Painting tables


One reason for the tidy up of the Playroom (Mancave) was to enable me to use the painting table again. The other was to take some photos for my paint desk and add some commentary. I’ve seen Rich’s painting table, and Stuart has also provided a picture of his table. What struck me was the similarity of all these tables – not immediately obvious but the structure was common in all of them.

So there’s mine. A table bought from the Army & Navy store second hand – a fine place to buy military and civil service cast offs in the 1980’s and 1990’s. £15 for a 5×3 table ( I think it’s more like 5’6″ by 3’6″). Ideal for a university student to plonk his text books, notes and awesome Amstrad computer on. Served me well during uni, and has since served me well as a painting desk. Two drawers to either side for stationary and other gubbins.

I’m right handed. The paint jars are to the right, one for paint, one for metallics (something Rich suggested), one for glue/PVA, and one for enamels. The first two are mixed with Revel Painta Clean. nasty stuff, it’ll melt anything, which means you can’t and shouldn’t leave your brushes in there which is why there are two sets of kitchen roll, one to soak up excess water/cleaner, to act as a sponge for when you want to to dry brushing, and a second to place your brush(s) on when you’re finished with that one.

Also to the right, is:

  • the PVA, putty and base flock
  • the bottle of brushes
  • the bottle of knives, saws and other common tools

All contained in hot chocolate tubs for some reason – my late wife and various ex’s have all enjoyed hot chocolate so the containers have been put to good use.

Also to the right are the iPod and Bose sound system, plus phone. Music, of which I will talk about later, is always good when painting, and having the phone in the playroom means I don’t miss many calls (yes I have an answer phone).

Slap bang in front of me in the middle of the table…

  • broadsheet newspaper, to soak up the mess
  • cutting mat
  • stacks of paint bottles

I bought some racks for the paints, I got bored of rifling through lots of pots of paints all with white or black tops. They are very good for organising your paints so you can see them. As you can see I use mainly Foundry paints, the triads so want to have them co-located, I also use GW/Citadel and others.

Both sides of the desk have an angle poise lamp fitted with a daylight bulb, and the main room light bulb is also a daylight bulb. You can pick these up from DIY stores, but so far I’ve only found them at 60W. Which makes for a dim room late at night. They are useful to ensure you have proper daylight for painting at night, as ordinary bulbs radiate a yellowish light so the colours are no represented well. As a result, trying to paint anything other than base colours results in tragedy.

To the left is another organiser, with my various glues, flocks, grasses and other trivia. Kitchen towel (a real necessity to clean up paint, glue and cat vomit) and box of tissues complete the table.

Here’s Stuart’s paint desk:

Very similar. As a right handed chap, again we have the mixing tablet to the right, brushes mostly to the right, unusually water jar in the middle. But again a cutting mat in the middle, paints in drawers left and right, and yes, an angle poise lamp to illuminate everything.

Here’s Rich’s paint desk:

Or rather the right hand side, yup, another right handed chap ! Brushes tools and gear to the right so he can pick them up. Paints, stacked in the same style I do. And a radio.

To the left, / centre again cutting mat, trays, flock and scatter foliage. Not visible is (wait for it) the angle poise lamp. Again a profusion of random containers for flocks, glues and paints.

What struck me most about all three desks, was the similarity of layout. None of us have ever sat down around a table and ‘designed’ our ultimate painting desk, yet all three of us have come upm with the same layout. Whilst Rich and I are geographically close, Stuart is not. So this can’t be achieved by looking over each other’s shoulders. It can only be down to efficiency. There’s a certain list of tools and supplies, but not how you lay them out.

Now there’s also something that I’ve noted. Rich and I both have radios/stereos next to their paint stations. What do we play ?

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