Spray Gun Stand




Spray painting a motorcycle is a challenge in itself so additional challenges are unwelcome. One absolute "must-have" for this messy process is a spray gun stand. What you most likely forgot to buy when you ordered the paint supplies was just that - something to hold the spray gun when you load it with paint, and somewhere to rest the gun between coats. With my wallet already depleted by my current motorcycle restoration project, I made my own from a 3/16" steel rod and piece of plywood that I had in my pile of discards from previous projects. I tried my hand at a faux carbon fiber finish on the base simply because I like the look of carbon fiber.

Step 1: The Stuff

Even the simplest of projects requires stuff. Fortunately I had everything readily available so didn't have to spend a dime. What I used:
  • 2 Pieces of Plywood for the base - about 6" wide by 10" long and 0.5" thick, and the other piece about 5" wide by about 6 inches long. If you have thicker plywood, you will be fine with a single piece of thicker material.
  • about 3 foot 3/16 or 1/4" steel rod. Thicker than 1/4" is hard to work with and thinner than 3/16" will be to flimsy
  • A small rod and tubing bender if you are after neat and presentible tool, else you can form it with your hands
  • Epoxy to secure the rod to the plywood base. I used JB Weld because that was what I had.
  • Two #6 wood screws 3/4" long
  • Drill bit that matches the steel rod diameter - 3/16" in my case
  • Dril - battery/electric/hand whatever you have that can make a hole in wood
  • Clothes line wire (or any wire about 1/16" diameter or thicker) for prototyping the shape
If you plan on painting the Spray Paint Gun stand:
  • Can of black spray paint preferably something that you can apply to metal and wood direct without a primer. Rustoleum works well for this.
  • Can of silver spray paint to create the faux carbon fiber look.
  • Tool drawer liner with rectangular holes for the faux carbon fiber pattern

Step 2: The Prototype

To get the right dimensions for the spray gun, a quick and dirty prototype was created out of clothes line wire that I had from a previous project. 

The pictures are in the order that the bends need to be made.

The first bend creates the hoop that the paint container will rest in. Bend this hoop so that the diameter is smaller than the diameter of the paint container. You don't want the gun slipping through - that would make a mess!

The second bend directs a shaft downward the length of the spraygun handle until the finger guard. Then bend the wire toward the right in a right angle and run this about 2.5 inches. The left side will be a stop for the gun and prevent it from slipping of the left of the holder. After the 2.5 inch run, make another right angle bend. This is the physical stop for the gun and prevents the gun slipping out of the right side. 

Now curve the final piece downward - this will be the attachment point for the base of the holder.

The final picture shows the prototype with all the necessary bends. Working with the 3/16 steel rod was more difficult because it is more rigid. Since I only had one steel rod, I needed to get it right first time to avoid the trip to the hardware store so the prototype helped get the dimensions correct and verify the proof of concept. 

Step 3: Assembly

Because the plywood I had on hand was skinny 1/2" stuff, I used two pieces to get enough thickness to make a robust base for the steel rod.
The steel rod is shaped so that the gun is offset to the left of the attachment point between the rod and the wood, so drill the 3/16" hole in the wood such that the gun in supported condition is roughly in the center of the wood. Also, the weight of the gun is well forward of the attachment point so you want the front of the wood to extend at least as far as the gun for stability.

First screw the two pieces of wood together as shown in the pictures - Note: In my version, I added the screws after epoxying the rod in place which is prolly not the best way. Then drill a 3/16" hole all the way through. Now slide the steel rod through the hole so that it ends flush with the bottom of the wood. Mix up two-part epoxy and epoxy the steel to the wood. The epoxy will prevent the steel rod from rotating in the wood. Leave the epoxy to cure according to manufacturers instructions. 

Step 4: Faux Carbon Fiber

This is an attempt at faux carbon fiber. Not necessary for function but having seen this video on YouTube, something I had to try. Here are some links to this technique:

First apply the black base coat and wait fro it to dry. Use a rapid dry spray paint. I left the black Rustoleum for about 30 minutes - basically until it is dry to the touch. 

Now cover the base with the tool mesh. This needs to be kept tight to the surface to prevent the next layer of paint from "bleeding" between holes in the mesh pattern - I think I failed here not having the mat tight enough. Now lightly dust the mat with the silver spray paint. Basically the goal is to make the area in the openings of the mat silver so that you end up with alternating black and silver rectangles.

Carefully remove the mat after the the silver has dried to the touch. To darken the silver and get closer to the carbon fiber look, apply a light spray dusting of the black until you achieve the look you want and leave to dry.

My version did not turn out that well but from 5 feet away it looks ok!

Step 5: Job Done

After all the paint has dried, you now have a usable paint gun stand for very little money (zero in my case). You can do all the wire and wood work in about 30 minutes max. The faux paint is optional. An easy weekend project!

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    11 Discussions

    The sense of satisfaction you get out of "making" is what it's about. A lot of the things I have are made with my own hands. I wouldn't have it any other way.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I was gonna say something along the lines of, "looks like somebody got the cheap harbor freight gun haha," but then I saw your bike, that's a great paint job (if the other i'ble is the same bike) I am getting into painting now too and I have a stand anyways, but it's not nearly tall enough because I have both a regulator and an inline filter. I was gonna ask though, any pointers to a newbie like myself? Great i'ble by the way :))

    3 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I have now painted two bikes with my harbor freight guns. I wouldn't know a good gun from a bad one because I've only ever used the harbor freight gun. I built and painted the black bike - first build and first paint job. I put a lot of detail into a blog I was writing at the time which may have some useful tips for you. The main blog is here: http://midnightcustoms.blogspot.com/ The paint post is here: http://midnightcustoms.blogspot.com/2012/06/part-21-bodywork-and-paint.html

     just finished painting my cafe racer which was another huge painting challenge for me. I will at some point document it but for now I rather spend time to get it on the road! 


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I understand. I wouldn't know a good gun either, I opted for an LVLP gun from amazon. There always seems to be a mixed bag of reviews for the HF guns, but I guess it really is about the painter and not the equipment. Thank you for your references, I will read them like religion (hehe) so hopefully mine will turn out at least a fraction of how your's did. Great instructable, and I built a stand for my gun, Thanks :))


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Good luck. If I didn't mention it in the blog I must have painted my gas tank about 5 times before I was happy with it.....


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Great stand, it's very usefull for charge the paint into the gun.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I use a small C-clamp to clamp the base to the work surface so that it is stable with the air hose attached.