Mobile cart for painting and finishing.


One thing I’ve noticed about the workflow in my shop is that setting up for finishing or painting can mean a lot of walking back and forth. For a paint job, I will grab a few acrylics and take them to my workbench. Then I need to get brushes, rags, water, waxed paper for mixing colors. I thought it would be nice to have most of these supplies in one portable cart that I could wheel wherever needed.

Shelves on 2 sides

I have always found that things tend to get lost in deep shelves. It seems that what you are looking for is in the back! So I designed this work cart with shelves and doors on two sides, allowing for shallow shelves on one side and shelves a little deeper on the other. I arranged them to suit me: sized for brushes, spray cans, quart and pint sized cans, and thinners.

If you make this project, figure out what you want to store and modify the plans accordingly. You could, of course, install adjustable shelving. Personally, I am not a fan of adjustable shelves because once I set them it seems I never bother to adjust them again.

My cart will be stored next to a utility sink, so I used a piece of melamine for the top so I can easily wipe off liquids. In the plans, I included the top in the cut list as part of the 3/4″ plywood needed for the project. If you wanted to save some money, I see no reason why you couldn’t use 1/2″ ply for the entire project. It’s not meant to be carrying heavy loads.

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  1. Nice cart Steve, I like to make shop carts and mobile base units for my power tools as I work out of a single car garage. I have an extra wide driveway that becomes the open portion of my shop. I live in Los Angeles, so the weather is always perfect. I just roll out the tools I’m using and it’s really quite roomy. I always put drawers or shelves in all the base units, it gives me a ton of storage. I think I’ll make your finishing cart.

  2. Interesting Steve, the fact that you haven’t painted or finished the painting & finishing cart. You are certainly a paradox.

  3. Darn. I should’ve seen this project before cutting down and throwing out about a square yard of melamine board yesterday. I hate that stuff (and most other kinds of particle board) but there is no denying its functional utility in this table’s top.

    So on the one hand I keep kicking myself for watching WWMM all the time instead of finishing my own workshop, let alone unpacking my new used tablesaw on the other, I obviously don’t watch it *enough*…


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