Introduction: Pinewood Derby Paint Stand

I'm often asked what is the best way to paint a Pinewood Derby car so I decided to create an Instructable using some commonly available materials that can be assembled in about 1 hour's time.

Step 1: Needed

You will need:


2 - coat hangers that you probably have laying around the house from your dry cleaning. Cheap coat hangers are the best.

1 - block of wood. An old Pinewood Derby wood blank or an old 2" x 4" is great.

4 - 3/4" inch wood screws

4 - washers for wood screws


A saw to cut wood to 4-1/2 inches in length

A drill and bit to drill pilot holes

Screwdriver to drive screws

Wire cutters to cut coat hanger

Pliers to bend a coat hanger

Ruler to measure the length

Sharpie pen to mark coat hanger

Optional: a square to ensure 90° bends and cable ties to tighten hold on the car

Step 2: Cut the Wood to 4 1/2 Inch Length

Using a saw, cut 2 x 4 or pine block to 4.5 inches.

Step 3: Cut and Straighten the Coat Hangers

Cut the coat hangers and using pliers, straighten the hangers as best you can. After straightening, cut each piece to about 18 inches in length.

Step 4: Practice Bending on Leftover Coat Hanger Wire

Using pliers, practice bending the leftover coat hanger pieces to get the feel of bending. You want to make 90° bends in the same plane at certain marks. When you feel comfortable, you are ready to move on to the next step.

Step 5: Mark the 18 Inch Pieces

Using a Sharpie, mark the 18-inch pieces at the following marks from left to right.

  • 1.5 inches
  • 2.5 "
  • 4.5 "
  • 8.5 "
  • 8.75 "
  • 12.75 "
  • 14.75 "
  • 15.75 "
  • 17.25"

Step 6: Start Bending

Starting with the left side of the 18-inch piece, start bending 90° angles at the marks making sure to bend on the same side of the mark each bend. Remember that all bends are in the same plane...meaning...when you lay it down, it would be flat. We want to make two of these 'goal posts' like things in the picture. When you have it fully bent, cut the 'goal post' piece to leave a gap of about 1 inch between tips.

Step 7: Mark Wood and Drill Pilot Holes

Mark the centerline of the wood(from left to right) on each end of the woodblock and make two marks about 1/4 inch from top and bottom. Using a drill, drill pilot holes for the screws at the cross marks. Fasten the screws making sure the washer is on the outside of the 'goal posts'. This holds the 'goal posts' in place. Do this for both ends.

Step 8: Other Advice...uses...etc...

When you place a car to painted in the stand, you just pull out the 'goal post' tips and insert in the axle slots. It is best to drill those axle slots using a #44 drill. You should be doing that anyway. Using just the slots could be tight depending on the coat hanger you used.

Once you have the 'goal post' tips in the car slots/holes, I find it helpful to use a cable tie to keep the posts together, That way the car can not fall off the paint stand.

This stand can also be used for extended wheelbase cars by gently pulling the 'goal posts' outward to accommodate the extended wheelbase.

Another use some people have told me about is for a Pinewood derby stand after the race. You would just cut or bend the tips off the 'goal posts' to allow the car to rest on it as a display The stand should look great (same color as car) if you used the paint stand.

Good luck...and happy racing.....