Tips & Tricks

Making paint stands

Ever wondered where you can get cheap – or even free! – stands to hold parts while you prime, paint or polish? You can make simple ones at home, using supplies you already have at hand. For a few dollars at your local craft store, you can upgrade them into something pretty amazing.

To make these simple paint stands, all you need is 2 or 3 Tamiya paint jars, masking tape and super glue.

The jars can be glued either base-to-base, to give a nice flat surface on the top, or lid-to-lid for better grip. It’s helpful to glue the lids down as well. Just remove the lid, apply a few drops of superglue to the thread on the jar and replace the lid. This will stop the lids coming undone when you’re using the stand.

Start by turning one of the jars upside down and run a line of superglue around the rim.


Place the second jar on top of the first. The ribs on the bases will allow you to align them properly. Just be careful aligning them, because if any glue leaks out, you could glue yourself to the jars. Wrap some masking tape around the join to strengthen the stand, and you’re done.

You can make the stands 3 jars high (or higher). Just remember to glue them base-to-base or lid-to-lid as you go for better grip. And wrap tape around each join as you go.

What I love about these stands (other than the cost!) is that once you have attached a part to it, you can turn these sideways or upside down without the part falling off, allowing you to paint from every angle.

To use the stand, either add Blu Tack or upside down masking tape to the top and attach your part/s.


The options are endless. Here, I have a stand with pegs and one with a toothpick which I use for painting engines – the toothpick fits into the opening for the drive shaft, letting me paint the whole engine in one go. A little Blu Tack on the toothpick will stop the engine from spinning around.


On this stand, I’ve turned a small ruler upside down and glued it to the stand. With some upside down masking tape, it’s great for holding a range of parts all at once, which is perfect when you have a handful of parts that all need to be painted the same colour. The upside down tape is held on by two smaller pieces on the underside.


Making the stands two jars high is perfect for painting parts, but adding a third jar works wonders for painting bodies and larger parts. Just add a lump of Blu Tack to the top and it holds everything in place.


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