Frequently asked questions

General Information

General Information

  • Urban Smart Projects follows strict Safety Management Guidelines and will only permit the painting of cabinets that can be safely accessed. If you have questions about safety, please contact us.
  • Urban Smart Projects provides long lasting, high quality, exterior, water-based paint. 
  • A special range of colours are provided to enable mixing any colour of the rainbow. Colour charts are provided to help you mix colours.
  • After setting up your work site, you will usually start by undercoating the cabinet.
  • Your design must be the same dimension as the street cabinet you are painting. Actual cabinet dimensions will be provided. Some cabinets are 180 cm high x 80 cm wide x 42 cm deep.
  • You will need to paint all the sides of the street cabinets that are visible and provide a design proposal for each side. Repeating designs on sides of a cabinet is OK. You are permitted to remove or paint over the "No Posters" sticker. 
  • Before starting your design proposal you must visit the street cabinet for inspiration. Artworks must be relevant to place.
  • Design templates are provided.
  • You can use original artworks that have already been created provided you own the copyright and Intellectual Property of the artworks. 
  • You are asked to provide a title for your artwork and a description. 
  • You can sign your artwork. Please include your signature on your design proposal. Actual signatures sizes permitted on the cabinet are 30cms by 10cms.

Who can paint a street cabinet?

Anyone can apply to paint a street cabinet - you don't need to be a famous artist. Emerging artists, professional artists, school groups, families, kids or elders can get involved. If you are under 18, a supervising adult must sign in with you.

The requirements for each project vary but three essentials are:

  • You must have your design approved by Urban Smart Projects
  • You must follow safety instructions and other details outlined in the Artist Agreement (which you sign before painting)
  • You must use ONLY the paint provided to paint your approved artwork.

Why should I paint an artwork on a street cabinet?

Over 92% of people report that painting an artwork on a street cabinet is great fun. Participating in this initiative gives you a chance to make a meaningful and valuable contribution to your neighbourhood.

Painting a street cabinet with your original artwork will:

  • Get your art on the street
  • Grow your art practice - Make your neighbourhood look beautiful
  • Develop your sense of community
  • Provide you with healthy challenges
  • Grow your connection to your neighbourhood
  • Help you meet people you would not otherwise meet
  • Foster your sense of community pride
  • Probably make you feel proud and happy

How long does it take?

The amount of time it takes to paint a box varies depending on the design, painting technique and artist experience so it can take anywhere from 5 to 30 hours to complete your artwork. As well as actual painting time you will need to factor in time to complete the required online participation steps such as completing the safety induction, uploading your design and artist agreement and then uploading photos and completing feedback once you have finished painting.

What designs will be approved?

To be approved your design should:

  • Be based on an original idea (and not breach Intellectual Property Rights - somebody else's idea)
  • Enhance local identity by either responding to 1. the character of the local place OR 2. the history of the local environment
  • Be positive and foster community pride
  • Must not have large areas of blank colour (to prevent graffiti)
  • Be brightly coloured and not involve dark colours (which can cause cabinets to overheat) 
  • Be contrasting and not camouflaged (due to vision impairment issues)

In general designs will not be approved if they involve:

  • Significant amount of text
  • Trademarks, brand or business names, logos or copyrighted images
  • Images of a potentially offensive or sensitive nature as determined by Urban Smart Projects
  • Images that are political or religious
  • Collage or gluing anything onto the BOX
  • Images that resemble illegal graffiti or tags

What is provided?

Participants are covered by twenty million dollars worth of Public Liability Insurance and will be supplied with an Equipment Pack containing:

  • Site Set Up Diagram 
  • Hazard Assessment Sheet and other important information
  • A range of quality water-based paint colours, undercoat and often a UV coat
  • Safety cones and safety vests
  • Drop sheets and rags
  • Disposable mixing palettes without lids. You may wish to use your own mixing containers with lids so you can mix colours at home and transport them on site
  • Keyhole and ID plate protectors for the cabinet

For those participating in the Brisbane City Council Artforce Project, Equipment Packs are sent to your nearest Council Ward Office.

What do you need to supply?

  • Paint brushes and cling wrap to cover wet brushes
  • Water for cleaning up
  • Sun protection i.e sunscreen, sunglasses, long sleeve shirt and pants, wide brimmed hat and closed footwear
  • Drinking water and snacks/food
  • Basic first aid kit, insect repellent
  • Hand trolley, if available, for the Equipment Pack
  • Safety stool or 3 step step - ladder if available

How long do Artworks last?

Cabinet artworks last for a few months or up to 6 years. Remember that cabinets are critical city equipment and may need to be replaced or removed at any time. Urban Smart Projects has no control over routine or emergency replacements of cabinets.

Great, how do I get started?

Check to see if there are any cabinets available to paint in your area. Please take note of participation or project requirements. To proceed go to the ARTIST LOGIN page and register.

Once registered please login to your dashboard and follow the steps to allocate a box to yourself or register for a project. You will receive an email explaining what needs to be done next.

Don't hesitate to phone or email Urban Smart Projects if you have any questions. Our job is to help you have fun and contribute your best creative statement to your neighbourhood.

Painting tips

Here are some very useful suggestions from cabinet painters:

  • Try and park nearby so you don’t have to carry your stuff too far BUT don't get a parking ticket!
  • If you don't have a vehicle and are travelling to your cabinet by public transport or on foot, you can load paint pots (remember to always keep them upright) and other equipment into a wheeled market trolley, a back pack or into green shopping bags.
  • Cabinets near coffee shops are very good to paint!
  • Scope out where the nearest bathroom is. Can somebody mind your gear while you go to the bathroom?
  • Expect a lot of interaction, people passing by are usually fascinated and entertained by your work.
  • Please hand out project contacts to anyone that is interested. Urban Smart Projects loves to involve everyone especially those who are ‘interested’ in graffiti.
  • If you are working in an area where there is a lot of illegal graffiti you may get unwanted contributions to your artwork between sessions. For safety of your artwork, some people prefer to finish their artwork in one session.
  • To avoid the paint drying up or becoming lumpy, keep the lids on the paint pots. If you're using one of the supplied colours pour a small amount into a mixing palette for use and put the lid back on the large pot.
  • While you are painting ensure the pots are not in the direct sunlight.
  • Suggestions for helpful take along items: a roll of paper towel, some plastic bags for garbage, masking tape, chalk for marking your design onto the cabinet, take a copies of your approved artwork (we did ours on a grid system to assist with scale), cling wrap for covering unused paint and wrapping wet brushes, plenty of drinking water, snacks and/or a sandwich, a hat and sunscreen, some people even take a sun umbrella (must be tied down to avoid it blowing onto the road and causing an accident).


Dashboard Participation steps

  • Register to paint on urbansmartprojects.com. This is done on the “Paint” page - “Artist Login”. You will need an email address and password to login to your dashboard.
  • On the “Paint” page, find a street cabinet in a location relevant to you. Specific project requirements will be provided.
  • A street cabinet will usually be allocated to you for one month while you develop design proposals.
  • Once you have been allocated a cabinet, you can download an Artist Agreement and Safety Information from your dashboard. At this stage you will be asked to confirm your contact details.
  • After reading the Artist Agreement and Safety Information, please complete your online safety induction.
  • Next; download a design template and create full colour designs of exactly what you want to paint on all visible sides of the cabinet. 
  • When you are ready, upload and submit your design proposal, title and a 30 word description of your artwork. If you are working in a group, list the names of others.
  • Wait to hear if your design has been approved. Approval may take a week.
  • If your design proposal is approved, set dates to paint your approved artwork onto your street cabinet. Please nominate around two weeks to paint. You can contact us if the weather lets you down or if you have any other hold-ups.
  • Sign the Artist Agreement, upload and submit. 
  • We will schedule delivery of your Equipment Pack and let you know the details. 

To prepare, look through the contents of the Equipment Pack and carefully read the instructions sheets inside.

  • The fun part: on site painting your approved artwork onto your cabinet (remember to download, print and take along your Authority to Paint Notice).
  • When you have finished your artwork text photos through to Urban Smart Projects for approval. When your artwork has been approved and you are absolutely finished, take quality, high-resolution photographs of your artwork explained on “Photographing your completed artwork” information sheet.
  • Prepare your Equipment Pack for return. Make sure the paint pot lids are on securely and that everything is in the Pack. Secure the lid and tape closed. Leave in the nominated place for pick up by the courier. When the Pack is ready for the courier to collect please log-in to your dashboard and click on "Return Equipment Pack". You may be asked to print and attach a courier label to the Pack.
  • Upload final photos of your artwork, provide feedback and return the Equipment Pack. Your artwork will then be published on urbansmartprojects.com.
  • Publish your artwork on your Facebook or Instagram page: a great way to celebrate your hard work and show off your art.