Craft Painting Time Saver

I jumped into a HUGE craft project this weekend.  It’s another apothecary cabinet (see my previous post for details of what an Apothecary Cabinet is) only this one will be EIGHT TIMES LARGER !  These apothecaries require a lot of time and effort to get a base coat of paint on all the pieces/parts. Originally, I used to do this with acrylic paints from the crafting world – you know the one’s that come in the little bottles?, and a brush.


These are great paints, and I still use them in many ways but for the apothecaries, or any large project, I’ve discovered a better way to go about it.



House paint and mini rollers!  A job that use to take me a day and a half and two to three bottles of paint now takes me a couple of hours and one jar of paint with extra left over.


But I’d like to talk about the paint a bit more.  Craft paint (in the bottles) is a bit thin and when painting on paper products- like chipboard in this case – the thinner paint can cause the chipboard, at the corners, to separate a bit.  After all, chipboard is just paper pulp that’s mixed together with glue and then pressed into flat sheets, so if it get’s too wet it starts coming apart. Also, due to the craft paint’s thinness, I would have to use two coats in highly visible areas to achieve the coverage I wanted.  Not anymore.

House paint is now available in smaller containers, too.  One photo above is an example of paint I recently purchased at my local Home Depot. This jar holds 7.25 oz of paint and costs about $3.50 (bottled paint has 2 oz and runs about $2).  Of course, it’s meant to give you an option to “test” a small amount of color on your walls but this is also the perfect size for many of my craft projects. But a BIG PLUS is that house paint comes in 5-6 different finishes from flat to high gloss and this paint is THICK!  One coat – that’s all and it’s not so watery that my paper-based supplies are adversely effected by the painting process.  And holy cow, the color selection is amazing.  One final thought about the paint:  I paint the apothecary pieces because I expect this item to be frequently used so I want them to hold up to that use as well as possible.  I pre-paint them because I think this adds to the overall life of these pieces. The house paint that I have switched up to is certainly going to add to that life expectancy by virtue of the quality of house paint compared to craft paint – there’s that big a difference.


Next is that painting tray.  Look close, that roller is only 3″ wide!  It’s like painting supplies for hobbits.  Seriously though, this tray and roller, also from Home Depot, are the second reason for my newfound craft painting joy.  You get the tray, the roller (and you can even buy replacement rollers in sets of three) and a lid for the tray for about $3.  That lid is so cool – need to stop right in the middle of work? no problem.  Just snap the lid on with the roller in the tray and your paint and roller will be ready to go, and not at all dried out, when you come back.



But the best part, I can get through the repetitive painting so much more quickly.  This photo is of one of the chipboard drawers for the cabinet and there are 25 of these drawers on average per cabinet.  That’s a whole lot of painting, plus, I paint the walls, shelves, bottoms and top pieces – inside and out!  Just an FYI, the sides, bottoms, tops and shelves are made of MDF board – very solid.


So, for me this was a major find. Not only am I saving tons of time, the paint goes on leaving a much smoother finish vs a paint brush leaving brush strokes, and most importantly, I’m improving my overall product.

For the most part, I use one tray and roller for an entire project, thanks to the fact that the lid keeps everything fresh for days (up to a week that I’m sure of). At first I washed out the tray, tossing the used roller and replacing with one from the 3-pack.  But I’ve got into the habit of just tossing it all at the end – for three bucks I figure I got my money’s worth and then some.  But if you want to be super frugal – I’m just saying you can reuse these.

Well, I’m off to put some more time in on my super large apothecary cabinet – this is the first time I’ve made one this large and I can’t wait to see if it turns out as planned!

Now – craft on.





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