Art Supply Storage

I am having a custom desk built to do my art and was wondering how other artist store their art supplies? I only have a small wall space to put a desk that will also need to store my supplies. I’m looking at ways to store oil paints, acrylic paint, brushes, colored pencils, markers, numerous different types and sizes of paper, sketch pads, pen and pencil sets, pastels (reeves, rembrandt, conte a paris, general’s pastel pencils) and a printer. Has anyone tried storing finished pastel paintings and drawings in a filing cabinet? Even though I try to stay organized it’s a struggle with limited space.

Hi Sylvia! When space is at a premium, going vertical is often the only solution. May I suggest getting a pegboard and hooking bins or canisters for all your smaller items such as pencils, markers, brushes and paints. Paper and sketch pads often become a problem if you don’t have a bookshelf or drawer available. If you custom desk design allows it, you could add a storage underneath for the paper and sketch pads. As for storing art in a filing cabinet, you could get those hanging folders - but it depends on size. You will be limited to a maximum 9" wide paper, otherwise you work will get damaged. An under the bed box might work for finished work. If you type in “organizing small art studio” in Chrome, you will find a series of images that might give you inspiration. I hope this helps.



Hi Sylvia

I am in the same process of setting up a decent art space. One thing i did find was to keep lighting in mind when it comes to storage above the desk / bench. I was going to put shelves directly above where i would usually do sketching or have a desk mounted easel but found when i held the shelf up as a test for height it created an unwanted shadowing of the work area. So that got Cancelled. Maybe some shallow shelves would be ok though. I really like storing my supplies under the bench to each side of where i sit.
My brushes are kept upright in jars on the bench along with pencils in smaller tubs that i can put a lid on and take with me if i like.
My paints are in sealed labelled poly containers under the bench. Paper is also stored in similar fashion. Canvas framed is stored upright towards one end not huge canvas though.

All the best.

Thank you for the suggestions Patricia. I’m starting to look at getting a pegboard in the future, after I get my desk in place and know how much more storage I will need. I found a nice wood art supply drawers to store my pen’s, pencils and markers etc. at Jerry’s Artarama. I could have shelves built on the side of the desk to put them. That way I have a place to store them when I don’t need them. I did not think about the filing cabinet limiting my paper size. I will find a different solution for storing them.

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Thank you for the ideas dl108. I also thought about having shelves above my desk but now I’m looking at peg boards. I never liked the way peg boards looked but there are more decorative options available these days. For my lighting, I have a portable adjustable spot light on a tripod that can be moved around, similar to the picture. It was a little on the expensive side to buy but I think it was worth it in the long run. I love the idea of storing supplies in drawers on side of desk. The question is how many do I need and what sizes. My plan for now is to store my canvas upright in the closet next to the desk.

Best of luck to you with setting up your space.


Hi again Sylvia. If you don’t like pegboards, slatwall panels may be a good alternative (See them at Home Depot). Of course, it may already be what you had in mind. Good luck with the organization of your small space.

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I never herd of slatwall panels. Thank you for the suggestion. I’m also looking at a hutch for the desk.