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Barn Board Paint Caddy: Upright Storage for Acrylic Paints

Char Milbrett is a creative writer and artist from Minnesota. She enjoys sharing recipes, crafts, hobbies, and games from her home state.

We made this barn board caddy for our daughter's acrylic paints

We made this barn board caddy for our daughter's acrylic paints

Paint Storage Solution

My daughter was looking for ideas for how to store all her bottles of acrylic paint. She was straightening up her painting room and found that her paints were taking over.

She found a nice-looking paint caddy on Pinterest and asked if we could make something similar in my woodworking shop. I told her we'd see what we could come up with—and she was very happy with the results!

Step 1: Cut a Piece of Wood

The paint holder my daughter saw on Pinterest could hold 80 bottles of paint, but she decided she could get by with fewer than 50.

We took three bottles of her paint and placed them on the board to get an idea of how much space we would need. We made sure to plan for spaces between the bottles, as well (I used my pinkie finger to mark those spaces).

We cut the board so that it was a little longer than what we needed. Then we cut a second board for the back. We knew that we'd be cutting them smaller just to be more accurate after we finished drilling our holes.


Step 2: Drill the Holes

We used a drill press to drill the holes with a 1 3/8 inch spade bit.

We used a square, pencil and a bottle to start our spacing. We decided where the first bottle position would be and used a pencil to space between and moved the bottle over across the first row, using a Sharpie to dot where the center of the bottle would be.

We actually used two bottles and a pencil to move across the board to mark. Bottle down, pencil in between, second bottle, dot. Move pencil, move bottle, dot. Move pencil, move bottle, dot.

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We did this with the square and Sharpie across the board and took the board over to the drill press and drilled each hole on the sharpie mark.

Then, after the row of holes was drilled, we marked the second row the same way, and drilled those holes.

After three rows, the spacing was just a little crooked, so we took a 2 x 4 and reached across the board and spaced to the first row. It just added charm to the setup. We didn't want to keep going in the initial manner and end up with our holes going up to the corner in a crooked way. A little variation is okay, but major variation is a no no.

Step 3: Finish the Edge and Cut the Frame

After we drilled the holes we needed to even out the front, so we took duct tape and marked where the side was even and shortened the length of the body.

That cut, we took the other length of board that was thinner and cut two pieces the same length as the front and back, and then, took them and set them on end next to the front and cut two pieces that were as wide as the three pieces set together. One for the top and one for the bottom.

Then, we took two bar clamps and set the sides and the bottom and the front inside the clamps. We nailed the front to the sides first and then, after the front was secure, nailed the back to the sides. Then, we completed the project by nailing the short top to the one end of the assembly and then finished by nailing the other short piece to the bottom. I used a two-inch finishing brad.


A Perfect Fit!

The 1 3/8 bit was the perfect size for the bottles she had. They fit perfectly in the holes.


Salvaged Barn Board

Earlier this year, we had 14 inches of rain in a short period of time, and our basement flooded. This meant that the decorative barn board in our basement was partially submerged in water.

Of course we had to remove the walls to get at the wet insulation behind them, and so we had removed much of the barn board. I decided to use one of the barn boards for my daughter's paint caddy project.