Paint Box Project

About a year ago (seriously), a friend of ours who is an artist asked if I could make for her a wooden box for storing paints. She works a lot in water colors, and the paints come in these small plastic pans. Over time, she's accumulated a large collection of colors, and stores them in several small paint boxes. She explained that she wanted a single large box to hold all her paints at once, but the only company that sells such a box commercially wants to sell it to you full of paints, and she doesn't need more paints. She needs a special box because the paint pans are only about 3/8 inch tall, and most boxes are far too deep. Anyway, I finally completed this project recently, and delivered it, so here it is.


A Box for Paints

It's made entirely of poplar, finished with linseed oil, with brass hardware. The box has a footprint the same as a standard sheet of paper, 8.5 inches by 11 inches. The walls of the box are a half inch thick, so it's pretty sturdy even though it's shallow by design. Here's what it looks like inside.


The Box, Open

There's a little divider inside to make an area for brush storage. When she saw how much space was inside, she was totally excited. She might even have enough room to store some larger pots of Japanese paints in her collection.

One of the reasons this project took so long was that my first try at making this box was something of a failure. I thought I might be able to get away with using thinner wood for the botom and the lid, but it warped.


The Mark One Box

Just look at it. That gap at the left is about a quarter inch! The bottom warped down while I was finishing the box, and stayed that way no matter what I did. The gap is large enough that it would let air and dust into the box, which is bad. I tried again.


The First Try, Open

Here you can see that the inside space of both boxes is the same, except this one has a felt liner on the lid that she decided was not really necessary. I'm glad the second attempt was successful, but I'm sorry it wound up taking so long.

2010.10.07 at 12:00am EDT