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If you’re doing some serious spray painting, it’s good to do it inside some sort of booth to contain the overspray. Spray painter and Make: Projects user Randy Hawkins had been using a box with a cookie sheet over a trash can to paint, but “it did not do well containing overspray,” he notes.

So when he bought a new dishwasher, he converted the old one into a nifty spray paint booth complete with lighting and a turntable. He didn’t install a ventilation system, since he exclusively uses nontoxic paint, but you could easily put one in if you’re using the toxic kind.

Check out the build page on Make: Projects!


Laura Cochrane

I’m an editor at MAKE and CRAFT. I like hiking, biking, and etymology.



  1. Jeff M says:

    That is not a paint booth. What you have there is a box with a light in it. When you finally spray paint in there, it is just going to blow out in your face. Ventilation is a necessity! at least hook your shop vac up to it. The bottom of a dishwasher tub has a nice hole where the motor comes out that will be a great place to put the vac hook up. Good start, but it is not a paint booth yet.

    1. Simon Jansen says:

      I tend to agree. For that kind of thing I just use a big cardboard box. It’s not a booth, just something to catch the overspray. For painting larger things (car chassis for example) I have run lines under the roof rafters about 1m out from the walls of my garage. I then hang up those think plastic drop cloths using the lines as if they were washing lines using cloths pegs. Then I have a large space to paint in without worrying about overspray going everywhere. Proper masking is essential though. A full on vapour mask. A dust mask won’t cut it. When you’re done you can pull down the sheets and throw them out or carefully fold them up to reuse next time.


  2. Dennis says:

    With the heating elements, you may even be able to do powder coating.

  3. joe says:

    hooking a shop vac to this could be dangerous. For instance, if someone is painting with flammable paint, it could explode in the shop vac as the motors in shop vacs are not sealed and have sparks within them. You have to use a sealed motorized fan when extracting fumes of any sort to prevent possible explosions due to fumes.

  4. Alan Dove says:

    Why not just use the box the new dishwasher came in?

  5. raster says:

    My current large spray booth is a cardboard box (about the size of a dishwasher) with a box fan attached to the back side (I just cut a hole and taped the fan in place) with a cheap furnace filter in front of the fan. The filters are about $2 and I replace them when they get really covered in paint. It does a decent job of pulling the fumes (and paint) away from me when I use it.

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