Storing Paints

Many modellers have accumulated a large number of paints in various type and sizes as we progress in this hobby. From my own experience, I have more than 100 bottles of paints in just 3 years! Imagine these bottles of paints laying around the workbench. Many modellers that I know, store their paints in several ways, from the shoe box, drawer, toolbox, box etc. I used a few different methods from the shoe box to a tripple tier plastic groceries shelves. The problems that arise using these method, to me, is getting the right paints in a short time. Imagine we have to go through each box and shelf for the right paint. In some urgent cases, this can be annoying and in some cases I injured my finger trying to get the color from the bottom of the pile. So there has to be a better and easy way to store all of our paints!
My father in-law is a carpenter and one day while I was at his workshop looking at his work, I got this idea. So armed with whatever was lying around in his workshop, I began work on my new paint shelf. The result of this shelf is shown in the last photo of this article.

Project Paints Shelf
For the purpose of this article, I made another shelf just for my vallejo paints and some MM paints. Itís very much a simple project and I hope one can easily follow my step-by-step instructions. Before I begin, I design a simple diagram for the shelf dimensions. Itís a simple square 20Ē (H) x 12 ď (W) shelf. I plan to finishe it in less then 2 hours. All thats needed beside the raw materials, are time and a few simple wood working skills. Last Sunday, the wife and children went out for shopping so I got plenty of time alone!

Ok here it goes.
Ingredients!: [ please refer to photo 1]
1. Square wood (any type will do], in this project I used 1Ē x Ĺ ď wood. It can be bought in any size and length in any timber shop. You can also get it cut to size if you ask the shop owner nicely! 2. A piece of plywood (any thickness), but I found that working with a much thinner plywood got the job done easily. I always use 2mm thick plywood, but in this project, I got extra mica sheet from my father in-law's workshop, so I cut it to the designed dimensions. 3. A few pieces of semi-round wood dowel. Get slightly bigger than the wood thickness. I use 1Ē for this project. 4. 2 pieces of picture frame bracket.

Step 1
Cut the wood into the desired lengths. In this project I made 2 lengths of 20Ē long beam and 6 lengths of 12 ď beam. [photo 2]

Step 2
Assemble the beam together. I temporarily attached the pieces together with a stapler. When I got a good fit and the angle is square, start by nailing them together carefully. You can use wood glue for further support (if you make a large shelf). The shelf main frame is finished in this step. [photo 3] You can see the stapler in this photo. I removed that later on.

Step 3
Cut the plywood into desired size. In this project itís 20Ē x 13Ē. And the fix the plywood at the back of the shelf frame. [photo 4]

Step 4.
Cut the semi-round wood dowel into the desired length (13Ē). I made 5 of them. [photo 5]. I know I have to make 6 but thatís the only stock that I have so I decided to leave the top open. Afterthat, fix these along every portion of the shelf just like in the photo 6. Closeup view.[photo 7].

Step 5
I put the metal bracket at the back of the shelf. [photo 8] Thatí it.......Itís done! After taking a 10 minute break, I realized that the weather is hot and sunny. Itís so perfect for my next step. This however, is optional.

Step 6
I applied a few coats of wood shellac to to shelf and now they look outstanding. [photo 9]
Now what I need is a place to hang this shelf. I drilled 2 holes on my hobby room wall and inserted 2 screws.
Now I can hang the shelf and put my vallejo paints and MM paints. Itís so much easy this way. I can easily read the label and I can arrange them in sequence.
This project ended less than 2 hours, but extra hour is needed to let the shellac dry. This is what it looks like on the wall. I have already arranged MM paints and Vallejo. [photo 10]
The best thing is, the total cost for this project is less then $3.
Ok, hereís the first shelf that I built as mentioned in my introduction.[photo 11]. Itís made from the same material and the same way, but in this case I put severals type of paints from Tamiya, Gunze, MM and others. So I put plastic cable cover (the white thing) onto each layer. These cable covers are cut into various width to allow various diameters of different types of paint. The biggest is Tamiya. I use 3 ď width cable cover and cut the other end and fix in to the wood with glue and staplers.

I now have better, in terms of speed and display, acccess to all of my paints.
This is also another quick weekend project that one can do at home. While doing this project, I made the rack specifically for MM and Vallejo paints, but they can also be applied to other paints as well. Itís fun and cheap. Cheers.

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About the Author

About Zaidi MD (Silantra)

From Malaysia with love..........


Once again guys, thanks for the words. I'm glad that many of us happy to see this. i still have a show box of paints...which i will do another rack... Brian, thanks and good luck. Please show us here the finished rack and please beat my 2 hours time. Hehe... unless u're making a bigger rack.. the one that in the photo11 (the big one) took almost 6 hours to complete. This is because i got the wrong type of wood. The reddish wood..it's much harden and hard to saw them. and they break if we put a nail quite close to the edge. Make sure you got the right wood. I dont know what type of wood are there. good luck!!! Mr ejsaunders, you got yourself hell of racks man!!! i love to see them around the workbench. i got quite a big wall and cant wait to see them fill with racks and racks. I just put a book shelf and a cheap display rack for my models Looking at your racks, i must congratulate you as well, for the fine job that you did on the shelves. but i noticed on some rack, the beam is bent. this is because of the type of wood that you used. Is that foam/pressed board??? yeah..they will easily bent. and noticed how sturdy they were for the solid wood that you use. about the door thing, i did have that idea quite sometime now. I have a few acrylics sheet laying around. i thought of puting it as the door and fix by small brass hinges..i already got the miniature hinges, but i dont know when will i start that. Thanks to all of you ...
MAR 04, 2006 - 02:00 PM
just simply a masterpiece!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! reb
MAR 04, 2006 - 04:22 PM
Thanks Silantra. Iím currently building a small modeling room (just very slowly) and this looks like something I could add.
MAR 04, 2006 - 05:36 PM
I like that design a lot Silantra! DOes the half round stock sit even with the edge of the shleves? So that a bottle can be slid forward and off the shelf? Or is it a bit higher,to sort of secure the bottle's base in? I was thinking of adding a piece of the half round stock at the bottom,in back,against the wall.The unit would than be angled a bit back towards the wall,keeping the bottles to the back,rather than free sliding,say if an earthquake rattles the wall.(Or rambunctious kids)'
MAR 04, 2006 - 11:13 PM
Earthquale ... Rhode Island!!! :-) :-) I think the 1/2 rounds are supposed to extgend above the top of the shelf to help secure the paint bottles. This would be pretty universal and could accomodate all paint containers regardless of height. If you angle the shelves back to hold the bottles, you have to make allowances to be sure the bottom of the bottle is in full contact with the shelf and the top edge is touching the rear wall. Otherwise, the side of the bottle will be in full contact with the back wall and only the front edge of the bottle will be in contact with the shelf. This would be a much less stable arrangement than you are aiming for.
MAR 04, 2006 - 11:33 PM
Hey Carl, thanks for the kind words. to answer your question, please take a look at this photo: as you can see, the half round stocks are arrange like that in the photo, so that they will have about half inches allowances, which will act as the barrier, to protect the paints from falling..resulted from a minor vibration. For earthquake, you have to make certain allowances and arrangements, which will result in the sudden increase of the overall cost.
MAR 05, 2006 - 05:45 AM
Hi Silantra Thanks for your kind words about my desk Some of the racks are as you noticed a little out of shape, I have - (minus) woodworking skill, not even 0% so I have to get someone else to cut the stuff for me which is why (since he read my plans wrong) some of the shelves are bendy or out of sorts. And the wood I chose wasn't amazing but it was cheap and it does what I want it to - hold my paint! You should seriously consider making yours to order or see if you can find a woodworking facility that would reproduce your designs (have different widths and # of shelves maybe for more/less paint) and sell them for you for a cut!
MAR 08, 2006 - 01:05 PM
ej, i agree with you...so long as they will hold our paints, then it's OK... me too, doesnt botter much about perfection... ok, many of my friend do suggested me to some sort of commerlised my design... my respond was no... i feel happy enough to share my technique rather than making money out of it. Hey, i'm not a bussinessman and i dont think like them...maybe one day, who know i will give it a try.. for facility, my father in-law own a very good workshop complete with basic machine and stuff... thanks mate.......
MAR 08, 2006 - 01:36 PM
Its seems that ll the pics are missing just the big red X thru them all
MAR 08, 2006 - 09:47 PM
currently the photo server (kitmaker) is under maintanance. All of the photos hosted in kitmaker cant be view until staff jim completed the work.. cheers
MAR 09, 2006 - 06:21 AM