Introduction: Same P#!@int, New Wrapping…

About: Hi! My name is Hans, I live in Scandinavia where I build whatever pops up in my head, out on to my sketchbook and finally into my hands. My projects here are my favorites and I hope some might inspire you. Rem…

I have for a while now settled on a color combination I use to paint my projects. Most often this comes down to finishing off my box builds. It all started when a good friend of mine (Cathrine Boman) saw a box I made with these colors and suggested I use it in all my builds. I hesitated and worried I get bored of this limitation, but now I can't thank her enough:-)

This color constraint has opened up to a branding opportunity and it also cuts down on "what color should I choose?" conundrums…

Choosing this distinct style gives leverage and has that recognizable advantage I want for my projects. This Instructables isn't so much a "how-to" it's more a "why-to"!

Let' paint dry…


Mix your own acrylic colors

Dry frozen coffee, makes for easy mixing

Wood glue for binding the coffee paint


Stamps found and self-made

Type, stickers (I have a stack from the old days, but vinyl cutters give unlimited possibilities)

Step 1: Colorful Inspiration

Tom Sachs is one of my favorite artists. In this interview (with one of my favorite makers, Adam Savage) Tom talks about his use of color. I've taken his approach to color and made it mine:-)

It's a great talk so hunker down and enjoy a break!

Also watch the Color video, and while your at it read this ”Color”: A Comprehensive Color Guide Book

From the Sachs website you can easily see a consistent color scheme playing out.

Step 2: It's Coffee Time!

A day without coffee is a day without meaning! I've taken it a step further and not only drink it but I paint it too.

For some time now I've mixed up my own coffee paint. I use a lot of plywood in my box building and the transformation this coat of coffee adds is beautiful. The grain comes alive and parts with the store-bought wood. It takes on a new meaning and gains history.

Okay, I'm getting carried away here but I choose coffee-stained plywood over clean grain any day!

Step 3: What's Your Favourite Colour?

Meet my favorite colors!

Teal blue, I love the sea and have always dreamt of living on a beach where the water has that color.

Orange, the vibrant color has always been a favorite and I fall back on this color maybe too often, but hey who doesn't like orange:-)

They compliment each other and still give a nice contrast. The added coffee color gives that extra warmth, especially plywood benefits from a brush with java.

Step 4: Wet Paint in Progress!!!

I really enjoy this process, seeing the transformation, from plain wood to a colorful surface. Staying true to this color scheme makes it even more rewarding when the collection of boxes grow and they all come together in one colorful family.

I of course foster som orphans, but you'll meet them in another instructable:-)

Step 5: Weathering!

Painting and decorating my builds have become an important part of the storytelling behind each of my projects. I've gone as far as to make a specific Weathering Tool Box, in it I keep a bunch of tools to wear down and add a lived life to my boxes. May it be scratches, dents or dust, this tool box will do the job.

The Weathering Tool Box didn't just pop up… I was yet again inspired by Mr Savage and one of his One Day Builds:

Step 6: Stamps As Paint…

I love stamps!

In all my builds I will cram in a stamp or 10. Wood or fabric, it doesn't matter. This layer of information adds to the visual overall feel to the final result.

I've made my own stamps but treasure the ones I find at flea markets.

This also plays into the weathering process, my boxes gives a feel of lived lives.

Step 7: It's Not Paint, But… Typography

Another part of finishing off my builds is adding text. I am type nerd and love the feel fonts can give a design as a visual statement. I name my boxes according to their contents and combining this with the use of stamps I find the result to be much richer and give a final layer of "painted" information.

Step 8: From Paint to Marker

Not only have I mixed my own paint but I have also found markers to go with the color scheme. When I do my sketch notes I like to add in some color and why not make them the same as in my builds.

Here are two sketches from Makers Central 2018.

Step 9: Watching Paint Dry…

Finding my color combination and paint process has helped me a lot. I'm far from being bored by this simple mix of colors and I will probably experiment and develop this further.

The value of a good paint job is paramount, dress it up like you give a damn! If I can get people curious and eager to see what hides inside, I got brush strokes to thank!

I hope you enjoyed a little peek into my process in completing my builds and maybe got a new appreciation for watching paint dry:-)

Want to see more build processes, please follow along over at my Instagram: @smogdog

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