A Place to Paint

My new spray booth and painting desk.

The one thing that really makes a model stand out, and the one thing I’ve never really enjoyed about building models, is painting. While I fully appreciate a nicely finished model, and I’ve dabbled around with all that a bit, it’s never the relaxing sort of experience that a hobby ought to be.

The desk I built.

I’m sure that part of that attitude stems from some deeply rooted psychological issue’s with completeness and finality, but a lot of it is probably also due to a lack of a good work area. Now, at least part of the problem has been taken care of: I finally have a vented spray booth and an easily cleanable surface for mixing paints.

The lower shelf where the air compressor lives.

Not having a lot of space meant that I had to be creative. My solution needed to be compact and mobile. I am fairly certain that there is a point where one’s living area can have too much model railroad paraphernalia in it and that I am, perhaps, not as far from that point as I really ought to be. So, I built a desk on wheels that could be rolled into the storage area behind my apartment. The desk has two levels, the lower one is U-shaped and has a compressor mounted to it. The upper level is around 3 feet wide and a couple feet deep and has a portable spray booth set off to one side, and some wooden drawers on the other with a bit more space for large bottles of various chemicals. Though the desk is fully finished with a couple coats of polyurethane, I nevertheless added a layer of Vyco (a rubbery like material used on drafting boards) to make cleanup easier and protect the wood.

The back of the desk with the adjustable window insert.

I bought one of these spray booths on E-Bay. The window fitting didn’t really work with my window (I think it’s designed for those small windows in subterranean basements) but I remedied that by cutting a piece of 1” solid foam insulation to the size of my window and running the exhaust port through that. When this assembly is fitted into my window frame, fumes get sucked out and my apartment stays warm (or cool).

Now it’s time to do some painting.  First up will be the SU-27 that’s visible in the photo’s, but after that I’ll get to work on the pile of model railroad items that are just waiting for paint to be done.

– Chris

3 Replies to “A Place to Paint”

  1. How effective is your booth for removing fumes? My wife has asthma and is really sensitive to solvents. Thanks.

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