How to Make a Model Car Paint Stand


One of the most important stages of building a top quality model car is the paint job. However, it can be difficult to apply a good paint job and make sure you get complete and even coverage if you try to hold the model in one hand and use the other to hold your spray can or airbrush. A simple solution is an easy-to-make paint stand that will hold your model and free both hands for applying the paint.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 wire coat hangers
  • Medium duty linesman pliers
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • 6-inch square block of wood, 1 or more inches thick
  • Electric drill
  • 3/32 inch drill bit
  • Plastic turntable
  • Contact cement
  • Masking tape
  • Cut 12-inch pieces from the long side of each of the four hangers. Make a 90-degree bend, 2 inches from one end of each of the wire pieces. Cut four pieces of duct tape 6 inches long; then carefully wrap these around the short side of each "L" shaped wire piece. This will pad the wire holders to prevent damage to your model, and will also provide some extra grip to your paint stand.

  • Use the ruler and pencil to draw a line on the surface of the wood block, 1½ inches from one edge. Draw a second line 1½ inches from the opposite edge of the block. You should now have two parallel lines three inches apart. Next, mark the spots where you will drill holes in the block to mount the wire holders. Start at one end of the lines you've drawn and mark five hole locations at 1-inch intervals along each line.

  • Use the electric drill and 3/32 inch bit to drill holes ½ inch deep at each marked position. When you're finished you should have ten holes in the wood block, five along each of the two lines.

  • Glue the wood block to the center of the turntable with the contact cement. Allow 24 hours for the glue to set completely. Then insert the wire holders into the holes, two per side. You can adjust the wire holders for different size models by relocating them into different holes, and also by rotating them. Position your model over the holders and secure it to them with masking tape.

Tips & Warnings

  • When you start painting, you'll be able to rotate the model on the turntable-mounted paint stand to ensure complete and even paint coverage.
  • You can find plastic turntables in the kitchen section of most large department stores.
  • Be careful when using tools like the linesman pliers and electric drill to avoid injury.
  • Follow the package directions carefully when using contact cement. Use it in a well-ventilated area away from open flames.
  • Always paint in a well-ventilated area, use a mask to avoid breathing paint fumes, and cover work areas with a drop cloth to prevent damage from overspray.


  • Fine Scale Modeler
  • The Modeler's Guide to Scale Automotive Finishes; Pat Covert; 1997
  • Scale Auto magazine; Make a Useful Painting Stand; Jim Haught; December 2009
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