I used to use a cut coat hanger to stir my paint, and it works really well. However, invariably I would lose or misplace or otherwise need a new plastic coat hanger any time I would need to paint. I didn't realize that I was painting that often since it really isn't my favorite activity, but apparently I had consumed enough of them to get an evil eye from my wife when asking for new coat hangers to cut apart. So rather than ask for yet another, I created a more permanent solution. Simple, yet nearly permanent and I have yet to be tempted to throw this one away or misplace it.
Step 1: What You'll Need:
The supply list is pretty short:
A length of threaded rod
(2) nuts the same thread as the rod
(1) lock washer to fit the rod and nuts
(2) angle brackets with holes slightly larger than the size of the threaded rod
If your threaded rod is sized right to the holes in the angle brackets, all you will need is two pair of pliers (or a pair of pliers and a socket wrench, or two socket wrenches)
Drill (to use the paint stirrer/mixer in, but not needed for the build)
Step 2: Layout
Place the materials on the threaded rod in the order shown. I left extra space in between the parts in the pictures just to make it easier to see the order- they don't need to be that far apart.
First, put a nut, then the lock washer, then the two angle brackets, and then the second nut. Make sure the angle brackets are opposing each other and that the threaded rod is through the holes in the angle brackets that put them furthest apart (as done in the pictures).
Then, tighten the nuts against the angle brackets, compressing the lock washer.
You want to keep the bottom of the mixer/ stirrer low profile, so you want to end up with the threaded rod just inside the nut (so the rod doesn't stick out past the nut). That will give you the most shallow profile possible.
Step 3: Try It Out!
Now you're finished! You can chuck up the un-hardware-laden, bare threaded rod in your drill and stir your paint like a pro.
I have been tempted (after looking at some commercially available designs) to bend the angle brackets to make triangles, and/or twist them to create and even more turbulent mix, but my basic design seems to get the paint moving in a rather efficient vortex. If I have any concerns about how the paint is mixing, I simply tilt the rod a bit and change the direction and origin of the paint vortex. Alternating just a little bit is rather effective.
If you get the nuts right with the lock washer initially, the paint that gets in the mix of the hardware will only add to the years of trouble free service as free loctite. I have had this version for almost a decade and it continues to serve me well. I hope yours does just as well!