Quick storage rack for spray paint cans

At Robots and Dinosaurs, we’ve got huge numbers of spray paints, finishes and other bits and pieces that collect in tubs and never get used. Inevitably you can never find the colour you want, and because digging through all the tubs takes time, we’ve accumulated plenty of nearly-empties, duplicates and decades old rusted cyliders of dubious ancestry.

I did a bit of research to see how other people organised spray paints. There are lots of methods out there, but I felt they used too much material, weren’t flexible enough, or took too much time cutting to be easy to make. Eventually though, I found this design here: http://ana-white.com/2015/04/free_plans/spray-paint-storage-featuring-instructables which seemed in the sweet spot of simplicity and practicality, and used it as a starting point.

I measured out the biggest and smallest of our paint collection, and did a bit of playing around shuffling cans on the bench until it ‘felt’ right. The sides, back and shelves are all optimised by what was available in Bunnings, so I could make as few cuts as possible.

The only variable left was the precise angle of the shelves. I made a rough guess, and started from there.

The frame starting to come together (with the cut shelves being stored inside). Because the load isn’t that great, and I wasn’t sure how well if I’d be rebuilding it, the wood is just held with screws. If I were to make it again I’d use screws and glues for extra strength.

Rack under assembly

Test fit of the cans. I put in a couple of shelves with this style, until we realised that if a can fell over it could fall in the gab between the shelf and slide right down the back.

test fit of cans

It’s always painful to go back a step when you’re building something, but if you don’t you’ll generally end up regretting it later. I gritted my teeth, removed the existing shelves and remounted them so it was more stable.

Once I had the new angle and position, I made a pair of template to hold the shelves in place. When the shelves are installed, the templates can slip down flat against the wall and be slid out.

Template for drilling and securing shelves

All finished and with our collection of cans in place. It was also an excuse to go through our full collection. So that’s where the locktite ended up!

Finished spray paint storage rackThere’s obviously a bit of room for improvement. Organising the contents by colour and paint type (oil based, water based, etc). But the beauty of a rack is that it’s now pretty trivial to sort them out. I’ll leave the actual organising for  someone else who’s less tired to do. 🙂

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