Powder Paint & Wet Spraybooths - are they compatible?



We hear a lot of conflicting advice being given as to whether you can use powder paint with a wet spray booth. Some people say that you should never use powder paint with water, others say that wet booths should not be used with any type of paint and others that you shouldn't use dry filters with powder paint. Confused?


As manufacturers of both chemical additives for wet spray booths and filters for dry spray booths we will give honest & impartial advice to our customers. So, is a wet spray booth okay to use with powder paints? Of course you can use powder paints with a wet spray booth and there is no reason why doing so can't be very successful.


If you use very large volumes of powder paint then you will probably have a powder recovery system which is particularly good when very large volumes of a single colour are used or when large runs are done before a colour change. If you aren't at this stage (and let's be honest, most companies aren't) then a wet spray booth can be a very good choice as they will give better air filtration than a dry booth using cardboard or fibre filters and, if looked after, will generally give a cleaner and less dusty working environment. It is for this reason that if you are trying to decide between having a wet or a dry spray booth then we would always recommend having a wet booth.


Whether you decide upon a dry booth or a wet booth there is one thing that you must do and that is clean it. With a dry booth this involves changing the booth filters, sweeping the floor and walls and fitting new filters. This can be time consuming and is definitely dusty work. With a wet spray booth you should also do a little housework but this will be repaid with a booth that runs well and is clean. If you are using only powder paint or maybe use a little wet paint but only up to 10% or so of the total paint used then we recommend adding PROCO to the booth water. This contains a biocide which will kill bacteria within the water so keeping smells to an absolute minimum but also keeping the water in a much healthier state. In addition to this, Proco will keep the paint soft and will help to stop it sticking within your system so pipes, nozzles and the pump will not be continuously coated with paint which can eventually cause blockages. What it can't do is make the powder disappear or make it dissolve into the booth water. If you have someone telling you that a product will do exactly that then they are not telling you the truth. You can't make powder just disappear. The powder will collect on the bottom of the booth as it is just too heavy to float. Using Proco together with PROFLO+ will allow you to float the wet paint and the pigment of the powder, when required, so that it can be skimmed from the water surface but the powder will always sink. It is for this reason that if your paint use is mainly powder then just using Proco is an option and all you will have to do add the product and then on a weekly basis gently skim the powder from the bottom of the tank. This need only take 10 minutes each time so is a very little input for a lot of return.


There are two other options when it comes to treating your booth water; the first is to just add PROBIO to the water which is a biocide. This should be the minimum that you add to booth water so if you don't want to go with the other options then just adding a biocide is far better than adding nothing to your booth. Then would come the Proco option which has been outlined above and finally the option of adding Proco & Proflo+ which allows for the removal of all wet paint and pigment which, if done properly, will leave you with clear booth water. This is always the best option but will require a little more input however this is more than repaid by having such a clean booth.


So, you can see that there is not a problem using powder paints with a wet spray booth. The booth will offer better air filtration than a dry booth and can be kept clean with minimal input from the operators. But beware people offering you magic products, if it sounds too good to be true then it is too good to be true. With powder paint you will always have to remove the powder as it will not float nor will it disappear. There is no need to let the powder build up within the tank until you have to pay many hundreds of pounds to have the booth pumped out. Our additives will allow you to keep the booth clear with only a small amount of input.


If you would like any further information on our water treatment or spray booth filters then please contact us.