Spray Paint Can Shaking




Introduction: Spray Paint Can Shaking

I have been spray painting some moisture resistant MDF and used several spray cans. I am totally fed up of shaking cans for two minutes, putting them in warm water and shaking again for two minutes to make sure there is no spatter from the nozzle throughout spraying of the cans contents.

I looked online for a solution and found a Sawzall attachment and a plastic cylinder that attaches to a drill. Both products come from the US (I am in the UK) and were very expensive with postage, especially as I don't have a Sawzall in the first place and not in country they are sold.

After thinking for a while, I came to the conclusion that there must be an easier and cheaper way.

Then I realised that there was!

This is probably the most basic way, using the paint can lid.


Drill (preferably with speed and rotation control)
Adjustable Spanner
HSS or Wood Drill Bit (preferably 10/12mm)

1 bolt that fits in your drills chuck (bigger is better for stability)
2 nuts that fit on the bolt
2 washers that fit on the bolt

Step 1: Figure Out the Size of Your Drill Chuck

Check what size drill bits your drill chuck accepts and then find a bolt that will fit. It is likely 10mm or 12mm will fit.

Step 2: Find a Drill Bit the Right Size to Drill a Hole in the Middle of the Can Lid

Now you know the largest size that will fit in your drill, you now need to find a drill bit the same size.

Step 3: Drill Through the Middle of the Can Lid

The Plastikote cans I used had a mark in the centre of the lid (presumably from the way they are manufactured).

That made it easy to locate and drill through the middle of the lid. It doesn't have to be perfect, but if you drill too far away from the centre then when you try using this method, it is likely the can will fly off the lid with considerable speed and force!

Step 4: Bolt Time

Add a suitable size washer onto the bolt and move it by the bolt head. The washer and bolt head go inside the can lid.

Then add another washer onto the bolt from the outside of the lid, followed by the first nut. Tighten the nut on the outside so that it clamps the lid tightly. Then add the second nut and tighten it so it clamps onto the first nut.

Step 5: Mixing Time

You will see that I used a small bolt so the can droops but is very secure. I would probably use a bigger bolt next time for peace of mind/safety, but you can make sure you do this first time round.

Attach the bolt to your drill and then press the can into the lid.

First try spinning it with the can pointing down (like when it is sat on a shelf) to get a feel for whether your can lid holds securely and will spin without coming off and checking that the nuts are tight.

Once you know it is working safely, point the can away from you (so it is on it's side) and start spinning slowly with your other hand hovering over the bottom of the can for safety.

You may feel more comfortable spinning at 30 degrees using the same method (this is the angle recommended by the manufacturer of the other drill attachment). If it is unstable when you start spinning, start with the can upright (like when it is on a shelf) to build up speed and work towards a 30 degree angle slowly whilst building up rotation speed until it spins without shaking about.

You may need to experiment with speed and direction of spin depending on your drill and whether you find that the nuts loosen.

I put mine on full speed for 30 seconds and then used the whole can without any spatter that would indicate it was not mixed properly.

Be the First to Share


    • Anything Goes Contest

      Anything Goes Contest


    Alex in NZ
    Alex in NZ

    2 years ago

    I don't use as much spray as you, but I bet I'm just as fed up with agitating the cans. I had _never_ thought of letting a machine do the work (despite having seen the relevant Simpsons episode). Thank you for sharing this :-)


    2 years ago

    Interesting idea, thank you for sharing!


    Tip 2 years ago on Introduction

    If the lid becomes loose or the can doesn't spin enough, place an elastic band around the can where the lid clips on.