35) Making Socket Organizers More Visible #NewThingEveryDay

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I have these Craftsman socket holders in my big toolbox where it is difficult to see the writing because it is just raised grey on grey. I remembered a post on SawDust Girl where one of the contributors used white paint to fill in the markings on a Kreg jig to make them more visible. Now the markings on my socket organizer are raised instead of recessed but I thought maybe I could do something similar.

My first test was to paint the background white and wipe the paint off the markings. This turned out to be quite fussy for several reasons. I didn’t want to paint the entire organizers so I had to tape off areas I didn’t want painted. Once it was taped off and I applied the paint, it took me a while to figure out how to wipe the paint off consistently without disturbing the background paint. I finally found that wrapping a paper towel over the tip of my index finger gave me enough control, but I still had to move the paper towel every few markings or I just started pushing paint around rather than removing it. Also to get decent coverage I had to apply to coats.

I wasn’t satisfied with this method, it took way too long for one panel and I had 5 more to go, so I tried another method. This time I just applied paint to the raised markings with a fine brush. This turned out to be much faster and provide a higher contrast than the first method. It also took a while to figure out how much paint to load on the brush. Too much and I got paint in the middle of closed numbers and the sides of curved numbers which made the markings less readable. I finally dialed in the amount of paint to load and this Imperial panel went faster. It looked so good I could have stopped at one coat, but I decided to go for two coats.

Imperial Test in Drawer

Now I just need to remove the paint from the metric panel so I can redo it the second way and then paint four other panels.

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