Can one really have too much craft paint? Storing craft paint bottles has become an issue for me, so I decided to build my own craft paint shelf. I’m sure I could have found a cheaper shelf at a big box store, but you see—I wanted a shelf just the right size to store my craft paint. If the shelves are too deep, paint bottles can get untidy. If the shelves are too far apart, there is wasted space with not enough area to store a lot of craft paint in a small space. Therefore, I had to DIY it.
This is just a small sampling of my huge collection of craft paint and supplies.
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Materials to build a craft paint shelf
(8) 1x4x6 Common Boards
(2) ⅛ 2x4 Tempered Hardboard (for the back)
1 ⅝ wood screws
Small Plastic Baskets
6’ 1x4 (2) sides (I used 6’ because I was putting this in the basement. If you’re going to the ceiling you could use taller boards)
2’ 1x4 (2) top and bottom
22.5” 1x4 (14) shelves
2x4 tempered hardboard (1)
2x25” tempered hardboard (1)
Cut all material on Miter Saw
I cut all my boards on my small miter saw. You could use a jigsaw or a circular saw. Using quick clamps I secured the left side and the top to my workbench. A speed square makes sure your “box” is squared. Two drills, one with a countersink bit and one with a screw bit will make this job go much faster. I used 1 ⅝” wood screws for the entire project.
To prevent the possibility of splitting the wood, it’s best to use pre-drilled pilot holes for every single connection. I put the top and the bottom to the outside of each side.
Begin with a basic box construction
The bottom was secured the same way, using the clamps, speed square and pre-drilled pilot holes.
This is just a test of how it will be when it rests on the wall.
Pre-drill Countersink Holes for Each Shelf
The wood is soft enough for the screw to countersink itself, but since I felt the need to pre-drill pilot holes, I figured it was just as easy to use the countersink bit.
Secure each shelf with 4 wood screws
The shelves were added from the top down, spacing the first two sections tall enough to hold quarts of paint. Although this is a simple build, it took patience to make sure all of the boards were equally spaced.
Measure from to of shelf unit
About halfway through I turned the shelving unit upside down. The shelves were spaced according to the paint I’ll be storing—mostly small bottles of craft paint. I adjusted the shelves, then measured from the top board to make sure that each shelf board was level.
Customize the space of the shelves
On the boards that weren’t snug enough to hold themselves, I used bottles of craft paint and a paint stirrer to hold the shelf board while I affixed it.
Attach Backer Board
I attached the backer boards with a staple gun. For the top I used a full sized tempered hardboard. For the lower section I cut 23” off which left a piece 25”x24”. That was secured to the lower half of the shelving unit. I stapled along the outer edge, in addition to a few staples along the shelf boards to get a secure hold.
This floor to ceiling shelf unit was secured to the rafter in the basement ceiling. You will need to secure your shelf to the wall.
If you were to keep this craft paint shelving unit in your craft room, most likely you would want to paint it. Because I’m putting mine in the basement shop, I chose to leave it as is. Silly me, thought that this shelf unit would hold all my small bottles of craft paint in addition to all my other jars, bottles, and random containers of paint. Yeah, that’s not happening!
Organize Craft Paint
After putting the sample jars on a couple of the shelves, I quickly realized I had too many small bottles of craft paint.
You can see that the depth of the shelving unit will really help me stay more organized. When a shelf is too deep, items get shifted to the back and get lost or forgotten. I have the bottles of craft paint separated by type of paint and colors. Laying the bottles down reveals the color through the slots on the baskets.
The small plastic baskets seem to be the best option for me at this time. They allow me to see at a glance the type and color of paint on each shelf. After I figure out the best configuration I plan to label the shelves as to whether they hold Gloss, Metallic, Glitter, or some other kind of paint. Whenever I store paint I always arrange it in the colors of the rainbow, remembering something Jamie learned in elementary school.
Roy G Biv = red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.
Use baskets to corral craft paint
I had to use another old shelf for quarts and sample cans. (So sorry about the awful pictures, the lighting is not good in the basement shop)
Where is your craft paint stored currently?
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.