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OT-Shop Paint

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  • OT-Shop Paint

    Just now finished the first coat of oil based primer on my new shop walls...the main room for the lathe, mill, workbenches and office space, about 260 sq. ft. I'll start wallboarding the dirt room in a week or two. I'm looking for recommendations (and reasons, please!) for shop color other than a white or off-white. Any one color seem to be easier on the eyes or better for shop lighting purposes? I've worked in light yellow walled shops, but the light just didn't seem right. I'll be doing both machine work and gun stock making, so the lighting is important


    Montezuma, IA
    David Kaiser
    “You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.”
    ― Robert A. Heinlein

  • #2
    Very light blue half way up the wall, then white up to the ceiling.
    The blue hides the dirt better, and white of course for brightness.
    Stay away from any blue that makes you think of the ocean,
    Or else the shop may have the feel of a fish market.
    Last edited by Doozer; 05-04-2008, 02:44 PM.


    • #3
      Umm. Jail house pink? Desert cammy? Vinyl picture wall? I'd go for off white or cream. Plywood to 4 ft to protect the drywall, then chair rail cap (select 1 x 3 routed with a 1/4 bullnose) to keep the drywall from getting beat up. By the time you get shelves and storage up the wall color won't matter much.

      Good lighting (5000K flourescent full spectrum tubes) is more important to a good shop environment than the paint scheme but if estheitcs are important to you, enlist your local arbiter of taste.


      • #4
        White, or off white.

        Fish market in Iowa,OK


        • #5
          Don't forget the stripe of gloss black up the wall in line with the lathe chuck, unless you have a good splash shield...............

          I haven't yet found a color that is exactly the "color of dirt".

          Keep eye on ball.
          Hashim Khan


          • #6
            Mine's refrigerator white. I used semi gloss enamel, washes okay when something splashes. My buddy painted his light grey up about 4ft, then went to white. He liked the look of the blue masking tape he used so much he got a quart mixed up and painted a racing stripe at the transition.

            I cut it off twice; it's still too short
            Oregon, USA


            • #7
              Medium green, it's what hospitals use, it hides blood very nicely, just in case someone gets careless.

              Pale blue is a nice relaxing colour, give you a calming effect to help with those annoying screw ups, as long as your not careless.
              The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

              Bluewater Model Engineering Society at

              Southwestern Ontario. Canada


              • #8
                I have one section left of benchtop to get rid of. It's painted yellow and I hate it. I had pale green wals and I couldn't get rid of that quick enough. There was also pale blue and some glossy white. None of those colors did anything for me except get me one step closer to externalizing my cookies. I went with a flat white- it's quite neutral and it helps with lighting.

                Obviously it's personal preference, but if I had to paint my shop walls a color, I'd probably go pale olive. As long as you keep the reflectivity fairly high, I think you'd be ok with any of the milder colors that machines are painted.

                Were I you, I'd look up the effect of color on humans, and consider what might suit your personality type. You may need something to be soothing- on the contrary you may need something that stimulates you. Maybe you need it to be a pleasant change from what you usually are seeing in your home or work environment, but if it's too different it could be disruptive to your thought patterns. Pretty much anyone who is choosing a color is doing so to 'set the mood', for lack of other words. It's very much an emotional response thing, and as such it's quite personal. If the result is going to be seen by several persons for many hours at a time, then it might be best to forgo a color in favor of an off-white.

                Something I did once was pick up some poster board of different colors and display them in my usual room for awhile each. Then I tried to imagine the whole room being that color. I ended up with a slight off-white called mystical haze, which doesn't provoke me in any way at all. I find that I pay no attention at all to that finish, which is to say it doesn't distract me. It has a very slight brown in it, not enough to distinguish, but enough to show that the paint is not bone white.
                I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                • #9
                  Darryl, your final choice of color sounds very much like the average color of the universe. The color according to NASA:

                  The Average Color of the Universe
                  Credit: Karl Glazebrook & Ivan Baldry (JHU)

                  Explanation: What color is the universe? More precisely, if the entire sky was smeared out, what color would the final mix be? This whimsical question came up when trying to determine what stars are commonplace in nearby galaxies. The answer, depicted above, is a conditionally perceived shade of beige. To determine this, astronomers computationally averaged the light emitted by one of the largest sample of galaxies yet analyzed: the 200,000 galaxies of the 2dF survey. The resulting cosmic spectrum has some emission in all parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, but a single perceived composite color. This color has become much less blue over the past 10 billion years, indicating that redder stars are becoming more prevalent. In a contest to better name the color, notable entries included skyvory, univeige, and the winner: cosmic latte.

                  Newbie or not a Newbie, there's always a question.


                  • #10
                    This was the paint in our old injection moulding factory.
                    We went from an original flat white to this colour scheme, and it helped in a surprising number of ways. We actually measured a decrease in operator-related scrap of around 3% in the months following the factory makeover, and the working atmosphere appeared far more pleasant with fewer arguments and disagreements.



                    • #11


                      • #12
                        'medium cosmic latte please, and could I get a black hole on a paper planet as well'- 'oh, and do you take starbucks?' 'um, might as well tachyon some muon my doughnut also'

                        'So, do you always work the redeye shift?'
                        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                        • #13
                          Kind of timely and ironic- the retail outlet where I'm working to bring it to readiness for opening day is just now trying to choose the color scheme. I didn't want to mention the type of business at first because I wasn't sure that it would even get off the ground.

                          This will be---- a slot car palace. The main color that we've agreed upon- pretty much cosmic latte! There is some difference of opinion regarding the decorative coloring, but I'm pretty sure it will be British racing green, Lotus yellow, Ferrari red, etc, arranged either in angled stripes or confined to features in the room. There's an old covered-over chimney, so that could be one color- a beam across the ceiling could be another, etc.

                          I have been building the track structure to suit the layout, and selecting a finish to put on the various parts of it have also been the subject of much concern. We want it to look appropriate in all aspects, and as some of you could imagine from having 'known' me on this forum, many of my ideas have to be 'reined in' so bring them closer to normal No big deal, just let me do it the way I want to-

                          In any event we've certainly had some differences of opinion regarding the 'scheme' of things. The effect of colors is certainly not a trivial thing.
                          I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                          • #14
                            light yellow with white looks superb.No Not greeeeeeenAlistair
                            Darryl was that english if it was I couldnt make out what you said made no sense but then I am not english but Scottish Alistair
                            Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Alistair Hosie

                              Darryl was that english if it was I couldnt make out what you said made no sense but then I am not english but Scottish Alistair
                              Nahh... you were probably thrown by all those punctuation marks Alistair.
                              Lynn (Huntsville, AL)