Storing Paint

Storing paint is another of those bits of information that is neglected. You’ve probably heard time and again to “buy extra paint” when you begin a project, for “touch ups”.

Having extra paint is certainly helpful with any project, but what do you do with that extra paint?

The key concern when storing paint is to keep it fresh. What good does that extra paint do when you finally need it and it's all dried out?

Keeping air out of the paint can is the most important factor in keeping paint fresh longer. And it's easier said than done.

Here are a few little tips for keeping your paint fresh and usable when you need it. These tips are for paint cans. Most paint companies still sell in cans.

A few manufacturers sell their paint in plastic “pourable” containers. In that case, simply coat the threads on the lid with petroleum jelly to keep the paint from crusting on the threads and making the paint difficult to open.

Tip #1:

Use a “paint can opener” to open all your cans of paint. Most paint and home improvement stores will give you one free of charge. These hook underneath the lid and pull it open without damaging the lid or the can.

Tip #2:

When you are finished using paint, clean all of the accumulated paint out of the groove around the top of the can. This paint will dry and disrupt the seal on the paint, allowing air in.

Clean any wet paint out with a lint-free cloth and remove any dried on paint with a knife point or the edge of a clean putty knife.

Tip #3:

Create a homemade “gasket” for the lid of your can by cutting a circle a couple inches larger than the lid of your can from a plastic shopping bag. This will help form an airtight barrier between the lid and the can.

Tip #4:

Tap the lid on tightly. Don’t use a hammer directly on the lid…this may damage the lid or the can and it will not seal.

Instead, put a block of wood over the lid and tap on the wood to set the lid firmly into place. Be sure that the lid is set completely into the groove all the way around.

Tip #5

Store your paint upside down on a shelf. This does not allow air to accumulate near the top of the can.

Also, don’t place your paint cans directly on concrete surfaces. Concrete secretes quite a bit of moisture and will rust paint cans very quickly. Place them on a shelf up off the ground.

Tip #6

Lastly, storing paint should be done in a suitable climate. Latex paint cannot freeze and thaw. This will cause the paint to separate and spoil.

I hope these tips have helped you with your questions on storing paint.

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