Improvised Mixing Containers

Little plastic doo-dads you can use to mix colorants in. February 23, 2008

I thought I would post this kind of fun question to find out what other things we adapt to everyday finishing... For instance, I save the screw-on tops to the five gallon containers, I remove the little cardboard round inside, and then use the top to mix up touch-up-colors into. When I'm finished, I toss them into a can of thinners and let them sit until the next time I need one.

Also... I got tired of my touch-up brushes coming up lost (people who borrow them), so I cut a piece of cardboard about 16 inches long by about 4 inches high. I press the ends of the brushes into the cardboard about 2 inches. I ended up with about 15 or so different brushes shoved into this piece of cardboard. Ever since I did this, my brushes always end up right back where they were borrowed from.

I found that the squeeze type glue bottles that are given away by our hardware guy make great containers for sealers and coatings and various solvents. They have a rather secure top that snaps on and they don't seem to leak. What other ideas do my fellow finishers have to make life easier?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor R:
I use the caps (white ones) off of aerosol cans to mix my touch-up colors in. Clean them the same as you. Put my touch-up brushes in one of those tubes that the (what I call) Bondo log comes in. The kind of patching material that's shaped in a roll, cut a piece off, knead it together to mix. The tube is the perfect size and comes with a cap. I've also been using clear plastic water bottles for my leftover shaders.

From contributor K:
I use the tops used on motel glasses for mixing everything from glue to touch-up stain. That way I don't worry about cleaning them. They seem to hold up well to liquids. I ended up buying a lifetime supply from a janitor supply store. I used to cut rolls of paper towels in half on the bandsaw; now I buy Bounty's towels that come in 1/3 of a sheet sizes. Other companies are doing it now also.

From the original questioner:

I'm not sure what you mean by the "tops of motel glasses."

From contributor K:
In motels/hotels that use glass drinking glasses as opposed to throwaway plastic, they put a paper "cap" on the glass to protect from whatever, until you use it. It's about 3-4" wide and 1/2" tall. Kind of like very short Dixie cups but uncoated paper.

From contributor A:
I have a great butcher in town. They stock all of the supplies for the restaurants. Super big sizes of mayo and hot sauce. I stop there a few times a year to grab plastic containers. They are the ones you get potato salad or olives in at the deli counter. They come in 1 cup or 1 qt. They also have lids. They are made out of PP (polypropylene). Nothing eats through these containers. I've left custom stains in them for 2 years. Totally airtight.