Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Looking for Advice - What's Your Painting Set Up

I had a discussion with SWMBO about how I set up for painting - which ended up with her asking what other modelings do.  I thought I'd check around.

Here's how I set up for painting.

  1. I paint in our living room so that I can watch TV and talk to my family, plus it's got better light and way more heat (at least in January) then the basement.
  2. I use a vinyl table cloth to protect the floor (much bashed up hard-wood, due to be replaced but so are the basement, kitchen and roof!).
  3. I use 2 folding TV tables to balance my water, painter's palette figures etc.
  4. I keep the bulk of the paints in a box at my feet.
The end result is that I get boxed into my chair (which has arms, further imprisoning me) and SWMBO gets nervous that I'll knock something over or drop it on the chair or flood (sigh again).  It's also tough to get a lamp on the tables which is what I'd love to do.

So advice?


  1. I've got a dedicated painting table set up behind me in my basement office (across the room from my desk) where I can enjoy some alone time as I listen to international broadcasts on shortwave radio (two such radios at back of painting desk). It's well lighted, and I can leave things out in-progress as I work to complete each new unit or related scenery project.

    Best Regards,


  2. It it always interesting to get a peek at other people's set-ups. While I certainly wouldn't take any painting advice from me, I will put together a blog post with photos of my table, paint storage etc. Give me a few days.

  3. Prinz Ulrich

    I'm jealous of your space. I had plans for something similar but instead of a renovate the basement needed interior bracing and a complete excavation outside. It's now structurally sound by functionally a nightmare!


  4. TIm

    My gosh Tim - your spare parts bins and your painting set up - your ready to air all of your wargaming dirty laundry aren't you? FYI your results look good to me, so I'm interested in the method.



  5. After having gone to great effort to establish a games room upstairs and moving my painting desk from the family room to my games room, I found that I was painting less so as to spend more time with the pack. SO I have moved back down stairs.

    Instead of my old roll top desk, I now use a small writing table that's probably older than I am. I have it set in a corner with one end against the wall and room for me to sit behind the desk, facing the middle of the room. This allows me to listen to the TV (or more usually music) and glance up if there is something interesting on the TV or to keep an eye on the pack.

    We haven't redone the floor yet so its old tiles, one of which has had a corner pried up and torn off by one of this summer's puppies, so I'm not too worried about the floor. I use a piece of plywood as a cutting/painting board to protect the desk.

    Since I share the room with a dozen small sighthounds, protecting the paint bottle, figures, brushes, tissues and anything that looks remotely chewable, is prime. I use a plastic tool box to hold the paints, brushes and any 1/2 painted figures in between sessions.

    For additional lighting, I use one of those spring loaded extended, swiveling desk/drawing lamps.


  6. Peter,

    Mine is quite a slovenly space, I'm afraid. I really should trim the little used paints and old brushes, the source of the clutter.

    But, it is my space - one dedicated to painting and occasional ship building. Well lit, everything reasonably close to hand including reference books. I enjoy painting alone, usually listening to the radio while I do. My wife often keeps me company, playing solitaire on the nearby Xbox 360 while I paint.


  7. I have got a dedicated painting table/modelling desk set up in my gaming room. It's well lit and have my refernce books and an old PC to look up stuff on the internet. I have a whiteboard to track my list of to-do's. I usually listen to the radio while I paint.

    (some rather tidy views of the setup at

    -- Allan

  8. Great Stuff guys. Some of you (tidders) seem way too organized for me!

    We're still working on a solutions - I've been running a cold so not up to painting in the last couple of days.