On Wednesday we shared the before & after of our antique store find buffet turned bathroom vanity.

This was a major moment of progress for our bathroom, and though we're not done yet, it went a long way to making our bathroom feel "complete." But in order to check this major step off of our list, it required something that's been in short supply for some time -- space in the basement to paint the doors and drawers.

While I had painted the vanity body in place in the bathroom using our HVLP spray gun, this was before the bathroom was a finished bathroom, so overspray and a cloud of paint dust hanging in the air wasn't a big deal. But now that we've got ourselves real walls, floors, and finishes, my only real option to paint these doors and drawers was in our crowded and hoarder-esque basement.

As you may already know, you really need a dedicated spray booth area for this sort of work. Somewhere that you can spray to your heart's content without the worry of dust and debris falling into your work. Also, somewhere you really don't care will get totally covered in paint. Many people setup a dedicated extra room in the basement, or a portion of the garage or shed for this duty, but in our house, no such space exists. The only thing we have is our complete disaster of a basement.

Well, our basement WAS a disaster, but I've been hard at work over the last several months cleaning up the basement. With the removal of our clawfoot tub (now in its correct location), a ton of trash taken away, the removal of our old hot water tank and partial wall, and a general effort to organize, it now looks halfway respectable. Sure there are still wood piles and doors all over the place, but now we can walk around and not feel like we'll be featured on an intervention show.

The best part of this cleanup effort is we now sort of have an opening large enough to be considered a spray area, but not without some modifications to make it a proper makeshift spray booth.

To create our own DIY spray booth, I went the most simple route I could, using a 25' roll of 4 mil by 10' clear plastic sheeting. Our basement ceiling is about 7' from the floor to the joists, so we had plenty of space available and the 10' plastic would allow adequate drape above and below the sheeting.

I started creating our paint booth in one corner by stapling the first corner up to the underside of the floor joist. I then continued working around in a horseshoe manner, placing key staples where I needed to support the plastic (and watching out for things like the water line and electrical wires. After just about 10 minutes of working, I had myself the beginnings of a DIY spray booth...or Dexter kill room.

I'll tell you one thing for sure, this process really made me appreciate the hard working set designers on Dexter. It must have been a pain to set up those murder scenes week in and week out. Plastic can be a cumbersome and static electricity filled material to work with!

Once I had my booth complete, I cut an additional pieces of plastic to overlap the edges of the end to work as a sort of door to the whole booth.

I also made sure to center one of our basement's fluorescent lights inside of our booth enclosure. I knew I'd need a lot of light while painting, and the last thing I wanted to do is struggle with temporary lighting inside of the booth.

While the staples were enough to hold everything in place temporarily, gravity is the enemy of plastic, and the sheeting would surely tear over time if I left it up with staples alone. To resolve this all I needed to do was use a piece of the countless pieces of scrap lumber in the basement to act as a rail for the edges of the booth.

This allows the weight of the plastic to be more evenly distributed so it doesn't end up ripping on the pressure points of the staples.

Finally, I hung a middle rail on the ceiling and attached several eye hooks that will allow me to hang items for painting.

The doors and two drawer fronts are a perfect example of items that needed to be painted while hanging. I had to paint all sides of the doors and didn't want any of them to be touching the ground while doing it. 

To paint these items I ended up hanging some leftover wire through the eye hooks and attached a hook to the back of the cabinet door, which allowed me to completely suspend the door without touching anything.

Overall this paint booth approach worked really well. Some paint still escaped from the enclosure, but only right at the opening down around the floor (but I think that's my fault for how I overlapped the plastic and how the hose for the sprayer got into the booth.

The best feature of this booth is how I was able to roll the whole thing up for future use. Using a few clamps I just gathered all of the plastic up against the ceiling and then clamped it to the rail board I'd affixed to the ceiling.

Now the basement is once again open and ready for use as a makeshift wood shop. But the spray booth is just a clamp removal or two away from dropping down into place.

I know this isn't really groundbreaking stuff by any means, but it goes to show you how you can use a very tight space in many different ways. If not for our efforts to clean the basement, and to set up this spray booth, we'd still be waiting on a finished vanity. Now, what else does Wendy want me to spray in our basement booth? I'm sure the list will end up somewhat long now that we have this capability.

Comments 6


3/15/2015 at 10:28 PM

How beautiful and what a metamorphosis! Takes talent (Wendy) to look at the original and envision the final product and skill (Alex) to follow through. And of course Mel and Lulu's encouragement;)

3/17/2015 at 11:11 PM

Great advice, especially for those of us who have garages full of materials waiting to be used in projects!

3/18/2015 at 1:52 PM

Love the progress on the basement space. I sent a link over to The Boy - with his little compressor, we have the capacity to get a paint sprayer. And I want one LOL.

3/23/2015 at 4:21 PM

I love the ability to roll it up! What a great idea!

4/17/2015 at 9:26 PM

This type of spray booth was a brilliant idea. Who would have thought you can have a spray area just by using a plastic sheet?

4/24/2018 at 7:00 PM

what about ventilation????

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