Build a Revolving Paint Caddy

Text & Photos by the Webmaster

If you're like most modelers, you've probably accumulated quite a number of small bottles of paint. This project is a takeoff of several commercially available paint caddys. Those are okay, but they are somewhat limited in the number of bottles of paint they can store. So let's put together a caddy that will accommodate about 75 bottles in the most common 1/4 and 1/2 ounce sizes.

What you'll need...

Tools and supplies needed for this project include:

  • 2 sheets foam board (20x30 inches)
  • 1 sheet poster paper or other lightweight card stock
  • Household revolving turntable
  • White glue
  • Masking tape
  • Compass
  • Hobby knife with a sharp blade
  • Metal ruler

You'll be able to find all of this in most larger discount department stores.

Step One

The first thing we'll do is make a pattern. The dimensions here are only guidelines; you can change them to suit your own particular needs. Using the compass, draw a series of concentric circles on the poster board with the following diameters:

  • 13 1/4"
  • 10 1/2"
  • 7 3/4"
  • 5 1/8"
  • 2 1/4"


Step Two

Use the hobby knife to cut out the circles.

Step Three

Next, tape each of the pattern circles to the foam board and draw around both the inner and outer edges. For the largest first tier of the caddy, you'll need only one; for all the others, draw two copies on the foam board.

Step Four

Next, use the hobby knife to cut out all the circles, only on the outer edges. You should wind up with one circle 13 1/4" in diameter and a pair of circles in the other sizes, 10 1/2", 7 3/4", 5 1/8", and 2 1/4".

The inner lines you've drawn using the pattern will be used later on for aligning the tiers when we put everything together.

Step Five

The household revolving turntable will probably have two shelves. We'll only be using the bottom section. Use the white glue to attach it to the largest of the foam board circles, being careful to center it.

Step Six

Next we'll make the rest of the tiers using one each of the remaining foam board circles. Cut several strips of foam board 1 3/4" in width. Then cut support braces from the strips in lengths to match all of the other foam board circles, one each:

  • 10 1/2"
  • 7 3/4"
  • 5 1/8"
  • 2 1/4"

Use the white glue to attach the brace strips across the center of each of the foam board circles. Hold the assembly together with masking tape as shown. The masking tape can be left in place for extra strength.

Step Seven

Now add two additional brace strips perpendicular to the first brace. The additional strips should be cut to the proper length so that they come to the edge of the foam board circle as shown. Repeat this process for all of the remaining foam board circles.

Step Eight

Now glue the remaining foam board circles to the previous assemblies, being careful to align them carefully. You can use a book or something similar to apply some weight to the tops and keep them tightly bonded to the support braces while the glue dries. When you're finished, you should have four tier assemblies as shown in the photo on the right.

Step Nine

Now cut a couple of 3/8" wide strips from the poster paper / card stock, long enough to go around the edge of the first foam board circle / turntable base assembly. Glue the strips in place, positioning them so that they are flush with the bottom edge of the foam board circle. The strips will extend beyond the upper edge of the foam board to create a lip that will keep the paint bottles from slipping off. Secure the strips in place with pins until the glue dries.

Step Ten

Then cut several additional 2 3/8" wide strips from the poster paper. Glue these strips to the remaining tier assemblies, flush with the bottom edge, and extending above the top edge as shown. Hold everything together with pins until the glue dries.

Step Eleven

Now it's time to assemble all the tiers together. Glue everything together "wedding cake" style, centering each tier with the one below using the inner circles we drew to align everything. Again, use a book or something similar to weigh everything down and ensure a tight bond until the glue dries.

To add additional strength I also applied a bead of glue around the lower edges of each tier where they joined to one below, and also around the lower inside edge of the protruding lips.

Once everything is dry, you may want to apply a light coat of paint to the finished caddy.

Step Twelve

And here's the finished product. Plenty of room for all the bottles of paint I had on hand plus room for more.

But wait! What about the smallest tier? I planned to use it to hold the 2 oz. bottle of paint thinner I always keep on hand. But there's another option...

Step Thirteen

Use a sharp tool such as an icepick to punch holes in the top of the smallest tier. Presto! Now you have a place to store paint brushes.

Back to the Feature Article Index