Introduction: Spray Paint Shaker

About: I work at RobotZone ( the folks behind Actobotics and ) in Winfield, KS. I love working on projects with my kids and seeing what they create.

I was recently hired to work at RobotZone LLC (Makers of Actobotics and owners of My first challenge was to build a spray paint shaker (well... more of a rocker) which will gently oscillate a spray paint can agitating the paint inside. The goal was to give the ball inside just enough time to get from end-to-end. Of course the speed needed to hit that mark will vary with the amount and viscosity of paint so your mileage may vary.

Since it is made with Actobotics it is easy to modify. For example: if you wanted it to go faster, you could use a faster motor, aluminum beams instead of plastic and a couple of large o-rings to help hold the can in place.

Let's get started.

Step 1: What You'll Need

Parts List:
This is a worst case scenario parts list... it assumes you need to buy everything down the the screws, washers and nuts.

Step 2: The Motor

  1. Solder the input power board to the terminals of the motor.
  2. Solder the JST lead to the + and - terminals of the panel mount jack.
  3. Slide the motor in the clamping motor mount and attach it to the 6 in. channel using (2) 6-32 x 5/16" socket head cap screws (SHCS for short).
  4. Install the 6mm set-screw hub on the motor shaft. Align the set-screw so that it contacts the 'flat' of the motor shaft and tighten using a 3/32" allen key.
  5. Mount the 7 hole plastic beam to the set-screw hub using (2) 6-32 x 5/16" SHCS.
  6. Mount the panel mount jack to the 6 in. channel and plug the JST connector into the pins on the input power board. There is no need to be concerned about polarity as it will just change the direction of rotation of the motor.

Step 3: The Magnets

Four powerful magnets hold the can in place. We tested this with cans up to 1 lb.

  1. Place four 1-1/8 in. socket head screws through the 9 in. channel as shown with 2 locking washers and 0.875” nylon spacers stacked on top each screw. This will allow for proper magnet spacing when using a standard diameter aerosol spray can.
  2. Thread the 1-1/8" screws into the 1" clamping hub and tighten using a 7/64" allen key.
  3. Place 2 of the magnets into the clamping hub and tighten the pinch bolt.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 on the other end of the 9 in. channel to install the second set of magnets.

Step 4: Connect the Channels

  1. Attach the 1/4 in. hub to the shaft
  2. Screw the 1/4 in. hub to the bottom middle of the 9 in. channel (the one with the magnets) using (4) 6-32 x 5/16" SHCS
  3. Join the 90° Quad Hub Mount to the Dual Ball Bearing Hub using (4) 6-32 x 5/16" SHCS.
  4. Mount the Quad Hub/ Dual Ball Bearing assembly to the top of the 6 in. channel (the one with the motor) using (4) 6-32 x 1/4" SHCS.
  5. Put a 1/4 in. shaft spacer on the shaft.
  6. Slide the shaft into the Dual Ball Bearing Hub.
  7. Put another 1/4 in. shaft spacer on the shaft followed by the set screw collar.
  8. Slide the collar up snug and tighten the set screw using a 3/32" allen key.

Step 5: Arm It.

  1. Connect the longer plastic beam to the beam attachment block as shown (with washers on either side of the beam). Make sure it is just loose enough to swing freely
  2. Mount the beam attachment block to the 9 in. channel as shown using a 6-32 x 1/4" SHCS... make sure that screw is nice and tight!
  3. Use the .437" length nylon spacer, a screw, locking nut and a couple of washers to connect the two beams as shown... again you want this just loose enough to move freely but not have too much play. I usually tighten it up and back off just a bit.

Step 6: Plug It in Plug It In.

Screw it to your workshop wall and your are ready to rock. Just throw a paint can on it and plug it in.