Thursday, June 28, 2012

Project Monolith: Doors and Paint

The theme for this post would have to be "sometimes the best ideas get completely turned on their heads and you have to do a boatload more work to iron things out".

Okay, so it's not the most concise theme, but the statement stands.

From the very start of Project: Monolith I knew I wanted an internal paint storage rack. I came up with several different ideas and methods of storing the paint, from the sensible (shelves) to the ridiculous (ceiling mounted, rotating carousel). In the end I decided to go with a simple rack of shelves, to be mounted inside one of the doors.


The initial design centered around deep shelves, mounted at an angle to allow the paints to lay down, while still displaying the bottom of the bottles for quick color identification. I snagged some interior trim from the local hardware store, and set off.

I used vinyl edge guard to lip the bottom of each shelf. The shelves themselves turned out great, but then I hit the crux of the problem: attachment. Mounting a 3" deep shelf at a 45 degree angle with that small of a contact area simply would not work. The weight of a shelf lined full of paint pots would create far too large of a moment for that single point of contact to hold, unless I nailed the daylights out of it. Even if I managed that, it would remain the point of failure for the future, forever the weakest point. I toyed with the idea of adding support struts, so I set off again to the hardware store to find a solution. Which indirectly led me to...


As I tromped around the store looking for a complicated solution to a complicated problem, I happened upon the simple solution.

A belt and tie rack, on sale! A quick measurement check confirmed that vallejo bottles would fit perfectly. I grabbed ten of these, and the Mk.2 paint rack was born.

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of WIP shots, as I was excited and knocked out the framework in a couple hours. Essentially, I mounted ten of these on a simple birch frame, creating a ladder. I then removed the left* door of the armoire, and mounted the rack to the inside of the door with a gnarly construction adhesive. I would have preferred mechanical fasteners, but the door was simply too thin to support screws without marring the outside surface.

Construction adhesives + heavy objects + time = This rack is never coming down

Here is the net result. The frame is birch, and the white struts are rails that the metal tie rack slides over. I've already masked the area with painters tape, as I plan to stain the wood to match the door and eliminate that color clash.

Fun note: At this point, I realized the doors had been mounted on my cabinet backwards. In effect, both doors had been incorrectly mounted, upside-down, on the opposite side. This resulted in that curve sloping along the bottom of each door, as opposed to correctly arching over the top. Upon realizing this, I had to swap them. Otherwise my brain would fixate, and every single time I look at my lovely hobby monolith, all I'd see would be the wonky doors.

So off they both came, and back on they went in the proper fashion. This had the unfortunate side effect of moving my paint rack to the right door, but I'll survive. The picture at the beginning of the post shows the final, corrected setup.

Up next: Staining and final assembly!


  1. Oh my goodness this is turning into a monster of a job. Can't wait to see how the paint pots fit in the tie rack!

  2. Yeah, random wonky bits cropped up and escalated the amount of work needed. My biggest fear was swapping the doors, as you can only drive wood screws into the same hole so many times before the wood you're mounting to gives up the ghost.

    I don't mind the extra work however, as the gratification is that much greater when the job's done.

    Also: the pots are a mixed bag. Vallejo pots fit perfectly, lying on their side, effectively cradled by the chrome fingers. The dropper/caps extend just past the end of the rack. P3 pots fit as well, though they are a bit wider. GW pots (of all generations) are even wider, so I don't fit the same number per shelf, but it works. More progress soon, hopefully this weekend. Stay tuned!