Friday, October 17, 2014

Building a Paint Rack or Paint Shelf -- or whatever you want to call it! -- Here under Chilean Conditions

Hi all,

while unpacking my paints and preparing the first miniatures to be painted after moving continents (and back to Chile), I was all of a sudden like possessed of an idea I already had in the past but never realised: building a paint shelf/rack for my paints!
As you say in German: "Gesagt, getan!" (Said, done), I grabbed a piece of paper and a blunt pencil and started drawing. I imagined a high and narrow rack for the wall-side of my table with enough space to encompass all my paints and enough space for future paints. I have mostly GW paints, so my design is heavily centered on fitting the corresponding paint cans. As material, I envisioned 3-5mm strong ply wood (or wallboard?), which I wanted to fix by combining wood glue and nails. I did some quick calculations about the required size for the rack and the corresponding amount of material and rushed to the nearest tool/home center in Santiago...

Two stores and two hours later, I came back with this:

I could not find any suitable ply wood but instead this weird paper/wood mixture material (MDF, I think?) in pre-cut plates with a maximum dimension of 35cm x 40cm.  The thickness is 3mm. Instead of nails, I decided to buy a staple gun.

Since my rack was supposed to be 70cm wide and high, I first had to glue pairs of plates together and stapled them at the same time.

I left the glue to dry over night. The next day, I started putting the base and side walls together again with gluing and stapling at the same time...

BTW, for cutting the material I used a carpet knife and a metal ruler, which was not optimal but OK. The worst part was cutting all the individual narrow boards for holding the paints.

During this  cutting process, I realise two things that would become quite annoying later: firstly, my metal ruler was not straight! And second, the pre-cut MDF plates were not all exactly the same size but some where a few millimeters narrower! Both combined led to my paint rack in general being not very straight in the end...

Anyway, next I glued the back wall to the side and bottom, and then marked the planned positions of the boards.

I also marked the board positions on all sides of the upper side walls

Then I glued the first board...

I tried to also mark the board position on the backside of the rack in order to put the staples in the right positions...

Which however, because of my non-straight ruler did not work very well. Therefore, I just drilled small holes into the back wall at the planned positions of the boards

And then started gluing and stapling...

 After having glued all boards one by one I put extra glue around all the corners.

The next day, I decided that for each board I wanted to have a small border that would prevent paints from easily falling of the shelf. This meant a lot of more cutting...

And gluing...

But then it was done, and since it is a paint rack, it needs to be painted! "Gesagt, getan!" ;-)

I know I got a bit carried away with the painting... ;-)

Here it is in its final position:

And filled with my paints:

Well, despite it being not completely straight and cleanly done, it is exactly as I imagined and I am super happy with it!

I hope you found this little article inspiring to build your own custom paint rack/shelf! It is totally worth it! ;-)

I leave you with the sunrise over Santiago as seen from my apartment....

Happy painting!


  1. Cool, dann drücken wir mal die Daumen, dass GW niemals die Farbtöpfe vergrößert! :-)