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November 11, 2007

paint storage boxes

by sven at 3:15 pm

paint storage boxes

While you're painting, it makes an incredible difference to be able to easily see all your available colors at once. Alesia Zorn gifted Scarlet Star Studios with a paint storage box that really transformed the experience of painting for me... But now I have more paints than it can hold, so I set out to make some customized storage boxes.

work tables

I'm using 2oz bottles of Delta Ceramcoat acrylic paints which I get at Craft Warehouse for $1.29 each. This isn't an "artist's quality" brand... But for most of my purposes, having an abundance of colors to choose from -- and feeling like I don't have to worry about wasting expensive materials -- outweighs any quality concerns.

The paint bottles' diameter is approx. 1.5", and they're 4" tall.

sides of boxes

Each paint storage box holds 56 bottles of paint. I could have made a single 2'x2' box that accommodates more than 200 bottles at once... But paint is heavy. It would have been a bear to move; shelves bowing would have been a concern; and it would have been more difficult to organize the rows by color.

The silhouette of each box is 12" wide by 13" tall. That means the interior space is 11" wide by 12" tall. This very neatly makes room for 7 shelf spaces, each exactly 1.5" tall.

rails for shelves

The boxes are made from poplar that I bought at Home Depot. The sides of a box are 1/2" thick. The shelves are 1/4" thick. The backing for a box is 1/8" thick hardboard.

The boxes are 3.5" deep. The wood I purchased was listed as 4" wide -- but the reality is that 1/4" gets planed off either side of that at the factory.

The shelves sit on 1/4"x1/4" rails, and are removable. The rails are each attached using two 5/8" long #16 wire nails.

box frames

Home Depot sells 2' lengths of Poplar that were very convenient, in terms of not having to make many cuts.

The stuff that's 1/2" thick cost $2.48 and each box requires 2 pieces. The stuff that's 1/4" thick cost $2.09 and each box requires 3 pieces. Rails that are 3' long cost $.69 each. A 2'x4' piece of hardboard costs $2.48. Thus, materials for each box cost approximately $13.

My prototype took 3 hours to build. I did a batch of 4 more all at once, which took 9 hours -- thus only 2:15 hours each. (One box is going to be a gift. Who for? My lips are sealed.)

completed boxes

Process-wise, there were a few things that really helped make this project turn out nicely... I used a miter saw to cut the wood, giving me really clean and straight cuts. I used corner clamps to hold the box sides at 90 degree angles while putting them together -- and 2' long clamps to hold the pieces tightly together during drilling. I inset the screws so they wouldn't scratch anything... I drilled pilot holes for the screws, then drilled into the same hole again with a larger bit -- but only went about 1/8" deep the second time.

Oooh... It is such a thrill to sit in front of my "wall of paint" now! Looking at all those colors just makes me lust to create something!

posted by sven | November 11, 2007 3:15 PM | categories: painting, studio space