Meet Moby! - My New Paint Tube Organizer

 Pegboard organization idea. Watercolor paint tube organizer. 

I’ve done it!

*cue triumphant trumpets* 

After years of research, countless hours of internet scouring, and a myriad of prototypes I have finally solved the bane of many a watercolorist’s existence - paint tube storage.

Art studio organization will never be the same.

Grandiose claims aside, I am thrilled to finally discover storage that so charmingly accommodates my growing paint collection.

I considered various options like the board here and Liz Steel’s wall unit, but the thought of pounding 30+ nails or hooks into a board was not appealing. (I’ve got carpal tunnel in both wrists. *sigh*) Additionally, I wanted a setup that could be reconfigured. 

The L-hooks of Liz Steel’s wall unit did seem superior to nails because of the ability to hang multiple tubes on one hook. Tracking supply levels is a cinch when you can hang tubes of the same paint color together. 

I also looked at the possibility of magnetic boards paired with high strength magnetic hooks. But quality magnetic hooks proved too pricey for this project. And again, I ideally wanted L-hooks to accommodate multiple tubes.

Somewhere amongst a Pinterest feed of various shelves and drawer organizers I stumbled upon...

*drumroll please*

Pegboards.

Why did it take me so long to discover such an obvious choice?! 

Pegboards are:

  • versatile
  • inexpensive
  • highly customizable

Once I settled on pegboard, the hunt was on. With multiple browser tabs open, I searched everywhere from Ikea to Home Depot to Etsy for the perfect size, shape, and construction.

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Tip: If you want a pegboard that’s ready to hang be sure to look for one with a spacer built into the back like this one. Pegboards require a spacer between the board and wall to accommodate the hooks. Alternatively, you can buy pegboard mounting spacers.

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In addition to all of my super functional criteria I was looking for something fun. I’m at my happiest when surrounded by a curated collection of colorful objects that make me smile. And that’s when I found Moby.

 Blue whale pegboard with watercolor paint tubes.

This is Moby and I will adore him till the day I die. (Judge me if you must for his cliched name. Couldn’t be helped.)

It was love at first sight. There he was, a charming vintage Etsy find from a great little shop in Scranton, PA - RetroBot. I knew this was the whale for me. The only challenge after giving him a studio forever home was deciding on a way to hang him. Pegboard Moby did not come with a built in spacer.

Moby is light in weight despite his whale-ness, even when holding a collection of paint tubes. For this reason I decided on a mobile hanging system versus screwing him directly into the wall. I annually-ish rearrange my studio and screwing him into the wall would have limited my options.

So I pulled out my toolbox with its random jumble of hardware and fiddled around until I found 4 matching screws and just the right combination of washers and nuts to create custom spacers. (If I’d had bolts on hand, my job would have been considerably easier as bolts are flat on the ends.) 

 Pegboard with wall spacer.
 Screw fastener for pegboard.
 Pegboard wall spacer made with a screw, nuts, and washers.
 Backside of pegboard with wall spacers and hanging hardware.
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STRAP HANGERS + HANGING WIRe + washers + Nuts + Screws

 2 inch pegboard hook. Watercolor paint tubes with binder clip.

To hang the paint tubes, I purchased 2 inch pegboard hooks and used binder clips readily available from any office supply store. I’ll be adding more hooks just as soon as my local store restocks...This system could be further customized with color coordinating clips. (I used a white binder clip for my tube of white watercolor paint.) 

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Too much Paint is not a thing

Once I’ve added more hooks, I plan to hang my gouache as well. And I’ve got my eye on this pegboard paper towel holder to hang at the bottom.

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How do you organize your paints?

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