Homemade Paint trays

One of the other joys of my new home is the ability and space to actually do wood projects.  I have been thinking about purchasing a fancy, laser-cut paint rack of late to go with my new painting area.  Yesterday, it occurred to me that I just spent a small fortune on a home with a workshop and maybe I should make something with all that spare wood.....

With that, I collected up the boy for some quality father-son construction work.  I selected some pieces of aromatic ceder for the first rack.  Here's my process:
1.  Cut 4 18in lengths of ceder.  The first is 6in, decreasing by 15. in width for each successive piece.
2.  Measure off a line 1.5in from the edge of each board.  This is where the smaller board will line up.
3.  Along that edge measure off 12 1.5in squares.  This is where the paint pots will go.
4.  Place a mark in the center of each square.
5.  Use a boring bit to drill a hole in the center of each hole.  I found that 1in is ideal for standard dropper bottles, and 1.25in for polly-s and other paint-pots.  Drilling the holes now ensures that the board below each board will act as a base for the holes.
6.  Use a router to give a nice bevel edge
7.  Sand the boards.
8.  Glue and clamp each step in turn.

For my paint pots I tried a different approach.  I cut a 24in base board and then reduced the length of the upper tiers by 3in each time.  I opted not to do the holes yet as this will be my general work stand.  I will probably drill out some brush and hobby knife holes on the highest tier.  

I was up in the air about lacquering these.  On one hand it would look better and be easier to clean up spills. On the other, I love the smell the aromatic ceder.  (The shop will smell great for days!)    The final decision was made for me when I looked out the door and saw the following between me and my shop.....

I will never have a garden.......


  1. Nice and classy, seems paint racks are in seaon. Is mouse?


  2. I'm moving to a place with ample space for a workshop/wargames den next year myself so I'm taking notes here ;)

  3. Moose aren't in season for a bit, and I think the neighbors would look poorly at dropping one in the yard. That, and momma moose is at least 6' at the shoulders. She peeked into the Kitchen window at one point and it was slightly unsettling...

  4. Well, the Moose won't eat daffodils, at least... nor will anything else (poisonous)!

    Like the paint racks!



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