How to Build a Darkroom in Your Garage

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Last Updated on October 5, 2022

If you’re a photography enthusiast, you may be wondering how to build a darkroom in your garage. A darkroom is a space where you can develop and print film or digital photographs. It’s important to have a darkroom that is free from dust and other contaminants, and has good ventilation.

  • Choose a location in your garage for your darkroom
  • This should be an area where you can control the light and where you have access to running water
  • Hang a black out curtain or drape over the door to the darkroom to keep light from entering
  • Set up a red safe light in the darkroom so you can see what you are doing without ruining your film or prints
  • Install a sink in the darkroom so you can develop film and make prints
  • You will need to connect the sink to a water source and install drainage for it as well
  • Stock your darkroom with supplies such as film, paper, chemicals, and trays

How Much Space Do You Need to Build a Darkroom in Your Garage

Assuming you would like to build a darkroom in your garage large enough for one person to comfortably use, you will need at least 50 square feet of space. This is because you will need room for: -A sink: Most people use a utility sink, which are typically around 24” x 24”, but you could also get a larger one if desired.

You will also need plumbing hookups for this sink. -A developing tank and reels: These can vary in size, but most developing tanks are around 10” x 14”. You will also need space to hang your film to dry.

-Storage for chemicals and paper: Chemicals can be stored in cabinets or on shelves. Paper should be stored flat to avoid warping. -An enlarger: Enlargers come in various sizes, but most are around 12” x 18”x 36” high.

You will also need a sturdy table to put the enlarger on. -A safe light: A safe light is used to see what you are doing while working in the darkroom without ruining your film or paper. They are typically red lights so as not disturb your vision while working in the dark.

Of course, these are just the basics of what you would need in order to build a functioning darkroom.

What Type of Ventilation Do You Need for a Darkroom

In a darkroom, you need ventilation to remove the fumes from the chemicals used in developing film and printing photographs. Good ventilation also helps to keep the temperature and humidity at optimal levels. There are several ways to ventilate a darkroom, including using an exhaust fan, opening windows, or using a combination of both.

An exhaust fan is the most effective way to remove fumes from a darkroom. The fan should be located near the floor so that it can pull the fumes down and out of the room. If possible, open windows in the darkroom to help circulate fresh air.

Be sure to close them when you are finished working so that light does not enter the room and ruin your work. A combination of an exhaust fan and open windows is often the most effective way to ventilate a darkroom. This will ensure that both fumes and excess heat are removed from the room.

What Type of Lighting is Best for a Darkroom

If you’re looking to set up a darkroom, you’ll need to choose the right lighting. Here’s a breakdown of the different types of lighting and what they’re best for: Natural light: This is the cheapest and most readily available type of lighting, but it’s also the least consistent.

If you’re going to use natural light, make sure your darkroom is in a north-facing room with little or no direct sunlight. Fluorescent light: Fluorescent lights are bright and energy-efficient, making them a good option for darkrooms. However, they can produce a flickering effect that can be distracting when working.

Incandescent light: Incandescent lights are brighter than fluorescent lights and don’t flicker, but they generate more heat and use more energy. LED light: LED lights are becoming increasingly popular as they offer all the benefits of fluorescent lights without the flickering effect. They’re also very energy-efficient.

What Type of Equipment Do You Need to Build a Darkroom in Your Garage

A darkroom is a room that is completely dark, or nearly so. This allows you to process film and photographic paper without the need for special safelights. You can build a darkroom in your garage by following these simple steps:

1. Choose a room with little or no natural light. A windowless interior room or closet works best. 2. Cover all windows with heavy black-out curtains or blinds.

If there are cracks around doors or other openings, seal them off with duct tape to keep out any stray light. 3. Hang a red safelight inside the room (this can be purchased at most camera stores). The safelight should be placed at least 4 feet away from any work surface to avoid damaging your photosensitive materials.

4. Set up your processing equipment inside the darkroom. This includes things like sinks, trays, enlargers, and drying racks. Make sure everything is securely fastened to avoid spills and accidents in the low light conditions.

With these simple steps, you can turn any space in your home into a professional-grade darkroom!

I Built An Office In My Garage (and still have room to park our van)!


If you’re a photography enthusiast, you probably know that having a darkroom is essential for developing your own film. But what if you don’t have the space for a dedicated room? You can easily build a darkroom in your garage!

First, you’ll need to make sure your garage is light-tight. You can do this by painting the walls and ceiling black, or by hanging blackout curtains. Once your garage is dark, you’ll need to set up some basic equipment.

A sink and countertop are essential for washing and drying film. You’ll also need a safe light so you can see what you’re doing without ruining your film. Finally, you’ll need some shelves to store all of your supplies.

With just a few simple tools and materials, you can easily build yourself a functional darkroom in your garage!

Olivia Bouler

From a young age, camera's fascinated me. My dad gave me my first Canon when I was seven, and since then I've tried to improve my craft. As a young Ornithologist and photographer, I travel a lot and love to bring a camera with me. I love the feeling of capturing a moment that can never be repeated and providing someone with a memento of a time or place.