View Full Version : Artist's Air purifier? Worth it?

Claudia in Alaska
02-20-2014, 06:20 AM
I'm gonna build an extension to my cabin and one room will be an art studio.

I'd love to invest in a decent air purifier for pastel and oil. The fanciest one out there seems to be this one:


for those of you who have this one, is it really worth the $$? Are there any alternatives that perform as well? Can it effectively filter out oil media fumes?

Thanks for your input!

02-20-2014, 10:45 AM
Whether it's overpriced for what it is I don't know, but it seems to me since you are building this addition to your cabin you could build in some kind of ventilation system for a lot less money.


Claudia in Alaska
02-20-2014, 04:41 PM
but that's what I don't know about: what type of ventilation system would one build in? Can anyone tell me more about that?

J Miller
02-20-2014, 05:32 PM
It looks interesting, but expensive to me. Since you're already adding on the room, I'd just build a box out of wood for under the easel and attach a dryer hose. Then you can run it through the wall to the outside. You could probably use a bathroom vent fan for the suction. You don't need the filters that way either. $240 for a carbon filter seems very expensive.

I just looked and they want $42 for basically a 10 foot vent hose. Lowes.com has a 25 foot one for $21.77.

02-20-2014, 06:07 PM
For another hobby I have I've actually built a small spray booth, (located in the basement) that ventilates to the outside and I used dryer vent hose to run from the blower to a panel I made to fit in the window and sealed around it, so even if in a finished room there are cheaper alternatives. When I was painting in oils I thought about doing something similar in my studio.

The only reason to have a filter in the case of ventilating to the outside is to keep dust, paint and junk out of the blower. In my case a large furnace filter covers the back of the spray both to keep paint from covering the blower cage.

Using a bathroom fan is not advised because the motor itself is exposed and in the path of the air flow, which means it has the potential to spark any flammable fumes in that airstream, ideally you should use a squirrel cage blower. That said however, when I had a lot less money and didn't know better I used a spray booth with a bathroom fan for years and never ignited the fumes, and I was spraying lacquer paint!. There is another downside to bathroom fans, they are weak, only 100-150 cfm which may or may not be enough depending on how heavy you get with solvents, and it probably wouldn't hardly touch pastel dust. I use a 400+ cfm blower in my spray booth, that would be overkill for a studio though. Keep in mind any of these options are going to make some noise. In your case with the new construction maybe you can mount the blower outside so you won't hear it. The farther the fan or blower is from the inlet the more powerful it will need to be to be effective. I'm sure there are smarter people that can calculate exactly how much you need. Maybe try your HVAC guy.


02-20-2014, 07:26 PM
Water mixable oils? Might that be a healthier alternative? No fumes at all, as the oil in oils is vegetable oil.

Most of the pastel dust particles are too heavy to stay airborne for more than a few seconds. I have a reasonably priced filter thingy with hepa filters, which I use only when doing heavy brushing off. And I have asthma, and paint with pastels with no problems. (I know, it is individual how we react.)

That thingy is rather expensive. To me, it seems like one would have to be highly motivated to purchase one.

02-21-2014, 01:57 AM
I have an Artist's Air and I love it. I do pastel and it takes all of the dust out of the air. As I paint, any dust falls right into the tray and is immediately sucked into the filter system. Since all of our bedrooms are on our second floor, we felt it imperative to keep the air clean. I have since started to use oils as well, and even when I don't use the water miscible oils, I set my Gamsol right on the dust catcher and the fumes are pulled right into the filter system. If you just use pastel you don't need the VOC filter. If you do oil or use encaustics, it is a good idea. Excellent system, although pricey it is well worth it to guard your health.


Claudia in Alaska
02-21-2014, 06:16 AM
thanks all; I will find out about the possibility of building in some sort of fan and ventilator to the outside for air exchange. there's the issue of pastel dust though: I'd like to catch it right near the source, as the artist's air thingy does,and not have it blow around the room.

Lynn - is the Artist's Air difficult to maintain/clean? Does it have a good lifespan? How often do filters have to be replaced? I imagine they clog up with dust really fast...or not?

02-22-2014, 01:32 AM
Claudia, the HEPA filter lasts quite a long time ... I haven't changed mine yet! I should probably check out my filters. The first filter that catches a lot of dust and little pieces of pastel and stuff is in the box that attaches to your easel. That is relatively easy to remove and clean out. That saves on your other filters quite a bit. The folks who make and sell the Artist's Air are really great, so I would definitely give them a call and ask them any questions you might have. That will give you the best information to work with. I do love mine and I would absolutely purchase it again, but I have a husband who supports me. For some people it is just out of reach.