suitable for people who are allergic to natural rubber.
These gloves are 5 mils thick around the palm and fingers and 9.5 inches long from the tip of the finger to the cuff of the glove. They come in different sizes for you to choose from.
Wrapping It Up
I hope you found this post, especially the review section, helpful.
In conclusion, I simply want to highlight that you should keep the following three qualities in mind when you’re looking for the best airbrush spray booths for miniature painting:
- Good design
- High efficiency
Take it from someone who has tried and tested several spray booths at different stages of the ‘hobbyist’ life.
You can never go wrong with a product that has the aforementioned qualities!
And just in case you’re tight on budget, the DIY spray booth is the way to go! I’d love to see how it turns out so I’ll be keeping an eye out for your comments!
Don’t forget to visit all of my other airbrushing articles for more information, tips, and products I’ve tested and use routinely myself! Click here for full access.
Last update on 2021-04-14 at 18:10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API