Fix-It Fred: Storing Paint

Welcome to another installment of Fix-It Fred where there is nothing broken. (Don’t let the rest of the family know, but they have been pretty easy on the house lately.)  There have been a few small tasks to tackle, but nothing significant. I have also spent some time putting the finishing touches on other projects around the house.

While I was working on one of these projects, Melissa asked me if we had any paint to touch up some spots on the dining room walls. I answered, “I think so. If we do, it will be on the middle shelf of paint.” The strange look she gave me conveyed the message, “How do you know what shelf it would be on if you do not even know if we have any?” It was then that I realized that perhaps my paint organization system is not typical.

So, how do I organize the painting supplies in our house? No surprise to anyone who knows me, it is unconventional and involves re-purposing items from around the house. We had a spare three-shelf bookcase sitting in the storage room. One day I looked at it and for some reason it occurred to me that we have three levels in our house with painted walls. Three shelves, three levels… seemed like the perfect solutions to me.

paint shelf

Each shelf has room for five gallon-sized cans and two quart-sized cans. This is plenty of room to store all our wall and ceiling paint. By assigning each level of the house to a shelf, it is much easier to find the paint I am looking for during a project. We also have several cans of paint for small projects around the house, like painting picture frames or dressers.

All the accent paints we have are on a separate shelving unit. This one is sized for quart cans, which works for our other paints and stains.

shelf small can

small can shelf

Even though I have the paint organized, I still have trouble at times finding the right can. We have several shades of tan and brown in our house. We also have a couple shades of pink. Sometimes it can be a challenge to find the correct color based on the dried paint on the can. In order to help keep them straight I have started labeling the cans. I write a description of the room(s), or in some cases the wall/ceiling it is used on with a permanent marker on the lid. Then all it takes is a quick glance to see which is the correct paint.

labeled cans

Storing the paint was not enough for me. I also wanted to find a convenient way to store the brushes and rollers. Looking around our storage room, I found another easy solution. A simple plastic tub. It holds the roller pads, brushes, tape, can openers, and any other miscellaneous painting supplies we may have. When I need something, I just pull the bucket off the shelf and quickly find it. No more trying to remember where I put the extra roller pads.

roller brush storage

The final issue I had in this house when it comes to painting is how to successfully dry the rollers and brushes after I wash them. In our old house we had a laundry sink that I was able to wash and dry painting supplies. In this house we do not have a laundry sink. After the items are washed, I stand them in an old plastic container to dry. Once clean, I am able to put items in the plastic container next to the sink and then carry them downstairs to dry. All the mess from the drying brushes and pads is contained in the bucket.

roller brush drying

None of the methods I utilize are difficult or complex. They are simple and inexpensive. Best of all, they are successful. Organizing paint is a dry subject (), but it is something that is often a struggle. Hopefully some of the ideas are useful to you too.

Do you have any creative or clever ways to store or organize everyday household items? Let us know!