What Is a Cross Flow Paint Booth?

Crossflow, Downdraft and Semi-Downdraft spray booths: pros and cons of each type

When it comes to painting a car, a plane or any other large object, a spray booth is essential to ensure a high-quality finish. However, there are different types of spray booths, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The three main types of spray booths are crossflow, down-flow and semi-vertical flow. In this article we will take a closer look at each type and the characteristics that make them unique.

Cross-flow spray booths

The cross-flow spray booth is the simplest type of spray booth. It is equipped with a rear suction filter box, then on the bottom of the cabin, which sucks air from the filtering doors thanks to an extraction fan and directs it along the entire length of the cabin.

The air is then expelled through the filters at the opposite end of the cabin. This design creates an airflow that moves horizontally on the vehicle/or piece to be painted. Crossflow spray booths are generally the most cost-effective option (they do not require civil engineering), but they have some disadvantages. Since air does not flow directly to the vehicle, the over spray could settle on the newly painted surface, causing imperfections in the finish.

Downdraft spray booths

A downdraft spray booth is a step up from the crossflow booth. It provides excellent removal of paint over-sprays from the work area and minimizes the risk of cross-contamination between workpieces. It is suitable for applications that require a clean environment and high-quality standards, such as the automotive and aerospace industries. Such a cabin is equipped with an air inlet engine and an extraction motor. The air inlet motor conveys the filtered and possibly heated air into the circuit to the cabin plenum. The extraction motor helps the airflow going through the floor filters and then outwards.

This creates a flow of air that descends on the vehicle or element to be painted and then exits through the floor filters. The down draft design ensures that the over spray is sucked down and away from the freshly painted surface, obtaining a smooth and uniform finish that is always smooth. Downdraft booths are typically more expensive than crossflow ones, but are the preferred choice for high-end paint jobs.

Semi-Downdraft Spray Booths

As the name suggests, a draft or semi-vertical Semi-Down paint booth combines the features of both models, crossflow and vertical flow. It is equipped with a ventilation and exhaust system that passes from the ceiling filters of the plenum with reduced section and directs, first vertically and then at a slight angle towards the filters of the suction box.

This creates a flow of air that moves diagonally over the vehicle to be painted before being pulled down and ejected through the rear filters. Semi-down draft cabins offer a trade-off between the cost-effectiveness of crossflow cabins and the high-quality finish of down draft cabins.

Which type of spray booth is best for you?

The choice of the right type of paint booth depends on several factors, including the available budget, the type of work to be done, and the size of the objects to be painted. Cross flow booths are more suitable for small-scale activities with a limited budget or for painting small planes or jets, while downdraft booths are ideal for high-end body shops and other professional applications. Semi-downdraft booths offer a good compromise between cost and performance and are suitable for a wide range of applications, including wood painting.


In conclusion, when it comes to choosing a paint booth, it is important to consider your specific needs and budget. Additionally, there may be specific regulations and standards for certain industrial sectors that influence the choice of ventilation flow. Cross flow, downdraft, and semi-downdraft paint booths each have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to carefully evaluate the options before planning the investment.

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