Looking for a painting solution that is inexpensive, simple to DIY, and easily put away when not in use? Learn to DIY a collapsible paint booth today!

I am so proud of this project guys!

It took some mental gymnastics to figure out how to make this DIY paint booth work for my space – I had a few criteria that had to be met;

  • it needed to be collapsible.  My garage is my workshop and I can’t afford allocating space specifically for a paint booth that will only get used a couple of times a month.
  • it needed to be inexpensive.  I’ve seen all kinds that you can buy, but I didn’t want to invest much.
  • it needed to be large.  Larger than any I’ve seen for sale online; we’re talking 12′ wide by 6′ deep, so 72 square feet of space.  Enough to refinish a bedroom set if needed
  • it needed to be easy to set up, and even easier to take down.  My other spray tent is okay, but tedious to set up and take down all of the time.

I decided right from the get-go that clear shower liners would be perfect for a DIY paint booth.  They are heavy enough not to blow around too much, very inexpensive to buy, AND they allow light in to your space – which is very important so you don’t miss little spots here and there.

I ordered 4 of these clear shower curtain liners from Amazon.  They were 72″ wide and 84″ tall.  (Amazon affiliate link)

I also picked up four 6′ lengths of ¾” galvanized steel pipe from my local home improvement store.

I had some ratty old eye hooks in my stash of bits and bobs, so I used two to hang my first length of galvanized pipe.  It’s really important to make sure you pre-drill and hit a stud with these so that you don’t rip your drywall down over time.

It’s also really important that you hang your shower curtains so that there is an inch or two pooled on the ground.  This keeps the liners from blowing around and keeps the paint thoroughly contained in the space.

eye hooks to hold galvanized steel bar

If you don’t have large eye hooks, or have run out (like I did), then you can easily make braces by drilling 1″ holes into squares of scrap wood.  I drilled pocket holes – one on the top of one side and one on the bottom of the other – so they could be attached to the walls.

Again, it’s very important to hit studs when attaching, or use wall anchors to protect your drywall.

scrap wood as pipe brace

Hang your shower curtain liners and make sure there is a small amount of overlap between.

shower curtain on steel pipe

Because I used a corner of my garage, I had another wall/framing that I could attach the second side of my DIY collapsible paint booth to.  If you don’t have a second wall that you can use, skip to the next step.

Now comes the part that racked my brain for a few days…  how can I make a third arm for my DIY COLLAPSIBLE paint booth?

I could make a free-standing wall that could be lifted into place and then put back away afterwards – but that would take up valuable workshop real estate to store.  

We considered hanging the pipe from the ceiling with rope, but we had the garage door opener to work around and I would have lost square footage by working inside that frame.

Chris mentioned that it would be awesome “if it could be hinged somehow” and that was an idea I just couldn’t let go of.

But how to make it happen?

A 6′ length of ¾” galvanized steel isn’t overly heavy, but it would still sag if hung out into the room on an arm.

You know me, once I get a bee in my bonnet, I can’t let it go until I’ve exhausted it… and you never know until you try right?

We attached a 2″x6″ board to the wall, making sure it was securely attached to studs, just under the bracket for the wall section.  We attached the heavy duty strap hinge as close to the upper bracket as possible and then attached a 12″ section of 2″x4″ to the other half of the hinge.

This is what it looked like extended to 90°

gate hinge attached to 2x6

 

On the back side of the 2″x4″, we attached pipe straps to hold the pipe in place.  The pipe straps were in my “stash”, and it just happened to turn out that they were slightly too big for the pipe.  This worked out in my favour because it allowed a bit of space between the pipe and the wood so that my shower curtain rings could be tucked in behind the pipe.

DIY collapsible paint booth, DIY paint tent

This is my DIY collapsible paint booth collapsed:

DIY collapsible paint booth, DIY paint tent

And this is it open!

DIY collapsible paint booth, DIY paint tent

The arm folds open and I can just slide the shower liner to the end of the pipe!

DIY collapsible paint booth, DIY paint tent

That is 72 square feet of painting space and all I have to do is put a drop cloth down before bringing my project in!

I was able to fit a dresser, tallboy and two nightstands in for spraying.

DIY collapsible paint booth, DIY paint tent

The shower curtains are easily moved to one side when not in use so that I don’t get any moisture accumulation on the drywall (and so that I can access my garden tools to the left).

When my DIY collapsible paint booth isn’t in use, I just fold the arm back against the wall and roll my cabinet and ladder back in front!

DIY collapsible paint booth, DIY paint tent

It did cost me a bit more than I’d hoped to spend – my goal was to use up materials I had on hand and not purchase too much.

  • 4 clear curtain liners x $9 US/ea
  • 4 galvanized steel pipe at 6′ long x $8.50 US/ea
  • heavy duty strap hinge x $6 US
  • TOTAL:  $76 US

Not much more expensive than the large spray tents you buy online.  However, those are 1/3 the size of this DIY collapsible spray booth, and are tedious to put up and take down.

That’s a pretty great deal!!