Organising and storing my paints

MRE at the workbenchLife in lockdown continues, as does the move to our new house, which is putting a damper on my man-cave activities. 

Instead, I’ve been looking at ways to improve my working area. And one area, in particular, is paint racks.

I have a lot of bottles. Counting Vellejo, Mig, Ammo and Citadel paints and pigments, thinners, flow improvers and cleaners I have in excess of 100+ bottles that need to be stored somewhere but I’ve never found a paint rack that works for me.

In the past, I’ve tried those self-assembly MDF laser-cut storage systems but didn’t get on with them. Firstly, they use up too much workbench space and secondly they don’t seem that robust. 

Most recently, I tried an old printer’s letter storage tray that I mounted vertically. I liked the look but the compartments weren’t the right size or shape.

my old paint rack on my workbench

My previous paint rack. I liked the look but the compartments weren’t the right size for the bottles and it didn’t lead itself to the organisation I wanted.

So with a bit of time on my hands, I had a go at making my own.

All I needed was a number of shelves, but long enough to hold all the paints. And each shelf needed to be tall enough to hold the Vellejo / Mig / Ammo paint bottles and wide enough to hold Citadel bottles.

I cut up a piece of spare plywood and attached a frame around the four sides so it would stand up and then fitted two shelves into this.

New paint rack under construction

My new paint rack is being built from some leftover plywood.

With that done, I then spray-painted it and then sanded it down to give it an aged look that I liked.

This now sits at the rear of my workbench and holds all my most frequently used paints, seen above.. The larger bottles sit behind this for access when occasionally needed.

It works well and keeps my paints tidy.

(For organisation I reached out to the MRE community and asked for suggestions. The most common suggestion was to sort paints by type and colour which I’ll be doing shortly using a colour wheel to guide the colour grouping).

It’s not perfect but it’s a lot better than what I’ve had before and will serve for now until I can complete the house move and get my workbench set up exactly how I want.

How do you store your paints and glues? I’d love to hear your suggestions in a comment below.

  1. Andy,

    nice idea with the rack, especially in these times, where an extra minute is easier to get.

    I have a sheet of plain white printer paper with a pattern printed where I have a larger square for a sample of the color and a smaller rectangle for manufacturer and mfg. number. One page can have up to 50 fields for samples. Here is an example.
    So I don’t need to figure out if a certain blue is lighter than another one. My bottles are just sorted by mfg-id.

    • That’s a really good simple idea Michael! I’ll ‘borrow’ your idea and keep a chart next to my paint rack. Thanks for sharing. Andy

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