Should I Invest in a Prep Station?

 Prep Station Information  Comments Off on Should I Invest in a Prep Station?
Feb 252013

You’ve probably heard that prep stations are essential.  Of course those comments invariably come from  individuals already using a prep station (or those individuals looking to sell a prep station).  So how do you objectively determine if a prep station is right for you?

The single most important consideration is how busy are you?  If your main paint booth is backed-up, then a prep station is an investment well worth making.  Prep stations allow for small paint jobs to be done outside of your main paint booth, freeing-up your main paint booth for those larger, more profitable projects.  Additionally, a prep station also provides an environment where sanding and other similar activities can be undertaken such that the resulting particles are filtered out of the shop environment.  End result — you’re trapping those paint / finish damaging particles before they are let loose into the work environment.  And a cleaner work environment lessens costly rework.  Nothing is more costly than tying up your main paint booth with non value-creating activities like rework.

For those concerned with cost, a wall-unit prep station is ideal.  Air is moved by a powerful fan through through first stage filters positioned in the front  and lower forward sections of the prep station.  A second set of filters is then placed after the first set of filters to prevent particles from reaching the mechanical  components (i.e., the fan).  This second set of filters is critical to extend the life of the fan as well as reduce time-consuming maintenance / cleaning.

While a basic wall-unit prep station is good, for a modest additional investment a prep station can add an overhead devise known as a plenum — almost creating an open down draft paint booth.  The plenum directs air from above through ceiling filters down into the work area.  Venting can occur either at one end of the prep station (semi downdraft configuration) or through a pit in the floor (downdraft configuration).  Ideally, the source of air should be from outside the work environment to lessen contamination, but at a minimum, the air should be prefiltered prior to passing through the plenum.

Regardless of the prep station design chosen, we here at recommend the addition of floor to ceiling curtains.  Curtains ensure the sanding and/or paint overspray remains in a confined area.  Moreover, where painting is involved, curtains help comply with certain regulation that require painting activities to be conducted in an enclosed area.

A prep station is frequently a worthwhile investment, but each individual owner / operator must consider their specific needs before making the investment.

 Posted by at 4:47 PM
Sep 112012

The use of waterborne paints was mandated in Europe and Canada nearly two decades ago.  In the early 1990s, California became the first US state to enact legislation to limit the amount of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and other potentially hazardous materials from paint, forcing California businesses to adopt the use of waterborne paint.  As more and more US states adopt regulations similar to California, paint manufacturers have worked to improvement their waterborne products along with end-user training and support.  These factors are contributing to the accelerating adoption rate of waterborne paints by the collision repair industry.  Moreover, as paint manufacturer promote waterborne paint, the cost of also supporting solvent based paints will become prohibitive, leading other industries, such as woodworking, to also begin using waterborne-based paint products.

Waterborne paint can be quickly contaminated with oil, water and small dirt particles, necessitating a review of the shop equipment and shop environment.  Over and over, the single most important factor when using waterborne paint is air quality and air movement.  Why?  Because when waterborne paint dries, a layer of water vapor / humidity occurs just above the refinished surface.  Air flowing across the painted surface will break-up this vaporous layer both increasing the time to cure as well as improving the overall quality of the finish.

Air quality and air movement can be improved in several ways:

  1. The use of handheld blowers and other drying systems.
  2. Inspecting piping and traps to eliminate the potential for oil in the compressed air system.
  3. Installing refrigerated drying units to prevent water condensation which carries dirt particles.
  4. Implementing a routine equipment maintenance / cleaning schedule.
  5. Use of a multi-stage filter system.

At we offer a range of pre-filters and final filters to create the perfect multi-stage filtration system when using and/or converting to waterborne paints.  All of our filters are designed and manufactured to the highest of quality standards and have been used for years in waterborne paint environments.

So when you think waterborne paint, think filters and when you think filters, think

 Posted by at 11:48 AM

FAQs in the Waterborne Conversion Process

 Paint Related  Comments Off on FAQs in the Waterborne Conversion Process
Sep 102012

Volatile organic compounds (VOC) in paint have been recognized as bad for the environment; consequently, there is a movement to reduce VOCs and this will affect practically everyone who paints – waterborne.

The move to less toxic, water-based finishes is already well under way.  Waterborne paints are currently in extensive use in Europe and Canada, and many OEMs now use water-based paints.  A number of states around the country have enacted regulations that are gradually forcing shops to lower VOC emissions.

The consensus is that the transition to water­ borne finish products may not be as difficult or as costly as some first supposed.  Below are answers to several of the most asked questions regarding the conversion to waterborne.

Am I faced with a large equipment investment by switching to water?

Not necessarily.  You can switch to waterborne with no equipment changes and still get good performance.  However, to truly enjoy the production benefits that water can provide, we recommend investigating air movement equipment, especially in humid climates.  You should also consider a waterborne spray gun, a new waterborne gun washer, and perhaps an air filtration system if your current one is not performing well.

Will I need a “special” spray gun?

Spray gun manufacturers have been working diligently to offer painters a gun that not only atomizes waterborne paint properly, but also has internal parts that will not degrade or rust.  The spray gun you use now may work as is, or you may have to buy the appropriate needle/nozzle/air cap setup, or you may want to buy a new gun.

We strongly suggest using separate spray guns for waterborne coatings in order to avoid contamination and material clotting.  If water and solvent borne base coats are used in the same spray equipment this could cause equipment damage, contamination, and costly redoes.

In addition to the waterborne spray guns, we recommend the use of a disposable cup system.  Disposable cups make paint clean up easy and cost effective.  It also expedites color change, reduces time and material clean up and is safe from outside contamination.

What about my air supply? Will I need to make changes?

The use of waterborne basecoats definitely requires new air treatment tools.  When spraying waterborne paint it is required that the air is free of oil vapor and dirt.  Even the slightest amount of contamination can cause coating imperfections.  It is highly suggested that your shop is properly piped and has an adequate air filtration system.  Check compressor ratings to ensure it can meet the air supply demands of the equipment used in a shop – including dryers, filters, and spray guns.

How will the regional climate impact waterborne? What if I work in an area with large temperature changes and/or high humidity?

When working with water-based products it is extremely important to pay attention to proper climate control, especially in locations that have cold winters or exceptionally hot summers.

Two key components involved in working with waterborne paints are temperature and humidity.  Neither of these factors should be taken lightly.  Low temperatures can cause your product to freeze.  The optimal temperature that you should store your waterborne paints should be above 35° F.  If the temperature falls lower you could risk damaging your entire supply.  If your paint has experienced a shift in its color or if it has started to gel, then you are going to need to re-evaluate how you’re storing it.

Humidity plays a huge part in how quickly paint dries.  If there is too little humidity, then the paint will dry too quickly causing you to lose some of your luster.  Too high and some moisture will get caught beneath the clear coating, which will eventually cause “popping” and “blushing.”

Will I need to change my prepping and paint mixing areas?

The answer to this question is simply, “How sound are your existing principals?” If you were very focused on maintaining a clean operating environment, then any changes will be minimal.  If instead, you were a bit lax, then the adoption of waterborne paints will require changes.

Simply tips include (i) washing the vehicle thoroughly before work begins, (ii) keeping the floors and surrounding areas clean and dust-free, (iii) changing paint booth filters regularly, (iv) disposing of all used rags and other waste immediately, (v) not storing jackets, shirts, or other sources of fibers in the mix room, (vi) keeping paint canisters sealed and stored properly, and (vii) ensuring that the airflow system is working at all times.  Best practices call for developing a daily cleaning.

Will I need to use waterborne undercoats and clearcoats?

No.  Waterborne basecoat performs best when used with solvent-borne urethane undercoats and clears.

Are all waterborne basecoat products are the same?

All waterborne systems vary from each paint manufacturing company.  A huge factor is the shelf life and the stability of the product.  Blendability and tape times can differ as can the ability of temperature to affect the product.  All waterborne systems are made up of acrylic and polyester resins, with each paint manufacturer using different proportions and different combinations of the two.

 Posted by at 10:11 AM

DS-560 — The Premier Down Draft Ceiling Diffusion Media

 Down Draft Booth Information  Comments Off on DS-560 — The Premier Down Draft Ceiling Diffusion Media
Sep 062012’s DS-560 media is the ultimate product for paint spray booth final filtration.  It is a filter developed specifically to protect painted surfaces utilizing the most advanced technology in the filtration industry.

The DS-560 is a product which can be used in almost every application in the industrial painting industry.  The DS-560 is designed to be the final filtration level for Footnote booth air as it passes through to the painting chamber.  With modern painting techniques and clear-coat finishes, even the smallest of dirt particles can ruin a paint finish.  Particles of 10 microns or larger result in paint defects visible to the naked eye, so it is critical that the last barrier between your airflow and the painted service be designed to eliminate these paint damaging particles.  In addition to its filtration properties, the DS-560 serves as a diffusion filter to evenly spread air flow over the entire booth.’s DS-560 media is produced from a combination of materials that provide the finest in air filtration media available in the finishing industry.  The media is formed from a progressively structured synthetic fleece.  Each fiber is coated with a technologically advanced adhesive, which causes the retention of dirt particles.  The media is progressively denser from the air entering to the air exiting side to allow for maximum depth loading.  The air leaving side is treated with a reinforced scrim net backing that not only creates rigidity but also serves as a final protective barrier.  It is this barrier that also ensures any loose or broken fibers within the filter do not migrate into the paint chamber.

Contact us for a sample piece of this leading filter media and compare to what you are currently using.  We are confident we meet or exceed your current down draft filter construction.

 Posted by at 9:44 AM

Which Way do the Filters go?

 1) General Information  Comments Off on Which Way do the Filters go?
Mar 082012

Yes. To function properly, each filter much be installed in relationship to air flow.

  • Paint arrestors should have the colored side facing up into the painting chamber with the “skin backing” acting as the final filtration barrier before air exits the painting chamber. Paint overspray must enter the open “weave” first and exit through the tighter “weave” last. This ensures proper depth loading, meaning paint overspray particles building up in the filter from bottom to top thereby extending the filter’s life.
  • Cross draft panel filters should have the tacky side facing inside the spray booth, or in other words, the air should enter though the no-stick side and exit through the sticky or “tacky” side into the painting chamber.
  • Down draft ceiling filters should have the smooth backing or “mesh scrim” facing inside the spray booth, or in other words, the air should enter the more open, woven side and exit through the “mesh scrim” into the painting chamber. The smooth backing is designed to prevent filter fibers from breaking off and entering your spray booth.
  • Prefilters in panel and pad form should have the tacky side facing inside the spray booth, or in other words, the air should enter though the no-stick side and exit through the sticky or “tacky” side into the painting chamber. If no tackifier is applied to the prefilter, the more open “weave” should be on the air entering side with the tighter “weave on the air exiting side.
  • Prefilters in pocket or bag form and exhaust / extraction filters should have the air enter into the pocket or bag configuration.
 Posted by at 4:27 PM

Why Use a Manometer?

 1) General Information  Comments Off on Why Use a Manometer?
Mar 062012

A manometer is a device used to measure pressure.  There are a variety of manometer designs.  A simple, common design is to seal a length of glass tubing and bend the glass tube into a U-shape.

When positive pressure is applied to one leg of the tube, the liquid is forced down that leg and up the other.  The difference in height (“h”), which is the sum of the readings above and below zero, indicates the amount of pressure.  On the other hand, when a vacuum is applied to one leg, the liquid rises in that leg and falls in the other.  Similarly, the difference in height (“h”), which is the sum of the readings above and below zero, indicates the amount of vacuum.

So why is a manometer helpful in a paint spray booth environment?  Air flow is created when there is a difference between pressures.  Air will move from a region of high pressure to a region of low pressure – the bigger the pressure difference, the faster the air will flow.  Consequently, a manometer by measuring pressure, measures the speed of air moving through a paint spray booth.

Constant, uniform air flow in a spray booth is critical to ensuring a high quality paint finish.  All filters will, by their nature, create some level of resistance to air flow.  However, as new filters do their job, they get clogged and slowly begin to impede air flow.  To some extent, input air speed can be increased so as to maintain the original output air speed; however, this cannot go on forever.  Energy input costs will increase and mechanical issues may come about.  So the solution is to change your filters.  A manometer, therefore, is the most accurate gauge a paint spray booth operator can use to determine when a filter change-out is required.


How Is a Manometer Installed?

 Mount the manometer within 3 ft. of the filter bank.  Install tubing adapters on each side of the filter bank.  Run tubing from upstream side of the air flow (i.e., air that enters the filter bank) to the positive pressure side of gauge.  Run tubing that is on the downstream side of the air flow (i.e., air that exits the filter bank) to the low pressure side of gauge.  If necessary, remove the fill plug and fill the gauge with proper fluid until such fluid reaches zero on the scale.  Minor adjustments can be made to adjust zero by adjusting zero knob. Replace fill plug.  See “How is a Manometer Calibrated and Used?”



How is a Manometer Calibrated and Used?

  1. Replace all filters in the paint spray booth, making sure there are no gaps between the filters and the holding frames.
  2. Read the manometer while the blower is turned off.  It should read zero; if not, recalibrate to zero by turning fluid adjust knob.
  3. Close the doors of the spray booth and start the fans / blower.
  4. Wait until the level in the manometer stabilizes and mark this “starting” level.
  5. As a general rule, most filters should be replaced when the manometer level is 1” above the starting level (manometer measure pressure in inches).  Place a mark exactly 1″ higher than the starting mark. So if the starting mark is at 0.25″ place the final mark at 1.25″

If you have a velocity meter, measure the air flow inside the booth when the blower is turned on and the filters are band new (i.e. at the starting mark).  You should refer to the appropriate regulations to determine your appropriate air flow velocity (most suggest air flow of at least 100 feet per minute).

 Posted by at 2:04 PM
Dec 022011

Since our founding in July 2010, has quickly grown to become one of the Internet’s leading sources for paint spray booth filters.

So as a thank you, wanted to pass along a year-end discount of 10% off any purchase you make at now through December 31, 2011.  Simply enter “Special2011” into the “Redeem a Discount Coupon” section of the shopping chart as you are checking out.

Our leadership in the on-line market is driven by a combination of high quality products delivered to your door at the most competitive “all in” price.

Why do we stress “all in” price?  Our customers look at the total bottom-of-the-invoice cost for each and every purchase.  Knowing this, we focus not only on product price but also shipping rates.  Our growth these past few months has enabled us to enter into various volume rebate programs with our shipping partners.  As such, we have reduced the weight factor on over 85% of the products, resulting in substantial bottom-of-the-invoice savings.  With confidence we can say, shop and compare other sources, but remember to bookmark our home page because will deliver the best “all in” price!


And in addition to the 10% discount, beginning today through December 31, 2011, is offering free shipping on all ZR-1 and Series 65 intake panel filters as well as free shipping for our most popular EPA Compliant Regular Density (15 Gram) and Extra Density (22 Gram) fiberglass paint arrestor pads (20″ x 20″ and 20″ x 25″).


At, we work hard to make your business as successful as possible!

 Posted by at 6:22 AM
Sep 022011

Hurricane Irene dumped a lot of water on us; but no flooding in the plant. We did not lose a step, and are shipping our spray booth filters daily, as usual.

We sincerely hope that all our customers got safely through the hurricane with no ill effects.

 Posted by at 6:22 AM