{organizing with style} Utility Room Paint Supply Organization Reveal and a Printable

Over the course of the last week or so I have shared how we transferred all of latex paint into plastic, screw-top canisters with labels, how I created a customized paint deck, our paint reference charts, and my kit to make organizing new paint quick and easy in the future.  The final step in Project Paint Organization was sorting and storing all of our other painting supplies.

Last month, we found a way to add shelves into our tiny utility room, creating new space for storing our paint and paint supplies, as well as a few other miscellaneous items that were in need of a home.  And now, I'm ready to reveal how we filled up all of that new shelf space.

Ironically, after emptying all of our latex paints from their original cans into their new plastic canisters, I determined that using empty paint cans would be an ideal way to store many of our other paint supplies. Rather than attempting to clean out old paint cans, many of which were very rusty around the edges, I purchased new, empty paint cans at Lowe's. They sell them in a couple of sizes, and they're very inexpensive. I started by sorting out all of my paint supplies, then began filling up the paint cans with all those items small enough to fit within them.

If those labels looks familiar, it's because I used the same template that I had created for labeling our paint canisters, only I added the text specific to our paint supply categories in place of the lines for paint brand and color.

Click here to download this blank label template if you want to use these for your own paint supplies. Just use your favorite editing program to add in the text, or print them without text and hand write in what you need. I printed all of my labels on to glossy sticker paper, then it cut just inside the gray circle border, and stuck them directly onto the cans.

I filled the larger paint cans with different kinds of paint roller covers and foam roller covers, our edging tools with the refill edging pads, and with rolls of various widths of blue painter's tape.

I used the smaller cans to hold our paint brushes and extra stir sticks.

Of course, some of our paint supplies were too big to fit into paint cans. For these, I used to some silver bins that I already had around the house. One bin holds our drop cloths and rollers, while another holds our paint trays and paint tray liners, as well as extras of some of our supplies, such as extra roller covers and extra painters tape.  To label these bins, I again used the same label template and printed my labels onto glossy sticker paper, but this time I didn't peel off the sticker backing. Instead, I just punched a hole through the top of each circle and used some ribbon to tie the labels on to the handle of each bin.

You'll notice, that there is also a third, empty bin sitting up on the shelf. I know from experience that for each new painting project we tackle, it can be cumbersome hauling all of the necessary supplies up and down the stairs through the house. I plan to use this extra bin to transport just the specific supplies we need for a particular project.  I'll fill this bin with the specific paint we are using, as well as the paint brushes, rollers, and tape that we need for that project. Then, when we're done painting, it will be quick and easy to empty the supplies out of this extra bed and bath in to their respective containers.

A couple of nails hammered into stud hold our customized paint deck and the clip board with our paint reference charts and our paint organizing kit.

I also put all of our can opening keys onto a book ring and hung them from another nail to make them quick and easy to find each time we have a new can of paint open.

I used the top and bottom shelves in the utility room for the items that we will access the least frequently. Since Scott and I are both short, whatever went on the top shelf had to be lightweight and easy to maneuver. We decided that this was the perfect place to store all of our extra furnace filters, which weigh almost nothing.

The bottom shelf holds extra, empty canisters, which are ready to grab and go when we have new paint to transfer into them. On the floor, below the bottom shelf, we have stacked up extra tile from various projects around the house. There's still a lot of extra tile floating around other parts of the house, especially in our garage, which I still need to move down to the utility room. But, it's nice to now have one place that we can put all of this tile to be able to find it when we need it.

So that's that! Our newly organized utility room. A far cry from the empty space that we previously had deemed unusable. It's still not a lot of storage space, but I think that we've created a pretty efficient use of the space that we did have available, and I feel good knowing that the paint is no longer being stored in unheated garage or cluttering up the floor of our coat closet.

As I mentioned space in a prior post, we are only storing only latex paint in our utility room. Because of the close proximity to our water heater and furnace, it would not be safe for us to store our oil based paints or our spray paint in the utility room. This is also true of specialty items like our magnetic primer which are also highly flammable. In the next few days, I'll be sharing some tips based on my research regarding safe storage of different kinds of paint, as well as how to recycle old paint and empty paint cans.

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