How to Store Leftover Paint

Dec 22, 2014

color-417694_640Usually when you take on painting a room you wind up with some leftovers. That can come in handy if you need to do minor touch-ups, or if you want to paint another area with the same color. More often than not, extra paint winds up in the garage or the attic. While convenient, this is not the best place for leftover paint. Since these areas typically do not have heat or air conditioning, the extra temperatures can ruin the paint.

Ideally you should store paint in a closet, or other space, that stays between fifty and seventy degrees. Letting paint freeze or get too hot causes the paint to separate. No matter how well your stir or shake, the paint won’t ever blend together the same way again, and won’t cover your walls as well.

Here are a few tips on how to store your paint to get the most out of it:

  1. If you are storing paint in the original can, make sure the rim of the can is clean so that you can get an airtight seal. Air is what breaks down paint over time, so you want to eliminate as much as possible.
  2. Get plastic wrap or cellophane and lay it over the opening of the can. This will help ensure an airtight seal.
  3. Use a mallet to gently bang the lid back into place. Be careful not to bend the edges – that will let air in.
  4. Store the can upside down! This is the last step to make sure you have an airtight seal.

If you aren’t using the original paint can, make sure you use plastic wrap to help create the airtight seal. When stored properly extra paint can last for upwards of two years! This is perfect for trim and doors, where you might want to touch up more often.

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