The Do's and Don'ts of Storing Leftover Paint for Future Touch-Ups.

Dec 29, 2023

Understanding the Importance of Proper Paint Storage

When it comes to home improvement projects, leftover paint is a common byproduct. Many homeowners find themselves with extra paint after completing a project, leading to a common question: how should I store leftover paint for future touch-ups? The answer is simpler than you might think, but there are a few key do's and don'ts to keep in mind.

paint cans

The Do's of Storing Leftover Paint

1. Keep it Sealed

First and foremost, ensure your paint can is sealed tightly. Air exposure can cause paint to dry out or change consistency, rendering it useless for future projects. Use a rubber mallet to securely seal the lid, but avoid using a regular hammer as it can distort the lid, making it hard to properly close.

2. Store in a Cool, Dry Place

The location of your paint storage is vital. A cool, dry place such as a basement or utility room is ideal. Avoid areas with extreme temperature fluctuations like the garage or attic, as these can cause the paint to separate or spoil.

basement storage

3. Label Your Paint Cans

It's easy to forget the exact color or finish of your paint, so always label your cans. Include information such as the room it was used for, the paint color, the date of purchase, and the brand. This will make future touch-ups or color matching a breeze.

The Don'ts of Storing Leftover Paint

1. Don't Store Rusty Cans

If you notice rust forming on the outside of your paint can, it's time to transfer the paint to a new, airtight container. Rust can contaminate the paint, altering its color and consistency.

rusty paint can

2. Don't Leave it Unattended for Too Long

Even with the best storage techniques, paint does not last forever. As a general rule, latex paint should be used within two years, and oil-based paint within fifteen years. After these times, the paint may not perform at its best.

3. Don't Dispose of Leftover Paint Improperly

Finally, if you decide not to keep your leftover paint, ensure you dispose of it responsibly. Many cities have special facilities for disposing of paint, preventing harmful chemicals from entering the environment. Never pour paint down the drain or throw it in the regular trash.

In conclusion, storing leftover paint properly can save you time, money, and effort in the long run. By following these do's and don'ts, you'll be well-equipped to keep your paint in the best condition possible for future touch-ups and projects.