Sunday, March 23, 2014

That paint's (a) gross

I've been working on a bunch of different things lately.  I haven't been too enthusiastic about starting another round of painting miniatures so I have been working on a number of organizational things.  I am trying to get better stocked with things I need and be more efficient when I do paint.

One of things that is not particularly organized are my paints.  In fact, I've had box of perfectly good Reaper paints that have been sitting in a box since I moved over a year ago.  I keep adding to my Vallejo paint and the rudimentary system I have for it all has reached maximum capacity.  I have been using a very simple stepped setup that is made from scrap blocks and plywood.

It all sits on the desktop and invariably gets bumped sending things tumbling.  It also takes up surface area which I don't like and gets in the way of dusting and cleaning.

There are all kinds of nice paint racks out in the market but I just could not find one that suited me perfectly.  I really like the racks from Back 2 Base-ix but I could never bring myself to buy any.

They seemed a might expensive and the shipping cost was large.  Ironically I see they just had a 50% sale on their MDF racks which may have changed things for me.  I think paying less than 50 cents per unit of capacity is necessary to justify buying something.  I also like the spinning lazy susan type racks as well.

This one can be had from TheWarStore.

There are also the clear nail polish racks that look they would work well.

None of these felt right for my space for differing reasons.  The Back 2 Base-ix stuff was too pricey, the spinning rack is ugly white plastic, and the nail polish racks were too tall to fit at my desk.

I even went to two of the laser MDF companies and requested a custom rack.  They both expressed interest; one even sent me a picture of a prototype but in the end neither of them bothered to follow through with anything after I had given them feedback on their designs.  That was rather irritating.  It's very unprofessional to give no response and ignore requests.  Saying "We can't do it." is perfectly acceptable and I don't understand why people lack the courage to say it.

After all that pondering, I decided I'd take care of this myself and build my own.  My paints are pushing 100 so I wanted to build something with that much capacity at a minimum.  I also wanted something to compliment the woodwork in my hobby room.  That was an important feature in keeping things harmonious with the family (read: wife).  I'm afforded a great space to do as I see fit but, I still have to share it.

After picking up supplies from The Home Despot I began.  1/4" sanded plywood for the backs, 1/4" x 1-1/2" oak hobby boards for the racks.

I measured out the holes for the paints and drilled them out carefully.

A 1" Forstner bit was used to drill the holes.  They are superior to a paddle bit or hole saw.  A regular 1" bit would be insanely expensive and would probably not even produce as clean a hole as the forstner does.

Having cut all of them out and giving them a quick sanding it was now time for some basic woodworking to assembly the pieces together.

Glued and pin nailed to the 1/4" plywood backing it all went together easy enough.

Three racks each holding 48 bottles for a grand total of a gross of paint.  I go on to apply a light wood stain to them making them blend with the woodwork in the game room.  I went from this hokey setup,

to this,

Which takes this mess of paints,

 and turns it into this.

Happy painting hobbyists!  Cheers!  If you like what you are seeing be sure to keep following my meanderings on MoveShootAssault.


  1. Great work - I like the design concept and it's very well executed. I also prefer Forstner bit. All I accomplish with hole saws is rip up the wood!

  2. That's extremely impressive, and I would love to emulate one for myself. Any chance we could get the dimensions you used? I'm not much of a wood-worker, and it would probably save me a great deal of aggravation and re-dos. Thanks!

  3. The basic dimension is 15-3/4 x 17-3/4. The trick is to get the holes evenly spaced out. I layed everything out in pencil before drill and laid out lines on the back side so I knew where to nail it together.

  4. Excellent stuff, will be copying this shamelessly, one option for getting the holes right would be a template i suppose?

    I also envy the clean look of your hobby area, maybe my garage will look like that someday :)