Introduction: Tea Cans As Paint Brush Holders

About: I work as software engineer in one of Bay Area (California) companies. Whenever I have a time I like to program micro controllers, build mechanical toys, and make some home improvement projects.

Painting is not my favorite part of DIY activities. Especially I dislike brush cleaning. Painting usually should be done in several stages (priming, first coating, second coating etc) and a lot of efforts consumed by keeping brushes in a good shape between these steps. After the job done again brushes has to be cleaned well, otherwise they could be destroyed. On the top picture you can see 1.5" hardened brush which I did not cleaned up properly previous time. I decided to restore it meanwhile developing the process. Bottom pictures shows the same brush after cleaning. I would not tell it looks like new but it is good enough to do some more painting.

Step 1: Holder for Small Hobby Paint Brush

Before proceeding with restoration of 1.5 inch brush I decided to make holder for small brush. Twenty five grams Ahmad Tea Can suites the task well. The only extra component needed was rubber sheet from Ace hardware gasket kit.

Step 2: Making Rubber Lid

I took out metal lid put can on top of the rubber sheet, draw line with pen around it and cut lid out. I did that twice making two lids.

Step 3: Making Brush Hole

I put one of lids between two pieces of wood strips and drilled the hole with drill bit which size was slightly less than brush handle: (in my cease it was 1/4"). Brush handle fitted the hole just fine.

Step 4: Cutting the Hole in Metal Lid. Usage

I cut bigger (in case there will be need to accommodate bigger brush) square hole with knife inside metal lid. Then I poured out some cleaner into the can. Between coating step brush stayed in the can. During coating I used another rubber lid to keep cleaner from evaporating. When project finished I washed brush with water and soap. At the end very little of liquid left to dispose.

Step 5: Making the Holder for 1.5 " Brush

With gained experience I proceeded with making holder for the hardened brush you saw at beginning of the post. Hundred grams tea can accommodated the brush perfectly. But there was the problem: it required too much cleaner to cover whole brush. What a waste!. But I came to the solution: wooden insert cut out of wood sheets and some sticks. That insert took most of the can volume. As a result amount of cleaner used for 1.5" was almost the same as amount needed for small hobby brush.

Step 6: Assembling Insert and Making the Rubber Lid

I put wooden parts inside the tea can. They kept together tide enough so I did not need any glue, nails or screws here. Rubber lid I made the same way as for smaller can.

Step 7: Making Holes

The hole for 1.5" brush need to be not round but oval so I instead of drill I used chisel. Chisel for wood worked for rubber lid and chisel for metal for metal.

Step 8: Treating Hardened Brush

I put brush into insert, poured cleaner there, closed can with rubber and metal lids and left brush to soak for several hours. After that I took brush out, washed it with soap water, wiped handle and metal part of the brush with cloth soaked in cleaner. Job was done.

On photos above you can see both holders: for 1.5" brush and for small hobby brush. They served me well and hope will serve me for some projects in the future.

Unusual Uses Challenge 2017

Participated in the
Unusual Uses Challenge 2017