Posted in studio tip

Organizing Paint Tubes—My DIY Solution

Hello creative friends!

Today I want to share with you my solution to storing and organizing artist’s paint tubes.

I did a TON of internet research looking at the many creative ways other artists used to solve this issue. From pegboard and brackets to cork board and push pins, custom drawers with tiered storage to molded plastic racks, there were quite a few ideas out there, but most of them left me saying, “Meh…”

Part of the problem was that I needed a very specific size to fit on a very specific bit of wall space in my studio—about 27 by 48 inches—AND it needed to hold all of my oil and acrylic paint tubes.

The other problem was that whatever solution I decided on needed to fit my aesthetic and blend in with my studio’s design which has walls of tongue and groove board for a cabin-like atmosphere.

I just didn’t see pegboard or the other solutions as an option…. 😦

Then I saw an idea online by Liz Steel, watercolor artist, that sparked my interest. Here is a photo of what she and her dad created for her paint tubes.

This was closer to what I had in mind for my studio, but it was the wrong orientation and needed other tweaks to fit my needs.

Enter my hubby, or as I have been calling him recently, “Mr. Infrastructure.” He’s handsome AND handy, and when I come to him with a problem and an idea, he helps me think through the options and then helps me create a solution using what we have available if possible.

The solution? Create a shallow box backed with leftover studio wall board (tongue and groove) into which I could drill screws to hang tubes from. The whole thing would be installed onto the wall behind my easel within easy reach and would (hopefully) hold all of my oils and acrylics.

The unit is attached to the wall with screws drilled into the wall stud and is rock solid. The screws the paint tubes hang from do not poke out the back and are 2 1/2 inches long—plenty long to hold multiple tubes if needed.

I used binder clips (size small like these) to hang the tubes from the screws. I bought a package of 144 for $7.99 at Staples and had some leftover.

The binder clips are .75 inch. Minis were too small to go over the screw heads and medium or large would take up too much room!

The hardest part about this project was figuring out how to space the tubes. For one thing, I have a bunch of 22 ml acrylic tubes that were part of a Liquitex set purchased a few years back. Many of these colors haven’t seen the light of day because they were squirreled away in a plastic bag.

There are quite a few of the smaller tubes of colors I don’t use much, but as I use them up they will be replaced with larger tubes of colors I use more often.

Figuring out the spacing for my oil paint was much easier because I generally use a limited palette. The top two rows are my usual oil palette plus a few extra saturated colors I can’t get from mixing.

My paint organizer tucked behind my easel area.

So that’s it! Beautiful and functional. Sure feels good to get those tubes organized!

Thanks for reading and I hope this information is useful.

Till next time, friends. Take care and stay creative!



Rhonda is an artist, violinist, mountain dulcimer player, composer/arranger, homeschool mom, and chicken/goat farmer. To purchase her fine art, visit

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