You have probably seen lowly wire baskets hanging out at the laundromat (assuming that the laundromat is still where all the cool kids hang out). You may even have one lurking somewhere in your home. We did not buy our wire basket; it appeared in our basement several moves ago, and it has become an ever-present fact of life. We never use it for laundry, but still it remains.
Flip a wire basket upside-down and you will find a whole host of new uses. The square holes in “laundry-style” wire baskets are a perfect fit for the necks of most glass bottles, making an upside-down basket makes a great drying rack for home brewing. You can get similar baskets at Ikea for $2.50, so these are good, economical solutions for anyone with a lot of bottles to wash or to paint. By comparison, brewing catalogs charge $40 and up for single-purpose drying racks.
If you need to paint your bottles (which you might do for decoration or to block unwanted light), the wire basket makes an excellent painting station. It’s easy to stand up a few dozen bottles at a time, with enough space between them that spray-painting is a breeze. The space between the bottles ensures quick drying times and minimizes wasted paint.
The bottles will usually lean to one side rather than standing straight up, but they don’t fall over. That lean makes it hard to hit every surface of the bottle in one painting session, so I suggest turning each bottle 180 degrees after the first coat of paint has dried so you can cover any missed spots. Also, you may want to protect your basket with a sheet of newspaper to avoid painting the basket along with the bottles.